Nowadays, our party hosts have adopted an annoying ploy, which makes me say, “Darling you cannot have your cake and eat it too.” Hosting a party and getting it covered on the haloed Page 3 is nothing new, but of late the party-hearty hosts have got a new gimmick. It’s called ‘Photographs Only on the Red Carpet’. Well, it’s a polite way of saying that the photographers aren’t allowed inside the party. God, how petty can people be! If you think flashbulbs irritate your guests, why call the media?
I often argued about this with a few charming hostesses and they replied, “It’s like that everywhere — New York, LA, London…” True madam, but then you’re talking about the Oscars, BAFTAs and Grammys. Sorry to say, your bash isn’t in that league at all. I absolutely resent this classist attitude where the scribe is allowed but the photographer isn’t. Why? Is it because the scribe can probably fit-in with the schmoozing crowd? Or because the party may get wild and you don’t want to get clicked while snogging or powdering your nose or cosying up to your hubby’s best pal? Whatever the reason, it’s pathetic. And thankfully my editor and colleagues are in agreement.
It all started when a hip nightclub opened in the city and the photographers were allowed only on the Red Carpet. Red Carpet, my foot! They aren’t paparazzi; they are official media photographers who were invited to cover the launch. You want free publicity without hospitality? Sorry. I had once walked out when the snooty host felt my photographer colleague shouldn’t sit at the same dinner table!
This attitude is more visible with luxury brands or exclusive hotels and restaurants. Wish they had some class of their own! Many parties started the red-carpet business lately. But we stood our ground; when at the Fashion Week Finale bash the host club stated ‘photos outside only’, we gave it a miss. Time they start valuing people for their work and not their clothes!