Fug or Fab: Cate Blanchett


fug-or-fab

Sweet mercy, I have no idea what is happening on this dress.

It… appears to be a construction worker trying to use his giant ladder to get a cat out of a tree, while caught in an apocalyptic bee storm. Only Cate Blanchett would look at that dress and think, “Yeah, I can pull that off without getting lost,” and only Cate Blanchett would be right about that 90 percent of the time. The question is, where does this instance fall? Did the miracle worker coach another underdog to a win, or should she have put on a coat and hustled inside with a quickness?

Lay it on me:

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[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (56):

  1. anonymoose
    0

    The hemline! the shoes! NO!

    Otherwise, this complicated retelling of Apocalyptic Provence Bee Farm in satin is a 4-star success!

    • Scouse Helen
      0

      I think I can see a badger’s face above Bob the Builder. It is like a magic eye picture, not in a good way.

      Agree about the hemline and shoes. Gruesome. She has to work pretty hard to make her calves look stodgy, but she’s pulled it off here.

  2. lor
    0

    Sorry Cate. This looks like a bubblewrap Monet.

  3. Genevieve
    0

    I love this. At first glance, I thought it was a Monet-inspired print, but even with the wacky print, it totally works for me.

  4. Jill
    0

    The colors don’t bother me as much as the design of the neckline and shoulders. Too Jetson-ish. Not a flattering look for her top half.

    • Other Emily
      0

      Yeah, the neckline is really the only thing that bothers me. She is almost SWINTON-esque in her ability to pull off bizarre things (remember the weird McQueen eagle dress she had — amazing but totally not for anyone else). This dress should be a disaster, but it is not. I would like different shoes.

  5. ES
    0

    It’s a Monet – great from far away, but close-up it’s a big mess.

  6. Lynne
    0

    I love the shape of this dress but I can’t get past the cracked out pattern. I think it means to be edgy but really just ends up being butt ugly.

  7. pidget
    0

    I thought, “Aquarium – with a toy construction worker for the fish to play with”. (Sorry about prepositions.) Very few could even attempt this without me really ack-ing, but she is making it seem possible.

    I like the overall colour scheme, her posture is majestic, and I hate the heavy shoes.

  8. Fawn
    0

    Oh no! I was ready to give her a pass (she gets a pass on practically anything from me – she is my idol)… until I zoomed in. Those “bees” are not bees at all, they are grommets. Grommets you can see through. Grommets which give us a fairly good peak at her little black undies. This is unacceptable.

    • Dazie
      0

      I KNOW! GROMMETS. wtf.

    • Gretchen
      0

      They can’t be peekaboo gromits unless her legs are joined together in the middle – there’s a fleshtoned (with some inexplicable black) layer underheath

      • Gretchen
        0

        Err, never mind. I just had a closer look and I’m totally wrong. Peekaboo all the way. Ick.

  9. Beth C.
    0

    I love this. I think it’s beautiful. My only teeny, tiny thing is the neckline/ sleeve openings could use the slightest of tweaks just to fall a bit better, but it doesn’t bug me enough not to love it.

    • Jasmine
      0

      I, too, fully love it. It’s beautiful and interesting and the SHAPE.

      • Kit
        0

        Yeah… I’m SO on board with the shape of this dress. And I love the bluey-greeny-ness of it.

  10. BrownEyedBetty
    0

    A Head-to-Toe NO for me. Thanks for pointing out the grommets, Fawn. That just adds fuel to the fire of my 10,000 suns of NO.

  11. TaraMisu
    0

    Big no…. the top part is oddly shaped, therefore making HER look oddly shaped. The pattern itself is not offensive, but its not uber attractive either. Those shoes are hideous.

  12. Katie
    0

    I saw it in the thumbnail and I thought it looked interesting. But the print plus the rivets (? puffy paint? bobbles?) up top plus the grommets on the skirt is just too much. And the shoes are truly feh.

  13. Anna
    0

    I think I know what the print is – sections of a National Geographic picture of a group of 6-7 naturalists scaling the largest living sequoia tree.

    Not that this changes the crack-iness of the dress but… heh – I’d just thought to show off a bit :-) ))

  14. Lindsay
    0

    I was feeling a little cringey over the hemline, and a lot cringey over the shoes, but then I realized the dress itself reminds me a lot of the Leo Lionni book Swimmy and, well… I might have to love it.

  15. Vandalfan
    0

    Nope, nopity, nopers. She lost me with the grommets. The blue candy dots on the top are amusing, the print would have been fine sans Bob The Builder, but see through holes rimmed with metal can’t be tolerated. Besides, if it was very warm, she’d burn little circles into her lower body and look like she survived a squid attack. I’m just grateful she’s wearing black panties. I shouldn’t have to be grateful for that.

    • pantsonfire
      0

      I have learned a very important lesson today: Always Zoom In (or, AZI). I wrote my comment liking the fabric before I saw your comment mentioning grommets. I was like, grommets what? I thought the fabric was sequined, which was ok by me. And then I zoomed in and saw them. Oh, honey no. Grommets ruin everything. Is there anything worse than realizing what you thought were sequins are actually grommets? It’s like realizing a beautiful sunset is caused by pollution.

  16. anny
    0

    “Should conversation lag, you might tell her about your dream.” - The Philadelphia Story
    Or in this case, your skirt.

  17. Mongerel
    0

    This dress just charms the snark out of me. I wish I knew what the story is behind that print. Hardhat guy in a bayou with a big ladder leaning on a tree?

