Cate Blanchett in Proenza Schouler at “The Monuments Men” NY Premiere

Posted on February 05, 2014

While many of the other nominees seem to be taking a breather at the moment, Cate’s red carpet dance card remains full. It helps if you’ve got a new movie opening during awards season.


Cate Blanchett attends “The Monuments Men” New York Premiere in a Proenza Schouler dress paired with Giuseppe Zanotti pumps and Chopard jewelry.

Proenza Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

We’re gonna be honest. We respect it, but we don’t much like it.

What we mean is, we truly appreciate that an A-List star will regularly wear outfits like this; unexpected, unusual for the red carpet and sometimes unheard-of for a mainstream movie star. Not that this is the edgiest thing in the world, but it’s certainly not the normal movie premiere dress. So attagirl, Cate. Push those boundaries.

On the other hand, this is dour and heavy and way too serious for any red carpet, we’re afraid. It’s an interesting look, and we really might have liked it better in a different setting, but it sure as hell isn’t a “Everyone should come out to see my movie” dress. Granted, she’s almost certainly being told to keep her  image as unfrivolous as possible, given the controversy surrounding Woody Allen. But we think this might be taking the seriousness a step too far.

We do love the way the model’s wearing it, though; with the boots.


[Photo Credit: Kristin Callahan/ACE/,]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Kathy_Marlow

    It makes her look like she’s gestating a human…which props to her if she is.

  • Adrianna Grężak

    The cheap belt ruins it

  • @Biting Panda

    Oooft. There’s so much going wrong here. The white trim of the shirt, the length of the skirt, she’s cut into odd thirds, and the weight of it all seems to be pulling her down. Maybe she’s just dressing on the outside, the way she is feeling on the inside, It’s all things dowdy.

    • zenobar

      “I wear black on the outside ‘cos black is how I feeeeeeel on the inside.” – Morrisey

  • Diego!

    She looks and has a very severe eyesight in this look, it’s kinda scary. This looks like old clothes, that’s why I’m not sure to approve either… Sorry Cate 🙁

  • This might be a magic art dress, where if you stare at it long enough totally different images appear.

    I’m saying no to the dress but a big YES to the makeup, that eye makeup is especially gorgeous. 🙂

  • zenobar

    The top might look quite smashing with a pair of very slim black pants, or a solid colored pencil skirt. The floofy skirt is taking it into Church Lady territory.

    • SugarSnap108

      Yes, a pencil skirt would help immensely. I called this one Barbara Bush territory, but Church Lady land might be better.

    • @Biting Panda

      nailed it

    • KinoEye

      “Well, isn’t that special?” Yep. Just give her Dana Carvey’s glasses from that sketch and you’ve got it. From her face in the pictures, it already looks like she’s lecturing us on Church Chat.

      • I’ve just realised – the dress is pure Dorothy Michaels.

        • KinoEye

          “I said good day, SIR!”

    • sojourneryouth

      I just can’t unsee the fact that from far away it looks like the whole schmatta is covered with hundreds of googly eyes. Maybe I watched too much Sesame Street back in the day.

      • zenobar

        “Eyeeeeees? Eyyyeeeeeees…EYES! Yuuuup, yup yup yupyupyup!”

        (In case you need a translation – and somehow, I don’t think you do – that was Sesame Street Martian-Speak for “Cate Blanchett is inexplicably covered in googly eyes.”)

      • zenobar

        I’d also like to express my delight in the fact that you “can’t unsee” those “hundreds of googly eyes.”

        God, I’m a dork.

        • sojourneryouth

          ….which is why I stated it as such. Thought I’d go for some Alanis-level misunderstood irony! And I prefer to think of you as quirky and intelligent, rather than dorky, my dear 🙂

    • Danielle

      Your avatar is my favorite, zenobar.

  • JulieTy

    The way the model is wearing it is a skosh better, but it’s giving me 1970’s Prairie Girl flashbacks.

