Oscars 2016: Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé

Posted on February 28, 2016

“Carol” actress Cate Blanchett attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.


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We were a little shocked when we ID’d this dress as Armani Privé. It’s not exactly the kind of look one automatically conjures up when you hear the brand’s name. But she not only wore Armani Privé  to the Oscars before, it was a dress not entirely dissimilar from this one. We were a bit underwhelmed then, but maybe she figured this was her lucky look, since she snagged herself a statue last time.

A dress like this can go south so easily if it’s styled badly or on the wrong wearer. The potential for mumsy tweeness overload is high. We’re talking about ten pounds of feather flowers on a dress the color of toothpaste, after all. But Miss Cate, God love her, knows how to make something like this look exuberantly chic. It’s a perfect case of the right dress on the right lady. And we were happy to see her ramp it up a bit this year, since last year’s Oscar dress was a bit underwhelming. It’s not quite a “WERQ!” moment, but she looks beautiful, if a bit safe.


Style Credits:
Armani Privé Seafoam Green Cap-Sleeve Mermaid Gown Featuring Clusters of Swarovski Crystals and Feathers
Tiffany & Co. Jewelry
Roger Vivier
Giuseppe Zanotti Shoes

[Photo Credit: Getty Images, INFphoto.com]

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  • Latin Buddy

    Love this. Great color…but does it look Mother of the Bride to anyone else?

    • Montavilla

      If the mother is Courtney Act.

      • Lilyana_F

        Spot on!

    • Ssquared1105

      Hell of a MOTB if she showed up to the wedding in this gown.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Oh,I can see a weeping bride if Cate sashayed in as MOB in this number with that jewelry. For me this is stunning.

    • Dino Bonačić

      YES! I liked her last year’s look WAAAY better. This is not high fashion nor in the Blanchett realms of FASHION! 🙁


    I thought this was so stunning on her but probably only her…….

    • Lucía Gavello

      Same here, she is the whole reason why I like this dress.

      • Vanessa Reyes-Weber

        Me too.

    • lundibleu

      Yup – I could see this working on a handful of people, and only them. Needs the right colouring and stature to work.

      • oneWEIRDword

        And the fit is beyond impeccible.

  • PlethoraofBooks

    I think the fact that there is color is what drives this over her dress last year.and I like the neck line better as well.

  • Jamie

    This was a reverse-Monet for me.
    From far away I was completely underwhelmed but up close it was a total wow. Her presence is amazing.

    • MaryMitch

      Agree – up close it was fascinating; from a distance she looked like something was growing on the dress.

    • Fitzperry

      I had the opposite reaction. Up close it’s too craft store floral dept for my taste. But from a distance her presence takes over and she looks amazing. Love the color on her.

      • gattita

        “craft store floral dept” is the exact phrase i was searching for…

  • Bernd

    One of my favs of the night. Unusual, fun and memorable. The proportions work like gangbusters.

  • Carrie

    She’s like, yeah, I got this. She looks fab.

  • Oft. I disagree. This is a Pinterest Easter decor fail, for me.

    • makeityourself

      There is nothing chic about this look at all. Aqua goose feathers, princessy shape, eh.

  • oh gosh, i love this one so much. it shows off her delicate coloring and her gorgeous figure perfectly. that color was made for her.

    • ljh

      Completely agree. Delicate, feminine, chic and so very figure-flattering.

    • kimmeister

      Just look at that waist!

      • PinkyAndNoBrain

        That’s a waist most people can only dream of. Drag queens cinch their ribcages shut for that waist.

  • Magpi

    I’ve been waiting for this post to see if you guys thought it was as ridiculous as I did… Guess we will agree to disagree.

  • My first reaction was “ohhhhh…no.” And then, my mind was changed because of the presence she is wearing it with. Well done.

    (And the accessories are awesome.)

    • TropiCarla

      That bracelet is mesmerizing!

  • Janet B

    Pretty, but not as fabulous as I expect from her.

  • Anna

    It reminds me of a 50s bathing cap, and yet I like it.

    Underwhelmed by a lot of the looks tonight, but there has been some spectacular jewelry and her earrings are one of my favourites this evening.

    • AnneElliot

      Totally getting the 1950s bathing cap vibe now!

    • StrictTime

      Love the earrings, but they are too busy for the dress.

