Cate Blanchett in Givenchy at the 2014 AACTA Awards

Posted on January 30, 2014

The DIVA almost makes this work, but this is the second time this week we’ve had to say no to one of those plunging, squared-off necklines. It’s just not a great look, no matter who’s wearing it.




Cate Blanchett attends the 3rd AACTA Awards held at The Star in Sydney, Australia in Givenchy.

Givenchy Spring 2014 Collection


There’s a lot to like here. The colors are unusual, the skirt is crazy dramatic, and the touches of leather add some edge. But that bust is terrible. And we really hate to say it, but the makeup’s underwhelming and the hair’s a right mess.

Cate, you’re exhausted. Skip an awards show or two and save your energy for the Oscars.



[Photo Credit:, IMAXtree]

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  • Jessica Freeman

    The sexy time hair is not helping. It’s a shame the neckline is so bad, because the skirt of the dress is exquisite.

    • bellafigura1

      I think the hair makes it.

      • fursa_saida

        Yeah, I love the hair. All windblown and carefree.

        • mlle

          I love the hair as a discrete entity, but I don’t think it works with the dress.

      • alliekat9090


  • Karen Belgrad

    Is this the Amy Adams/American Hustle effect?

    • bellafigura1

      Totally. I pointed that out a few weeks ago myself. Seventies redux.

      • Gatto Nero


    • Seems a shame that the Great Gatsby effect last year didn’t last longer.

      • lbl

        Well damn, I didn’t even know there was one. Any highlights?

        • Not really – before it was released there were a few predictions that flapper style was going to be big, but it didn’t eventuate much. The odd waistless lace frock. The current hand jewellery trend I think is the only remnant.

          • Sarah

            I thought that too – I think it was wishful and not actual.

          • demidaemon

            Love your use of “eventuate.”

  • @Biting Panda

    Et tu, Brute?

  • In_Stitches

    I mean, yes….everything you said is true and valid, but I love that dress. The colors, the shaping along the shoulder, the flow of the skirt, it’s artwork. I understand why her desire to wear it overrode her need for it to flatter.

    • filmcricket

      And at least she dispensed with whatever that hip fringe is on the runway version.

    • bellafigura1

      Agree, it would have been gangbusters with a deep V. I love the sandals, and i LOVE THE HAIR. She looks like she was drinking and everything else in the limo and who wouldn’t.

      • conniemd

        My first thought was how terrific this dress would have looked with a v neck. There is nothing sexy about sternums. That dress is so eye-catching and I couldn’t take my eyes off the skirt with its amazing colors.

        • Lizzyisi

          Yes. A plain old plunging V would have made this amazing. That skirt is mesmerizing.

        • jen_vasm

          Gorgeous dress, but it’s giving Kate a bad case of sadboob. The bodice design needs a bit of retooling to accommodate anyone larger than a AAA cup.

  • OH GOD she even wore the hideous sandals from the runway version.

    • Mismarker

      Beaded Jesus sandals. I can’t with this.

    • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

      I don’t think so. If you look at the last photo, I think I see a heel peeking out from under the back hem.

      • I think you are right. Which makes it even worse – she actually looked for hideous heeled beaded Jesus sandals.

        • Kathy

          She “has given us a sign. The shoe is the sign…”

        • mlle

          They look to me like regular beaded gold sandals. I’m hoping, since we can’t see it, that her straps are less Jesus-y than the model’s.

    • MilaXX

      UGH! Really? Those shoes along make this an OUT for me.

    • Kathy

      Not sure, but I think they are different hideous sandals.

    • deliadee

      At least her face isn’t blue.

      • True. Although I actually prefer the colour of the runway version. I think that red is nicer than her yellow.

    • CelandineM

      Whatever is on the model’s feet need to be burned asap. Who would even make those atrocities?

  • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

    Something About Mary hair.

    • StillGary

      Aaaaaarg, you beat me to it by like what? 2 minutes? 🙂

  • Kathy

    The color is good, but… what you said.

    • Rhonda Shore

      Overall the dress has the effect of making Kate look matronly, despite the neckline. She deserves better.

  • Mismarker

    A rare scroll-up fug.

  • Courtenay P

    problems or not, she is a goddess and I am living for this dress. and I like the JBF hair.