  18. pantsonfire
    0

    I love the great Cate for several reasons, not the least of which is our shared obsession with whimsy. I deeply appreciate the whimsy of the print here, but I despise the neckline/shoulders, which seem like overgrown cap sleeves. I hate cap sleeves and any suggestion of them, and even if this wasn’t cap-sleeve adjacent, it still sits awkwardly on her. So, I give her an A++ for the fabric, but a D for the silhouette/cut. Sorry, Cate. We’re still cool, though.

  19. Sandra
    0

    I like the shape of this and the green-and-blue-ness of it. The rest of the print is kind of “WTF?”, though

  20. Elaine
    0

    so, one of my contacts just fell out at work….

    the dress looks AWESOME according to the contact-less eye… and meh out of the still-functioning eye.

    so i guess… i don’t hate it, don’t love it.

    • Elaine
      0

      also, in the full-size picture, the blue polka dots look like m&ms glued on there. which doesn’t affect my opinion of the dress, just makes me want some chocolate.

  21. Kit
    0

    Beloved Spouse and I were looking at it last night, and BSP said “What the hell is THAT?!!!” in a negative voice, and at the same time I said “OMG I love that dress!” – then we looked at each other and laughed. I *still* love it. :)

  22. Katharine
    0

    I like the shape on her. The photo print is amusing. The peekaboo grommets, on the other hand, are a step too far, continuing as they do into her crotch region. I’m also not wildly in love with the shoes and bag; I get that that is a LOT OF DRESS and demands minimal accessories, but somehow both of those items are overly Sedately Corporate and look, not sleek, but badly chosen.

  23. Kristina
    0

    I think the construction worker on the dress IS a cat. Which, if that’s true, seals the deal for me.

  24. Gleggy
    0

    The guy on the dress is an entomologist from the Univeristy of Victoria in British Columbia. He is collectomg samples in the canopy of old growth forest on Vancouver Island.

  25. Gleggy
    0

    Oops, ‘University’ and ‘collecting’ – bad keyboard!

  26. Jules
    0

    I don’t dig that neckline.
    At first glance, because all I could see was the pattern, I thought I was looking at someone’s back.

  27. arigato
    0

    Oh dear. While I love la Blanchett, I just can’t get behind this ensemble. I love the colours and the shape of the dress (I can even give the print a pass). The grommets and glue-on dots are just–no. So not necessary; the dress is whimsical enough without them. The dots and grommets bring it into WTF territory. Also the shoes are way too heavy and boring for such a light and funky dress. Her face and hair are gorgeous, as always.

  28. ellenderavenous
    0

    This is batshit insane, and I adore it.

  29. AM
    0

    I don’t love her (I mean she’s not Gwenyth, so I don’t hate or anything, it just depends on the movie whether I want to see it), but I do like most of what I see her wearing. I really like this a lot. Flattering shape and color, so I’m overlooking the grommet thingys.

  30. Oregon
    0

    Proenza Schouler

  31. Vodka Gimlet
    0

    I love Cate; she can do no wrong in my book. I love this dress on her, and I think she is the only person that can pull it off.

  32. HG
    0

    OMG CAN WE TALK ABOUT THESE PANTS NOW?? I still think she’s the most gorgeous woman alive, but honestly woman! Pull it together: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2218938/Cate-Blanchett-gets-ice-cream-son-reluctantly-shares-scoop.html

  33. Lisbeth
    0

    So tired of this woman. I just don’t get the fascination with her. Where is SWINTON when you need her?

  34. Lion
    0

    She is too old for this dress. And too young for these shoes! But who cares if she looks THIS radiant.

  35. Sajorina
    0

    LOVE her & the whole outfit!!! The dress’ chinoiserie fabric is beautiful and the polka dots & grommets are so edgy… Only she can pull this off and still look like an elegant & sophisticated lady! Hair & makeup are perfect! Accessories are great! I would’ve worn the dress with metallic leather silver stilettos, but that’s just me!

  36. Miss Louise
    0

    Yes, silver shoes would be perfect. I adore Cate, who is just so regal, and I think I am actually down with this dress — on her and her alone, mind you. The shoes, however, are ‘orrible.

  37. Franziska
    0

    I couldn’t wear anything like that and I don’t even find the dress very pretty but Cate gets away with it. She’s wearing that dress (and not the other way around) and that’s all that matters.

  38. gryt
    0

    Just wacky enough, love it. Is the construction worker a fox? Love the length of the dress too, and I want the 1930′s shoes.

    • Kristin
      0

      I thought you meant “fox” in the “stone-cold” sense, but then I zoomed in, and it does, indeed, look like Mr. Fox in a hard hat. As if the print wasn’t weird enough…

  39. Chrissy
    0

    On most people I think this would be ridiculous, but somehow she’s made it seem fun and wacky. And she doesn’t seem like the wacky type, usually. It’s probably a tribute to her skills as an actress that I am liking it.

  40. phillip
    0

    hi. i’m australian. i think it’s safe to say, cate blanchett occupies a special niche in the australian heart. i personally don’t LOVE her, but she is the reason nichole kidman doesn’t do many movies these days, and that generally makes the nation VERY happy.
    this picture, which was entered for our national portrait competition “the archibald prize”, conveys well her place in our cultural pantheon:
    http://thecraftyminx.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Barton.jpg.450x605_q85.jpg
    in this context, the dress here is very sane, perhaps even sedate, and she looks great.