    • Rhonda Shore

      It reminds me of yesterday’s Chloe Sevigny dress, which reminded me of Laura Ashley. I like it, but not for the red carpet.

      • MikeW_Vegas

        I, too, was wondering why Cate was wearing Chloe’s clothes. They’re not exactly in the same fashion wheelhouse.

    • kimmeister

      I was thinking, Little House on the Prairie at the funeral.

  • Kate Andrews

    Yeah. I hate to say it, but the word “frumpy” springs to mind.

  • Claudia Fernandes

    I think it is the very second time i don’t love a blanchett look. And the very first time I don’t like it. There is a heartbreaking first time for all.

  • DeniseSchipani

    It’s heavy looking, and it makes her LOOK heavy, and considering she’s practically hollow-boned, that means it’s one helluva lot of fabric and embellishment. It looks cool with the boots, though, on the model.

  • Needs better hair, brighter lipcolour, earrings that don’t echo the beading so exactly and slim black pants. And possibly a different backdrop – surely someone would have told her that she was going to be wearing black, white and gold in front of a black, white and gold backdrop?

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    It’s better with the boots!

  • SugarSnap108

    Oy. The ONLY way to make this work is with the boots. With the pumps, this is dangerously Barbara Bush-esque.

  • teensmom99

    She is taking a break: a break from her usual chic. If it makes CB look stumpy, it’s not a good idea. And why the black belt and plain black pumps?

  • It doesn’t really fit well, does it? Just too big all over to be flattering.

  • FrigidDiva

    This dress makes her look thick in the midsection and she most certainly isn’t. Way too much of that fabric. I think the top with a different bottom would have looked worlds better.

  • padma sallah

    She looks fine, with nothing wrong persay but I do not like this at all. The length is terrible and makes the dress look a little sister-wife. Also, that slit in the front of the skirt is kind of weird.

  • crash1212

    This dress NEEDS boots. And lipstick we can actually see.

  • I can’t find a thing to like about this look, really. She and the ensemble both look rather unhappy.

  • Jessica Freeman

    It’s funeral glam for Granny. It should be knee length dress with short sleeves.

  • Anna

    GOOD. GOD. CATE. What did they do to you?? You look like my second grade teacher. I didn’t like her.

  • EEKstl

    I think a major issue here is it’s just too large. If she went down a size or two it would have helped. I also think it would have upped the chic factor if she’d worn it with boots, a la the model.

    • Kate Andrews

      The boots help a LOT.

  • ojosazules

    It’s perfectly appropriate, considering the recent tragedy. But maybe I’m reading that in.

    • Catiline

      This occurred to me as well. I don’t care for the outfit but I understand why she went so somber.

    • cmb123

      I thought the exact same thing. Her friend has just suddenly passed, she was just at his home to pay respects to the family and now she is expected to pimp this movie. Somber was the way to go and i give her a pass

  • AC

    From the belt up, yes. From the belt down? NO. Just no.

  • Beth

    Little House on the Frumpy Prairie.

  • MilaXX

    I she didn’t want to copy the model’s version and wear boots. skinny pants might have been a better option. This just reads a dowdy & heavy.

  • Miss_Led

    Polka Dot Schoolmarm.

  • Kelly

    Up close, the detail is interesting. Move back a step or two, and it just looks like weird polka-dotted PJs. The shoes look both uncomfortable and unsuitable; her feet seem wedged into them, like Cinderella’s step-sisters. Outside of a funeral or a murder trial (her own), I’m not sure in what other setting this outfit might have worked.

    • SouthernGirlRena

      I think it looks like the dress is covered in googly eyes, which could have been fun but didn’t work out that way. I do agree with everyone that boots helped a lot.

  • In_Stitches

    The slightly sheer sleeves make it look like she’s stretching out a cheap fabric and the skirt gives the look far too much visual heft. No bueno.

  • jilly_d

    Swing and a miss.

  • sagecreek

    A rare miss for Cate. The only thing saving it was the boots, which she opted not to deploy.