  • mommyca

    I love the messy hair… and it pains me to agree that the neckline is not right… too much front boob, side boob… not chic at all…

  • Square off that neckline about 3 inches up and we have a serious winner.

    • decormaven

      True! Such a shame that didn’t happen, because I like everything else about the gown.

  • raeb23

    that gorgeous skirt deserves a better bodice!

  • elemspbee

    what a shame. the bottom half of that dress is stunning.

  • Judy_S

    She looks so adorable in that last photo that I personally approve everything and thank T Lo for posting the pictures even with complaints.

  • MilaXX

    Why does fashion insist women not wear underwear? Hair and makeup are no bueno. Her eye makeup looks like she’s been rubbing here eyes and I don’t understand this hair.

  • Squareface

    With my thumb over the plunging neckline this whole look is a WERQ.

  • Anna

    I would like this a lot more if it was a halter. I’m not opposed at all to the Liza Minnelli in sequined Halston vibe of this dress and I love the leather accents.

    My hair looked like that when I got to work and removed my toque this morning.

    • filmcricket

      Upvoted for the halter idea and the use of “toque.”

    • ailujailuj

      agree with the halter modification… I do love the chartreuse version better than the model’s. Her makeup looks outstanding – hair got mussed up while napping on the way over. poor girl, take a break….

  • Janet B

    I don’t mind her hair, but the bodice is horrible.

  • marlie

    There’s SO much about this dress that I love. The skirt is *gorgeous*. I don’t mind the squared-off deep neckline, either. What bugs me is the way it looks like the outside of her torso has so much bulk. Cate could have amped up the makeup and smoothed her hair, and I’d be all over this.

  • gayle

    I agree that the square shape of neckline is not great but I think she is making this whole look work. On a side note I finally got to see Blue Jasmine last night and man is she GREAT at what she does.

  • Betsy

    There’s also something about that high-ish waist and all that pleating that makes slim Cate look chubby. And hey, Designer! Yes, even YOU, Hubert de Givenchy!! If your dress makes *Cate* look chubby or preggo, you have some BIG problems with line and fit.

  • VioletFem

    The dress clashes with itself. Maroon and mustard yellow are not a good combo.

  • mjude

    i am sad Cate, since the sun will not be shinning today, i was hoping for more.

  • SugarSnap108

    No one can make the plunging, square neckline work. Why would you part your breasts like the Red Sea? It’s too bad, because I love that skirt.

  • rkdgal

    Two of my alma maters’ school colors were brown and gold — I should’ve worn this to graduation instead of that schmatta academic robe.

  • crash1212

    It looks god awful on the model. Less god awful on Cate. I hate the color combo on the Cate version, but I love her hair and makeup. *shrug* The plunging V (squared or otherwise) can’t die soon enough for me.

    • kimmeister

      I’m not loving either color combo. The model’s reads “yam” and Cate’s reads, uh, a number of other things. Let’s be diplomatic and say “rotten banana.”

  • Jecca2244

    i would LOVE to hear her secrets on getting through her constant back and forth travel to Australia.

  • kayleymaybe

    I’m not a huge fan of the square neckline either, but I tend to think a very small chested woman (like Keira Knightley) could make it work.

    And man, I wish I looked as good as Cate on my off-days…

  • jw_ny

    I’m with ya on disliking the deep plunging squared off necklines…pretty much feel that way on deep plunging necklines in general. It just says ‘look at my boobs’ rather than ‘look at me’. I’d have liked this gown with a more fitted, and less revealing, top. The color combination is interesting especially the way the pleats play with them.

  • Scott Cooper

    The only woman on the planet who make that neckline work is Kate Hudson. And maybe Gwyneth. Anyone larger than an A cup shouldn’t try.

  • stubbornthoughts

    Ahhhhh the potential of the dress is almost frustrating! I agree, the bust is all wrong. So disappointing. I love all the colors, textures, and drama.

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Wish she had used the same make-up as the model on the runway

  • Carly Clement

    I loved this look! Being an Australian I was so happy to see her arrive for the award show because she does so much work for the acting in Australia it was great! Also she prob came back to Australia to send her boys to start the school year off again 🙂 But about this dress… I think if the taping was fixed it would be so much better, and her hair looked better in other shots! Also, for the event, this was defiantly the best dress!