  • AnneElliot

    That’s a lot of foofaraw, but she’s working it, and the earrings are KILLER.

    • Donna Tabor

      Killer, indeed.

    • Nancy Arseneault-Heald

      How does one sit on so much foofraw? Her ass must have been indented with that pattern for the rest of the night.

      • AnneElliot

        I thought the same thing about Brie Larson’s bejeweled belt. Must have been poking her all night long unless she had amazing posture!

  • MariaCookie

    The colour looks great (as do her hair and jewellery), but I just can’t with the hot glued flowers.

  • Scimommy

    I have a visceral negative reaction to the dress, and I can’t quite figure out why. Something about the combination of pale blue and those feathers is creeping me out.

    • cousinelizabeth

      I have the same negative reaction. It reminds me something, maybe one of those cute cupcake’s decor, I don’t know.

  • RPC

    Not many women can pull off a “put down the glue gun” dress. But Cate can!

  • marlie

    I LOVED it. This was my favorite dress of the night. I thought it was beautiful.

  • Anon33guest

    I think her hair is what makes this dress work. The chic bob adds a elegance to what could have been a very twee dress

  • In_Stitches

    This is her silhouette. A deep v dress with strong shoulders that nips in at the waist and flares out from there. She’s worn it to stunning effect many a time and it works yet again. Love the bold color choice. It’s a WERQ for me.

    • GillianHolroyd

      I am in awe of that neckline curving into the waist.

  • steeg of their own

    I’d love to see some before-and-after pics of this dress being cut and sewn, because it’s got to be hiding a TON of corsetry under there to give her that silhouette. You can’t see a bit of it on the outside, though, because the drape is so good. #flawlessconstruction

    • KateShouldBeWorking

      For realz. Her waist looks amazing.

  • FuhUgh

    My take on this was “flawless” – but clearly mine is just one of many different opinions. I love this though.

  • Imasewsure

    I liked this a lot more once I saw all the boring sh$t everyone else wore… color, feathers, beautiful plunging neckline (done right)… it’s a cut above fine and this year it’s enough to set her apart

  • lunchcoma

    Not my favorite look of the (rather dull) night, but good all the same.

  • BlackCatBitch

    Its all about the starfish bracelet for me.

    • TropiCarla


  • N

    This is heavenly, delicate, artful – the colour is fresh and unexpected, the silhouette is gorgeous. The look is unexpectedly beautiful and Oscars-appropriate. She is hypnotizing.

    • N

      she looks like a porcelain statuette, and I like her new haircut.

  • Poeta Paz

    If the appliqués were only on the top part I would like it better. But she looks beautiful and not because of the dress, her persona is angelic, unreal, out of this world.

  • sugarkane105

    WERQ that ethereal garden elf realness. I loved it.

  • Stuart Miller

    I can deal with the feathers around the shoulders but the rest of it is way too much. Have to agree that the style and color work beautifully for her, but just too fussy for my taste.

  • That’s a lot of dress, and I can’t imagine it looking anything but laughable on someone besides Cate. But the cool blue-green is beautiful on her, and her earrings are to die. Not sold on the hair.

  • Nerka2

    None of us watching the Oscars liked the dress, although we did like the color. It just looked like Kate rolled in toilet paper before coming on stage.

  • Spreecord

    I appreciate that the style is reminiscent of the floral embellishments and yards of taffeta so often found in 50s couture without being literal. And the construction is to die for.

  • lifeisastory

    There’s something a little Mae West about it. (I think it’s the off-the-shoulder with feathers thing). I don’t usually understand Cate’s fashion, but this is pretty.

  • Lauren

    She looks like an extremely beautiful cake with flowers made of fondant. All night my friend and I called her Cake Blanchett.

  • Grazi diMenti

    Man this dress is beautiful with her coloring and complements her eyes and her figure looks amazing.

  • smh4748

    I love this, though the piles of feathers in the shoulder region could have been toned down. I’m also really underwhelmed by her hair. Those quibbles aside, I think this is gorgeous and she’s wearing the hell out of it.

  • fairphantom

    I think she looks absolutely magical. One of my favourite looks of the night.

    • N

      “Magical” is the right word.

  • Synnamin

    stunning. one of the few women who can wear a neckline that low and still make it seem chic instead of cheap

    • steph

      I think the neckline works because its not overly baring, and is tasteful.

