After an all-black start at the Golden Globes, this year’s red carpet season concluded in true technicolour fashion at the Oscars last weekend. Sartorial protests took centre stage on both sides of the Atlantic during the 2018 award-giving season.
Actors followed a black dress code at the Golden Globes in the US in January and at the Baftas in the UK in February in a show of solidarity with Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment.
At the Baftas, the Duchess of Cambridge made headlines for her choice of a bottle-green gown accessorized with a black ribbon, clutch and shoes, prompting much debate as to whether a British royal could or should have ditched protocol in support of a worthy cause.
By contrast, it was business as usual at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, better known as the Oscars. Meryl Streep, who wore black at the Golden Globes, chose scarlet for her Oscars red carpet appearance.
And just last Thursday, 8 March, we celebrated International Women’s Day, which picked a passionate purple hue as its campaign colour. Apparently, it “highlights feminism and international efforts to achieve wide-scale gender parity”.
I always thought purple was either royal (if you live in the UK) or bipartisan (in the US). My kids were told to wear purple to school—proving quite a challenge to find the requisite colour in the depths of their wardrobes.
I have written about Dressing for a Cause before on this blog, and it would seem that the idea of turning to the wardrobe to express one’s views – political or otherwise—is alive and well.
But all this colour-coordination is becoming a bit of a conundrum. Are clothes the only way to express solidarity or send a powerful message? And is it fair to assume that anyone who deviates from the prescribed dress code does not share the sentiment behind it?
Having grown up in the Soviet system where sartorial non-compliance was grounds for persecution, I, for one, stand up for anyone’s right to wear whatever they choose. And for others to understand—and respect—that choice.