Down the Red Carpet and who are you wearing.

It’s become something of a tradition to use the phrase, albeit it sarcastically, to say “oh well, better roll out the red carpet then”, when some family member who thinks highly of themselves is coming for a visit. The red carpet is indeed rolled out for state occasions and now for film premieres or award ceremonies. Half the fun of these things for us lesser mortals watching is that we can see some Star wandering down it posing like a fury and shouting out the name of some such designer after they have been asked the same sad question “Who are you wearing?” I often wish they’d shout out “Primark!” but it is yet to happen. Why do we bother to “roll out” the red carpet? You can bet that Bristol Carpet Cleaning company will be on hand to sort it all out afterwards after all those expensive shoes have walked on it.

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When Renee Zellweger or Bradley Cooper smile and wave, with the practiced grins of the A-Lister, they probably don’t know that the first mention of a red carpet comes from the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus. This “crimson path” has been laid before him by his wife after he returns from the siege of Troy. As she hasn’t seen him for ten years he does deserve something a bit special. Even then he gets a bit of the jitters about walking in it by saying that only Gods deserve such treatment. Considering the massive egos of the Hollywood set they probably would not have an issue in thinking they were divine enough.

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Red was seen as a sign of wealth and it was the Venetians who were the first to really take on the practice. As Venice was a seafaring nation it was only right that Cruise liners adopted the practice when welcoming aboard first class passengers. This is where the phrase, “the red carpet treatment” come from.

It was in the 1920’s that the Hollywood set started to use the red carpet and the very first was at the premiere of Douglas Fairbanks Jnr’s 1922 production of Robin Hood. Apart from on the screen the public never got to see the stars in the flesh and this was a good opportunity to see them. It proved such a hit that the Oscars began to use them in 1961 and the Red carpet theme has stuck ever since.

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