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The history of the Red Carpet
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The History of the Red Carpet

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Emmys 2015

I’ve still got my Emmys hangover and I came across a story about the history of the Red Carpet.  John from Ahdoot Oriental Rugs in New York was kind enough to share this with us.  I think you’ll agree it’s a fascinating story.

I hope you enjoy it.

xx It Started in LA xx

The History of the Red Carpet
By John Ahdoot, Ahdoot Oriental Rugs
Red Carpet

The Steps Leading up to the Cannes Film Festival – via Flickr

 

Of all the carpets and rugs known throughout history, few are as recognized and celebrated as the red carpet. In fact, the red carpet has become an almost indispensable symbol in American culture and the rest of the world, marking both the magnitude of certain special occasions as well as the renown of movie stars, political leaders and other elite figures whose careers have thrust them into the public eye.

Yet, while the red carpet has largely become an icon of notoriety, few know of its true origins or significance. Today, we explore the history of the red carpet, and its millennia-long influence on the culture of mankind.

Red Carpet 2

The red carpet inside of the Selby Abbey in Selby, Yorkshire, England – via Flickr

The Red Carpet’s Early History

 The first historical reference to the red carpet comes from a story written by Aeschylus, who penned the literary work known as Agamemnon in 458 B.C. In the story, when the narrative’s main character returns home from the city of Troy, he is greeted by none other than his wife Clytemnestra, who tells this King of Argos:

Now my beloved, step down from your chariot, and let not your foot, my lord, touch the Earth. Servants, let there be spread before the house he never expected to see, where Justice leads him in, a crimson path.

From there, the carpet was likely used over the subsequent centuries as a way of denoting royalty, though it doesn’t show up again in any great concentration until the European Renaissance period. It’s during this time that the red carpet undergoes a change of sorts, being identified in paintings and murals as a chief background color in rugs and carpets laying before the thrones of emperors, kings, sacred figures and significant holy dignitaries of the time.

Later, according to historical documents, the red carpet makes its first appearance in the United States as it is rolled out to receive President James Monroe upon his arrival to Georgetown, South Carolina, and could very well be where “rolling out the red carpet” was coined.

On the other hand, the term “red-carpet treatment” likely inserted itself into modern culture through the New York Central Railroad, who used “plush crimson carpets” to direct passengers aboard their 20th Century Limited train at the turn of the last century.

Red Carpet on Air Force 1

President Obama leaving Air Force One on stairs covered in a red carpet – via Wikipedia

 

The Red Carpet’s Modern History

 Probably the most common and most recognizable use of the red carpet has been almost solely for film premieres and film-related events, which includes the Academy Awards (and of course the recent Emmys–Ed!).

Anyone who has watched these events will immediately identify the awards show with the pre-event photography and celebrity/paparazzi socializing that takes place on the red carpet. It has even led to another term used by journalists and TV personalities to describe the apparel and accessories being worn by those attending, which are often referred to as “red carpet fashions.”

Outside the film industry and celebrity events, the red carpet is still being used in the modern political sphere, whether as a cover for the steps of the U.S. President’s Air Force One, or at special events where many of the world’s leaders are in attendance.

The reason for this? While red does signify power and respect, and has throughout history, it has also become recognized as a mark of hospitality among heads of state and religious organizations. And we expect its presence to be seen among society for many centuries to come.

My take on the 2015 Emmys Telecast
Celebrity, Movies and TV, My LA story, Posts

My round up of the Emmys 2015 telecast

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Emmys 2015

I love the Emmys and I love TV. So it’s only fitting that I share my round up of the Emmys 2015 telecast. Last year I was lucky enough to go to the Creative Arts Emmys. As is the premise of my Blog, never in my wildest dreams as a very happy normal chick living the Sydney life expect to be strutting the Red Carpet amongst the cast of Orange is the New Black, Jon Voight and incredible talent that makes the TV industry go around. It’s crazy.

This year’s Emmys ceremony was great, I thoroughly enjoyed them and I love that it’s broken down over two separate ceremonies. It makes the main event go much quicker.

While I enjoyed most of Andy Sandberg as this year’s host can I am still mourning the loss of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It will take a few more years til we get to their standard—if we do at all. They’re some pretty talented and funny women.

Andy opened strongly but it was a bit stop/start. His opening monologue was fine but not great.

It took a while to hit cruising speed but he definitely got more comfortable and relaxed as time went on, which is good.

To me, cruising speed was hit when he did his little “Girls” love scene impersonation—which is pretty funny even if you didn’t know the scene in question.

ICYMI here it is.

Important role of TV

 

The Oscars last year got slammed for “snubbing people of colour” but the Emmys did the opposite. I’m not sure it’s that the Emmys addressed or acknowledged people of colour but had the opportunity to award talent where it was due.

No one put it better than Viola Davis herself:

“The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy (or an Oscar) for roles that are simply not there.”

There have been many people commenting on social media saying, You won, you’re good, you deserve it but enough about the colour factor. Sorry, you can’t say that! Clearly to say what she said, to speak as openly and emotionally as she did, Viola Davis has been on a ride. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so from-the-heart as it was.

