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History of the Red Carpet Entrances: Centuries of Culture, Glamour and VIP Events

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Paparazzi Red Carpet Entrance Animation

The red carpet is beloved by both celebrities and fans alike. From the very first time, it was displayed at a Hollywood premiere to today's A-list events, we've seen how these entrances have evolved into an art form with its own language and traditions that continue to enchant audiences around the globe.

In this article you'll learn about some of the most popular red carpet introductions in history, their cultural significance for different eras, what they signify now in pop culture as well as digital marketing trends that have been adopted from these grand entrances.

From Greece to Hollywood

The red carpet is an entrance for celebrities and the public to attend glamorous events. It has evolved over centuries, with different cultures each adding their own flair. The red carpet entrance history dates back to ancient China, where it was used in imperial ceremonies; then during the Renaissance period when it became associated with royalty; finally into modern times as part of Hollywood glamour. However, the original concept of a red carpet walkway dates back to Greek origins.

Greek Origins of the Red Carpet

Every year, movie celebrities participate in a red carpet tradition that is thought to have been established thousands of years ago.

When Agamemnon, the titular king of the Ancient Greek play written in 458 BCE, returns from the Trojan War, he has a red carpet walkway laid out for him.  At the time, red carpets were reserved only for the gods and they walked on them in order to avoid touching the ground that mortals do.

However, his time on the red carpet doesn't end well: walking on a red carpet was reserved only for the gods and walking on it indicated that one considered themselves to be as powerful - or even more powerful - than the gods, which was a big no-no.  For Agamemnon's hubris in considering himself to be more powerful than a god, he is punished by being murdered upon his arrival home.

Red Is a Very Royal Colour

The Greeks were not the only ones to see the colour red as an emblem of royalty. Red has been the colour of royalty for ages.

During the Zhou, Han, Jin, Song, and Ming dynasties in China, red was the answer when Chinese rulers asked their personal fortune tellers to choose a hue that would bring them the most success and good fortune during their reign.

The late Pope of the Catholic church, Innocent II (1130-1143 CE), decreed that only cardinals, the highest-ranking men in the church next to the pope himself, were allowed to wear red. Around the same time, political figures and leaders in Europe began wearing red.

In addition to being a colour that was worn exclusively by kings and emperors, it was a symbol of prosperity. King's would often wear red since it was expensive and difficult to obtain, but also because it contrasted against the colour of dirt for high visibility.

Red has been associated with royalty throughout history for many reasons, one of which is its rarity. It couldn't be replicated with any other substance except for the most expensive varieties like cochineal (made from insects), or sometimes even blood itself.

The Red Carpet's Hollywood Golden Era

The Red Carpets Hollywood Golden Era

The red carpet has been rolled out for movie stars since the golden era when big-time filmmaking began. Sid Grauman, an early Hollywood theatre owner, is credited with establishing the custom in Hollywood. The first movie premier to have a red carpet for celebrities to walk on as they entered the theatre was the presentation of Robin Hood at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles in 1922.

The Golden Age of the Red Carpet was a period in Hollywood when actresses wore beautiful dresses to red carpet events. People flocked to these gatherings to see renowned individuals walk the red carpet. People flocked to Hollywood in the 1920s through the 1960s to see famous personalities such as Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Audrey Hepburn. The red carpet is a hallmark of the Hollywood legacy and is known as an iconic symbol of stardom.

Today, film premiers and award ceremonies such as the Oscars and Grammy's remain incredibly popular with people from all over the world for this very reason: to watch celebrities walk down the famous red carpet. It's not just about the celebrities, though: it's also about the glamorous and expensive dresses that the stars show off for everyone. Although, it wasn't always this way. In fact, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the actresses wore more modest dresses to avoid upstaging their fellow stars.

What is the Red Carpet Treatment?

The phrase "red carpet treatment," meanwhile, is said to have originated from the start of the 20th century, when railroads adopted the use of the red carpet. The legendary 20th Century Limited Express on the New York Central Railroad, which began operation in 1902 and ended in 1967, could speed people from New York to Chicago by hours compared to any previous trains. As a consequence, the advertising for the train touted its speed as a sign of class and royalty, therefore a red carpet was laid out in Grand Central Station for passengers boarding that train.

 

It was not until the 1950s that "red-carpet treatment" began to be associated with Hollywood and film premieres. The phrase became popular thanks to actress Dorothy Lamour, who played a princess in The Jungle Princess (1936). In Hollywood, to get the “red-carpet treatment” means to be recognized and fawned over for one's achievements. The Red-Carpet Treatment in Hollywood is the standard of elegance that celebrities are treated with during premieres and award ceremonies. They're given red carpets to walk down, typically lined with fans, photographers, reporters, and other people looking for a chance to see famous personalities up close.

During World War II, soldiers would refer to their own excellence as getting a “red-carpet treatment” when their generals would roll out a large red carpet for them to walk on.

Nowadays, the term carries the idea of royalty and extravagance with it.  People who receive this treatment are typically individuals whose presence is requested at some type of public event: premieres, award ceremonies or gala events.

Why do celebrities walk the red carpet before award shows? 

Celebrities Walk the Red Carpet

If you've ever watched the Oscars or any other awards show, then you know that one of the most anticipated entrances is the Red Carpet. The Red Carpet is a symbol of glamour and Hollywood's biggest stars. From Audrey Hepburn to Jennifer Lawrence, there has been such a transformation over time in how celebrities arrive at these high profile events.

