Friday, 24 August 2012

Bastardization of Red Carpet

                                                                          Mrs. Okigbo
Once in this country  the academic gown represented something to be revered. Anybody seen adorning an academic gown in a photograph is assumed to have attended a university and graduated.

It was the most common evidence that a person had gone through the four walls of a university. Anyway, that was before some Nigerians decided that graduation ceremony must be conducted for students in skill acquisition centres. So you find hairdressers and mechanics adorning academic gowns during their graduation ceremony known as ’freedom’

They are not alone in on this, nursery and primary schools also joined in conducting graduation ceremonies with the school pupils wearing academic gowns. Now when you see your classmate who dropped out of school wearing an academic gown, don’t wander  when she got into the university. She might have  just   graduated from a catering school or braiding centre!

The academic gown is not the only thing Nigerians have bastardized. In recent times, the popular red carpet that stood for glamour, glitz and beauty has been reduced to a place for tacky and  trashy!

The red carpet as originally known, refers to a strip of deep red carpet rolled out to formally welcome a head of state into a place.

In later times, it was further extended to VIPs, dignitaries as well as celebrities at formal events such as the Oscars, award ceremonies, Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant, the Future Awards, the Hip Hop Awards, Face of Africa and very recently in Nigeria, the movie premiers like the ones so far held at the Silverbird Galleria.

As a formal and red carpet event, fashion is a big deal because red carpet provides a platform for people to be photographed and for them to show off the latest fashion, shoes and we get to admire diamonds sparkle. It is from this special efforts put into appearing on the red carpet the phrase, “the red carpet treatment was coined.

Today, like the academic gown, the red carpet holds a different meaning in this clime. At a naming ceremony, a red carpet not more than two yards long, is laid out and guests in cheap laces crookedly designed strut that short distance and the IV reads, “Red carpet starts by 12noon. Party by 3pm.

Almost every event today has  a special red carpet time. Not only is the red carpet a poor imitation of the real thing, the event itself is neither formal, neither are the people formally dressed. Most times, the whole thing lacks glamour and for the few who still have their dress sense intact, they appear properly dressed only to find that the whole effort was a waste in the first place- a waste of fashion!

The point to note here is not every event calls for a red carpet. A celebrity no matter the class would not call a house warming party a red carpet event. A garden fashion show does not call for a red carpet. In the same vein the unveiling of a simple make up line does not call for a red carpet. This way, people dressing can save their good clothes for the real thing. After all, a dress worthy to grace a red carpet event costs a lot of money and they are not dresses you buy every other day.

The red carpet has been so ridiculed that you find even trainers on the red carpet. Women have been spotted with block heels and work shoes on the red carpet. The other day, a woman was spotted with a Louis Vuitton bag on the red carpet. Though a designer label, such a bag is a no, no for the red carpet. The size  of her bag would take 10 clutch bags which is what is ideal in the first place. What is responsible for this trend only God knows.

Lately , we have seen the red carpet being called by other colours. Could this be the reason? Whether it is a red carpet, a black carpet, or a yellow carpet, the intention is to have a formal glamorous party. It is nothing like the every day thing. And those attending one, should ask from those who know what is appropriate to wear and not hide under any guise that one is free spirited.

Well, when you dress otherwise, be sure that the paparazzi’s would be there some day, you may just get the kind of publicity you want when you are caught by the lens of the fashion police. But this time, it would be negative publicity

The phrase, “red carpet”, may be a part of other phrases, such as “the red carpet treatment” and “rolling out the red carpet”, which refer to the special efforts made in the interests of hospitality at the aforementioned events. Whether someone is walking down the red carpet as a celebrity, a guest, or a VIP for a particular event, fashion is a big part of the event before the event. This is the place where people are photographed and where they need to look their best
Thus a red carpet event is a formal occasion when one is expecting a visit form one or more celebrity persons.

In the times of kings and queens, lords and ladies, castles and crusades, the red carpet in the center of the room often indicated royalty or class. If you notice, many times in a lot of other…

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