Red Carpet Ready!
By: Sharon Mosley
It’s not just Hollywood celebrities who have red carpet moments. Hopefully, we all will have a few of those “golden” glamorous times in our own lives, whether it’s a wedding, a bat mitzvah or a gala charity event. But if anyone can give us some tips on making the most of those “red carpet moments” when they do come our way, it’s Melissa Rivers, who through the years has witnessed the performance of hundreds of celebrities on their big day (or night)!
In her new book, “Red Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment You’re in the Spotlight” (Harmony, $22.99), Rivers gives us some surprisingly personal insights into the life lessons she has learned from her experiences growing up in Los Angeles and sharing the red carpet and TV cameras with her infamous mother, comedienne Joan Rivers.
“What I’ve learned in watching thousands of celebrities have their red carpet moments,” Rivers says, “is that nobody turns in a star performance in the spotlight by accident.” And she admits that while it’s critical to “be comfortable in your own skin,” and “show grace under pressure” and “be nice on the way up,” she has also found that “every woman cares about looking great when she’s having a red carpet moment. Appearance matters.”
In a season of awards shows, here are a few of Melissa Rivers’ fashion pointers that we can keep in mind:
— Don’t let the dress wear you. “When you know an outfit isn’t right for you,” she says, “it’s impossible to carry yourself with the confidence that makes you truly gorgeous. You look self-conscious and everybody knows it.”
— Weep once; buy quality. “My uncle always said, ‘Buy quality and weep once.’ That means the price might be a shock to your credit card, but you won’t suffer the extra pain of having to replace what you bought in a year because you went cheap. There’s nothing wrong with saving money, and it’s not a bad idea to bargain-hunt for something you’re going to wear only a few times, but you’ll never go wrong spending on quality for the go-to items in your wardrobe.”
— Take care of your shoes. “Nothing ruins your put-together look like shoes that are battered, scuffed or just old-looking,” says Rivers. “It’s so easy to clean and polish any decent pair of shoes that I’m amazed more women don’t take the time.”
— Test-drive your haircut. “Leave nothing to chance,” cautions Rivers. “If you’re going to try a daring new cut, test it out a few weeks beforehand. That way, if what looked so good in the salon turns out in daylight to look like a dead cat sitting on your head, you can have some time to make changes.”
— Make important changes before panic time. Forget losing 10 pounds two weeks before the big event, says Rivers. “Instead, prepare for the spotlight months in advance with a healthy lifestyle: good diet, exercise routine, skin care and so on. That way, you can approach your red carpet moment knowing that you look healthy and radiant, and you’ll have the confidence that comes with knowing that you look healthy and radiant, and you’ll have the confidence that comes with knowing you’re as prepared as you can be.”
— Flaunt what you’ve got. While Rivers admits that there are some celebrities who look good in anything they wear, most of us “have to dance with the body that brung us.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t look your best when you find yourself in the fashion spotlight. “Everybody has something about them that’s exceptional,” she says. “Figure out what that is for you and work it.”
— “Be a well, not a fountain.” One of my favorite chapter in Rivers’ surprisingly thoughtful book deals with showing grace under pressure: “Until you’ve walked down a few red carpets in someone else’s designer pumps, don’t assume you know what they’re dealing with … Don’t spill your guts to everyone you meet about how much life sucks at the moment. Everyone is carrying their own baggage, and they don’t appreciate the weight of yours. Have some good people in your life whom you can lean on, and be stoic and brave to the rest of the world.” Now that’s a great piece of red carpet advice for all of us.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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