  • vitaminC

    I thought it was covered with googly eyes. Now that I see it’s not, yeesh. That is one ugly dress.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      I think googly eyes would have been a vast improvement…

    • tigerlglily

      I thought the same thing! Maybe it could be comment on our current-nsa state

      • vitaminC

        Or a reversal for the paps. “All eyes are on meeeee, but they’re looking at youuuuuu.”

    • AshleyDeHaye

      I thought it was too! I would have liked it better that way!

  • NDC_IPCentral

    With all those grommety things would she slide right off a hard-surface seat if she sat down? That embellishment looks noisy.

    Boots or no bare legs – a dark tight/stocking – instead would be more unifying. The bare leg, needle-thin heel on the pump and the hem length do her legs no favors.

    • Actually, coloured tights, maybe teal or magenta, would do very good things for this!

  • andi56

    Dowdy : (

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    I’m thinking this has more to do with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. She was snapped taking gifts to his children the other day so clearly there seems to have been a bond there. Maybe bright, fun colors and silhouettes just don’t appeal to her today, and I can give her a pass on that,

    • makeityourself

      Look at her eyes. She’s probably just getting through the day, feeling immense sadness.

    • Carolyn

      He directed “True West” for the the Sydney Theatre Company ( which Cate and her husband Andrew run) and also directed Andrew’s play “Riflemind” in London.
      From all accounts they were very close.

      • demidaemon

        Hmmm, that’s certainly possible. He’s actually native to my part of the woods, so the news stations really played up his death. It’s really unfortunate any way you look at it, losing such a talent in such a sad and unavoidable way.

  • carolynmo

    I am not crazy about the dress; it’s not flattering to her at all.

    Slight side note: go see the movie–the book was terrific! And speaking of books, I’m loving yours, Uncles!

  • Betsy

    It pains me to say it but I hate it.

  • gabbilevy

    I had to go back and check that this wasn’t the same dress we saw Chloe Sevigny wearing yesterday, and all things considered, that’s probably not a good thing.

    • Anna

      “Would Chloe Sevigny wear this?” should be the benchmark by which ladystars (and the public at large) should use when getting dressed. If the answer is yes, run shrieking for the hills.

      I could DEFINITELY see Chloe wearing this.

  • Tatiana Luján

    My great grandmother used to wear dresses like this one all the time.

  • Lori

    It hurts me to say this, but I sort of like it on the model, but I don’t like it at all on Cate. It doesn’t fit her correctly and those shoes aren’t working with it. The only thing that makes me feel a little better is that Cate seems to agree with me. She is not giving off the “I feel fabulous” vibe at all.

  • MoreShoes

    I prefer it with the boots and dark hair.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    I agree with you on all counts, especially about wearing it with the boots. That said, god I love her face. She looks so lovely from the neck up.

  • Danielle

    Needs a boot or a higher hemline.

  • Blair Sylvester

    I feel like this is the better working version of Chloe Sevigny in the Rodarte . I like the dress itself better and I like Cate about a million times better

  • Roz

    It’s not aesthetically pleasing.

  • Qitkat

    I’m inclined to agree with those who think that she dressed more somberly because of the sudden recent death of her good friend. Everything about this look reads, I’m sad both on the inside and the outside, but the show must go on. Her face is almost tragic in its beauty and gloom.

  • Poeta Paz

    Love it on the model, but I think is too big for her. I very much dislike Woody Allen. Sorry Cate, I won’t see your film.

    • Qitkat

      This is not the Woody Allen movie.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    I wish the bottom of the peplum/shirt wasn’t lined in that white fabric. I think it would have looked better without it.

  • VicD

    I much prefer this with the boots, but then it’s kind of a like an updated Cossack look – all you’d need is the fur hat. What if this were worn with a colorful belt and/or shoe? Maybe not color blocked, but something with just a stripe of color like an electric blue or true red against all that black and white? However, I love the goddess Galadriel – she can do no wrong. Perhaps she was tired … maybe even elven deities need a rest sometimes?

