Why this was the most powerful colour at last night’s Grammy Awards

Posted by
Billie Bhatia

The Grammy’s are the next awards ceremony for the red carpet to stand for more than just best dressed, tides are changing across the music industry too 

After a night of all-black outfits at the Golden Globes earlier this month, it was the turn of the music industry to use their red carpet power to continue the #TimesUp conversation last night. Artists, producers, industry executives and celebrity guests chose the colour white in a variety of ways to support the equality movement.

Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards 

White roses became the symbol of empowered women and unity on the red carpet, adopted by a whole host of attendees. The movement was spearheaded by an organisation called Voices In Entertainment, which launched an email campaign last Wednesday to spread the word that a white rise would be the accessory of choice at the awards. According to The New York Times, the group said, “The white rose has historically stood for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance.” While these connotations might be widely recognised, white was also a crucial colour for the suffragettes (along with green and purple).

Lady Gaga was one of the stars to support the white rose agenda 

Stars including Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Rita Ora stuck to the black dress code that began at the Golden Globes and added in the rose for double effect. Male stars of the night showed their support too, with Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar and Nick Jones all donning the floral accessory. In fact, so many stars wanted to share their support that florists within the Madison Square Garden area sold out of the flower.

Sam Smith sports a white rose on his lapel for the awards 

Other guests took the white dress code a step further and wore it head to toe for the awards ceremony – Cardi B, Childish Gambino and Lana Del Rey were opted for this look. Whilst Lorde made a feminist statement of her own with her red dress.  It wasn’t missed that Beyoncé, known for making a visual statement, chose black for last night’s awards, but dressed her six-year-old daughter (and this morning’s Instagram sensation), Blue Ivy, in an all-white ensemble.

Lana Del Ray opts for an all white outfit

Then came the performances, both Kesha and Pink chose the colour white to fashion their political messages. Kesha, who was involved in a lengthy legal battle with her former producer over allegations of sexual assault, took to the stage in a white tuxedo with an all-female choir (including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello) also decked out in the colour of choice.

Kesha takes to the stage supported by her all female choir

For Pink, she decided to let her voice do the talking, paring back her usual bold stage attire, opting for just jeans and a white T-shirt in a bid to shift focus from her body to her vocal performance.

Pink ignores the previous etiquette of stage attire in favour of white t-shirt and jeans

For the most part the white roses, white outfits and white symbols were used to encourage women to speak up and speak out, to stand in solidarity and support for their sisters. Controversially, the colour was also seen on singer, Joy Villa, who wore it for a different political message.

Villa came under fire in 2017 for wearing a pro-Trump dress with the words ‘Make America Great Again’ emblazoned down her gown, and similarly this year Villa made waves with her anti-abortion outfit – a white dress featuring a painted foetus and a bag with the slogan ‘Choose Life’.

Joy Villa’s controversial look

“I’m a pro-life woman,” Villa told Fox News. “This year I chose to make a statement on the red carpet like I always do. I’m all about life.”

With another awards ceremony down, 2018 red carpets remain a place where protest and freedom of speech walk hand in hand. As we wait for the next movement, one thing can be certain – fashion has never been more powerful.

Images: Rex Features