The Editors Debate Cate Blanchett’s Oscar 2011 Dress

Ashley likes it. Ashley is wrong, wants nuns to go blind, I can’t stop her, trapped in a nightmare world:

Jennifer:  Okay. So. She looked like a space hero sponsored by Target. Because of the massive white target across her cleavage. And there were those beads. Those beads like horrible bumps on her back that we’re going to have to pop like tonsil stones.

Ashley:  That was thousands of hours of delicate beading. Delicate Givenchy haute couture beading. Why are you always so down on craftsmanship?

Jennifer:  I do not care how many Belgian nuns went blind for that beading. Because I ASSUME nuns went blind for all the Oscar outfits. Every one. I’m just sorry they made this outfit after they had already become visually impaired.

Ashley:  Is that a Return of the Native reference?

Jennifer: No, it’s a rich people reference.

Ashley:  Oh! ZING.

Jennifer:  I’m sorry. It’s a “comfortable” people reference.

Ashley:  Blind nuns didn’t make it. Japanese cartoon robots did. Extremely feminine, romantic ones did.

Jennifer: It’s too bad they don’t have hearts, eyes, or a sense of how things look on humans.

Ashley:  No. They have a higher sense. Also, that shock of neon yellow makes it really awesome. Like engorged veins of robot blood curling around her neck.

Jennifer:  Yes. like she’s being strangled by the space monster of bad taste. But why? She looks so wonderful in simple, regal garments.  I actually like the cut of the dress. It’s just like they added on all this dumb stuff after the cut.

Ashley:  No. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful and interesting and daring and weird and astoundingly detailed. Japanese cartoon robot.

Jennifer:  Why do you like things that are weird?

Ashley:  Why do you hate art?

Jennifer:  I like art. Art is pictures of horses. Sometimes it is pictures of shipwrecks! I don’t know what that has to do with this.

Ashley:  This doesn’t have anything to do with horses. Or quoting Alec Baldwin and trying to pass it off as your own dry wit.

That is a beautiful, challenging dress and it’s absolutely crazy that she wore it on the red carpet. So I’m psyched.

Jennifer:  Would you just like anything bizarre? If I showed up to work in a gas mask and a bikini would you be like, “Jennifer, that’s so BRAVE?”

Ashley:  No. I’d say it was a challenging look and one not suited to you. Your best features are your eyes. MOREOVER If it were up to you every actress on the red carpet would wear lace-y Elie Saabs and skintight mermaid gowns and neutral sparkling columns and assorted HOLLYWOOD BULLSHIT.



Jennifer:  I think this is a good place to stop.

Share This Post:
    • Katie

      I liked this dress the moment I saw it. I think she wins best dressed for me, although the fact that I’m wearing sweatpants and flip flops right now might somewhat discredit my opinion.

    • Karen

      Once again, I fall on the side of JW. I love that you validate me in a world of insane barnacle bead lovers.

    • Kristen

      I don’t think I would have liked this dress on anyone else but Cate. She can pull it off…and she seems like the type to send a nice little note to the blind Belgian nuns.

      • Ashley Cardiff


    • Eileen

      I’m so glad you don’t like it, Jennifer, because I was feeling like the only one who thought it was SO INCREDIBLY UGLY.

    • Karen

      Makes me thing of octopus eggs!

    • Kate

      I think it’s beautiful.

    • colette

      If I had that dress, I would spend all day waving the skirt at strangers pretending to be a matador

    • leotajane

      Cate wore the most sophisticated historically rich dress to the Oscars. She is ahead of the game

    • Shae

      Enjoyed the structure. Not so much the extraneous schtuff.

    • Chickalupe

      See, this hurts me just a little bit. Because I like you, Jennifer; I like your opinions and your sense of humor, and up until this point, I was sure that you could do no wrong. (Most esp. your little addition to the “16 Things…” article about the wonder that is David Bowie. I felt that we bonded somehow, though you don’t even know me. The bonding was mostly on my end, I suppose in retrospect.) Yes, when I first saw Cate Blanchett’s Oscar dress, I was like, “…What?” But, BUT! The more I stared at it, the more I thought, “Wow! I would totally wear something like that to a formal occasion, if I had the body to pull it off!” My reasons are several:

      1) That color combination looks great with her hair and complexion. I think the lavender, white and lime green go with her golden locks and pale, dewy skin to create an overall spring-like impression. Like a newly-opened flower bud, or a certain rare fruit. Or something like that.

      2) The bead detailing is intricately beautiful, eye-catching and wonderfully delicate; and, as Ashley points out, such true craftsmanship is to be admired. And it is quite obviously done by Romantic Female Japanese Robots(tm). I know this to be true! I feel it in my Heart-Box.

      3) Very High Waists + Very Long Skirts = Very Slimming! It hearkens back, to this observer, to an earlier time of figure-friendly silhouettes. Though Ms. Blanchett obviously does not require such a thing herself, I would like to see more of these dresses in high fashion; in the hopes that Regency-era Empire-waisted gowns will eventually become acceptable street wear for the rest of us again. Unlikely, yes. A girl can dream, though; a girl can dream.

      4) The “target” on the chest, as you called it, is more reminiscent of an old frock or pinafore from a school-girl’s dress of yore. That, with the high neckline and the long hemline, makes the ‘face’ of the dress seem dignified; while the little cross-strap reveal in the back adds a little sexiness without being too obvious. In other words, to borrow from the famous tagline about Mullets: “Business in the front; Party in the rear!”

      5) It was a spot of originality in a night of mostly more-of-the-same; drab; and playing it safe. Oh, look, a busty chick in a red dress! *That’s* never been done before. Somebody showing too much cleavage! Big whoop. More neutral-colored gowns than you can shake a stick at! Yawn. Actors in Drag done for comic effect! Big chuckles all around. Cate was dressed with both *class* and *flair*. Thank all the gods of fashion, really. Somebody needed to be.

      So in short: Sorry Jennifer! Gotta agree with Ashley on this one.

    • Fatima Fatoom

      The fact that everyone is debating that dress means that it grabbed everyone’s attention, isn’t this what dressing for the Oscar red carpet is all about? Cate made a successful choice and i think that the dress is a work of art. Love it!

    • sheherbano

      have got to side with ashley here. i think it’s excellent.