Celebrities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create an unforgettable entrance that will capture the attention of the media and their fans. This is because they know there are so many different ways to reach their audience nowadays, through social media, TV appearances, interviews, online channels...they have to be memorable.

In addition to the red carpet's prominence in popular culture, it has been a point of contact for celebrities and designers as well as the media. This is because it helps make or break a celebrity by creating an image that can be seen from afar.

The reason people walk the red carpet before appearing at award shows is that it's an integral part of those events. Celebrities don't necessarily have to walk the red carpet, but they do it as a way to make their presence known and as a way to feel connected with their fans. In addition, the red carpet has become a staple in the entertainment industry.

The Academy Awards is one of the most-watched television events every year. It has become a huge event that brings forth not only entertainers and movie stars but also fashion designers who create glamorous gowns for the Hollywood elite to wear as they walk down the red carpet. The red carpet has become an integral part of the "awards show" package, with its own set of rules, traditions, and trends.

A red carpet is not just a carpet. It's an opportunity to show off your brand values and to be remembered, if only for the moment that you traverse its length. A red carpet is a stage, an opportunity for people to talk about your appearance. Thus, stars walk it in order to make an impression.

The Red Carpet Entrance Today

The red carpet at the Oscars, which is the most famous of all red carpets, takes two whole days to set up and measures 16,500 square feet. The red carpet at the Oscars is 900 feet long and 33 feet broad, with a value of $24,000.

Red carpets are used for many modern events as a stylish entrance, such as at weddings or high-end parties. They can also be used to mark a special entrance for VIPS, speakers and performers.

Red carpets are made up of different types of materials including velvet and plastic, with many contemporary rugs being synthetic. The length and width vary according to the event taking place.

The red carpet is often placed outside on the ground. It may extend outwards from the entrance to a theatre, cinema, festival or conference hall.

Creating your own VIP Red Carpet Entrance

Red Carpet and Bollard wtih Party Backdrop

The history of the red carpet shows that it has become a prestigious and luxurious artistic element, wherever they’re placed. If you want to incorporate an element of the Oscars awards ceremony into your event then a VIP Red Carpet entrance is an instant solution.

When the time comes to create your own red carpet entrance, the team at Events Fantastic can help. Our VIP bollards and red carpet products are perfect for creating a chic and glamorous entrance to any Hollywood event or wedding ceremony. The red carpet can be used to mark the entrance of your guests, as well as create a dramatic look that all eyes will be on.

A red carpet entrance is a fantastic idea, and walking the red carpet is a one-of-a-kind experience. Adding your own unique party drop paparazzi backdrop creates a custom entrance to your party that is designed just for you.

Remember, it's not a party without a red carpet!

To learn more about our various event carpet runners, how to install a VIP Carpet Runner and our decor products and services, book online or contact us today on 07 5520 4648.

FAQ

Why do celebrities walk on a red carpet?

It's a moment to be remembered. People walk the red carpet as a way to make their presence known and as a way to feel connected with their fans. In addition, the red carpet has become an integral part of the Hollywood elite's fashion at award shows. A red carpet is not just a carpet, but also an opportunity for people to talk about your appearance.

What does walking on the red carpet mean?

Walking the Red Carpet is an Event or Award-show ritual where special guests are gathered for photographs. This is what people do when they attend events that have red carpets laid out to welcome their arrival. Celebrities usually take this opportunity to be accompanied by cameras and media to hail them for their appearance in public events like award ceremonies. As well, celebrities may be asked to hold an interview for the press prior to their entrance into the event. This is done before they walk onto the red carpet, where they are greeted by TV hosts, press or sometimes even fans of their respective showbiz industry.

What is the symbolism of the red carpet?

The red carpet is a classic tradition in the fashion world. It symbolizes glamour and elegance, which are the fashion industry's main values. The red carpet itself has become an integral part of fashion events like film festivals or award ceremonies. Celebrities walk down the red carpet to make their presence known and feel connected with their fans.

What does the red carpet symbolize in the Agamemnon?

Agamemnon, the titular king of a play written in 458 BCE, had a red carpet laid out for him when he came back from the Trojan War. Red carpets were only used by gods and they walked on them to avoid touching the ground that mortals did. But his time on the red carpet does not end well. The red carpet was only for the gods, and walking on it meant that you thought you were as powerful or even more powerful than a god. Agamemnon is punished for thinking he is more powerful than a god by being murdered when he got home.

What colour comes from cochineal insects?

The colour red is known to have come from cochineal insects, which are dried and crushed.

Cochineal insects were first brought to Europe by Hernán Cortés, who found them on his conquest of Mexico in 1519-1521 CE. The red colour was used for many things, including natural dyes and cosmetics (cosmetics).

While red is derived from insects, various artificial red dyes including Red No. 2 and Red No. 40 are manufactured from coal or petroleum byproducts, posing health risks when used in food products.

What is a red carpet event?

Naturally, a real red carpet is required for a red carpet event! For your guests to walk down the length of it in style, the crimson carpet should be as long as possible and be the focal point of your event entrance.

If you're throwing a party at your workplace or home, run the carpet all the way from the curb to the entrance. If your party is held at a rented space such as a ballroom or theatre, make it as long as possible to enhance the drama at the start of the party. Rent velvet ropes and bollards (stanchions) to place on either side of the carpet for an extra exclusive touch. Of course, consider hiring artists with flashing cameras as there is always a paparazzi frenzy on every red carpet. Flashing camera flashes and pushy individuals behind the ropes will heighten the experience of rolling out the red carpet.