Getting Red Carpet Ready

So red carpet season for 2013 is finally done, commencing with the Oscars the other day.  What a sight and what a show!  I got up before 7am just to catch the red carpet live telecast and it was totally worth it—the stars really dressed to the nines this year and there were a lot more fashion hits than misses.  Amy Adams looked like a dream in a dove gray Oscar de la Renta, Jessica Chastain was a Hollywood bombshell in a copper Armani, and Jennifer Lawrence was the lady of the night in a cream Dior Couture ball gown (and later that night, an Oscar as her date).  Also noteworthy were Sandra Bullock in a glittery black number from Elie Saab, Stacey Keibler gorgeous in a beaded Naeem Khan (it actually overshadowed George Clooney!), and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a golden Zuhair Muhad.

Jessica Chastain (Armani Prive), Sandra Bullock (Elie Saab) and Amy Adams (Oscar de la Renta)

Jessica Chastain (Armani Prive), Sandra Bullock (Elie Saab) and Amy Adams (Oscar de la Renta)

It must be nerve wracking, all the preparations leading to the big day, picking the right dress, trying to avoid the worst dressed title and somehow managing to get yourself on the best dressed list, plus having all that cosmetic work done just to look radiant.  Well, we all probably won’t make it to any Hollywood red carpet in our lifetime, but we’ve got formal events to prepare and primp up for too—from the prom to the debut to birthday bashes, weddings, awarding ceremonies, the company ball, and other such social fetes.  Here are some of the stylists’ top tips for being red carpet ready that you and I can apply accordingly:

  1. Keep it simple.  Fashion disasters usually strike when you try too hard.  So avoid anything too ruffly, too sheer, too revealing, too unconventional/avant garde, too frou frou—basically too ‘much’.  The motto of elegance has always been ‘less is more’.  Keep the style sleek and flattering to your body type, stick to one basic color, and do not overaccessorize.  You want to wear (and at most, accentuate) the dress, not for the dress to wear you.

    One of the best Oscar dresses of all time- Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive (2009)

    One of the best Oscar dresses of all time- Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive (2009)

  2. Rest up.  Did you guys see Renee Zellweger at the Oscars?  She looked wasted and maybe had just survived a train wreck.  But anyway, the point is, get enough rest before the big day.  Sleep early for an entire week leading up to the event, do yoga or meditation, and get a nice massage to induce good blood circulation and relax your muscles.  You’ll be glowing.

    Cameron Diaz positively glowing in Oscar de la Renta at the 2011 Oscars

    Cameron Diaz positively glowing in Oscar de la Renta at the 2011 Oscars

  3. Avoid bloating.  Aside from trying to amp up your diet to get trim, avoid eating food that will make you look bloated.  That includes salty stuff, beans, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, lots of carbs (rice, pasta, potatoes), junk food, dairy, and softdrinks.  Do a juice detox that will help rid you of these and keep you looking supple and healthy.
  4. Give attention to detail.  Yes, choosing the perfect dress to wear is one hurdle, but the statement pieces you select are equally important.  Do not ruin a great outfit with awful shoes—just like tip #1, keep them sleek, sexy and simple.  Usually beige works for lighter colored dresses, or a muted gold or silver.  Pick elegant jewelry, not the fancy ostentatious ones.  This formal occasion is the time to break out those investment pieces.  Diamonds are forever, of course but if you don’t have them, colored gems work wonders as well.  Avoid pearls, they are usually reserved for day wear. Also, carry a small jewelled clutch or minaudere. Your designer hobo bag, even if it costs a fortune, does not belong in this occasion.

    Everyone flipped over Angelina Jolie's emerald Loraine Schwartz earrings at the 2009 Oscars

    Everyone flipped over Angelina Jolie’s emerald Loraine Schwartz earrings at the 2009 Oscars

  5. Maintain posture and grace.  Lots of ladies waste a perfectly good ensemble with bad posture and awkward walking.  Always keep your back straight and your chin up, and walk with ease and grace, as though you are floating.  No clunking about or teetering in your sky high heels.  If you are not comfortable enough to walk around or dance or mingle, ditch those killer shoes or that constricting dress.  Find something else to wear.
  6. Wear understated hair and makeup. I can’t stand it when people get their hair and makeup all wrong.  An updo is nice and classy, and it shows off a beautiful nape, but when done wrong it can make you age a hundred years.  Pompadours for example, are to be avoided, or those awful curly tendrils that look so fake and belong in a barrio beauty pageant.  Wearing your hair down is great if you style it well—either straight and shiny (but not matted all over your face), or glamorous and wavy.  Too big, too teased, too poufed out and too curly makes you look like a throwback to the 80s.  Makeup is also another matter of supreme importance.  It should enhance your natural beauty and not be too crazy, so avoid the super thick pan-cake foundation, heavily smoky eyes, and loud colors.  Most of the Hollywood actresses in this year’s Oscars went in barely-there makeup, you couldn’t even find a single red lip in sight.

    Now THIS is elegance.  Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

    Now THIS is elegance. Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

  7. Pose like a pro.  When cameras are brought out (and they certainly will), straighten up, be conscious of your legs, tilt your head at your best angle, and turn your body slightly so 3/4th of it is facing the camera.  Either you pose well or you make it candid, there is no in between.  After all, the pictures are the only thing that will last after the event (aside from the memories of course), and these are likely to be plastered all over the different social media platforms, so you’ve got to get this right.

    Stacey Keibler pose-perfect in Naeem Khan

    Stacey Keibler pose-perfect in Naeem Khan

  8. Bring tools.  That tiny little clutch of yours needs to have room for some very essential things:  your lipstick, some oil blotter sheets, dental floss, a small tube of concealer, and safety pins or a hotel sewing kit for those just in case moments. Add to that a little vial of liquid or solid perfume.  Do not leave home without these things, trust me you’ll need them at some point.

    Love our own-- a Celestina clutch containing touch-up essentials

    Love our own– a Celestina clutch containing touch-up essentials


Hope you’ll be a smashing success at your own version of the ‘red carpet’.  Cheers girls!


Got additional tips to share?  Tweet them to me at MiaZamora116 or post them on the Kikay page in Facebook.


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