Cate Blanchett in Givenchy

Posted on July 23, 2012

Darlings, when it comes to celebrities making red carpet appearances, we tend to grade on a scale; meaning, we take into account where they are and what they’re promoting. A big budget movie premiere is not a store opening is not an industry party is not an awards show, etc.

So while Cate isn’t quite setting the room on fire with her fierceness here, that’s perfectly okay. She’s in serious theater actress/artistic director mode here, after all. And she’s wearing the dress to prove it.

Cate Blanchett attends the ‘Uncle Vanya’ cast photocall in New York City in a Givenchy dress paired with Roger Vivier sandals. 

Givenchy Resort 2013 Collection

Roger Vivier Velvet Cloud Sandal


This was not going to be an instance where a McQueen dress and killer makeup would be called for. She needs to look just glamorous enough without going over a line. The dress is interesting and photographs well. Or at least it would have been if it didn’t have a paisley tit flap. We suppose we should be upset by the paisley tit flap and spend some time railing against it but frankly, we’re just so grateful we’ve been given the opportunity to coin and use repeatedly the phrase “paisley tit flap,” that we’re finding it difficult to work up the bile. Suffice it to say, without said paisley tit flap, this dress would be just about perfect for what she’s trying to do here: project an image of a chic artist.

In other, non-paisley tit flap news, the semi-bare face is fine, but we can’t say we’re in love with the attempt at Swinton hair. Also, the shoes are interesting, but they’re way too heavy for the outfit and for this time of year.

[Photo Credit: Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images,,]

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  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Without the paisley tit flap this would get  a thumbs up for me.  Even with the PTF it’s an interesting look. 

    • MarissaLG

      Yep. The PTF is weird, and looks really out of place. Without it, the look would have been so perfectly severe, but even with it it’s a great look for her. She looks mature and serious and phenomenal as always. 

  • MilaXX

    I don’t mind the hair, the makeup or the paisley tit flap, but those shoes don’t work for me.

    • AudreysMom

       I like the shoes, hate the paisley tit flap and hair, but don’t mind the make up. Ooo, this is fun. Permutations of elements for us to like and dislike.

      • Lori

        I’ll play. I like the shoes, but not with this dress. I’m OK with the make-up, don’t like the hair, hate the PTF and would like the dress if it didn’t have the PTF.

        That was fun.

        • Maddie_Faddenoid

          The makeup is a little underwhelming for me. The hair is just OK. The shoes are nice and I like them with the dress because they seem to sort of echo the shape of the top part. The paisley tit flap is quite incongruous but adds a little interest. I still don’t like it though.

      • TropiCarla

        10! points for using the word “permutations.” *SIGH* I miss Stats class.

    • I hate it all. Cate, go home and try again.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    What? You mean that is part of the dress, the paisley tit-flap? I thought it was a bag she was carrying from afar. That makes no sense at all.

    The whole thing is disappointing, in other non-paisley tit-flap news.

    She never quite struck me as looking truly fantastic, though, even when she was on her game, but that could just be me. When was the time she looked her best?

    • GillianHolroyd

      I just saw some photos of her a day or two ago with her husband. Loose hair and looking really spectacular. Truly gorgeous. This is a giant step backwards. I hate it when she goes full-Swinton.

    • sk8tfan

      for me, her best was the McQueen bird dress. Took a fierce diva to pull that off, and she was stunning. Overall, I think her RC looks tend to be overrated.

    • lovelyivy

       I thought she might have a handkerchief sticking out of a pocket or something. It took seeing the model to understand that it was a paisley tit flap. The PTF needs to DIAF.

  • Introspective

    I love the shoes for sure, but not with this outfit and not at this time of year.

    the dress definitely is intriguing (although the ptf is at best confusing).

    overall, still cate offers cerebral fashion. snaps to her for continuing to surprise in a sea of starlets in pretty dresses and silly putty footwear.

  • GypsyHowell

    Nothing about this works for me.

    • G

       Horrible.  She looks so exhausted and couldn’t-give-a-damn … with that hair and makeup, or lack of.  That dress is dreadful and the shoes make her lean legs look chunky.  Sad and awful.

