the big business of Logies red carpet fashions

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Some of the biggest Logie winners won’t even be at the ceremony on Sunday night.

Most likely, they will be in a hotel room at Crown, the venue for the awards, watching the broadcast and praying their clients don’t end up on the dreaded “worst dressed” lists.


Fashion on the red carpet

The stars of the 2016 Logies strut their stuff, showing off the hottest trends on the red carpet.

They are the designers and stylists who create the red carpet looks for some of television’s biggest stars.

While the hard work for the TV personalities is done long before the night – Logies voting closed before Christmas – Sunday night can make or break the careers of the “glam squads” who work behind the scenes to prepare the stars for the red carpet.

Couturier Con Iliopoulos said the positive response he received after last year, his first time dressing talent for the Logies, has translated into numerous bridal and evening gown orders. 

“There’s a lot of pressure – you are designing gowns that maybe 80 per cent of the population will see and you have to be prepared for the negative as well as the positive feedback,” he said.

Iliopoulos has created gowns for seven stars including Nine’s Melbourne weather presenter, Livinia Nixon, Neighbours actor Olympia Valance, and a pregnant Zoe Foster-Blake. 

Nixon said the Logies had totally transformed since she first attended 20 years ago.

“I used to hit Chapel Street a week before the Logies and find a dress. I remember ironing my hair and getting my brother to give me a lift [to the ceremony]. The whole process has ramped up so many notches,” she said.

While the designers don’t charge for the gowns – they are returned afterwards to be used as samples or show pieces – the exposure can line up a year’s worth of work and can be the gateway to international recognition, such as dressing a Hollywood star or musician for a red carpet.

But there are also risks, Iliopoulos said. 

“Time [pressure] is our biggest challenge. You are also taking the risk [your dress could] end up on the worst-dressed lists.”

Social media and the positioning of the Logies as Australia’s answer to the Oscars has meant more celebrities are turning to stylists such as Lana Wilkinson to arrange the full package – gown, accessories, hair and make-up.

This year, Wilkinson is taking on her biggest Logies challenge yet, dressing eight women and one man, including The Bachelorette’s Georgia Love and her partner Lee Elliot, who’s wearing Hugo Boss. The gowns will come from three designers: Sonia Cappellazzo, Misha Collection and Jason Grech.

“It’s about pushing the boundaries [on the red carpet]. It’s about making people look the best and not trying to turn them into something they’re not,” she says.

Wilkinson said a Logies “moment” can make a career, singling out the baby pink, one-shouldered gown by Cappellazzo that Nine’s Scherri-Lee Biggs wore to the 2015 ceremony.

“I still see that dress being remade as a bridal gown,” Wilkinson says.

Wilkinson says that while the focus on Sunday is on the finished product, what audiences will see on the red carpet is the climax of a series of calculated business decisions.

“It really showcases the talent we have. It’s gratifying that people can see the work that goes into it.”

But Wilkinson can forget relaxing until the wee hours of Monday morning.

“At the end of the night [I’ll be] getting jewellery back. No parties for me. I’ll be posting [photos].”

Fairfax Media’s live blog of the 2017 Logie awards will kick off at 4pm, Sunday, April 23. Channel Nine’s broadcast of the red carpet and ceremony screens from 7pm. 



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