Cate Blanchett in Balenciaga at the “Blue Jasmine” Premiere

Posted on July 23, 2013

Cate Blanchett floated down from heaven to the red carpet on the back of a unicorn, dismounted, turn toward the cameras, and calmly told everyone present that she doesn’t care a fig what they think of her dress.


Cate Blanchett attends the premiere of her latest movie “Blue Jasmine” in New York City in a dress and shoes by Balenciaga paired with Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.


Well okay, then.

We’ll say that Cate is probably one of the few ladystars who would even attempt a dress like this and also probably one of an even smaller few who might be able to pull it off. Having said that, we don’t quite think she’s pulling it off. Oh, it’s a head-turner for sure. And it’s even beautiful in its own strange way. But we’re not sure why a woman who isn’t pregnant would want a dress that makes her look like she’s in her third trimester. And as much as we want to like that effect on the skirt, it looks like a craft project gone wild.

But what really makes us weep are the shoes, which are matchy, but slightly off from the shade of the dress, and which are causing serious toe cleavage. We could kindasorta explain everything about the dress, but once we got to the rookie-mistake shoes, we were forced to conclude that someone is holding Cate’s family hostage and forcing her to dress this way for some reason.

Oh please. Don’t even try and tell us Cate the Magnificent picked this awkward thing out voluntarily. No, there’s a dirty bomb hidden in New York somewhere, threatening to go off if she so much as removes an earring. Wouldn’t that make a great action movie? About a crazed stylist-terrorist? You’re welcome, Hollywood.


[Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]

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  • Fordzo

    Her poor toes.

    • Heather

      Indeed, it pains me to look at them.

      • Fordzo

        And you can see that her heels are tight up against the back, so I don’t think this is a case of sweat making her feet slide forward. I think these shoes are just too small.

  • filmcricket

    Having mainlined a whole bunch of “House of Lies” lately I now really want her and Robin Wright to play sisters.

    Oh, the dress? Cotton candy crack. Her face looks amazing though.

    • Nariya

      House of Cards? If so, I’d buy that sisters idea, for maybe a lot of money.

      • filmcricket

        Yes, House of Cards, right. : ) House of Lies is something else.

  • Ronica Skarphol Brownson

    I love it anyway. She’s like a 5th element fairy. (But her feet look like they really hurt.)

    • clatie

      I agree on both counts. Heavenly dress! Painful shoes.

    • NOLA_gal

      Love it. Galadriel can do no wrong…

  • Jessica Freeman

    Aside from all the horrifying things going on south of her neck…HER FACE is undeniably gorgeous. As always.

  • acevedob

    Yes she is an angel. Let us overlook her tiny mistakes and awe at her heavenly aura.

  • Janet B


  • We will call it “Deadly Style”, and it will involve terrorists smuggling parts of a nuclear device into New York for Fashion Week, in a crazed attempt to hold the whole industry hostage for perceived wrongs done when said stylist lost a prestigious position, styling a multiple Oscar winning beauty.

    • StellaZafella

      Could the style/terrorist be a woman too? Maybe a take on a crazed Rachel Zoe.

      • We’re on to something, here.

        • Ramon Figueroa

          No. Brad has to play the terrorist. We finally see the real person under all that adorableness.

          • We can have both things. The stylist has Brad as a boyfriend, and she discovers that he is a covert terrorist operative, using her wiles, she draws him into the plot. He agrees, and takes care of getting the device’s parts into NYC.

    • majorbedhead

      I’d watch that.

      • maggiemaybe

        Yeah, me too.

        • Aurumgirl

          Me three. But I’m convinced, unfortunately, that Hollywood will just ignore that script and make yet another Hulk/Superman/IronMan/Batman/comic book character franchise of rehash of an old TV show like the Lone Ranger.

