Fug or Fab: Cate Blanchett


Last night, one of Fug Nation on Twitter (@thelemonofpink) made a “Carte Blanchett” joke and I am, as promised, stealing it. Because we DO give Cate Blanchett carte blanche sometimes when it comes to her wardrobe. Like SWINTON, she can often pull off that which mere mortals would be well advised to avoid. However, I think I’m cutting off her carte blanchett right here because:

I seriously do not even know what is happening here. It’s like she walked out of her house wearing her welter-weight champion of the world belt, then realized it clashed with her jewelry and covered it up with a Hanes tee shirt she found in the trunk of her car. She HERSELF doesn’t look bad, but that’s because….you know, Carte Blanchett.

What do you think?

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Comments (56):

  1. Kate

    I hate this. So much.

    I’m a high school teacher, and I see all of these girls walking around in crop tops (ugh) that they can’t technically wear to school, because of the dress code, so they just wear stark white camisoles underneath. That is what this looks like to me.

  2. Eliza Bennett

    wahhhhh so close, Cate! If only this were in a different color scheme. I’d legit love it in blue, black and white. the white belt section is bad. But I love the shape.

  3. Sandra

    I voted “only on her” because, you know, it’s HER. Even in something as wonky as this, she has such presence. See how it’s done, starlets?

  4. Agent Sculder

    It’s not great, but as you have said she actually doesn’t that bad, which is kind of miraculous. The shape is nice, and I like the colors, I just don’t dig the top part.

  5. TonyG

    I’m really easy today: I really like this! I didn’t say love, because of the lines across the white torso part, but otherwise, I’d buy one. Chaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggge it…to Carte Blanchett!

  6. Bob Stanley

    Bad fabric and color choices — the general cut and shape is fine but she looks like penguin wearing a cheap, summery top.

  7. Sin

    Like every New Zealander was legally obliged to do last night, I was watching The Hobbit premiere red carpet on TV. And I have to say, when Blanchett first appeared on the screen, I thought, “Wow, she looks beautiful.” And I didn’t have a problem at all with the dress. True, she can pull off looks that others would be disastrous in, but she did look gorgeous last night (it helped that she had two cute sons in tow).

    Then again, maybe I was just thankful for something to relieve the dude-heavy red carpet. Despite eye candy like Aiden Turner and Dean O’Gorman, there were a lot of dark suits and not a lot of glam gowns.

    • Steph J

      I was there in the crowds as I live in Wellington and was holding out to see THE Cate Blanchett in the flesh….but she RAN by and all I caught was a glimpse of the outfit…I guess I had hoped for a more SWINTON esque statement!

      But it has made my day to see my fav website feature a photo from an event that I was actually present at! Love you Fug Girls!!

  8. hillary l.

    I like the top…and I like the bottom…but the white belly band? Sigh. But how cute does her hair look?

  9. Rayna

    No, no, no, no, no. Maybe with a gold belt (even a wide one – eye roll – like the 70s) you could squeak it through, but not with Mr. Wannabe Trendy Top here.

    For the record, Trendy Tops have their uses – see Kate’s note above.

  10. Cat

    I am thisclose to loving this, but alas this falls short. I agree with Eliza Bennett– blue/black/white would have been amazing. But the white portion of the dress is too wide– if it were a narrow strip I’d be much more in love with the dress as is. However, I still do like it, probably mostly because it’s Cate Blanchett and she can pull it off.

    • Scouse Helen

      If the white strip were narrower she could say she was representing Trinidad and Tobago at the event by dressing in their flag.

      “Carte Blanchett” I like very much.

      • Scouse Helen

        Actually, I just realised it’s not dissimilar to the Syrian flag. Cate’s frock makes a political statement!

        • Pouncer

          Yemen and Egypt have red-white-black horizontal flags too. Cate is worried about the situation in the Middle East!

  11. Helen

    The skirt’s pretty, anyway. And the blouse would be lovely with something very different, like a suit.

    But that white thing, no, no, no.

  12. Bee

    Why is an Orca whale eating Cate’s nice pink shirt?

    Though she does look lovely otherwise…

  13. Remi

    colorwise and idea wise it’s fine. It’s just that the pink top…thing…is transparant and kinda wrinkled.

    I really like her bracelet however.

  14. pantsonfire

    At first glance, I rather liked it. She is so very luminous and I do actually legit love the top portion (did you see the little buttons under the arms!?), but the middle section is very problematic and makes the whole thing feel too casual and dare I say it — a little cheap. I’m toying with how to fix it, and I think deployment of a very seriously substantial, wide belt-type thing/sash, maybe an obi, might help (obviously removing the white bit entirely, not just covering it up). But really, that would also likely require turning this into separates–a classic long black skirt in a slightly more expensive-looking fabric (because what IS that exactly…jersey knit?) and a full blouse. And then does that become way too conventional for Cate?

  15. SaraK

    She really is lovely, and even makes this look surprisingly good. But dressing up as an actual Carte Blanchette to show that you possess one? A wee bit too much on the nose for me.

  16. Beth C.

    This reminds me of these neopolitan coconut candies I adored as a child, and therefore I adore this.
    Seriously, though, I really do like it. I think to make it perfect the white part could have been shaped slightly differently, maybe made of a more substantial fabric (like a dupioni or something with more structure) but overall I’m OK with it.

  17. witjunkie

    It looks like she tucked her blouse into a maternity skirt.