I also understand why they say “it shouldn’t be about colour”. BUT. America is very into defining people—men, women, black, Asian, native American, gay, straight, transgender and talking about Diversity. By labelling people America is its own worst enemy. It struck me almost as soon as I got here and I penned (so to speak) this post.

(And I’m not saying Australia is not guilty, we’ve had our own racist issues, which also embarrass me, but it comes from a different angle).

Maybe it’s easy for me to say but at the end of the day—when you look really closely—I’m not white middle America, I just act like I am. “White” that is. Clearly I’m not American (although I do see myself as evolving into an Ausmerican).

I act like I am white because I don’t see myself any differently. And I think that’s largely because I grew up in Australia, not America. I’m probably not really making a lot of sense but here’s the bottom line:

Shonda Rhimes, is a creative genius. Beyond genius. She’s like the Steven Bochco of the 2000s (am I showing my age?). When I first saw Grey’s Anatomy in Australia, I knew it was created by Shonda Rhimes but I had no idea she was black. It didn’t matter, why should it? When I first saw the shorts (trailer) for How To Get Away with Murder I saw a powerful performance by Viola Davis but I didn’t take special notice of the fact that she was black, she was just bloody amazing.

That should be the point. And (I think) that was Viola Davis’s point.

TV should be at the cutting edge of setting change. TV Shows have a shorter incubation period, cost less to make, and there is a large talent pool to choose from. And that’s why we love it so much and that’s why it’s so much edgier than movie-making at the moment.

And, the fact that every single drama nominated could clearly be the winner exemplifies that point.  And that every single comedy nominated could clearly be the winner. No one drama or comedy would have won that category and you would have said, “I don’t think they deserved it”.

I was like, “oh yeah, Game of Thrones deserves it.” Then I remember House of Cards and what an amazing season it was.  Downton Abbey, Homeland, OISTNB … Yep, they’re all over-the-top phenomenally good.

Donald Trump

On a lighter note it was good to see the Trump jokes out in force last night. Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her acceptance speech:

“What a great honour it must be for you to honour me tonight.

“Oh God, no! Donald Trump said that.”

On that note, shall we take a moment to say the women, to me, are rocking it as the stars of the show. The cast of Orange is the New Black, Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler, JLD, Allison Janney, all the American Horror Story stars and guest stars. Good for them I say—now to get them all being paid the same as the blokes in the room ;-).

And, I wonder if we can now get Kanye to throw himself at Amy Schumer when he sees her on the Red Carpet.

 

All hail Amy Schumer.

For a full list of nominees and winners click here.

 

xx It Started in LA xx

 

Trends on the 2015 Red Carpet and who got my vote for Best Dressed | It Started in LA | itstartedinla.com
Celebrity, My LA story, Posts

Who was my Best Dressed for the 2015 Emmys?

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Emmys 2015

Who was my Best Dressed for the 2015 Emmys? I’m glad you asked!

Did you tune in to the broadcast or hear about it? Were you thinking, “what is it about LA where all they talk about is the weather?” Well, let me just say that it was HOT. So hot that I was actually glad I wasn’t at the Emmys this year. Seriously. I don’t know how you can look so good on the red carpet so everyone should get special claps for getting dressed up and surviving the red carpet walk. I’ve seen how long it takes to get down the Red Carpet—it’s a long walk and the sun is beaming down on the area that’s essentially a mall (not of the shopping variety but of the convention variety) so despite having the Red Carpet out it’s hot.

The hot trends were definitely colour. And yellow seemed to be the “it” colour from Heidi Klum’s controversial dress to Taylor Schilling’s (OITNB) at-first-sight nice then oh-not-so-much frilly yellow number.

 

This was closely followed by pink/fushia/mauve in a fabulously stylish non 80s way.  Although the fashion to me was “80s inspired with a 2010s edge” with no sign of the embarrassing stuff.

Then there was that whole chain strap thing noticeably from Claire Danes and “Cookie” from Empire.

 

Who am I to judge? Well I think anyone who’s anyone can come up with a Best Dressed List and a Blog with the name “It Started in LA” definitely can.

Before I give you my winners, here’s what some of the “experts” came up with.

Vanity Fair
Harper’s Bazaar
Vogue

 

I’m trying really hard to list my Best Dressed list in order but I’m struggling. I guess that’s why I’m not an expert. I’ve been doing this a couple of years now and I’m starting to see that unless you have a pushy (or good!) publicist or are part of a nominated show—or you are yourself—you don’t make the lists.

Well this Blogger doesn’t let that get in the way and I try to study what everyone’s wearing and who’s doing what and award those I think deserve it.

So my winner is …

Yael Stone. Who? I hear you say. Well, she plays “Lorna Morello” from Orange is the New Black. She looks sublime in a light pink mesh dress, stitching along the bodice and skirt to give a rouging effect with a full and layered skirt. Better still, I’m searching for a pic of her I can include for my Blog without violating any copyright laws and I found an article that says she’s Australian. Get out of town! Even better.

