The Red Carpet

Red Carpet

The awards season is well and truly upon us. It’s that time of the year when the stars of film, TV and music don their glad rags and take a walk down the red carpet. But, where has this tradition come from, and why is it a red carpet, as opposed to any other colour? Well, we decided to find out.

After much research we discovered that the earliest reference can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece in 458 BC. In the Greek tragedy play; the Oresteia, Clytemnestra laid out a red carpet to welcome home her husband; Agamemnon. Back then red was considered to be the colour of the gods, so it was considered a welcoming and warm colour. Soon after his arrival she murdered him – well it was a Greek tragedy! Soon after the release of the play, many painters began using red carpets in their work to illustrate royalty or wealth.

It wasn’t until 1902 that the red carpet became a prominent figure in modern day. In that year the first rail service between New York and Chicago opened. At Grand Central station a red carpet was used to guide the passengers to their carriage.

Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake of NSYNC during The 28th Annual American Music Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United StatesThe Academy Awards first introduced the red carpet in 1961. However, as picture was broadcast in black and white then, anyone who tuned in to watch the ceremony wouldn’t have noticed. Event organisers have said that the red carpet wasn’t initially introduced as an element of luxury, but as a subtle way of guiding the actors to where they needed to go. A few years later in 1964 was when the arrival of the stars walking on the red carpet became a phenomenon. Something that is still iconic today, over 50 years later.

It is thought that Barbra Streisand’s outfit at the 1969 Oscars was the first time that wearing outlandish outfits on the red carpet became common. Her sequined see-through outfit turned many heads at that ceremony. From then on it became a tradition for at least one star to wear something unusual at a red carpet event.

One of the most famous sayings heard on the red carpet is “who are you wearing”? It is believed this term originated in the mid-90s when Joan Rivers became the first host of a TV show dedicated to the red carpet arrivals.

Alternative Red Carpets


Did you know that the red carpet has been replaced at a number of events with an alternative? While award ceremonies and premieres are known for using red carpets, there have been a couple of times when alternative colours and designs have been used. Here three examples,

BAFTA TV Awards 2012Lady gaga on the red carpet wearing a meat themed dress

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the BAFTAs had a Union Jack designed carpet, instead of its usual red.

Nickelodeon Awards

As the TV station’s brand colours are orange they have an orange carpet at their annual Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

GreenTec Awards


So maybe this isn’t as glamorous as the hills of Hollywood, but the German environmental awards have used a variety of red carpet alternatives. For example, in 2012 the carpet was made from grass, 2013 & 2014 had a recycled plastic carpet, and the 2015 carpet was made from recycled yarn.

We have put together our top 10 list of iconic red carpet moments:Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the Oscars on the red carpet

  • Cher’s showgirl outfit (1985)
  • Kim Basinger’s one-arm dress (1990)
  • Jennifer Lopez’s neckline that went down to her navel (2000)
  • Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake in double denim (2001)
  • Actors protest against the war in Iraq (2003)
  • Designer Isaac Mizrahi ‘accidentally’ touching Scarlett Johansson’s boob (2006)
  • Lady Gaga’s meat dress (2010)
  • Angelina Jolie’s leg (2012)
  • Kim Kardashian’s floral baby bump (2013)
  • Pharrell’s hat (2014)

2016 has been pretty quiet on the shocking red carpet moments. However, with the Oscars just around the corner we wouldn’t be too sure about that.

You can bring a touch of Hollywood glamour to your home with one of our red runners.

1. Shaggy Hallway Red Runner

Shaggy red carpet rug

This classic red runner is available in a number of different sizes. The shaggy design will not shed and is stain resistant, so you don’t need to worry about any little accidents. Prices start from £18.50

2. Damask Hallway Red Runner

Retro 8033 8123 red damask hallway runners red carpet

This gorgeous soft pile damask rug would be perfect if you’re looking to add a touch of glamour to your home. Easy-to-clean and mothproof, this rug is functional as well as fashionable. Prices start from £34.00 with free delivery

3. Anti-slip Kitchen Red Runner

red carpet super sisalo anti slip kitchen runners in red

This rug has an anti-slip backing so you don’t have to worry about it moving. Made from polypropylene, this rug is durable and cost effective. This rug is suited to any room in the home, but we recommend using it in the kitchen. Prices start from £13.95

4. Greek Hallway Red Runner

Red carpet Greek key flatweave anti slip hallway runners in red

Loomed in Egypt this rug has a traditional Greek design. The stylish traditional design of this rug would look great paired with décor of a similar theme. Prices start from £23.00 with free delivery available to UK mainland addresses.

5. Grande Hallway Red Runner

Red Carpet Grande vista shaggy hallway runners in red

If you’re looking for a runner that most resembles a Hollywood red carpet, then this is the rug you need. This handmade runner is silky and soft, so it feels and looks good. Prices start from £19.95, which includes free delivery.

Click here to view our full selection of red runners