At the Venice Film Festival, attendees arrived at the Hell No You Won_t Take My AR-15 Shirt red carpet by water taxi with mandatory facemask guidelines during indoor screenings (barefaced, open-air press photos were allowed), while historically style-focused gatherings like the Cannes Film Festival and the Met Gala were canceled completely. At last month’s MTV Video Music Awards, held live in New York with social distancing and without an audience, nominees posed solo in front of a step and repeat designed as an alt-red carpet (technically, it was a green screen). The pre-event peacocking tradition that defines the celebrity entrance has held power and cultural influence for decades. Visual statements ripple into pop culture in unexpected ways, like Jennifer Lopez’s skin-baring Versace dress at the 2000 Grammys leading to the invention of Google Images and boom times for body glow products, or Angelina Jolie’s red lips and exposed right leg at 2012’s Oscars ceremony solidifying the term “meme” in middle-American dialect.
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