Photo: Everett Collection, Featureflash Photo Agency/

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It started as an intimate dinner in Hollywood Boulevard, to later expand nationally and internationally until it grew to engage the whole world through media. From 1953, the year of the first televised event of The Academy Awards, until today the gala has grown to become a huge phenomenon, which the Unites States used as a platform to export their ideas through popular culture.

The study investigates the red-carpet phenomenon from a historical perspective, seeking to understand how the Academy Awards’ red-carpet became the most prominent fashion show in media culture.

– Fashion became a key element to promote the Academy Awards’ media event, the televised Oscarcast. Between 1953 and 1971, designer Edith Head was a key player to speak to the media about what the stars were wearing, which increased the interest for the event, according to Elizabeth Castaldo Lundén, researcher at Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University.

The symbiosis between media and fashion at the Academy Awards, can be explained though the dresses that we see the stars wearing at the event.

– These dresses that we see at the Oscars, we would rarely buy. So, the benefit of this exposure of brands through these dresses is to sell other products like perfumes, explains Elizabeth Castaldo Lundén.
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