  • formerlyAnon

    I endore your “no” and I have grave doubts about the hair. I think those colors in that fabric are genius, though.

  • Diego!

    I have to say, though that cleavage is not working either (as in Alicia’s case) this is a stunning dress. Make us is on the soft side as it is her hair, but it looks great with such a shiny dress. I love how this looks on Cate so I’m gonna approve and say it’s an IN! 😀

  • Love the skirt, especially the way the gold builds up from the bottom—it totally caught me by surprise as I scrolled down. That square neckline is a total buzzkill 🙁

  • Marta Pozzan

    This might be a little too much on the front but I love the colors

  • The colors on her version are far better than the ones on the model. it looks like the skirt is a dream when in motion. I rather like the mussy hair but what’s up with the rat tail extension? Spot on about the makeup and her rather wan appearance. Girl needs a good night’s sleep.

  • Lilithcat

    Maybe she should wear that backwards.

    • Mara Jose Benites

      No please. It is backless…

  • Froggae

    Those colors!! FLOVE!

    Remember when Mykael Knight used that neckline in a Project Runway challenge and everyone was all a-chatter about taste level and “tacky”? Those were the days.

    • demidaemon

      True, but he usually paired it with a short skirt in not so luxurious fabric.

  • DesertDweller79

    Is it windy there? What is going on with her hair.

    I don’t like that kind of puke green/yellow in the skirt. I don’t think it matches the copper. Would have preferred the red in the original.

    If it had a V-neck, it would be great, though. Very close.

  • Jennifer McGuire

    Would love it forever with a v rather than that damn square neckline. LOVE the great big grin she’s wearing in the last picture – it’s like “photo face, photo face, photo face – ah, heck with it, SMILE!”

  • Nancer

    TLo, I totally agree with you on this plunging neckline. It is just the wrong shape to flatter a woman’s decolletage, and I think it should stop! The colors are fun, and the skirt is crazy dramatic. I can see why she picked this – just for the fun of wearing that skirt!

  • 3boysful

    I don’t know if this neckline is ugly because it looks unfinished, as if you tucked in a vest and forgot the shirt beneath, or that while a vee (even a plunging one) give off the aura of a glimpse, and this square one looks like curtains, as in “show’s in 5, people!”

  • Sam Smith

    If Cate can’t make that neckline work, than no one can. I really like this dress, except the neckline simply ruins it.

  • Qitkat

    Ditto. But I like her ‘don’t give a hang’ attitude about her hair being caught in a hay baler.

  • kt

    I love it. Victory lap for the chic-est warrior in the tribe.

  • Violentcello

    Khaleesi hopes to look this fabulous once she attains the Iron Throne. (I’ve only seen two seasons, so no spoilers!)

  • wisdomy

    Whoa… from the front, that’s all “Elbows, meet Boobs. Boobs, meet Elbows.”

    • Gerry Coleman

      She’s 44 years old. Her boobs and elbows don’t need any introduction.

      • wisdomy

        I disagree, and the side view proves me right. It’s the shape of the bodice in the front that’s the problem.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I like the unusual color combo, but when one of our fashion pantheon can’t make a dress work, then it’s time to get rid of the squared bodice.

  • JP

    Did she have sex in the limo before stepping out on the carpet? Or at least a nap? That’s what that hair looks like.

    I love the colors of the dress, though.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I can forgive everything but the bust. The colours are gorgeous on her.

  • fringebenefit

    I love the casual hair, the luminous skirt, even the understated make up…but that wretched bust sends it all to hell in a handbasket.

  • allcapsERINN

    That dress is awesome. I love her – she’s ferocious. She makes me feel better about my strange asymmetrical face.

  • Imasewsure

    Love the hair and makeup for a day look… weird ugly dress but lovely skirt. Try again designer without the Genie neckline

  • Shawn EH

    She looks a mess. The dress isn’t salvageable. Maybe she needed the blue mask accessory?

  • River

    There are a few things wrong here: the waist should be either higher or lower (and, if lower, alter the neckline), the way the fabric is wrapping across her chest is creating a weird, unflattering shape (kind of bulbous and poofy),and the lack of a true armhole to help the bodice have real structure and shape. And yes, the styling isn’t great. Too bad, because the fabric is AMAZING.

