The New Red Carpet Rules
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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.)
As Chopra clapped, cheered and even hooted for her friends who
went on to pick up their trophies, she told us she's young and experimenting. It's great if it wins her a fashion nod, and okay if it doesn't either. The important thing is to try something new.
Even Vidya Balan, who is credited with starting the trend of anything-but-a-gown, and is creative muse to Sabyasachi, needs a new look already. She first showed off her propensity for kanjeevaram silks at the Screen Awards three years ago, but three years is a very long time to be doing the same thing. So while she did look like the blushing new bride thanking "Siddharth and the new family she's inherited", one did wish she appeared closer to her bosomy new Vogue cover.
What the Screen Awards' red carpet trawl tells is that the gown has had its moment. Label lovers take heart, the prom dress prototype will never go out of form, but it is begging for a little fun.
Katrina Kaif was a classic example of boredom. She sat emotionless in her black slit gown and made no heads turn. Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, flaunted how the gown can still be worked. Interestingly, she was a contender for Best Actor (Female) in the same film, Cocktail, where her stylist, the brilliant Anaita Shroff Adajania, won the Best Costume. Padukone was top-to-toe gorgeous in an emerald Dolce & Gabbana in lace, the sheer mermaid gown was offset with a cocktail mini inside.
Malaika Arora Khan played beautifully with a lace mini-dress too. Her sheer sides showed she wore no inners, and that a woman pushing 40 could melt butter in Alaska by just touching it.
This year's carpet is loudly telling us fashion isn't just about looking pretty, it's about playing with rules and creating new paradigms. email@example.com