          • Darren Nesbitt

            THIS! I’ve been listening to a few podcasts about screen writing while on the subway. The film producers I hear say that Hollywood wants to get as close to formulas as possible. Sadly that formula is to bring existing fandoms to screen. That only leaves comic books and old tv shows. 🙁

          • Aurumgirl

            It’s already true and has been true for many years. This is why television dramas have become so popular, and so good: all that real talent is writing for TV now. You couldn’t pay me to sit through a movie these days, no matter how many accolades people give it. It’s all same old, same old and rehash and frankly, not worth the price of admission.

  • Beth513

    Different shoes and I might just be buying what she’s selling.

    • 3boysful

      I thought the shoes were ugly–the shape somehow is wrong–in the first shot, before I saw what they were doing to her pauvre tootsies.

  • Jaeda Laurez

    I love the bottom half of the dress and her face- the top looks like a fashionista version of those capes they make you wear when you get your hair cut…it’s an “interesting” dress- not the same as a “good” dress, but I can see why she chose it.

    • PlethoraofBooks

      It’s because it is a cape! There were a few pictures with her out of the cape.

      • AmeliaEve

        Oh! I did find those now that you pointed it out. The dress is quite lovely on its own. The cape reminds me of something Audrey Hepburn would have worn.

        But really, this is the exact same (bizarre) shape as that Balenciaga top that Elizabeth Olsen was wearing at Comic-Con yesterday. It’s clearly a thematic silhouette for them this year.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I like how she’s pulling off that dress, except for the shoes. This dress needs silver sandals.
    ETA: I also wish the pink lining hit just above her knee, so the dress didn’t stumpify her

    • MilaXX

      I would love silver sandals with this.

  • Coleen

    I understand why she’d want to go with those shoes. It’s an Ode to Silly Putty.

  • BKagainwiththesweatpants

    The Duchess would pronounce this “strictly MOB.” And especially with this atrocity next to Goddess Tilda. I have a sad.

    • pookiesmom

      I would love to meet the woman who would wear this batshit experimental gown to her daughter’s wedding. I will come with adoption papers in hand and we will ride off into the sunset together on a unicorn.

  • Courtenay P

    Fashion. I pretty much like it. Agree that the shoes are a tragedy. She is gorgeous.

    • Adriana_Paula

      Exactly. Fashion. I love it. (Except for the shoes.) We all know she’s got a great body; I like that she doesn’t feel she has to prove it by wearing something skintight every time she leaves the house. I like that couture can be about something else besides proving that rich people have been to the gym.

  • ToothCake

    Like a beautiful jellyfish. 🙂

    • AmeliaEve

      I was thinking more some sort of hermit crab, with tendrils emerging from a shell. I would love if she had played it completely Under the Sea style. I normally loathe transparent shoes, but they would be perfect with this, I think.

    • Adriana_Paula

      I love jellyfish! Now I like it even more…

  • MilaXX

    I kinda like the dress for all it’s weirdness. It’s something I’ve come to expect from a Cate or a Tilda. I even like how the earrings call to the frou frou on the skirt. The shoes however, are an abomination unto the lord. I don’t mind toe cleavage, it’s just that these shoes are ugly.

  • MoHub

    Dress is terrible, but Cate overcomes it just by being Cate.

  • clairellis

    Her face says, ‘I dare one of you mother fuckers to say something about my dress. I will cut I bitch in five seconds flat. I’m fabulous.’ Having said that, the dress is scary but her face is heaven.

  • call_me_schmeg

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmhmmm…. figs.

  • Rand Ortega

    Mars MOB. Your movie idea beats the crap out of what the suits are pulling out their keisters these days.

  • Just Me

    It does make her look like she’s pregnant. I think that is contributing to the angelic/glowing/bringer-of-life vibe. That being said, she is not pregnant and the dress makes no sense in that context. She looks lovely and the dress doesn’t take away from that, but it is a very odd choice. Strangely twee. And let us not speak of the shoes. They are ugly.

  • LipstickForPigs

    She’s like The Creature from the Fab Lagoon.

  • Ron Zank

    If the shoes were better and if the skirt and the crafty overlay weren’t different shapes and lengths, I could almost (almost) forgive the opera costume qualities of the top.

