And the Oscars Carpet Color Goes … Back to Red

After a red carpet reveal last year that upended the foundations of Hollywood’s staid tradition — it was champagne-colored — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed on Wednesday that, this year, it would be returning to the traditional red.

The actress Hong Chau on the champagne-hued carpet last year. Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
Rihanna stops for photographs at the Oscar’s last year.Credit…Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times

Last year’s departure from tradition was prompted by the introduction of an orange — sorry, sienna — tent over the carpet that offered the couture-clad arrivals shelter from a forecast rainstorm, which Lisa Love, a red-carpet creative consultant for the Oscars, told The New York Times necessitated the color change to prevent a color clash.

After initially considering a chocolate brown carpet, she said, they settled on the champagne color, which, next to the sienna tent, “was inspired by watching the sunset on a white-sand beach at the ‘golden hour’ with a glass of champagne in hand, evoking calm and peacefulness,” she told The Times.

Ms. Love acknowledged in the interview that the 50,000-square-foot-rug, which was very much giving “Shoes-off house!” vibes, might be a challenge to keep clean.

“It will probably get dirty — maybe it wasn’t the best choice,” Ms. Love said at the time. “We’ll see!” (Heavy rain indeed arrived, and online commentators also questioned the decision.)

Last year’s champagne carpet — the first time in more than six decades that the academy’s arrival rug was not red — was part of a trend of colorful carpets that have swept premieres, galas and award ceremonies across the country in recent years. See the Emmys (gray) and the world premiere of “Barbie” in Los Angeles in July (pink, obviously).

Red carpets have been a staple at premieres and galas since 1922, when the showman Sid Grauman rolled one out for the 1922 premiere of “Robin Hood,” which starred Douglas Fairbanks, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The Oscars adopted it beginning with the 1961 ceremony, and, ever since, the special shade — known as Academy Red — has been instantly recognizable in photos.

But the attention-grabbing rugs have historically presented a challenge for stylists. Red is often not flattering, Mindi Weiss, an event planner who has worked with the Kardashians, Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres, told The Times last year.

“The color of red carpets has changed because of fashion,” she said. “It has to match the dresses, and the red clashed.”

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