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Why women dazzle and men fail on red carpet

world Updated: May 28, 2012 00:56 IST

Freida Pinto in floor-length, crystal-studded Atelier Versace at Cannes scored another high in her red carpet appearances. A few decades ago, glamorous events held both genders to high standards of elegance.

A woman in a floorlength dress would parade on the arm of a man in an impeccable tuxedo. But while sartorial standards for women have been raised ever higher, men are swapping bow-ties and cummerbunds for untucked shirts and slackeresque facial hair.

There is a glamour gap between men and women in the public eye, and it is getting wider. That much is undeniable. "Event dressing is a microcosm of how celebrity works for the genders," argues fAmber Jane Butchart. That might be true, but in the final reckoning, there is no doubt who gets the easier ride. As Cosgrave puts it: "Johnny Depp looks dishevelled on the red carpet, and all the coverage is about how cool and maverick he is. But if an actress has a hair out of place, or a tiny wrinkle on her frock - she's having a life crisis. That is how society judges those photos.