  • The paisley tit flap is distracting, and the dress could have used some ironing or steaming beforehand. And the hair and lack of ALL accessories is a little off-putting for some reason. 

  • ceceliadid

    It’s just like The Fly, except the fly is a paisley scarf and Kate’s dress is Jeff Goldblum.  (Both endings are pretty tragic.)

  • The tit-flap ruins the whole thing. That dark brown square in the middle of it just makes the fabric look stained — especially when it’s wrinkled, too. Cate has such strong features that she almost pulls it off anyway — almost.

  • Judy_J

    I was wondering if the paisley tit-flap was attached to the dress….guess it is, but why?  It looks like a designer afterthought.  And the shoes are way too heavy for summer wear.  In fact, the whole outfit looks more autumn than summer to me.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    I am so not with it that I initially thought that Ms. Blanchett was Ms. Swinton in the teaser.  These shoes make her legs look pretty doggone stumpy to me.

    I think that will never hear or read the word “paisley” now without mentally adding “tit flap.”

  • Ugh.  No thank you to all of this.  Ok, the make-up doesn’t bother me but everything else?  Even without the tit flap, I have no love for the top of that dress.  Or that hair.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    The shoes are horrible. I can’t even get over it.

  • BeeBeauNYC

    She’s so god damn beautiful, is such a great actress and she can rock just about any frock you throw her way – please tell me she has some huge character flaw so that I at least know that there is something wrong with her?

  • paginatrix

    Those shoes make her look like Stumpy McStumperson. Mean shoes.

    • gabbilevy

      When such a tall leggy blonde Goddess as Miz Cate looks stumpy, I always, ALWAYS assume it’s the camera angle.

  • Sara__B

    Hair and shoes are utterly unflattering. The dress might have been edgy and interesting otherwise, but I can’t get past the beginning and end of this outfit.

  • rketeckt

    The paisley tit flap looks like her unborn twin who attached itself to her and leeches energy off of her.  And while she may be a decent actress, she needs to let Tilda be Swinton.

    • Ha! I actually thought it was a clutch that she was holding under her armpit. But I prefer the parasitic twin interpretation.

  • Griffinqueen

    I don’t understand the PTF

  • joe_tey83

    “Tit flap” is bad enough without the “paisley.”

    Why, Cate, why?

  • Knightley

    I’m glad you guys told me it was a paisley tit flap, otherwise I would definitely think it was some sort of purse….or something to that effect.

    Just weird.  But its Cate, and she’s fucking-awesome, so she can get away with said paisley tit flap.

    • PinkLemon

       Yes, i thought she was holding a bag. even after i saw the dress on the model, in the next pic STILL thought it was a bag. this is not good.

  • Lexie

    Oh, wow. I really do not like this. Bad shoes, bad hair, bad paisley… what happened?! I understand wanting to do understated chic, but this is not a good example.

  • I see faces on her feet with stuck-out tongues (her toes)….

  • TomBord

    she. looks. insane. 

  • GorgeousThings

    Paisley Tit Flap! Paisley Tit Flap! Paisley Tit Flap! 

    Oh, TLo, you just made my night. Thank you!

    • Paisley Tit Flap or PTF needs to become a thing. The official phrase for TLO’s PUFs to use for a random design element that doesn’t make sense. Make it happen, Almighty TLO!

  • jilly_d

    the dress is great (paisley tit flap notwithstanding) but those shoes are unforgivable.  Bad Cate!

  • kolokOlchik

    i thought the paisley tit flap was a purse and wondered why Cate styled herself the same way as the model…

  • littlemac8

    I dislike everything about this look except the wearer.  Kate’s hair doesn’t even look as good as leaving gym class.  Dress with PTF is so weird I can’t even understand what I’m looking at so that clearly doesn’t flatter her body.  And then she completes the look with those gawd-awful shoes which stumpify her legs beyond imagining.  TLo did somebody throw magical glitter dust in your eyes??