  • hmariec19

    Ok, so can someone explain to me the protocol on toe cleavage? I have fairly long toes for my shoe size (6.5 – 7), so I always end up having a little bit. Is it really that big of a deal? Am I making the Gods of Taste weep with my horrific shoe choices?

    • Qitkat

      I am theorizing here, wildly, as I don’t wear heels, but I think toe cleavage is fine, if it appears that the shoes fit you correctly. However Cate’s feet look mashed, squished and squashed, and wrinkled to be crammed into too pointy of shoes, with 2 inches left over so her feet appear gigantic. Can’t possibly be comfortable. Then again maybe this is just the usual poor shoe design from the overlords of the shoe world.

      • Kayceed

        I think Quitkat is right on. I actually like toe cleavage on a low-cut vamp, as long as the toes aren’t tortured.

  • Frank_821

    Well the dress is editorial. But there is definitely too close to a skin match. Maybe the whole dress is a couture nuclear device meant to be set off during fashion week

    • kimmeister

      Yes, the whole effect is that of a vision in peach from hair to toe.

  • Cloveradams

    The peachy shade of that dress is lovely with her coloring. The bottom was clearly inspired by the Tree of Souls from Avatar, and it’ d be perfectly apt for a lot of blue people to be swaying and chanting at the feet of the goddess that is Cate.

  • I am looking at her FACE and I am thinking, she’s going to be the Evil Stepmother in the new Cinderella. Nicole Kidman was sort-of evil witch in Compass, Angelina Jolie is going to be Maleficent, and Julienne Moore is in the new 7-son-something. Also there’s Charlize. Now I want a movie with all of them as evil witches together :)) Who’s gonna be the baddest of them all?

    • StellaZafella

      Thus is Galadriel…she puts all the others to shame.

      • SewingSiren

        I offer Tilda Swinton as the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
        EDit: and Helen Mirren as Morgan Le Fey in Excalibur.

        • StellaZafella

          No offense intended. I didn’t forget…it’s just that this post is about Cate…that, and I’m an old Tolkien buff from the first printing of The Hobbit and the Lord of the rings.

        • I agree. But then The Tilda will steal all the attention anyway.

  • I weep for her feet. Because, as you say, since she is la Blanchett, I was swept up in the dream, but the shoes were a screeching alarm.

  • Qitkat

    I love the skirt, hate the top and the shoes. But what really makes me want to strangle a unicorn is the peachy tentness of Cate, all billowing in her sameness of color. Arrrrrgggghhhh!

  • I don’t so much mind the shape of this dress, but I feel like it calls out for dangly earrings and maybe a few loose tendrils of hair to balance the bottom’s wildness with the top’s primness. That said, I’m not wild about the dress, and the shoes are sad.

  • GillianHolroyd

    That face! It’s worth it just for that 2nd photo.

  • YourLibrarian

    Well, at least everything above the neck is perfection.

  • Danielle L

    Ship this back to La Swinton, dear.

  • alyce1213

    Love the dress, hate the shoes.

  • Introspective

    this pink shit is cray. but boy does cate give good face. she could be wearing bubble wrap and duct tape and the bitch would still float in with posture for the gods and give a stare into the cameras that could literally crack stone.

  • Sara Brams-Miller

    Yeah her shoes do not fit her. However, she is a goddess. Done.

  • Judih1

    Agree with everything you said and also think the color is not flattering at all.

  • YoungSally

    I know that stockings are not popular in the summer — but this photo of Cate’s poor feet shows the advantages of a donning a whisper-thin stocking — covers a multitude of squished-feet sins.

  • HobbitGirl

    The dress is weird, but that shade of pink is lovely with her complexion.

  • GorgeousThings

    Presumably this is not a unicorn that we want to PUNCH IN THE FACE, HARD, amiright?

  • Everything is amiss, including her hair, plus everything that you said. I gotta love her for willing to take chances.

  • Murtada

    this dress is perfection … the premiere was at MOMA and this belongs in a museum – fantastic – did you see the photos without the cape?

