White Roses, Red Ribbons & Blue Ampersands: A Guide to Red-Carpet Statement Accessories

Katy Perry, 2017
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Katy Perry arrives at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Feb. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles. 

We saw a lot of Time's Up pins on the red carpet at the Golden Globes earlier this month, and that show of solidarity for all those affected by the tide of sexual harassment and assault claims cutting a swath through Hollywood will be joined by yet another powerful symbol of support at the Grammy Awards on Sunday: white roses.

The planned demonstration was arranged by Roc Nation Senior VP Meg Harkins and Karen Rait, rhythmic promotion at Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records, after they realized the awards show did not have its own plan to show support for the movement against sexual harassment.

HalseyRapsodyKelly ClarksonCyndi LauperDua LipaRita OraTom Morello and others are expected to either participate by wearing white roses or to sign a document in support of the demonstration. After the wave of artists wearing Time's Up pins and all-black outfits at the 2018 Golden Globes to support that $13 million legal defense fund dedicated to combating sexual harassment and assault in low-wage workplaces, the odds are good that the majority of lapels at the Grammys will be making loud, proud statements.

It might also make for a striking visual narrative at the star-studded event, but it won't be the first time that celebrities have lent some space on their designer outfits to small but vital statements about a cause dear to their hearts.

Here are seven other ways that proved that what your dress or suit said was more important than who you were wearing.

AIDS Awareness

The by-now ubiquitous red ribbon in support of AIDS awareness has been a staple at the Grammys for nearly three decades. The ribbon first gained prominence in 1992, when it seemed like just about everyone was sporting one on that year's awards-show carpets. At this point, they are one of the most recognizable symbols at practically every awards show and carpet.

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Janet Jackson during The 35th Annual Grammy Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 1993. 

Time's Up

The ubiquitous message pin had its moment at this year's Golden Globes, when many of the A-list founders of the movement brought along potential beneficiaries of their cause as their plus-ones.

Planned Parenthood

At last year's Grammys, Katy Perry helped launch her "purposeful pop" era by wearing a white Tom Ford pantsuit and matching bustier for her performance with Skip Marley. She also rocked a Planned Parenthood pin on her lapel.

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Katy Perry performs onstage during The 59th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles.

PP got a boost in donations and activity in 2017 due to the Trump administration's apparent attempts to roll back access to abortion services.


In the wake of President Trump's election, a number of celebs wore a blue ribbon in solidarity with the nonprofit that protects the rights and liberties of individuals as part of the group's "Stand with the ACLU" campaign.


The LGBTQ organization aimed at promoting understanding, acceptance and equality made a splash on red carpets this year with its iconic blue ampersand pin that the group said was intended to symbolize solidarity and togetherness.

Pulse Nightclub

At the 2016 Tony Awards, a number of nominees and presenters wore special translucent silver ribbon pins in honor of the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016, that resulted in 49 dead and 58 wounded, an assault that was a then-record as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Some attendees also wore orange pins to bring attention to gun violence awareness following a call to "wear orange."

Auto-Tune Awareness

Some causes, needless to say, are a bit less serious than others. That was the case in 2009 when indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie had a bit of fun on the Grammys red carpet when they wore blue pin badges in an attempt to raise awareness about how the digital voice manipulation software was "affecting literally thousands of singers today and thousands of records that are coming out," singer Ben Gibbard said.

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Death Cab for Cutie arrives to the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on Feb. 8, 2009 in Los Angeles.

2018 Grammy Awards