  • It looks like her handkercheif has come undone from some place unseemly. Without it, she’d be Werqing hard!

  • Rand Ortega

    What is that? A colostomy bag hanging under her arm?
    It’s all strangely baggy & oddly out of proportion. Cate is usually flawless. This is 1 of the few unfortunate exceptions.

  • The paisley tit flap just looks like a clutch that she’s holding. That’s all I can see.

    • understateddiva

       I saw that too – then I saw the model with it, and momentarily wondered when Cate had started replicating runway looks, down to angle of bag-holding.

  • nannypoo

    Isn’t this a leftover from the Project Runway post? In The Middle But Sooner Forgotten?

  • hughman

    The PTF aside, there’s something awesome about wearing a motherfucking new Givenchy dress to some PHOTOCALL FOR UNCLE VANYA! “Oh, this old thing?”

  • Beardslee

    close but no cigar

  • kimmeister

    On an unrelated note, I love the bag that the model is carrying.  The end.

  • HM3

    It’s funny that you mention the “bile” metaphor, because my first instinct was to scream that her dress was actually vomiting the remnants of another, uglier dress it ate last night.
    Dislike. Everything but the shoes.

  • My brain totally blocked out the paisley tit flap until y’all pointed it out. Clearly paisley tit flaps should not be. 

  • StellaZafella

    I’m an unabashed fan of the Blanchett so…she could be wearing sweat togs and Doc Martins and I would just be glad to imagine myself somewhere in the room evesdropping her every word! Eww…I was the same with Kate Hepburn too which is why I made sure to be no where near either of them when they were anywhere I could get to…My point is this: In the close up, she’s giving the start of what looks to be the infamous sidelong glance that she and Kate used to say “I know what your thinking. I know you know I know what your thinking. Utter one word and I’ll say I couldn’t care less…nicely, of course.”

  • Ben

    Givenchy, why do you have to ruin a perfectly fine dress with that tit flap? 

  • Paisley tit flap. I just had to say it. It’s delightful!

  • pattyw

    Please, please, please let other designers turn the paisley tit flap into a trend. Because PTF is too fabulous a term to coin and only use once.

  • butterflysunita

    Frankendress.  And she looks completely washed out.  

  • ThatPeterG

    Paisley Titflap? Sounds like an ingenue in some unwatched WB show…

  • kikisayshi

    Blech. At first I thought the paisley tit flap was her clutch. I don’t get it and I don’t like it.

  • margaret meyers

    The hair looks nesty, which is maybe worse than nasty.

  • formerlyAnon

    Paisley scarfy-thing drags this down from near-love to kinda-like & the shoes are just flat out an ugly mistake.

    P.s. Mildly like the hair and like the makeup except for the lip color.

  • a_liking

    In every single picture I honestly thought she was holding a paisley purse. Wow. That is one terrible tit flap.

    • Lisa Dugan

      100% thought the same thing!!

  • janetjb

    Nice try, but I don’t think this works.  Is she trying to look like Tilda Swinton?

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    I think those shoes are wrong. They look hot.  And heavy and just wrong.

  • Judy_S

    That dress is hideous and she probably looks as good as anyone could in it. As you say, an artist being artistic. Not so sure about the chic part.

  • ChristinaRi

    Can you imagine the critique if some poor project runway designer put that on the runway.  😀

  • Ugh. Cate, I’m very disappointed in you.  HATE the shoes.

  • eight_of_nine

    Cate could look fierce as shit in a poncho taken off the wall of a Tex-Mex restaurant.  Snaps up no matter what!  

    Also, I am so freaking jealous that my friend is going to see her (and Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh!) in Uncle Vanya.

  • Love her, hate this.

  • quiltrx

    Let this dress fly away to Julianne Moore, because that’s who we’d vaguely expect to wear it.

    And send me that FABULOUS bag the model is holding!!!

  • Judih1

    The shoes would have been nice with a pair of jeans or pencil leg pants. That is the only think I like about her look. Hair, make-up, dress (even if it didn’t have that horrid paisley tit flap) are just hiddy

  • guest2visits

    Neither Cate or the model can convince me this dress is worth taking off the hanger to begin with.
    The shoes don’t look like they’re made to flatter ANY ONE.

