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What’s A Red Carpet Anyway?

Being the fashion enthusiast that I am, I always look forward to red carpets; that’s the show before the show. For me, the red carpet is the main show and what comes after is the added bonus. I can’t imagine life before Twitter because it is the quickest and easiest access to red carpet events around the world. Best of all, we all become a community qualified stylists. We sit at home in our pyjama’s and judge celebrities right? But what’s a red carpet anyway? Especially the South African red carpet.


I can’t remember the last time I was excited about a South African red carpet. I feel like I can predict who will wear what and I’m almost always right. It’s almost as though South African celebrities don’t care enough to invest in their red carpet looks, or their image in general. During the Met Gala frenzy, a local celebrity (Lady Zamar) asked that we also adopt themes for red carpet events in South Africa. South African celebs are not coping without a theme, can you imagine a theme like the Met Gala’s Catholic theme in South Africa? I can’t. People who responded said that there have been numerous themed events and the fact that she didn’t notice says a lot about how they miss the mark, always.

The most recent red carpet was the SAMA’s, there wasn’t a theme and yet again we cringed at the sight of most outfits.

The solution is easy but not simple; hire a stylist!

American celebrities like Rihanna hardly ever get it wrong because they know it all, they actually hire people who know more than them because it takes a village to build a beautiful red carpet look. When they do get it wrong, it was all planned to look that way. And let’s get this right, being able to dress yourself does not qualify you as a stylist. Styling is actually one of the most complicated professions because there’s no grey area. You can either do it, or you can’t.

My 3 tips for a Red Carpet event besides the one mentioned above (Hire A Stylist!)

1. Stick to the theme

This is the easiest but complicated element because everyone wants to interpret themes in their own unique way. Sometimes the interpretation is so unique, it derails from the theme. Simple guide to sticking to a theme; if you need to explain your outfit interpretation during an interview then you’re off. You interpretation should be self explanatory. Also, when in doubt; keep it simple.

2. Know thyself

Know your body type, know your crazy side, know your boundaries but also understand that the red carpet is meant to be extravagant. It’s meant to be a show because showbiz is a exactly that; show business. A chance to be seen, a chance to show off your bestest. Stylists know how guide personalities to know thy-fashion-self. They interpret themes and bare in mind you have a unique style.

3. Learn from others

There’s nothing wrong with learning from how others do it. No one is born a great red carpet fashion icon; unless your mother is Kim Kardashin and Kanye West of course. Two South African celebrities actively going the route of hiring a stylist (or two) are Bonang Matheba and Nomzamo Mbatha. These two have been reportedly styled by popular stylist Francois Ferreira on a number of occasions. Nomzamo was recently seen at the Cannes Awards with various looks styled by him. I repeat, it takes a village to build a great red carpet look.

Nomzamo Cannes
Instagram: Nomzamo Mbatha

I look forward to the day we can celebrate the South African red carpet, I really do.

South African celebrities need to start taking their image seriously. This includes the red carpet. While afew get it, too many get it wrong. And this includes male celebrities. To my surprise marketing guru Khaya Dlanga has a stylist who puts his outfits together. Imagine, and his not on every red carpet but he sees the importance of a great image. I hope the day when we get great red carpet looks in South Africa right comes soon, until then…

What’s A Red Carpet anyway?

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