I’ve “walked” the red carpet at the Academy Awards for the past few years, which is a very fun, very glamorous route to get to our fashion position up above the event in the “tower” where we are stationed to cover the three hours of red carpet arrivals.
This year though, I “escorted” Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson through the carpet. I didn’t know what an escort’s job entailed to be honest, and here we are a couple of days later and I’m still not sure if I fulfilled my duties!
It was raining as we made our way through security and to the red carpet. My hair was nice and curled when I left the house, but now it was wet and flat. My bright blue Adrianna Papell dress was soaked all the way around the bottom six inches of the dress.
Shaun fared much better! Her hair was in an updo and not a hair was out of place. Somehow her dress did not get wet! Maybe it was the high heels she was rocking! I was actually tempted to wear my metallic boat shoes under the gown since they are so comfy and there were puddles everywhere…but nixed that idea, even though no one would see my feet. We’re talking the Oscars, after all!
We made our way to the beginning of the red carpet, which is where the first section of still photographers are. The large Oscar statues behind us on the carpet still had plastic bags over them to protect them from the rain!
Shaun posed for the photogs who wanted to get shots of her. She posed from the front, then, at their request, she turned around and posed so they could get shots of the back of the dress. One of them shouted to show us her jewelry. Another photog shouted (nicely) at me to get out of the shot. Mostly, I was fixing Shaun’s dress so it would look perfect in the photos. I felt like the Maid of Honor at a wedding who is constantly adjusting the bride’s train - LOL! And like a bride on her big day, Shaun looked beautiful.
Then, we walked past the hundreds of TV crews who were getting set up for the celebrity arrivals. A couple of people wanted to do interviews with Shaun and they asked her about the weather and how it changed getting ready for the event this year. As her “escort,” was I supposed to intervene on her behalf? End the interview if it went on too long? I wasn’t sure. Maybe we should have come up with a secret code beforehand – you know, like blink twice if you’re ready to move on. Obviously, I would not make a very good “bad cop,” like most publicists have to be.
As we passed the stands where the fans sit, some of them shouted Shaun’s name and she waved to them, which got them cheering. Then we navigated the crowded carpet past more TV crews as we made our way to the last section of press on the carpet….another area of photographers.
Once again Shaun posed and once again I helped make sure her gown looked perfect. I sort of knew the drill by then, and we worked our way down the line so that all the photographers would have nice, good shots of her.
The whole thing went so fast. Before I knew it, it was time to head up to our position, where we would watch everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Brad and Angie to Lady Gaga arrive and work their way down the red carpet and into the theater for the show.
After the carpet closed down, I escorted our guest fashion correspondents Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski back to our hotel, which was just down the block. As we made our way down the steps of the tower, fans yelled that they loved Johnny and Tara at the Olympics. Then, as we left the Oscar area, more fans cheered their names and came up to them and the two graciously posed for photos. One guy told us he was just a tourist in town and “Wow, he was getting to see the Oscars and to take a photo with Johnny and Tara!”
His excitement was infectious and I understood completely how he felt. Every year, I pinch myself as I think, “YOU ARE AT THE OSCARS!!!!!”
It was the perfect ending for an unforgettable day.
-- Ryan Patterson