  • Betsy

    I. Cannot. Bring. Myself. To. Say. Anything. Bad. About. Cate. I am going to allow her great fashion leeway based upon all of her past ensembles.

  • dashwoodstole

    Normal neckline would make this dress incredible. Such a waste.

  • French_Swede

    She could be Claire Danes’ older sister. Love the dress, don’t mind the hair and makeup. I hate the neckline, it smooshes her boobs and looks like she forgot to put on her blouse.

  • Linda Swiontek

    I really hate seeing the under the breast fold on anyone.

  • Madam Von Sassypants

    Jesus, that dress is gorgeous. I 100% agree about the bust, but I’m too distracted by that sparkly amazingness. Adore that color combo.

  • acevedob

    Horrid horrid horrid. WTF Cate.

  • Andrea Lentz

    but the skirt is sooo beautiful and amazing. i need a skirt with colored pleats!

  • lunchcoma

    I don’t like the neckline as a general matter, but I’ll give it a pass here because everything else about the dress is so mindbogglingly gorgeous.

  • amf chase

    looking at the model – the plunging square neckline does appear to work if you paint your face blue – with that and the earthtones and leather (and awful awful sandals), was it meant to an interpretive high-end highlander menswear look? or maybe roman – the model’s version looks more roman with the ruffle at the waist. but maybe the neckline would work if you played it fierce and/or androgenous rather than sexy – or juxtaposed with the sexy feminity of the skirt – she’d need different hair/make-up/accesories/shoes.

  • Julie Parr

    Looks like it might work for a Mardi Gras ball of some sort.

  • Lilyana_F

    Nope, not feeling this one, sorry to say.

  • SierraDelta

    The fit at the shoulders seems off — they maybe extend slightly too far out over the tops of her arms? The diagonal panels in the front are just a skosh too wide as a result, and that makes Cate’s impressive bosom look very. . .ordinary. And awkwardly full too close to the waist. A better fitting top would improve the look and make the dress worthy of her.

  • If she can’t make it work, it can’t be done. Set it on fire and be done with it.

  • demidaemon

    yeah, that bustline is a big ol’ NO. It somehow looks worse on Cate here than it did on Alicia Keys. However, I love the fabric, details, and the entire bottom half. Hate the head styling, though.

  • lifeisastory

    I came here expecting to hate this. Every time Cate shows up, it seems like everyone here goes into a collective swoon and I just do not get it. However, I like this dress. Quite a lot, actually. Despite the ridiculous neckline which never looks good anyone, young or old.

    The yellow version is much better than the red.

  • kathryn_dc

    Past a certain cup size, one must eschew this neckline.

  • enuma

    I think the square neckline could have worked if it wasn’t for that awful, weird draping on her bust. It makes her chest look pendulous and heavy while giving the impression that her boobs are being pulled out in opposite directions. Like she’s wearing a pair of giant, sparkly prosthetic grandma tits.

  • livesarah

    It’s not even a shape that suits the model. That dress would be amazing with almost any other bustline.

  • Those martinis were just thuh BESHT!

  • quiltrx

    Weird Han Solo dress.

  • Saraswati

    Just so you all know, it was really windy in Sydney last night during the awards. Cate is lucky she didn’t end up in the Harbour

  • KT

    I actually totally love this and don’t think the neckline looks that bad. Besides, there’s so much else to drink in here – who cares about a slightly unflattering neckline? She is making this work.

  • lillyvonschtupp

    The skirt is incredible. But the top is ass.

  • MannahattaMamma

    It’s hard to imagine any female body that would benefit from that neckline: that weird under-boob top-of-ribcage area is NOT something to highlight. On anyone, even Cate.

  • CatherineRhodes

    How many awards shows are there? I’m starting to feel irrational celebrity pity at having to attend all those events…

  • Ann VerWiebe

    Thank you! I hate the plunging squared-off neckline! I have never seen a bust it helps – not even on the youngsters.

  • guest2visits

    The wide open plunging neckline is very unattractive yet on Cate it’s not all bad. The model is not so lucky.
    Mostly a beautiful dress but looks like it takes super-human powers to wear it right.