  • Dan_In_NYC

    Love the underskirt and don’t think it looks crafty… but that outer pregnancy mullet business over it, not understanding that at all. The color and fabric are beautiful but the shape and proportion are puzzling.

    There are plenty of words for those shoes – none of them good.

  • bertkeeter

    Jesus….what a travesty! This is a knock off of of a late Balenciaga 1960’s couture gown.. The origional was spectacular in it’s drama, execution and proportions. This is more like “Balenciaga for Kohls”! And whats with these shoes every star is wearing that punches up the toes into little bundles of Vienna sausages?

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Oh, no. Just no. And you know, I’m not a huge fan of The Swinton the way many of our BKs are, but I could see this on Tilda (in a different color, and without the lacy schmatta in the front) instead of Cate.

  • decormaven

    I could sign on for the entire look had a sparkly bracelet been added and a light strappy sandal employed. The shoes depicted here are Cruelty Shoes and should be packed off to Gwyneth or some other annoying star. Not for Cate!

  • deltabronze

    How do you go anywhere in this dress? You couldn’t even sit down without creating creases everywhere, let alone use a seatbelt. Is she delivered standing up in a van?

  • What a mess.

  • jen

    YES. I’ll ignore the painful looking shoes. She is magical.

  • Imasewsure

    Just seems weird for weirdsake and I don’t like it much. Her face and hair look lovely though

  • uprightcitizen

    I think one of the things that makes this so awkward is the color. It’s the same color as her skin and her hair, pretty much. And the effect is less ethereal … and more kind of sickly. If it had been rendered in an icy blue or green, it might be a little easier to take and look less maternity. That toe business is just tragic. It makes your feet look wrinkled, and therefore old. Why don’t more women get that? And you guys are right about the craft project aspect. There’s a bit of “Project Runway” glue-gun aesthetic about it that’s unfortunate.

  • CeeQ

    I would watch that movie. If JLo was the crazed stylist. How epic would that be?!?
    (Also, let’s not speak of this dress again….)

  • CommentsByKatie

    Actually I adore everything about this look. I could change the shoes, but I feel like the dress is so wild and sculptural and embellished that the shoes needed to be extremely plain.

    I’m with Cat Sweater Guy from last season of Project Runway; I like the idea that clothing should be about making something unique that the wearer feels beautiful in, and not necessarily focused on showing off one’s body. There is more to beauty than slim hips and abdomen. Cate’s type of beauty is Elven Unicorn Goddess beauty and this dress is showing that off in spades.

    • demidaemon

      I don’t mind the idea of a plain shoe. I actually kind of like the dress as fashion. I mean, mere mortals couldn’t pull it off, but it’s perfect for divas, fashion unicorns (such as Cate and Tilda), and drag queens. But the shoes are just torture devices.

  • d4divine

    If the top was poking out and was fitted to her body, I would probably like the dress. At present, she looks like she’s being digested by an alien…and the shoes…she grabbed those while running from the alien. Lol

  • LaSylphide

    The dress is kind of wearing her, instead of the other way around. If it looks this not great on her, what in heaven’s name would it look like on anybody else? Like La Swinton, La Blanchett is never dull, is she?

  • Pennymac

    The dress makes her appear to be trying just a little too hard.
    The shoes are a crime….

  • Michelle Wilson

    I’m in the minority. I think she looks gorgeous and I like women willing to wear sculptural garments that change their body profiles in substantial ways. I was a huge fan of Issey Miyake’s sculpturally pleated gowns back in the day and wish more designers and lady stars went there.

  • Zorkness

    This is what that latest styles are in Rivendell. Deal with it dwarves….

  • Gwyndall

    What baffles me is how dresses like this make it off the sketch pad to begin with!

    Cate looks lovely otherwise.

  • CommenterFormerlyKnownAsR

    okay, so I know the tendrils are all crafty and such, but I love them and covet them. And I’m not even a girly girl!

    but, yeah. Props for going out on a limb, but that shape is just…no.

