For the first time since 1961, the Oscar carpet will not be red

For the first time since 1961, the Oscar carpet will not be red this year.

While many things about the Academy Awards have changed over the years, one thing has remained constant over the past six decades: the red carpet.

The hues have changed, yes, but it was always a shade of red. Until this year.

Workers unwrapped a champagne-colored carpet outside the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Wednesday (March 8) while Jimmy Kimmel, who is hosting the 95th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 12, presided.

“I think the decision to walk a red carpet with a champagne carpet shows how confident we are that there will be no bloodshed,” Kimmel said.

The decision to change the color came from longtime creative consultant Lisa Love Fashion Contributor and Raúl Àvila, the creative director of the glamorous Met Gala in New York.

This year the carpet will be covered, partly to protect the stars and cameras from the weather, but also to make arrival an evening event.

For Love, there’s always been a discrepancy between the sleek black tie dress code and the fact that it’s the afternoon when people arrive to have their photos taken in daylight. They could change that with a covered carpet.

(Getty Images)

“We turned a daytime event into a nighttime event,” Love said The Associated Press. “It is evening, although it is still three o’clock.”

The Oscars red carpet dates back to the 33rd annual Academy Awards in 1961, held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium when Billy Wilder’s The apartment won best picture, Burt Lancaster and Elizabeth Taylor won leading actor awards, and there was a juvenile award that went to Hayley Mills Pollyanna.

It was the first televised ceremony to be broadcast on ABC and hosted by Bob Hope. It wasn’t until 1966, when the Academy Awards first aired in color, that the general public saw the red carpet in all its glory on television.

There was no debate about the change, Love said. They just knew they had the freedom to break with tradition. They also tried some other colors but they seemed too dark with the covered tent. Instead, they got lighter, and Academy CEO Bill Kramer agreed.

“We chose this beautiful sienna-saffron color that’s reminiscent of sunset because that’s the sunset before the golden hour,” Love said.

Nor were they particularly concerned about upsetting Oscars traditionalists.

“Somebody always finds a way to find something wrong with something,” Love said. “It’s just a lightness and I hope people like it. That doesn’t mean it will always be a champagne colored carpet.”

What shall we call it? Love said “champagne” and “sand” are apt descriptions, but “there’s no reason not to go red carpet by default,” either. It’s more of a metonym for the glamorous arrivals than a literal description of what everyone is walking towards.

You can follow the latest Oscars updates here.

Additional coverage from the Associated Press For the first time since 1961, the Oscar carpet will not be red

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