Award. Show. Fashion. Attire.

Let’s break it down:

Award. Millions of people might see this person accepting an award, or perhaps standing next to them. Looking good at this moment matters.

Show. It’s a show… it’s big and grand and the cheap seats are the chairs in people’s homes all over the TV-watching, internet-enabled world.

Fashion. Big names are waging war on the red carpet runway. This is where designers go big on details – provoking one another, stealing ideas, and poaching celebrities. The runways that showcase collections are somewhat inaccessible, but the red carpet is where their creations pass or fail the wearability test.

Attire. Yes, attire – these aren’t clothes in the ordinary sense of the word. This is ‘attire,' and rightly so.

The importance of looking carefully at what the invitation says cannot be understated for any social event. While award shows are essentially black tie events – penguins and big frocks -  the extent to which the dress code can be stripped down will depend on the award. The Nobel Prize requires more ironing than awards for street theater.


The Tie

Everything should follow the tie. Being located right under the face, the tie is the anchor for the identity of the whole outfit. After that, the ‘one stand-out feature and some great details’ rule applies. The tie anchors a look because it’s right under the face.

A bow tie must, MUST, be neatly done or undone. Half way to undone is no good.

The classic tie for a black tie event is exactly what it says: black. A vest or waistcoat can be where the extra color comes in.

If you’re thinking of wearing a loud tie, don’t.

Then there’s the no tie, no socks, no shirt option. If you’re going to go there, it will only work if everything else is as sharp as a lemon.

 The ‘overdo’ is a thing in itself, but unless you have the confidence of someone who genuinely does not care, you probably shouldn’t attempt this.


Award shows are about the accolades, discoveries, and performances, but they are also about fashion and the most beautiful people in the world looking as good as a team of experts can achieve.

Be prepared for an invite at any moment, but if you find that your look isn’t up to red carpet standards, don’t worry. Given the world’s best designers, stylists and dressers, you would rock it too.