How to look fabulous on the Red Carpet.

I watched the red carpet of the Logies the other night in the hope of seeing three of my favourite ABC TV ladies – Marieke Hardy, who was wearing a 1970s frock, Tanya Ha who was wearing a 1930s frock from Circa and Myf Warhurst who burnt a previous Logies Dress because of negative press.

Whilst looking out for them, I saw an awful lot of starlets, models and serious actors and couldn’t help noticing that quite a few could do with a little advice – so here it is: how to look good on the red carpet, although I think these ideas carry well in general.

Firstly – Red Carpet is an easy look. Much easier than than the one that generally trips up well meaning people…”smart casual”.

Don’t be intimidated: Red Carpet is about glamour, about pulling out the stops, and showing everyone you mean business but it’s not scary. It’s about Woman at her finest (the men deserve their own entry). You can’t be over-dressed, it’s much worse to be under-dressed but you should watch out for over (and under) accessorising.

What you need is a frock, nay, a gown – it will be full length and it will be elegant.

Megan Gale doing what she does best.

– It will highlight your best feature and downplay the rest: if you have great legs, consider a split (but not to obvious) or a form fitting silhouette. If your boobs are your best bit, a well-fitted bodice or subtle cleavage will draw attention. Don’t overdo the sexiness: think elegant and beautiful! You’re not a prize show pony flaunting everything.

Esther Anderson showing an elegant split skirt.

– It will be made of an appropriate evening fabric: silk, velvet or lace. Cottons are for day wear. For best effect, it will be plain rather than printed, and texture can be added with beads, sequins, lace, appliques or frills.

Michelle Bridges, Hayley Lewis and Tiffany Hall.

– It will be a colour that you look good in, and a colour that looks good on the red carpet – so be careful with reds and similar shades. Also be wary of black – I love black, and wear a lot of it but it’s not the best colour to photograph and details will get lost unless you do as Asher Keedie did and go for a sheer and textured black, in a well-defined silhouette.

Asher Keddie – wasn’t she great in Paper Giants?

– It will fit you as if it was made for you – it might be off the rack, but tailoring it will be easy work for a dressmaker and make all the difference in how it looks, and how you feel.

Julie Goodwin showing you can look great even if you’re not a size 8.

– It will suit your personality! If it doesn’t feel like “you”, you’ve got an uphill battle looking good in it because it just won’t feel right to you.

Chrissie Swan, brimming full of personality and her dress reflects that.

– The only accessories you need are high heels (choose ones you can walk in without stumbling or wincing) and a small clutch handbag – an evening bag, preferably something glamourous.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley gets glamour.

– Jewellery is important: a low neckline or strapless gown looks great with a necklace or choker but it shouldn’t interfere with the neckline. A higher neckline (eg halterneck) looks great with sparkly ear rings or a bracelet. Don’t over do the jewellery but if you leave it off completely, you’ll look incomplete. Make sure it goes well with your gown too.

Or you could wear a frock that’s like one big piece of jewellery like Zoe Ventura (is that a super hero name or what?).

– Make up – at the moment, natural make up is “in”, and that’s a pity because Red Carpet really needs a glamourous face. Pale dresses or bad colour choices can wash you out, all the more reason why you need some colour in your face. This is not a time to look like you’ve made no effort. Consider a stronger lipstick or eye makeup. False eye lashes add drama.

Brynne Edelstein showing that she really gets glamour too (and puts the girls away for a change).

– Hair – another easy disappointment. High necklines on the dress look best with an up-do, showing the wearer’s nice shoulderline. Hair should look clean, healthy and styled. For long hair worn down (which looks good with lower necklines and strapless styles), it should have shape and a little structure, perhaps worn back off the face a little.

Sarah Murdoch looks so good in this dress – my favourite for the evening.

Ticking every box can be hard – especially when fashion is against you – but if you get even a few of these points right, you’re going to look amazing! Here’s Tanya in her ’30s gown from Circa – I love her hairstyle! Just right 🙂

All photos courtesy The Age except the last one, courtesy ABC TV. Tanya has also written an article about green fashion on the red carpet for G magazine.


  1. Thank you for showing your own sense of class by highlighting those who got it right, rather than the superficial bitchiness of pointing out those who got it wrong.

  2. Thanks VV – I’m really uncomfortable about those “Worst Dressed” lists – firstly, no one frocks up to dress badly, they all do their best (although some enjoy shocking or creating a fuss) and secondly, they’re so subjective.

    Eg, Brynne’s, Julie’s and Chrissie’s gowns have all appeared on those lists and yet I think they’ve all done very well.

    Brynne has a natural exuberance and likes showing off her curves so this is a very demure dress for her – but it still reflects her personality. She loves femininity and glamour.

    Likewise Julie and Chrissie: looking good isn’t all about being skinny, and I think their dresses suit them and their style.

  3. Tanya’s dress is beautiful, but I’m disappointed by the handbag. The boxy shape and dinky little handle just don’t seem to suit the dress. Would have loved to see her holding a silver glomesh clutch instead.

  4. Yes, thank you Nicole for writing highlighting the positives. Such a nice change from the usual bitchiness of similar lists. Tanya’s 30s dress is divine!

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