Will the coronavirus mean the end of the red carpet as we know it?
“Everything has been pushed to the fall, and we’re optimistic things will move forward, but who knows?” said red carpet award show specialist Andy Gelb, a partner at Slate PR. “Once we do come out of this, people will want to get together in responsible ways, maybe not 1,000 people, but smaller, shorter, different formats. But the days of squishing a packed red carpet are over.”
Hollywood has taken a severe hit, with movie theaters closed worldwide, productions halted, premieres and film festivals postponed or canceled. The fallout has also impacted the entertainment-fashion economy, and the red carpet as a platform — for designers catering to celebrities with fantasy looks (and sometimes lucrative dressing contracts) that can trickle down to household name recognition and aspirational sales; for image makers who help craft every outfit change, and for behind-the-scenes p.r.’s, VIP marketing teams and event planners, down to lighting, tent and tech workers.
But maybe reining in red carpet excess (and couture dresses flying first-class back and forth from Paris to L.A. for fittings, ahem) isn’t such a bad thing — for the planet, and for designers struggling to stay solvent in an unprecedented time.
“People are going to be looking up to the women and men who are doing great things,” said @csiriano. “Just wearing a fabulous dress won’t mean the same thing. When family members are sick and dying, people don’t care if you look fabulous at your house.”
Still, most believe it’s unlikely that COVID-19 will spell the end of Hollywood glamour, even if people have gotten used to quarantining in loungewear.
“I remember as a kid how fantastical those red carpet moments were, they were a peek into a dream world, and what life could be,” said stylist-turned-designer @brandonmaxwell, who helped @LadyGaga make one of the most epic red carpet entrances of all time at the 2019 camp-themed Met Gala. “That dream and optimism will matter now more than ever and people will want to get dressed up again,” continued Maxwell.
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