  • snarkykitten

    Lady Galadriel’s “punk” days

  • jkatkins

    Well, to quote Our Lady of Fashionista Nina Garcia, it’s certainly “editorial.”

  • e jerry powell

    It’s actually the kind of look I could have seen Ann-Margret in back in 1973. With a matching petite Eero Aarnio ball chair. A whole late-sixties/early seventies vibe, but slightly off-balance.

  • LauraAgain

    I haven’t read through all of the comments yet, but on picture two, is that a stain on her left shoulder area? Looks like a water spot, or maybe something oily.

    Yeah, and otherwise it’s a big fail. The color does nothing for her.

  • PrunellaV

    10-months-pregnant mother of the bride.

  • ampg

    I really just think the proportions on this are wrong. The top should be shorter in front and the skirt should be longer. And the shoes have to go. Then I think it would be pretty awesome.

  • Anniebet

    Dammit, I love this despite the baby bump comments and the shoes. She looks incredibly lovely, all aglow and serene.

  • DilettanteDeconstructed

    Shape issues aside, I adore that color on her. It’s monochromatic, yes, but lovely.

  • MissAmynae

    Shame there’s no pics of the dress without the cape. I think that’s what people are finding too “out there.”

    I love this. An updated version of Balenciaga’s iconic coats and yes, capes. Cape the Great!

  • the color is lovely on her, and i could deal with the silhouette, but those embellishments look like they came from jo ann’s fabrics…do you have joann’s in the east? it’s a cheap and very crafty chain of fabric stores.

  • I think what makes it look bad is, again, the damn wide angle lens which is distorting her. I cannot for the life of me understand why, when red carpets are such big business, they do not give it enough space so photographers can use the proper (flattering) lenses. When I become President I will ban wide angle lenses on red carpets.

    If this was shot with the right lens it would look very old Hollywood (except for the shoes- nothing can help the shoes except maybe hose).


  • Seriously, did someone forget her shoes???? I could be ok with all of this with a light pair of summer sandals. WTF?

  • ailujailuj

    I love the overall “tone” – dress, hair, skin, makeup – it is all the same tone. oddly fascinating.

  • quiltrx

    She’s incredible, isn’t she? Absolutely luminous.
    I like it better without the cape/popover…if it were more literally a cape I would probably swoon at its awesomeness.
    I also found a picture of her in this, standing with Andrew Dice Clay, which proves how wonderfully angelic she truly is. 🙂

  • PeaceBang

    I have seriously considered this and concluded that this dress could have worked with different shoes. It looks great when she doesn’t pose with her hands at her belly, a la “blessed event.” Her face is radiant and I covet the earrings.

  • Darren Nesbitt

    I would love to see a pregnant woman in this dress.

  • SewingSiren

    I think it is.

  • guest2visits

    I mostly love this; although the shoes were a miss, they ARE off color and they look badly fit. The over-cape portion is too long imo but I bet it walks very dramatically. The under-dress is gorgeous.

  • marlie

    I could get on board with this if it weren’t for the shoes. Really. In an “ONLY Cate can wear this” sort of way.

  • hmatz

    I hate the silly putty matchy match shoes, and I wish the skirt weren’t so hot glued to high heaven, but I quite like the theory of this dress. I feel like it could have worked if the skirt had been simplified, and the cape-like effect of the top had been draped slightly differently, so that the flowing fabric stayed behind her instead of puffing out on the sides as much.

    But even if this is kind of cracktastic, I admire her for going outside looking like a crazy person and maintaining regal face.

  • VicksieDo

    The ONLY thing that messes this up is the shoes. Other than that, it’s a BOW DOWN. And she knows it.

  • boweryboy

    I would LOVE this if the tunic stopped at her waist, but making it floor length throws the proportions off.

    Outside of that I just love it.

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    She actually wore the dress without the gazar cape later on and ’twas divine.

  • MannahattaMamma

    agreed…that mystical mona-lisa-ish smile is really a teeth-clenched OMIGODMYFEETHURT