We seem to be going through some sort of high-style revolution. Never have there been so many red carpet events for celebrities to attend, each requiring a show-stoppingly appropriate gown, hair and bling to wow waiting crowds and photographers.
From film and TV awards ceremonies through to gala balls, film premieres and charity fundraiser dinners, your average high profile British actress or singer, model or TV presenter or reality TV star is much in demand, their presence required to bring glamour to the proceedings and hopefully be photographed as they arrive at the venue. Snapped on the red carpet is good; snapped in front of a big white board emblazoned with sponsors’ names and logos is even better.
Meanwhile, the rest of us – the mere mortals of this world – might not have premieres, galas and star-studded awards events to attend, but increasingly we do seem to be expected to dress up. Just flick over the TV, if you can bear it, to so-called reality TV shows such as Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE ). Even a quiet night down the wine bar requires full-on slinky-Binky dresses, glitzy heels and endlessly tanned legs. It’s a tall order for many, if not most, of us, and I’m not even going to start on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Open the glossy magazines or flick down the celebrity gossip bars of online newspapers and what do you see as you scrutinise the page, eating your cereal while still dressed in your tatty jarmies? Pictures of celebrities major and minor, A-list to ZZZ-list, that’s what, all looking shiny and amazing in designer dresses and heels. It’s enough to put you off your supermarket granola.
Still, there is much we can learn from how the celebs do it on the red carpet and so I have decided to pick out my favourite high-style looks from the summer to date, to illustrate what works when making an entrance. Here are my new dressing-up rules:
No 1: Black is good, even at the height of summer and even at weddings. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s gloomy and disrespectful (I mean you, mother). A short black dress is elegant, a long one even more so, but add fabulous high heels and one statement piece of jewellery, preferably gold or diamond. You can go anywhere dressy dressed like this.
No 2: Statement and floral prints can work at red carpet/special events if you team with shoes in one toning colour (nude is too dull now), keep hair and make-up natural and don’t wear lots of jewellery.
No 3: Gold sequins can also work, even head to toe, if the dress is elegantly cut, not tight, the heels are black and the hair and make-up are classically glamorous (see Rita Ora, above).
No 4: Side splits and even front splits in skirts can create impact of the right sort as long as the split is flattering and not so high that it flashes your under-garments (don’t even think about not wearing them, no matter how much you don’t want visible lines). Keep to no more than a few inches above the knee (again, see Rita Ora, above).
No 5: Plunging necklines are fine, even on more mature wearers, if the rest of the outfit is not too short or clingy and your decolletage is moisturised and non-crinkled.
No 6: An all-white, long gown is perfect for red carpets, galas and all special events except weddings – unless it’s your own.