The day was Sunday when on the Grammys red carpet, celebrities spelt out messages in black & white. While earlier this month, the Golden Globes saw black dominate as a protest in line with the Times Up campaign, music’s biggest award ceremony switched to the monochrome as default setting.
Some remained stuck to the black dress code, like Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga & Sarah Silverman.
Others went for white. SZA, Cardi B & Childish Gambino were in this camp, while on the other side Lana Del Rey took the angelic angle further. She loved to wore a gown embroidered with silver stars, accessorised with halo.
Some other celebrities carried white roses with them, with men including Kendrick Lamar & Trevor Noah pinning them to their lapels, & Cyrus licking hers with that famous tongue.
This was a campaign supporting the Times Up initiative. The rose idea got pushed by Meg Harkins, a senior vice president of marketing at Roc Nation, Karen Rait, head of rhythm promotions at Interscope Geffen A&M Records, & other high-profile women in music industry. In an email that was sent to attendees of the Grammys, the collective explained their choice of flower stating, “We choose the white rose because historically it stands for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance,”.
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The white, of course, represents peace, but it also has history in the women’s movement. It was one of the trio of colours adopted by the suffragette movement, alongwith green & purple; white colour stood for purity. Clinton’s white pantsuit, which she wore to accept the nomination as Democratic candidate for 2016 election, was making a feminist statement.
Beyoncé, never one to miss opportunity to win at visual statements, skipped the red carpet & the white rose, but her six-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, got dressed in head-to-toe white.
Burgundy seemed to be sleeper colour, that was worn by both multiple winner Bruno Mars & Hillary Clinton during an onscreen cameo. Rihanna wore three outfits – brown PVC wrap dress, pink slipdress & black & gold metallic co-ords.
White roses might be even more discreet, & politics might have been less in the foreground for fashion at the event, but the 2018 red carpet is a place where protest can be signposted. These all visual statements stand with the signs on the Women’s March last weekend. As images that will be broadcast all around the world, the optics are totally undeniable. In this award season, a political issue remains one of the best accessory.