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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
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.