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Great Debate: Was Cate Blanchett's Oscars Dress Actually Good or Bad?

Cate Blanchett, Oscars 2016, Acaademy Awards

Cate Blanchett, Oscars 2016, Acaademy AwardsChristopher Polk/Getty Images

As I’m sure many of you were, I was anticipating a heavily saturated Facebook home page full of friends rejoicing over Leonardo DiCaprio‘s sixth-times-a-charm Oscars win. But to my surprise, that was not the case.

It turns out my people care more about whether or not one actress’ haute couture Armani Privé gown was “good” or not. My brain exploded. Let me give you some backstory: The majority of my friends are not in fashion nor are they particularly interested in it. Their feeds consist of hilarious viral videos, Instagrams of themselves, their meals or their pets and political opinions scattered in between. Now you know why I felt more than compelled to write about the dress that got my social-media family talking about fashion.

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Cut to my friend Kate’s FB comment: “Can’t understand why anyone would hate this dress…she looks amazing.” Then to The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman‘s tweet: “All feathers from the Muppet chickens the Swedish Chef tormented have ended up on #CateBlanchett’s #Oscars dress.”

Love it or hate it, Cate Blanchett‘s Oscars dress was something to talk about…so, let’s talk. 

Cate Blanchett, 2016 Oscars, Academy Awards, ArrivalsJordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Here’s Where I Stand on the “Issue”: There were things I loved about it and there were things I didn’t. So while I’m over here being indecisive, I figured I’d explore and explain my train of thought to all of you in hopes that it’ll give you the proper tools to make your own educated decision.

Pro #1: We’re always complaining (#guilty) that stars, more recently, have been playing it safe on the red carpet. We dock them points for being simple, so why aren’t we celebrating the sheer fact Cate took a chance on something wildly exciting?

Con #1: Close-up shots were not this dress’ best friend. Are those craft feathers? I wish they’d been made of something else…anything else.

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Pro #2: It was a great color. When a dress “just doesn’t work” for someone, the reason is often due to the color. This was not one of those cases—this color was made for her creamy, porcelain skin.

Con #2: Heard of the term football shoulders? Unfortunately, this dress had them. I would honestly love this so much more had the dress’ shoulders not been built up into a mountain of embellishments. The shape of her incredible body was lost in a flurry of feathers and beads.

Cate Blanchett, Oscars 2016, Acaademy AwardsMatt Sayles/Invision/AP

Pro #3: It had drama. And what better place than the Oscars (read: a room packed to the brim with actors, filmmakers, costume designers, etc.) to bring the drama? There is always a place and time…and yet again, she nailed it.

Con #3: Yes, she’s known for her avant-garde style, but she is also known for her gift to modernize straight-from-the-runway garments. I’m used to seeing and being able to point out her personal touches, but I really think she dropped the reins on this one. 

Pro #4: She was presenting the award for best costume designer. Enough said? My guess is the actress wanted something with real design elements and she found one.

Con #4: It was too “girly” for my taste. I really don’t like using that word, but I always love it when she charges the red carpet in something with a little more edge. This dress was too romantic. 

Cate Blanchett, Oscars 2016, Acaademy AwardsChristopher Polk/Getty Images

Pro #5: Three-dimensional flowers are as on-trend as they come right now. If you missed our fashion week content, take a look through and tell me she’s not incredibly on par with the times.

Con #5: Her natural beauty cannot be overlooked, but to be honest, I couldn’t really get to it through all that jazz. The dress was so distracting. The runway should be the only place where the clothes wear the people.

Conclusion: Did Cate Blanchett look spectacular? Absolutely. But was the dress a miss? I’ll just be over here straddling this fence while you decide for yourself.

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