    • deee

      witjunkie – Pinkies!


      (pinkies – You and another person say the same thing at the exact same time. Before either of you say anything else you have to say “pinkies”, link your pinkie fingers and then you get to make a wish. If say something before “pinkies” you ruin the magic.)

  18. deee

    Does anyone else feel like she is wearing the maternity waist of her skirt over her shirt?

  19. Andrew S.

    WHO is defending this? they are obviously holding out on something good that I myself may need.

  20. Famke L.

    In terms of the dress, I’m torn between an “absolutely not” and “only on Blanchett.” But what really does me in is the silver baby barrette. It’s a terribly inelegant look on anyone over twenty.

  21. Laurel

    All I can see with this right now is EGYPTIAN FLAG! And Egypt is, well, going through some really interesting events this week. So I am incapable of evaluating it as an outfit. As a flag for a place I love and worry about, I adore it.

  22. What what

    Looks like she’s wearing the dress version of Joey Tribbiani Thanksgiving Pants. I’ll accept this as an excuse the week after Thanksgiving. I’m just hoping she didn’t get the meat sweats on the red carpet.

  23. Chantel

    I thought it was going to be white all the way down. I would’ve liked it then.

  24. Shanti

    Hey, Fug Ladies – have you seen this:


    It’s Yoko Ono, giving Stella McCartney a serious run for her money in the Beatle-Adjacent Fug department.
    (Sorry to hijack the comments, but I couldn’t find a direct way to contact you. Apologies if this is some breach of etiquette, but I HAD to share…)

    • Sajorina

      Oh, HELL NO!

      • Bluebonnets on it

        Yoko needs her meds adjusted again.

        • Sandra

          Sweet holy kittens, that stuff is crazed! Was I correct in understanding that she originally designed this wackitude back in ’69? That this was probably drug-induced doesn’t make it any better, but it does make it more understandable.

    • deee

      Shanti, that Yoko link made my day. How effed up is that stuff? Props to the models for not smirking during the photo shoot.

  25. Vandalfan

    Oh, Lordy, Shanti! I’m speechless!

    The odd part of Cate’s dress is the mixing of the delicate sheer cap sleeve bodice with the bold black and white color bock panels. If that’s a black strapless band underneath the sheer, just remove the sheer.

  26. Chrissy

    She looks pretty herself but the white part of the outfit reminds me of those plastic back braces people wear when they’ve had serious back injuries or back surgery.

    • Annie S.

      I think it looks like a heating pad. Like she’s got terrible cramps and couldn’t walk out the door without some sort of uterine thermal device.

      Still…that FACE!

  27. Sajorina

    I like the dress, but I’d like it more if the red top was black, she was wearing red lipstick & nailpolish, pearl earrings and black high-heeled sandals! I love the bracelet and her hair looks good! I have an infinite well full of FABS for Cate Blanchett! She rocks my world!

  28. RM

    This looked a lot better in person! In fact, it looked lovely in person!

  29. Valentina

    I’m not sure how ugly the dress itself really is, because I think the problem is her hairdo. That style is super cute, but doesn’t go with the clothes.

  30. cc

    The Cate Blanchett effect is present, but this is definitely not a good look. Its got a bad sort of 90s vibe to it.

  31. Emma

    It looks like a post-partum support belt. Except they’re supposed to be worn UNDER your clothing.

  32. LIlibet

    Blanchett still leaves me cold. Standing there stiffly in a terrible outfit (when she access to all the beautiful clothes in the world) with that smug, I’m-so-nobly-beautiful look on her face. Sorry but it’s true!

  33. Rosie Cotton

    No, no. It might look a bit rubbish in photos but in person it was truly beautiful. She looked stunning, and cut an elegant, dramatic figure walking down the red carpet. A group of teenage girls standing behind me breathed, ‘She’s PERFECT’ as she walked past. And she certainly looked it.

  34. Julie H.

    I don’t hate it because she’s Cate but the white panel reminds me of the stretchy panels they put in pregnancy pants to make room for the burgeoning belly…..not exactly a look a star should be going for on a red carpet.

  35. AM

    I lot of comments about the white band and what image they remind you of. I was thinking she forgot to take off her apron.

  36. AMS

    I love the concept and think she looks wonderful, as always, I just regret that fabric choice for the white panel. It really looks cheap, whereas something less stark looking, with a little texture or subtle sheen (in other words, perhaps a formal fabric?) would have looked loads better and not weighed down the lightness of the top.

  37. Sylvia

    I want to hate this more than I do, on principle. I’m all for blocking, but this is not that. And the white fabric. That touch and feel of cotton is not always the answer.

    But, I do forgive Cate a lot, and it doesn’t look as horrible as it should because she’s wearing it. I should also say, no one is THE SWINTON, not even Cate.

  38. Dizee

    I think I am just so excited to see her that I will take whatever she gives.

  39. katkin74

    I like this! Especially the color combo for some reason. I am not fond of the twee hair style.

  40. madness

    Pepsi symbol as wardrobe theme? I’ll pass.

  41. Kelly Jeanne

    I don’t mind the dress, but the hair is boring and the visible undergarments are hurting my feelings.

  42. Lilibet

    Cate Blanchett and Julian Assange: separated at birth.

  43. RebekahRose

    Does anybody else feel like she just went “Meh, it’s Wellington, New Zealand. I don’t have to try that hard…”