A blustery bad boy is set to crash Hollywood's red carpets this awards season and he's already taking the town by storm. Shows like the Golden Globes are putting proper protection in place, while celebs, of course, will be stressing about how they look.
They call this hombre El Niño — a rare wet-weather phenomenon up from southern climes — and he blew in amid a flood of publicity this past week, with no plans to leave before making a likely splash at the Oscars on Feb. 28.
If Los Angeles has a hard time with rain, Hollywood pageants have it even worse: The world's most beautiful people in their fanciest designer attire do NOT want to get wet before their close-ups. Nor do the masses of media folks, with their expensive equipment, who beam these gilded images around the globe.
"It is a big deal," veteran Golden Globes producer Barry Adelman said of rain on show day — a slight possibility for Sunday's 73rd annual Globes, say forecasters.
Adelman recalled the 2010 Golden Globes, when a storm arrived sooner than expected and soaked the red carpet just as stars were arriving.
"It was not a happy time with everybody trudging around under umbrellas," he said. "We don't want that to ever happen again."
This year, plastic tents already stand over the Globes' arrival areas, and Adelman said they would stay up through Sunday. "We're not taking the tent down yet," he said.
Cheryl Cecchetto, who has produced the Academy Awards' Governors Ball for more than two decades, said she puts her rain contingency plan in place if there's even a drop of drizzle in the five-day forecast.
"Then, sometimes only hours before guest arrival, I can have it all removed if the weather takes a turn for the better," she said.
The Academy Awards suffered a minor rain-related mishap during arrivals last year when water pooled on the protective tent above the red carpet and came gushing down on a group of reporters. Organizers say a brand-new rain cover is being readied for February's show, which will occur at the expected height of El Niño storminess in Southern California.
The Grammys (Feb. 15) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (Jan. 30) also are ready for rain. The Grammy red carpet is traditionally tented, regardless of the weather. The SAG Awards, too, keeps its arrivals area covered.
Tenting requires additional lighting and heating considerations, but SAG Awards spokeswoman Rosalind Jarrett Sepulveda says there's a silver lining.
"It enables us to float a scrim above the still photography area," she said, "making for beautiful fashion photos."
With El Niño expected to bring uncharacteristically heavy rain to drought-stricken California through March, stars and their stylists would be wise to factor the extra moisture into their red carpet looks.
The bottoms of long dresses and trousers might get wet, but Living Proof's Michael Shaun Corby said it's essential to keep hair camera-ready. Guys might opt for a slick, retro side part with extra gel, while women should remember that curls get curlier (and frizz gets frizzier) when the air is damp. Consider a tight braid or sleek updo, Corby said. And don't wear bangs or long hair down — that only spreads the dampness.
"Once the hair is wet," Corby said, "everything goes to hell."