Pulling back the curtain on celebrity red carpet dresses
Following Chris Rock’s hosting brilliance, Lady Gaga’s moving performance and Leo’s it’s-about-time Oscar win, we are experiencing a bit of an awards season hangover. There were very few trends on this year’s Oscar red carpet as we saw everything from pastels to jewel tones, delicate lace to full-of-fabric confections. With so much information to process, we decided to take a bit of a backseat from the “Who wore it best?” hoopla, and offer up some interesting red carpet dressing facts we’ve learned from recent read, Hijacking the Runway by Teri Agins.
First, did you know that the Oscars are seen by 43 million worldwide? No wonder designers are eager to dress celebrities – just imagine the number of photographs, tweets and posts that float around in the days (even months) following an awards show – with the designer’s name attached! But, an important question to ask as an emerging designer is where will widespread press lead you and your budding company? Will your fledgling business be able to accommodate immediate requests? And ultimately, is the cost worth the “reward?”
If you are an emerging designer who is seeking this type of widespread press, consider the cost. According to Agins, fashion houses offer not only gowns to celebrities, but also hair and make up, limo rides to the big event and other perks that can cost upwards of $60,000 to $100,000 per event! Contracts including confidentiality agreements are often drawn up between celebrities and their handlers (stylists, publicists, managers, etc.) and fashion houses to keep under wraps these expensive exchanges.
Some celebrities receive up to 50 gowns from various designers to choose from for the big night. Rarely do celebrities keep (or purchase) the gowns that make the final cut.
As an emerging designer, the lure of celebrity endorsement and press can be very enticing. However, it is important to think as an emerging business person as well when representing your line. Whether a local celebrity requests one of your garments for an event, or Rooney Mara’s stylist must have one of your gowns for next year’s Academy Awards, keep your feet on the ground when hashing out the details. Remember, you created your unique piece down to the very last French dart (which by the way, shameless plug, is our latest video release). Honor the value of your work, as an example for others to do so as well.
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