Oscars 2023 Countdown: Cate Blanchett-ology

Good red carpet practitioners know that it’s a venue set aside entirely for self-promotion and sending messages. Good Lady Cate Blanchett has been doing her job at the very highest levels of red carpetry for over two decades now so it’s safe to say that this is an arena in which she not only knows what she’s doing, but she can even afford to coast a little. That in itself is a form of branding.

At the Venice Film Festival in Louis Vuitton

You might have noticed from the collage above that she clearly stayed far away from colors for almost the entirety of her campaign. This is the ultimate in “prestige actress” style moves, but it also should be noted that it tends to evoke the character of Lydia Tar, who also eschewed almost every hue but neutrals.

At the Governors Awards in Alexander McQueen

She will often go for more editorial styles, to highlight her facility with difficulty pieces and also to underline her own sense of refinement and taste. She’s a high-fashion girl.

At the Palm Springs International Film Awards in Armani Privé

But she’s also someone who’s been dabbling with a sort of butch chicness; a ploy she’s utilized since her Ocean’s 8 and Carol days, which serves her well in promoting this particular role.

At the Critics Choice Awards in Max Mara

A small percentage of these looks are new, but her entire year of campaigning has been characterized by her repeated re-wearing of archival pieces that she’s worn at other times in her career. There’s very much a branding message in that tactic and it’s an extremely smart one.

At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Awards in Louis Vuitton

First, it underlines a commitment to sustainability, which she has been talking about more and more in the last few years. We’re not so cynical as to doubt her commitment to the cause, so there’s no sense on our parts that she’s necessarily being strategic about it, but she is definitely being very public about it.

At the BAFTAs in Maison Margiela

Almost all of her fashion coverage this year, including on this site, has been partially devoted to pointing out when she’s rewearing pieces, how she reworked them, and – this is important – when she wore them last.

At the Berlin International Film Festival in Givenchy

This subtly reinforces several points. Either she owns an astonishing collection of high-end fashion and couture thanks to a decades-long career, or she has every one of these houses at her beck and call, thanks to a decades-long career.

At the Producers Guild of America Awards in Louis Vuitton

Not only that, but in most cases, these are re-wears from some of the most prestigious events on a movie star’s calendar – Cannes, the BAFTAs, the SAG Awards, and so on.

At the SAG Awards in Armani Privé

Everything about this tactic says “I’m a major player on every front and I have been for a very long time.” Do not count this lady out. Do not ever count this lady out. To say she knows what she’s doing is to understate it to an almost absurd extent.

[Photo Credit: Aurore Marechal/ABACA/INSTARimages.com/Cover Images, IPA/INSTARimages.com/Cover Images, Blaine Ohigashi/©A.M.P.A.S., Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Society, Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Society, Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Society, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association, Ryan Hartford/startraksphoto.com/Cover Images, Ian West/PA Images/INSTARimages.com/Cover Images, PA Images/INSTARimages.com/Cover Images, Dutch Press Photo/Cover Images, DDP/INSTARimages, Aurore Marechal/ABACA/INSTARimages, Instarimages.com, Alberto Terenghi/IPA/INSTARimages.com, Axelle Woussen/BauerGriffin/INSTARimages.com, BauerGriffin/INSTARimages]