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Why the Teen Choice Awards red, um, blue carpet matters

Why the Teen Choice Awards red, um, blue carpet matters
Chloe Grace Moretz arrives at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / Invision/Associated Press)

If you're not a teenager, you may not have noticed that the Teen Choice Awards happened Sunday in Los Angeles. But Gucci, Giambattista Valli, Marni and other luxury fashion brands sure did, seeing an opportunity to impress that elusive younger demographic, those pesky millennials who would rather spend their money on experiences than things.

On the red carpet (which was actually blue for the event), overt sexiness was out and quirkiness was in. Chloe Grace Moretz, 18, emerged as a poster child for the new vision of Gucci under creative director Alessandro Michele, who took over at the Italian luxury house in January. She wore an edgy emerald green Chantilly lace embroidered top with an Adam-and-Eve, serpent and apple motif. 

From the Cruise 2016 collection shown just weeks ago, the ensemble has the kind of naughty-but-nice look that should appeal to young girls and casts a goth spell that's fresher than the kind of in-your-face crop tops and bandage dresses that have dominated recent Teen Choice Awards red carpets.

It also signaled a bit of a style evolution for Moretz, who was named one of Time magazine's most influential teens in 2014. No longer a sweet young thing, she recently tattooed the initials of her family on her upper thigh and pierced her septum. At the awards show, her undone hair, red lips and pale gray nails added a sense of cool nonchalance.

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Moretz accessorized her look with a Gucci aged metal, palladium and enamel ring, one of many pieces of costume jewelry Michele showed on the runway at the recent Gucci resort show, indicating that accessible accessories (some of the jewelry is priced in the $300 to $400 range) is part of his brand strategy, as a way of reaching a younger audience.

The Gucci-Moretz pairing began working its magic on social media immediately, with Moretz tweeting a picture of her outfit to her 1.76 million Twitter followers, and YahooStyle, PopSugarFashion and VogueUK naming her best dressed. On Instagram, Gucci's post about Moretz got more than 23,000 likes. Moretz also posted a photo of herself at the awards to her 3.3 million Instagram followers, an image that got 191,000 likes.

That's a lot of reach for a single look at an awards show in August.

The new Gucci made its red carpet debut earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, where Sienna Miller and Lupita N'yongo wore Michele's gowns at different events. Cate Blanchett has also worn Gucci looks, but to lower-profile events.

Other fashion of note at the Teen Choice Awards?

Shorts by Giambattista Valli. The Italian designer known for over-the-top, frothy, feminine couture-like creations, dressed a couple of starlets in his new, sportier, lower-priced Giamba line, including Maia Mitchell, who looked breezy and cool in a spring-summer 2015 top and shorts.

Marni on the red carpet.  The quirky Italian brand designed by Consuelo Castiglioni that's a favorite of gallerists and fashion insiders made a rare appearance on the red carpet. Willow Shields wore a Marni silk multicolored long sleeve blouse with matching striped leather midi skirt and gray wool belt from the pre-fall 2015 collection. Interesting? Sure, but it looked hot as hell on a 90-degree plus day.

Guys drop the ball.  Jason Derulo aside, most of the men didn’t make much of an effort. Ludacris looked like he was ready for the links in a polo shirt and baggy khakis, and John Stamos’ wrinkled black T-shirt and jeans could have come straight off the floor at the foot of his bed. Wiz Khalifa didn’t even bother to button up his shirt, and Nash Grier’s denim-on-denim was retro-a-no-no.   

Big night for little dresses. Shay Mitchell in Versus Versace, Nina Dobrev in a Zuhair Murad bandage design, Lucy Hale in plunge-front Julien MacDonald, Victoria Justice in emerald fringe Herve Leger, and Bella Thorne in Balmain coral stalks. The mini dress was a maxi trend. But these women looked interchangeable.  Thankfully, there’s a new fashion wind blowing through town. Let’s see more of that.

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