  • CassandraMortmain

    Love the color and the silhouette but I think you guys nailed it with “mumsy tweeness.” I’m starting to get bored by her. Love the earrings, though. Lots of great diamond chandeliers tonight.

  • She looks like a 1920s film star, and I love it. Wish the earrings had at least one accent stone with that rose color, though.

  • PhillyDeb

    I basically really like it: adore the color and silhouette and think that she is somehow pulling off well all of those flowers which I should really hate but don’t. These photos however have helped me to see something I don’t much like: I had thought the whole thing was kind of gauzy and ethereal, but the skirt and train look vert heavy. Overall more positive than negative. And love the jewels

  • ServoCrow

    Another instance where I was underwhelmed. She looked fantastic, but we’ve seen this dress on her before. She pulls it off, but of course she does, because yeah, it’s Cate 101.

  • mickiemonkey

    “the color of toothpaste”-I love you guys.

  • Qitkat

    Love this! It’s not easy to pull off what might have been a craft project, but it looks very high end. She knows how very pretty she looks.

  • Truthiness2U

    I really liked this, one of my faves of the night, as well. Very pretty, sweet, without being twee or overpoweringly sweet. She looks good in that colour, and great fit.

  • Pollynation

    A bit playful, a lot glamorous. Loved the dress and jewelry. Wish she’d had her roots done though.

  • Irina Ryabchuk

    “All shall love me and despair” face on third photo makes it work flawlessly for me.

  • dschubba

    I’d probably dislike this on someone else.

    • OrangeChia

      I think the only other human that could carry this off would be Nicole Kidman. But even then, it’s doubtful. The color would be rough on her.

  • SunDevilWitch

    I love everything about this on her. The colors are exquisite, the shape it gives her divine, and it shows cleavage without being remotely tacky. A WERQ for me.

  • Ssquared1105

    I really hope she picked out Thin Mints during the GIrl Scout Cookie interlude to go with the dress.

  • 42Sh

    You rock that Queen Titania look Cate!

  • Eric Stott

    A little overdone, but beautiful on her and styled to perfection

  • I think it’s the fit that makes it so perfect for me. Beautiful structure and just pretty. It might be safe but it’s a very unexpected choice for someone who often does not-safe.

  • A Shiny O’Connor

    Love it only for about 25% of the feather flowers. They look crafty from waist down. I wonder what a column dress with the same effect of shoulders allover would have looked like. That treatment is gorgeous.

  • Little_Olive

    I’m afraid I have to disagree. This is a little girl’s fantasy dress, and I am not seeing that any styling element is steering it away from My Little Pony land.

  • Pato

    as a whole, she looks delicate, feminine and glamorous. there’s sinergy going on here between the dress, the jewels, and of course, her.

  • The colour is not doing it for me, but I think that everything else works. The shape and fit are great, she looks comfortable and beautiful. I think maybe the shoulders are a little fussy but it mostly works for me.

  • GemFemme

    I love when a gown is cut to accent a woman’s figure like this. She looks perfect from head to toe. Love the color.

  • SewingSiren

    She looks marvelous . Its outside of her usual wheelhouse, she can obviously make just about anything work.

  • ViralSci

    She looks like a flightless angel. Brava!

  • penguinmom

    LOve that color on her, but I just can’t with all the fluffy stuff stuck on her otherwise lovely dress. I could have lived with the feathery shoulders if they hadn’t continued the froo-froo all over the gown instead of stopping there. I love the cut of the dress, which I agree is extremely flattering to her amazing figure.

    I do covet the jewelry, which is amazing. Particularly those earrings. To die for.

  • B_C_J

    The fit is exquisite but the dress is over-embellished.

  • Angelathelibrarian

    Loved this, one of my favorites of the night.

  • bessann28

    The color is perfect for her. I love her hair, too.

  • steph

    Love this look on her, she can carry this dress and the details of it.

  • OrangeChia

    Perfection. The contrasting “hard” eye makeup was genius.

  • Kelly

    At first I thought, I don’t think I like this — too fluffy (though not surprising, since she wouldn’t want to repeat the tailored severity of last year [which I did like]). But the more I look, the more I am won over. Luckily, she has a face that automatically cuts down on any potential “mumsy tweeness.” And she kept the head styling chic and simple. I do wish it wasn’t a mermaid dress, though; to my mind, a column would have worked better.

  • Fairy Godmother!

