Cate Blanchett—one of the single best-dressed women in the entire world—wore a wan, haute couture rug on the red carpet last night, and we can only take this to mean that she is trying to lull us into a false sense of insecurity before tomorrow night’s Academy Awards.

Cate Blanchett pulls off weird, experimental looks so well that the rare misstep can only be seen as part of an elaborate conspiracy theory. Lending credence to our paranoia, Amy Adams appears to be complicit, having appeared just the other day in an awful, slicked-back hairdo and odd hot pink Vivienne Westwood that did weird things to her boobs.

The dress was from the most recent Valentino Haute Couture collection, which had some exceptional pieces, but this was not one of them.


Now Cate Blanchett is extraordinarily beautiful and looks as good in this bland, fringey mess of a dress as is humanly possible. She even looks more comfortable and natural in it than the lovely couture model. Her perfectly undone hair and neutral makeup look elegant and casual. But just because Blanchett is pulling it off as well as can be done does not mean that she is actually pulling it off.

Besides the fact that the costumey, butter-colored dress looks like a blanket one keeps in the back of the car, it’s just not a great color for Blanchett. It washes her out and makes her look wan and a bit sallow. Maybe in a different color it would have worked better, but then we still would have had to deal with the hem that looks like the bottom of a 70s lampshade.

Between this dress and Adams’ weird hair, we can only assume that Blanchett and Adams are trying to trick us into thinking that they cannot just land in the middle of our best-dressed list whenever they want to. They’re really going to bring it tomorrow night.