  • Wendi126

    Nellie Oleson realness

  • lobsterlen

    Is it me? The dress is looks too large on Cate. Certainly the boots make it work.

  • Found myself shouting NOOOOOOO! at the screen. I shall now be weeping intermittently throughout the day.

    • Melanie

      oh my god same. this woman could literally wear a burlap sack & be stunning, it takes a true clusterf*ck of a dress to eclipse her beauty so completely. jesus, the midsection…i can barely look at it :{

  • Monica

    What’s going on with these style of dresses? Totally reminds me of the type of dresses that the Anna and Mrs Hughes wear on ‘Downton’. Kind of a below-stairs-puritanical chic look.

  • marlie

    I prefer this much more on the model than I do on Cate. On Cate, the top seems a little too bulky. I could maybe get behind it if it fit her the same way it fits the model. And I like the boots with it, too.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    With the boots, prairie girl. With the shoes, prairie school marm. A little too early ’80s for me.

  • ballerinawithagun

    I loved the thumbnail, fabric looked fabulous! But this is one of those times where panels of this fabric would be much better than a whole ensemble. Modern princess seams, a panel of this fabulous fabric down the middle, black for the sleeves and side panels, maybe black and white stripes inserted for good measure.

    • boweryboy

      I like where you’re going with that. As it is, it a whole lotta look for one outfit.

  • Chaiaiai

    Hmm, was this before or after Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death? Because that might explain it, as they were close friends and maybe she just said “fuck it”? I agree, this isn’t her best look.

  • Stella Zawistowski

    Ooh, not even she can make this one work for me. Heavy and dour and sad.

  • BayTampaBay

    This is a clear miss. She looks awful.

  • boweryboy

    She’s slipping a bit on the style front, no? I only hope she’s waiting to pull out the big guns as the Oscars get closer.

  • I can’t. She looks like she’s covered in barnacles.

  • allcapsERINN

    God no. Take it away.

  • cocohall

    I bet this is a textile that is fabulous up close. But they should have done some polaroids and realized that it just isn’t translating to the red carpet. The proportions just don’t work on her either with the length of the tunic and the skirt. I do feel a bit bad for Cate that she is getting called out during this public shaming of Woody Allen. It is impossible to know where the truth lies in this situation, but dragging others into a private family matter is not helping anyone. Cate was very gracious in her statement about how she hopes the family finds some peace, which made me love her even more.

    • demidaemon

      I loved her statement. She’s a class act, the whole way round. I read her profile in Vogue when I was at the hairdresser’s Friday and was blown away again by her class and demeanor.

  • DaringMiss

    It may just be the lighting, but her makeup makes her look corpse-like.

  • I’d replace the skirt with skinny black pants. Still serious, but slightly edgier.

  • Matthew Davie

    Downton Abbey’s Mrs. Hughes called. She wants her outfit back.

  • megohd

    Catholic school principal. (Possibly a former nun.)

  • Downright frumpy. Don’t like.

  • Malibufire

    Little House on the Prairie schoolmarm funeral.

    • 3boysful

      I was thinking the edgy sister-wife in the commune. A rare miss for Cate.

  • Christin Pardy-Nosenchuk

    definitely better with the boots.

  • Paula Pertile

    I’m trying to figure out the graphics on all those little button thingies. And are they actually 3D?

    • I think so – it’s like a stack of different shaped beads. A round flat grey, round flat white, square grey, spherical gold, then a tiny black one on top.

      • Paula Pertile

        Thanks. Wow, your eyes are way better than mine!

  • fauxfatale

    I seriously thought those were googly eyes

  • Cheryl

    Nooooooo. Very school marmish and not in a good way. Slightly better on the model because of the boots.

  • jw_ny

    This really is frumpy, and her hair and shoes add to that. I’d like to see the top paired with skinny black pants and boots, and a bolder black leather belt…to edge it up. That graphic looks like it’d be very cool when seen in person.