 

I’m struggling with my “Number two” which is a toss up between the gorgeous Laverne Cox and the stunning Uzo Aduba.

My number two goes to “Crazy Eyes” who truly looks spectacular in the fushia dress with the halter top and the heavenly blue that makes the pink pop. Truly stunning and original.

Ready. #emmys

A post shared by Uzo Aduba (@uzoaduba) on

 

That means number three goes to the fabulous Laverne Cox who looked totally stunning in a teal figure-hugging dress with perfect cutouts through the back.

#NoFilter #TransIsBeautiful #Emmys2015

A post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

 

Did you notice that means the top three are all from Orange is The New Black?

 

That brings me to number four. I can do this. I know I can. Oh no, I don’t know if I can. Help. I’m looking at my list and I’ve got another 11 names written down and six spots to round out my Top ten. They’re all so different and so good. Focus. Focussing. OK.

How good did Allison Janney look? Forever my idol CJ from the West Wing she is truly glamorously stunning.

Congratulations to the incredibly talented and glowing #AllisonJanney on your #emmys win! So well deserved.

A post shared by Dr. Harold Lancer (@drlancerrx) on

 

I love white so I have a bias. The next four are equal five—Viola Davis channelling Kerry Washington in white with black, Carrie Ann Inaba—a judge from Dancing With The Stars, Olivia Culpo and Gina Rodriguez. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

#WomenMakingHistory "The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity"

A post shared by Viola Davis Fans (@violadavisfans) on

 

 

#Emmys look today!! @tomford @yoko_london @jimmychoo @jennifermazurstyle

A post shared by Olivia Culpo (@oliviaculpo) on

 

Emmys. First for everything 😍 #LorenaSarbu #forevermarkDiamonds #forevermark

A post shared by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

 

I’m not sure Gina Rodriguez was in white but it was a light pastelly number so for me it counts.  Regardless, it was gorgeous.

OK, positions eight, nine and 10. Three more places and I’ve got six chicks to choose from.

Number eight I’m going Lady Gaga. Who’s not going Gaga for Gaga at the moment? Seriously. She’s rocking it transforming herself into a complete siren. She’s come a long way from the infamous meat dress.

 

Number nine. Let’s see. I’m going with Maggie Gyllenhall. I love her mauve and (is it navy?) Oscar dela Renta number with the full flowing skirt. I’m sure it’s inspired but the 80s but there’s not a hint of bad taste in this dress (even if it looks like it’s made from taffeta–and I’m not saying it is—do they even make taffeta any more?!).

 

So, I’ve got one spot left and I’ve narrowed it down to three people. I’m giving it to Sarah Hyland who looked stunning in a figure-hugging floor-length wine red (there’s that 80s influence creeping back in again) off-the-shoulder number.

 

My runner-ups were Sarah Paulson and Julia Louise-Dreyfus–who always looks flawless.

 

The guys

Two guys that totally stood out were Rob Lowe (my heart skips a beat) and Liev Shreiber (who you might recall I had a brush with last summer at the Jonathan Club).

En route. #emmys #blacktie #redcarpet #sweatbox

A post shared by Rob Lowe (@robloweofficial) on

 

I love that navy is the new black this year as many men rocked the navy dinner suit. Changing it up for these guys is gooood.

I loved Alan Cummings’s tie and from all accounts he wore Crocs. Thank god the camera didn’t pan down to show them.

 

Not-so hits

I don’t want to get all negative. Looking good on the Red Carpet isn’t always about you rocking a look. Sometimes, as with life, business gets in the way. So, I feel sorry for the people who, let’s just say, didn’t quite get it as right as they could have. Too PC?  Still, it’s true.

Two winners:

Joanna Newsom

 

Need I say more?

And Laura Prepon. Sorry “Alex” but the whole bolero thing didn’t cut if for me.

 

A couple of other notables—Claire Danes featured on a few best dressed lists this year. I thought the dress was great but then you can’t help but get drawn into her (lack of) cleavage and it was all wrong. A little sad for her I thought (not not having a cleavage just that it was unflattering).

And, one of my fashionista goddesses favourites Kerry Washington didn’t cut it for me tonight. I’m still a Gladiator though.

 

And, finally Kernan Shipka. From the waist up she looked gorgeous. Then pan down and … what was that? Pants? Seriously? No, wear it short and proud. Besides it’s boiling so ditch the pants as a last-minute anyway.

The cast of #MadMen are taking over the #Emmys red carpet! @kiernanshipka #ElizabethMoss #ChristinaHendricks #TeyonahParris

A post shared by Television Academy (@televisionacad) on

 

Like I said I’m glad it wasn’t me out there in the spotlight. All in all a good performance was put on by all. It hasn’t cooled down here in LA so there’ll be lots of sweaty bodies dancing on dance-floors at after-parties all over town.

Tomorrow I’ll post my run-down on the ceremony itself. It’s a school night and this is enough for you to absorb for now.

Speak to you tomorrow.

xx It Started in LA xx

 

PS: What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Did I leave someone out? Did I put someone in that didn’t deserve it?

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