The origin of the red carpetDid you know that the first reference to the red carpet in literature was in Ancient Greece? For those that enjoy reading gruesome fun facts, the red carpet came to signify blood and honour to the gods in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon.
Another thing you probably didn’t know about red carpets is that they weren’t originally intended for celebrities! The only red carpet awards were those that measured the paths taken by heads of state. These days, red carpets are known for hosting the highest level of glamour in the form of international product placement. Celebrity dresses are paraded and critiqued for the benefit of fans at home. But in times past, the red carpet was only rolled out for the likes of United States presidents like James Madison, who in 1961 walked on a red carpet to the bank of an Arcadia river.
Today’s red carpetMost people think that the red colour of the carpet represents the aura of the celebrities who walk on it. New Yorkers who know their history, however, would inform us that the red carpet use originated with the railroad. If only those New Yorkers privileged enough to walk on the plush crimson carpet at Grand Central Station could see how times have changed. Presently the carpet comes in red, green and orange depending on the event. From promotion of the environmental awareness to the Nickelodean Kid’s Choice Awards, the red carpet has become a jack of all colours. While we’re waiting in anticipation for the red carpet to roll at the Academy awards, we should commemorate the fashion triumphs and failures of previous 2011 red carpet awards given. While everyone was completely captivated by Angelina Jolie’s green sleeved Atelier Versace gown, they won’t soon forget the nightmare that was Marisa Tomei’s Oscar dress.
With many more fashion foux pas and feats to look forward to in the upcoming months, it is no wonder that one can’t help being interested in the carpet where only stars tread. The traditions of red carpet awards and the legacy of the entertainment industry’s biggest events are truly fascinating!