  • gloriana232

    I feel like I would have liked this more if it was just a long gown. I like the neck and sleeves and texture. It’s an “interesting” dress. But the two pieces, plus a crappy belt, and the middling hemline make it super grandma. And not your awesome stylish one.

  • quiltrx

    The design idea (trim/embellishments) is edgy, but the shape is not. I like the top from the waist up, but it all goes frumpy from there down. The top might have been better with some solid ladypants…not sure.

  • madge

    add a wider belt (a nice thick one) and some knee high boots and i think she’d be looking pretty awesome.

  • mjude

    I only like from the belt up. I am sad now

  • tereliz

    I think it DEFINITELY needs tall boots to give it some funk. The pumps are so conventional they’re sucking all the edge out of the dress. And the top seems too drapey on her, not as sleek as on the model.

  • Anglow

    I find her eyeliner intriguing. The fourth picture down shows clearly how it is drawn in a curve over the inner eye, rather than following the actual shape of her eye. I have never seen that done before!

  • fringebenefit

    It’s absolutely gorgeous on the model…the look is just wrong for Cate…and ill-fitting to boot. As Zenobar says below–the top paired with slim black pants would be killer.

  • Judy_S

    Ugh. This looks like the couturiere got bored about halfway down, or maybe those buttons or studs stressed the sewing machine? Well, I suppose one has to make do…

  • Lilithcat

    Definitely way better with boots. And it looks too big on her.

  • I went from “oooh cool” to “meh” as I scrolled down. Gorgeous face & hair, interesting top, then lost me at the droopy bottom hem and shoes that look like she borrowed them the “gotta go to a client meeting” portion of my closet.

  • ChelseaNH

    I much prefer it with the boots. It goes sort of Nouveau Prairie, which is at least something other than “dark and shapeless.”

  • decormaven

    “Dour” is perfect descriptive. Not worthy of Cate. Will pretend I didn’t see this.

  • Jecca2244

    she gets a pass from me for the next few days at least. must be hard to lose a friend and costar as brilliant as PSH.

    • Carolyn

      Was about to say the same thing, she has just come from visiting his widow and their children. Clothes are probably the last thing on her mind.

    • Cate

      Exactly! She’s in mourning. I don’t blame her at all for wearing something somber and conservative.

  • crush on you

    Ok, I like to think that Ms Blanchett is not only really savvy fashion-wise, but also extremely cool and edgy. So I fantasize that she was told to look serious for this and she’s just taking that to an absurd extreme just to make fun of/spite these persons. Also, as I haven’t had the time to really look closely at those button-like appliqués, I fantasize that they’re something high-tech-clothing related, like when turned on they project images around her or something. So I ran out with this one, ok? I still love her, and her makeup is flawless.

  • MM4321

    A few inches longer and she’d look Amish. Just pop one of those little white caps on her head and she’s ready for the “Witness” remake.

  • trisker

    House of Dowdy

  • frannyprof

    Wow. this is incredibly dowdy and unflattering.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Trendy pilgrim.

  • Shawn EH

    Poor Kate, she’s looking tired of all the hooplah at the moment. Not the way to ramp up to the Oscars. And is that thing covered in buttons? How uncomfortable! The model’s boots help a lot.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    This looks too big for her and the sleeves on the model are more sheer (maybe that’s just the lighting). Face is a little colorless.

  • Trickytrisha

    First big Nope for me from She Who Can Do No Wrong (Usually).

  • Singularly unpleasant looking dress, and ill-fitted too. Ugh.

  • unbornfawn

    The hair and the shoes take it to “granny” Her face is fierce.

  • E. D.

    Would have been better with pants and without the belt.

  • LeelaST

    Interesting, looks good on the model, but Cate is every inch “Edgy School Marm.”

  • LaSylphide

    The proportions look off on Cate. Much better with the boots.

  • suzq

    Skirt’s too long. If you’re going to wear a skirt that long, boots is one way to go. Also color. Where is it? She needs a pop of color somewhere.
    Woody Allen? Who cares? Cate’s performance was brilliant and she enjoys working with Woody as much as Mia Farrow enjoyed working with Roman Polanski. Last time I checked, Mia’s still defending Roman and his charges were proven.