  • I thought she was doing some “cool” new Hollywood star style of pose where they weirdly balance a purse on the back of the hand…

  • Patricia Biswanger

    I thought the paisley tit flap was a big Vera Bradley bag that she was carrying under her arm.

  • padma sallah

    I would have been fine with the…paisely tit flap. But one look at those shoes and I just cannot. You can be artsy as all get out but I dont think making your feet look like COW HOOVES is one of the prerequisites. This makes me want to cry copious tears. ;_; 

  • Maddie_Faddenoid

    There is a business opportunity for a savvy tailor here. Got a boring, unflattering dress that you don’t want to throw out? We’ll add a paisley tit flap for you! That way, people will still notice you – and instead of thinking that you look unimaginative and dull they’ll look at you and think ‘paisley tit flap. Huh’.

  • Corsetmaker

    The dress is interesting, I kind of like it. The shoes I hate. And her hair looks like the underside of bad extensions.

  • MattCooper27

    For a minute I thought the paisley flap was a purse she was holding under her. Granted, a very large purse… 

  • LambeeBaby

    I thought she was carrying a Totes umbrella under her left arm. I am not
    picking up on this look. I think that regardless of the time of year,
    the shoes are a “no” with this dress. Her face looks beautiful.

  • I hate it all.  And in the thumbnail I thought she was Swinton. 

    I see big boxy ugly square navel shirts are back.  The horror.

  • Jessi03

    Definitely thought the paisley tit flap was a purse at first glance.  Oops.

    • AthenaJ

      Same here – and I wish it was

  • Cathy S

    I don’t like it. Those shoes, or maybe it’s the height of the shoes with the length of the skirt, make her legs look chunky. And the paisley tit flap ruins the top for me. And her Swinton hair just looks dirty to me.

  • MoHub

    “Paisley Tit Flap”: you guys get the prize!

  • Scarlet39

    The PTF ruins it for me. 

  • another_laura

    Sorry, guys, the dress looks like it was just taken out of a tiny suitcase, the paisley tit flap (which I love this phrase, too) looks like a mistake, the shoes are wrong for this.  She needs more makeup when wearing black and the hair, well, in the gestalt of this outfit it’s just adding to the mess.  And I love Ms. Blanchett.

  • HobbitGirl

    She is a stunning woman, but the tit flap is just sad.

  • Toto Maya

     No, it’s weird. And not the good kind of weird that she normally looks good in. It’s just a haphazard mess. I don’t see why anyone would look at it and choose to wear it.

  • aristida_girl

    paisley tit flap is going right up there with braid boner! i love you guys

  • FlamingJune1967

    Failed attempt to copy Swinton.

  • oohsparkley!

    I guess I’m feeling grumpy – if I were her gay, I’d make her start over. I don’t like it together – the hair, shoes or dress. That hair is a mess. Where is her comb?

  • Cousin_Rose

    So, in other words, dress, hair, makeup and shoes are pure FUG.  How does this add up to an OK for any purpose look?  ick

  • nancylee61

    Woman needs some stockings to smooth out her knees and skin. I hate that stockings went out of style. When wearing a 5000 dollar dress, stockings should be a necessary accessory. it’s not like she is wearing a sundress from target! Grrrrr.

    I love her anyway.

  • greyhoundgirl

    What is this?  I love her and her fashion sense–but I just don’t get it.  What the hell is that bit of color hanging down under her arm?  The length is very unflattering with the shoes, or visa versa.  I am just confused, and not in a happy way.

  • KathKo

    The shoes need to go.
    But the paisley tit flap can stay just because it made you create the expression and for that, I’m gratefull.

  • this dress is just odd for the sake of odd.  there is no other excuse for it.  the hem length along with the booties highlight her less than lovely knees.  and will this ugly hair trend ever go away?

  • imakeart

    I like the dress, in an only Cate kind of way.

  • Monabel

    I saw a paisley tit sleeve, even more scary….