The New Red Carpet Rules

Do look now, young actors are experimenting where it matters most

The awards season is upon us and nothing excites the fashion industry more than the red carpet. This is where careers are made, eyeballs are strained and the marketing game is played. If you are a success on an awards function red carpet — whether you are an actor, jeweller, stylist, fashion designer or a shoemaker — you are the Next Big Thing since the camera flash.

While it is well discussed that even the Oscars are watched for their fairytale floor-sweepers more than the love of movies, it's also hard to ignore the ennui red carpet dressing is finding itself in. A gown is just a gown, after all. And how many Cinderellas can you take year after year?

This is why the paparazzi promo spot, the red carpet walk, is suddenly so exciting. Actors are discovering newer and inventive ways of staying memorable. This rings true especially in India where the sari and the salwar-kameez are perfectly acceptable at black-tie evenings.

At the 19th Annual Colors Screen Awards, held last Saturday at Bandra Kurla's MMRDA grounds, the spotlight was particularly trained on the new and inventive versus the dull and dressed up. We are done with long gowns, cocktails dresses, Aishwarya anarkalis and Bipasha one-headlight saris, so what else have you got?

The showstopper was clearly young Parineeti Chopra who wore a black silk-khadi shirt with a buti-print lehenga skirt, and a hairband decorated with faded zardozi embroidery. While Ms Chopra may have appeared to have stepped out of a modern dandiya party, she was eye candy among a uniform of frocks. Her ensemble was instantly recognised as Sabyasachi and here we will inform you that the hairband alone costs Rs 22,000. (Yes, the Bengali designer can now sell rice at any price.)

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