Giuliana Rancic introduced over the weekend that she is retiring from E!’s Live from the Red Carpet after 20 years of ooh-ing and ah-ing over celebrities’s designer duds. While her announcement may merely appear to be one other profession change for a well-known TV host, it’s really indicative of one thing bigger: the ultimate dying knell for the crimson carpet as we as soon as knew it.
While movie critics and Tinseltown insiders have been nervously watching the dwindling awards present scores this previous yr, one other Hollywood custom has been swiftly going underneath proper earlier than our eyes. Celebrities not want the crimson carpet, and their followers not care. Carefully curated Instagram tales displaying gown fittings, typically with the designer RIGHT THERE IN THE ROOM, have changed the necessity to drop a designer’s identify on a cable TV broadcast. E! could be hoping that the newly hired Laverne Cox can inject some stylish vitality into Live from the Red Carpet in 2022, however it received’t be sufficient. Rancic’s retirement, approaching the heels of fellow Live from the Red Carpet host Ryan Seacrest’s and Jason Kennedy’s exits, means the crimson carpet is formally useless.
The glitz and glamour of the crimson carpet not feels thrilling, however like a relic of a bygone period — as a result of that’s precisely what it’s. 99 years in the past, a crimson carpet was rolled out in entrance of the famed Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles to mark the 1922 premiere of Douglas Fairbanks’s epic movie Robin Hood. The spectacle caught on, and shortly crimson carpets had been synonymous with Hollywood premieres, one of many solely occasions the general public may catch a glimpse of in any other case elusive film stars within the flesh. In 1961, the Oscars adopted the custom, and some years later broadcasters acquired the intelligent thought to movie celeb arrivals to the awards present. The pageantry of the crimson carpet helped body film stars as residing idols, gracing us mortals with their image good presences on this restricted, theatrical arrange.
The crimson carpet additionally grew to become a spot for top trend to achieve the lots. Major designers may mortgage actors and actresses sharply-cut tuxes, customized robes, or costly jewellery in alternate at no cost promotion. It was a win-win for each events, actually. Celebrities may cement their star standing and designers may set themselves up as aspirational manufacturers for the center class to scrimp and save for.
In the Nineteen Nineties, a cable community referred to as E! began tenting out on the crimson carpet for hours earlier than the awards reveals really began. Comedy legend Joan Rivers undercut the self-serious solemnity of the crimson carpet along with her caustic wit, and viewers in suburban America may really feel like they had been getting some kind of perception into how Hollywood actually labored. If the crimson carpet was imagined to be a managed place for normies to identify celebs, then E!’s Live from the Red Carpet made viewers really feel even nearer to the motion. It was as up shut and intimate as a fan might be. That is, till the rise of paparazzi tradition and catty gossip blogs within the early Aughts, which in flip begat the rise social media — enabling stars to as soon as once more display as a lot management over their private presentation and “brand” as doable.
While COVID-19 closed film theaters and decimated field workplace revenues, it additionally modified the best way awards reveals and premieres had been dealt with. Over the final yr and a few change, coronavirus precautions meant that stars couldn’t convene in the identical house. So if viewers tuned into E!’s Live from the Red Carpet, they weren’t greeted with Hollywood spectacle, however as a substitute, a collection of Zoom calls. Fashion homes nonetheless managed to make an impression, nevertheless. Stars had been capable of publish flattering skilled portraits on Instagram and Twitter, tagging the designers and stylists who made all of it occur. Pandemic or not, social media proved that stars didn’t want the crimson carpet to achieve followers and designers didn’t want it for promotion.
Worse, when you had been a part of the quickly dwindling viewers that tuned into E!’s Live from the Red Carpet in 2021, you’d be greeted by a really completely different present than within the heyday of Joan Rivers. While the unique Live from the Red Carpet acted one thing like a courtroom jester, mentioning Hollywood’s hypocrisies and mocking stars to their face, in the present day’s model morphed into panel of trend consultants toothlessly fawning over stars. Rivers’s notorious penchant for cruelty is out of favor in 2021 — and our cultural swerve away from meanness must be celebrated! — however in its stead is slavish devotion to stars. It’s not wholly sincere, and worse, it’s not fascinating.
As if realizing that the tip was nigh, E!’s most well-known crimson carpet host Ryan Seacrest quietly left the gig throughout the pandemic. Seacrest’s backup Jason Kennedy adopted go well with in March. And now Giuliana Rancic, the final of the long-lasting crimson carpet hosts left at E!, is abandoning ship, too. E!’s Live from the Red Carpet may preserve going, however the magic is gone. The crimson carpet, as an idea, is useless.