  • conniemd

    Really awful looking dress and hate the length, makes her look thick around the middle. I’ve noticed that sometimes she has a thing for busy looking dresses with with geegaws or fine details in a courture look. Can’t tell if these are sewn n sequins are part of the print, but it reminds me of that dress she wore (Valentino?) where she was in stage in the round with like quilting sewn on.

  • Gatto Nero

    This goes a bit “sister wife” for me — though it’s better with the boots, and yes, I do respect her for taking risks.

  • hmb

    She and Chloe must be swapping frocks.

  • Theresa Whittaker

    With the boots…Sundance.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    Miss Crabtree in the 21st Century.

  • snarkykitten

    This is a look that cries for different colored separates.

  • KT

    Cate, I love you, but this is downright frumpy. The hem is a bit too long, the styling is only adding to the prudishness of the dress, and this definitely called for boots. And I agree – even the best version of this is not right for a movie premiere (even though the movie is apparently not very good).

  • Aurumgirl

    This dress is so mumsy that it even makes Cate’s ankles look thick. Even with the boots, it’s incredibly aging.

  • demidaemon

    Mmmm….no. I love Cate, but I unreservedly hate this ugly, matronly dress.

  • bertkeeter

    Looks like a poor MCQUEEN wanna be!

  • judybrowni

    Yeah, the prairie wife thing works better with boots, and if it’s not a size too large, and hell, this is an office dress, maybe — not red carpet.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Definitely not my favorite of hers. I respect that it has sleeves and she doesn’t look naked, but still… Too much Norma Shearer in 1942.

  • tallgirl1204

    I used to wear an outfit very much like this to teach junior high math in the mid ’80s in Minnesota. I cannot sign off on this as fashionable or stylish. It looks comfortable and slightly frumpy, as a junior high math teacher sometimes is.

  • Patrick Cleary

    The boots totally throw the dowdiness on its head. I love all the buttons, though.

  • Good grief!

  • lobsterlen

    Not sure anyone mentioned this yet but that the dress is a high fashion Cockney button costume.

  • Jean Beaton Leavitt

    It must not photograph well…or you have to be a size subzero.

  • DesertDweller79

    Yeah, it would have been a lot better with the kind of boots the model is wearing.

  • Mara Jose Benites

    I think if she had her hair down, the dress shorten a little, it would look better. I actually love the fabric and her make up is gorgeous. Overall it is a nice, edgy look, but she can do better.

  • mickiemonkey

    This is a PMS outfit when you hate everyone but Ben and Jerry.

  • pookiesmom

    Matronly. This is terrible.

  • DeTrop

    Too much dress. It’s not flattering. Big miss imo.

  • kerryev

    She looks amazing but it’s pretty hideous. The fabric looks pretty in the closeups.

  • lesmaha

    No alibi. It’s ugly.

  • Cecilia Lin

    Googly eyes dress?!

  • scoobynacks

    The hem on the top piece is wrinkled, and the overall vibe is ‘sister wife got dressed for a funeral but fell into a pile of thumb tacks.’ The funeral vibe is probably PSH related, but dress somberly without frumping it up.

  • AnneElliot

    I love her but I hate that dress — it’s making her look heavier and I’m darn sure she’s whippet-thin. The length of the skirt is wrong and boots would have helped immensely.

    I did watch Blue Jasmine over the weekend and she was just brilliant in it, as was Sally Hawkins. I know many people dislike Woody Allen but she really and truly deserves the Oscar for that role, she was brilliant.

  • Needs narrow black pants.

  • yethica

    I desperately want this to be a pencil-shaped dress that ends at the knees. I feel like that would justify the belt and the high neck, but maybe I’m crazy… no wait… I know I am.

  • DominoEstella

    I like the model’s styling better.

  • e jerry powell

    It’s Laura Ashley on Xanax.

  • Ah… no.