HOW ACTRESSES LIKE KRISTEN STEWART ARE QUESTIONING RED CARPET DRESS CODE NORMS
While fashion designers seem to be constantly experimenting with challenging gender-specific clothing right now, mixing the two and rightfully blurring the boundaries of what one should or shouldn’t wear, there still is quite the progress to be made when it comes to stereotypical dress codes on the red carpet. With men commonly expected to wear suits or tuxedos and women mostly dressed in heels and the-more-princess-like-the-better dresses, red carpet fashion may be pretty but it’s far from being diverse or daring.
An instance Kristen Stewart just spoke out on during the 70th run of the Cannes Film Festival. In town to promote her directorial debut with the short film “Come Swim”, the actress took to the topic and stated in an interview that “People get very upset at you if you don’t wear heels. But I feel like you can’t ask people that anymore. It’s just kind of a given. Like if you’re not asking guys to wear heels and a dress you can not ask me either.” Although Stewart did appear on the red-carpet in black high-heels and a Chanel dress from the brand’s cruise collection, she said she wanted to make clear that the outfit was her own choice – not something pushed onto her by others.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) 20. Mai 2017
It’s no coincidence Stewart made this remark in the midst of the famed film festival in the South of France, as Cannes has previously been under attack for its more than strict rules when it comes to dress codes, especially for women. In 2015, it was reported that a group of women was denied access to a screening of Todd Hayne’s movie “Carol” – simply because they were wearing flats instead of heels. In relation to the incident, actress Emily Blunt also criticized the dated expectations women still have to fulfill when dressing for the red carpet, saying “Everyone should wear flats, to be honest” and that she personally much prefers her sneakers as opposed to high heels.
Apart from the shoes, female actresses and celebrities have also more and more questioned the dress part of dress codes, with French actress Aymeline Valade wearing a smoking by Pallas to this year’s Cannes film festival and Evan Rachel Wood choosing a tuxedo for the annual Golden Globes back in January. When asked about her clothing choices on the red carpet, Wood stated she’s “not trying to protest dresses, but wanted to make sure young girls and women know they aren’t a requirement. You don’t have to wear one if you don’t want to, and to just be yourself because your worth is more than that.” With her outfit Wood payed homage to Marlene Dietrich, who already was a advocate for women wearing suits on and off screen back in the 1930s – yet the style seems to have still not found its way into common acceptance almost a hundred years later.
Because despite these progressive takes on red carpet fashion, there sadly are almost as many incidents showing that the quest of making it a dress code free area for all to explore is far from completed. When Zendaya wore dreads to the 2016 Oscars, she had to face harsh criticism from U.S. host Giuliana Rancic of the TV-show “Fashion Police”, who on air said Zendaya looks like she “smells like patchouli oil. Or, weed” because of her hair. Despite Rancic later apologising to Zendaya because of the heavy backlash she had to face, such a comment still proves the out-dated and stereotypical views most people have when it comes to fashion and dress codes, especially on the red carpet. A circumstance that should be more than unfitting and outworn by now.
Header Image via Chanel Official Instagram