  • lisaepc

    A little Easter Parade for my taste but meh

  • Pamdela

    I got a bit of “Dynasty” negligee from this. Yes, the fit is amazing, and she always is, but not a big fan of this look.

  • Anna

    A few too many petals, but this dress looked lovely on TV – much better than in still photos. The color and the fit of the dress complimented her perfectly.

  • GoAwayKardash

    Never, ever thought this color could be chic. But there it is.

  • I saw her being interviewed “live” by (damn, what is her name??) in this dress on the red carpet, and it was absolutely, incredibly stunning. I was watching the red carpet, judging of course, and hers was the first “wow” moment I witnessed. IDK if the lighting or the context reduces the impact, but it doesn’t have the same impact in these pictures.

  • OneRing

    It did put me mind of her infamous “valet’s board of car keys” look from 2014 but I generally like it. I think the color is very pretty on her without being too pastel-sweet. Maybe if there’d just been fewer flower fluffs on the top and shoulders? The skirt is really lovely.

  • majorbedhead

    That dress makes her probably already tiny waist look miniscule. It is very pretty on her, but it may be a for Cate only kind of dress.

  • V No Privacy

    I think the word for this look is “enchanting”.

    a FCBO dress for sure though.

  • Kim Elmore

    I LOVE the top part of it, esp the shoulders

  • SugarSnap108

    I should hate this based on the presence of feathers alone, but I think she looks gorgeous. Such is the power.

  • kittyvscupcake

    Very pretty. Still getting onboard with the color. But truly a dress for a bold wearer of fashion.

  • cocohall

    It’s a lot of look, but when she came out to present the costume designer award, it all made sense to me. I think she knew she wasn’t going to win, so decided to wear a dress that worked like gangbusters for her presenting segment.

  • Nika E

    The cut of this dress is amazing but that’s snout it for me. She looks nice but I can’t handle to flowers.

  • MK03

    The Goddess of Spring has arrived.

  • VCR1

    I think a few less flowers it would be much more beautiful. Right now I can’t help but think she’s wearing Cinderella’s dress.

  • empath

    Every bit the ethereally elegant movie goddess. Analyses about feathers, flowers, and color are the quibbles of the mere mortals who could never even dream of wearing this confection so well.

  • Belle239

    Everything is working for her and to me, it was one of the more memorable looks of the evening. The fit is spot on. I don’t usually like so much frou-frou, but she looks fantastic.

  • Once again, Cate demonstrates her PhD level couture skills. The starfish bracelet is absolutely PERFECT in how it subtly accentuates the seafoam color of the dress, and the flowers are very anemone-like. I think the earrings were a tiny bit too long (I would have removed about 3 rows of chevrons, but kept the drop marquise diamond at the bottom). As someone else pointed out, there must have been incredible construction under this dress–she seemed to move fairly easily in it (since she was in the front row, it was easy to see her get up and down for various ovations) yet it gave her such a classic hourglass silhouette. Honestly, just perfect.

  • queenofpie

    she looks pretty. but, sigh…remember when she wore that crazy beautiful givenchy a few years ago? now THAT was a moment.

  • ashtangajunkie

    On anyone else, it would be a disaster, but she’s amazing.

  • tereliz

    I prefer this to the nude Armani, and I love the color on her, but the weird feathery embellishments and the starfish bracelet are making my brain think: sea cucumber.

  • rubyclaire

    Beautiful and sophisticated, which is where she needs to stay, not country-frumpy. Even simpler without quite so much fooferaw might even be better, but this works because the design is sophisticated enough.

  • Sarah Skwire

    No. She looks like a rubber bathing cap.

    • Shawn EH

      I felt like this was definitely a “not going to win” dress. It’s nice and flattering, but nowhere near that “back off, Tilda!” editorial thing she can do when she wants to!

  • semigeekgirl

    This was hands down my favorite look of the night. I’m sure some of that was the Cate-effect, but still. Gorgeous. And not a dress I would necessarily like on a mannequin.

  • doodley

    Her earrings are roughly the same pattern as the beading on Alicia Vikander’s dress. I keep thinking they’re both wearing glittery fern fronds.

  • Judy_J

    Surprisingly, this was my favorite gown of the evening. Maybe it was because the fabulous Cate was wearing it, but damn if she didn’t make this look sing.

  • Call me Bee

    Loved it, head to toe!

