Thursday, February 11, 2016

Red Carpet Worthy Etiquette

When honored with an Academy Award nomination, Red Carpet attire should be chosen carefully. Attire should invite compliments, not questions of your judgement, regardless of how much fun you feel it would be to attend in what appears to be a giant, dead swan!— “Society has its own definite code of manners that must be observed before one can enter its portals. There are certain rules that must be followed before one can enter its envied circle. There are conventionalities that must be observed ... There are certain prevailing modes in dressing ... To know and adhere to these laws is to be admitted to the highest society and enjoy the company of the most brilliant minds. — Etiquette is an art—the art of doing and saying the correct thing at the correct time—the art of being able to hold oneself always in hand, no matter how exacting the circumstance.” —From Lillian Eichler's 1921, Book of Etiquette

The Red Carpet: A brief history...

For decades, stars great, small and dubious have swanned down the Oscars regal rug — Crimson being the color of royalty for millennia. But what of its origins? It has a backstory as rich and multifarious as a Selznick epic!

458 B.C.
In Aeschylus' tentpole tragedy, Agamemnon returns from the Trojan War to find that his wife, Clytemnestra, had laid a path of dark red tapestries, supposedly in his honor. Agamemnon's response, "Only the gods deserve the pomps of honor, I am human." What that 21st-century red carpet honorees were so humble.

1821 A.D.
In Georgetown, South Carolina, a ceremonial red carpet was rolled out for President James Monroe when he arrived by riverboat.

The New York Central launched the 20th Century Limited, an exclusive passenger express between New York and Chicago. Embarking passengers at Grand Central Terminal walked a red carpet that ran the length of the platform, supposedly inspiring the bromide "red-carpet treatment."

In Hitchcock's, North by Northwest, Cary Grant escapes Manhattan on the Limited -— The scene was shot at Grand Central and featured a carpet by industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss. Grant, disguised as a Red Cap, and Eva Marie Saint, tromp on plush red when the train arrives in Chicago.

Hollywood's first red carpet event usually is ascribed to the opening of Sid Grauman's Egyptian Theatre and the premiere of "Robin Hood," starring Douglas Fairbanks. The irrepressible Grauman, a founding Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member, later would take credit for the red carpet becoming a staple at Hollywood events.

The first Oscar's red carpet was rolled out at the 33rd Academy Awards on April 17, 1961 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

The Oscars were broadcast in color for the first time, giving millions of viewers a glimpse of the red carpet in living color.

The American Turf and Carpet company took over making the Oscars red carpet. The continuous filament nylon creation is manufactured and dyed in Dalton Georgia, and replaced every two years. The carpet is not wholly red. It's dyed with a proprietary blend of colors, used exclusively for the carpet to make it "read red" on television ("Nancy Reagan red", as Joan Rivers called it), sealed to prevent the color from degrading under assault from innumerable high heels.

The Oscars moved to the Kodak (now Dolby) Theater. The red carpet followed.

US forces invaded Iraq three days before the Oscars. In deference, the preshow hoopla was scaled-back dramatically, including the red carpet itself, which shrunk to a vestigial doormat in front of the theater entrance.

A metastasizing number of awards events and premieres inspired organizers to roll out carpets in yellow, (like at the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards,) blue, pink and even white. The Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars carpets remain steadfastly red.

Today's Oscar red carpet has grown to 16,500 square feet and takes two days to install. Scraps are jealously guarded to keep them out of the hands of eBay trolls.  Source —The Hollywood Reporter

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber,
Site Moderator and Editor for 
Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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