  • EEKstl

    This was my favorite gown of the evening even tho I’m giving Saorsie props for overall look of the night (I know, confusing, but I know what I mean). This dress is absolutely stunning – LOVE the color, love the hint of purple, love the perfect placement of crazy feather flowers, the fit is perfection. Spectacular.

  • Jessica Charlotte Siewierkiewi

    My first thought was ‘Cinderella’. The stepmother was fab as hell, but who doesn’t want a happy ever after (dress)? 😉

  • Stubenville

    Love the earrings and the color is surprisingly good on her. But the frou-frou seems inappropriately young for someone who’s not a teenager.

  • Claire Brockelman

    Her body is insane.

  • Aunt Kiki

    This gown & this lady = WERQ. Not for the less skilled or stunning however! I do imagine her leaving a trail of feathers though…

  • 4JJ

    She’s a breath of spring in this, so I’m in the Yes camp. It’s such a nice antidote to black, bling and lace, and is glorious with her colouring.

  • tryinnottobetoojudgy

    If you had described this dress to me (aqua dress with flowers tacked all over it), I would have given it an automatic thumbs-down. But it is dreamily beautiful – the color, the flowers, the fit, every single thing about it – and it looks like perfection on Cate. One of my favorites of the night, which shocks and amazes me. I usually don’t go for the princessy, pretty dresses, but it’s just so beautiful and fits her so perfectly. Such is the Power of the Cate.

  • ms_kat

    The shape is wildly flattering. Look how tiny her waist looks.

  • Akemi

    One of my favorite dresses – but really only because Cate was wearing it, and wearing it like she was totally at home in it. (Even though I am sure those flowers were poking her in the ass for the 75 hours she had to sit in it last night.)

  • I thought it was the perfect dress to present the costume design award in. The color is singing on her.

  • samo_samo

    I think she looks great. This was one of my favorites.

  • Fannie Wolston

    a tisket a tasket where’s the green and yellow basket, something wicker in a purse?
    amazing as uzh

  • Therese Bohn

    Goddess of the Sea! At first I didn’t like the feathers, but the more I looked at it the more I loved it. Love the color. SO much better than the beige of 2014..

  • Such a beautiful look and her face — stunning.

  • Karen Clark

    Again, in my Top 5! She looks exquisite! I’m starting to wonder if it’s not “old Hollywood glamour” every style critic has a meltdown.

  • DuBey2

    I loved it from a distance more. Too many gee-gaws up close. But what a stunning waist and overall line it gave her.

  • Mr. Ellie Pooh

    Love everything about this dress: color, fabric, silloutte…but I feel the back could have used a cutout or a more “bare” look.

  • oneWEIRDword

    I have to be honest; I gasped!

  • Kaonashi

    She looks absolutely lovely. The color is great, and I love the detailing.

  • A_guy01

    She is making that shit sing like a redeemed whore in church.

  • quiltrx

    Not what I expect from AP *or* from Cate, but it all works beautifully. I think the accessories were really on point, too.

  • kim bunchalastnames

    yeah, no. i think cate looks gorgeous. i think cate ALWAYS looks gorgeous. but this dress looks like someone covered it with glue before pushing it through a tissue factory.

    • kim bunchalastnames

      … although i hasten to add that the fit? is PERFECT.

  • GillianHolroyd

    This gown is molded to her figure. The color, the hair, the jewellery, it all works.

  • andreawey

    love the starfish bracelet, tho it looks like its poking her a bit

  • CatLady

    I love it. Beautiful colors, perfectly fitted and accessorized. She looks a little like the goddess of spring and I’m half expecting flowers to bloom wherever the train of her dress touches the ground.

  • Somebody_Something

    She looked fabulous and not a bit self conscious about feathered flowers. That attitude and a tall,slim figure made this absolutely work.

  • Bsquared41

    I do not often drink the Cate Blanchett Fashion Queen Kool Aid, but I drank so much for this dress, I got drunk. I LOVE everything about this dress. The shoulders bothered me a bit at first, but now I love everything about it. She looks AMAZING. Hands down my favorite of the night.

  • JynxTheCat

    Pretties bath mat ever.
    (do love that color on her)

  • E. D.

    I loved it.

  • NG

    Lots of plunging necklines; this was one of the prettiest.

  • Milos Mom

    I despise this dress. Heinous. Vile. Absolute crap.