As we approach the start of (a very different) award season, we can’t help but wonder about the sorts of statements that will be made on the red carpet. In recent years, celebrities have worn everything from all-black looks to pins to send a message, as well as auctioned off looks post-event for important causes. This week, at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, Academy Award-winning actor Cate Blanchett made a statement of her own, by wearing looks that she has previously worn on the red carpet.
Blanchett, who is attending the annual festival as its jury president, appeared on the opening night’s red carpet in a shimmering, navy blue gown courtesy of Esteban Cortazar. The dress, which the designer titled Stingray, has fluttering white sleeves and a high-low hem. What’s even more standout is the fact that Blanchett already wore this exact look back in 2015, at the BFI London Film Festival premiere for her film Carol.
“It’s chic to repeat,” said Blanchett’s stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, on Instagram. “Blanchett has decided to rewear some of her most cherished looks at this year’s Venice Film Festival, like this Esteban Cortazar [dress] worn to tonight’s opening, that was first worn to a premiere in 2015. In her words, beautiful things can come out of sustainability.”
Blanchett walked the red carpet the following night, in another familiar look, this time from Alexander McQueen, that was first seen on the actor at the 2016 BAFTAs. Originally, the floral, red-and-gold top was attached to a black, feather-covered skirt. On Thursday, it looked completely different, having now been paired with simple black trousers and a matching blazer. "#CateBlanchett is committed to a sustainable red carpet. One way is re-working past iconic looks!" Stewart wrote following the event.
Both the Cortazar and the McQueen pieces — along with Blanchett's forthcoming outfits for the remainder of the festival — will also be auctioned off by Stewart’s nonprofit Chic Relief, with 100% of the proceeds going to UN Women and Facing History and Ourselves. The auction is being put on by Red Carpet Advocacy (RAD), founded by costume designer Arianne Phillips and marketing veteran Carineh Martin in 2018 to “change the conversation on the red carpet,” according to The New York Times. RAD stated in a press release that actors Tilda Swinton, Demi Moore, Gia Coppola, and Maya Hawke are joining Blanchett in donating pieces from the festival.
The concept of recycling red carpet fashion isn’t new. In fact, Joaquin Phoenix, who swept the 2020 award season for his role in the Oscar-nominated film The Joker, wore one tuxedo, from sustainable fashion designer Stella McCartney, all season long. “This man is a winner,” the designer wrote on Twitter in regard to Phoenix’s fashion statement. “Wearing custom Stella because he chooses to make choices for the future of the planet. He has also chosen to wear this same tux for the entire award season to reduce waste. I am proud to join forces with you.”
Blanchett's Where’d You Go Bernadette co-star Troian Bellisario, too, participated in the movement after reworking her wedding dress for the 2020 Golden Globes after-party. That’s right, the former PLL star took the skirt from her boho Cortana Bridal gown, ditched the sheer, long-sleeved top it was originally paired with, and wore it with a silk tank top instead. “Wore half my wedding dress. Home by 11. Eating ice cream. Happy #goldenglobes2020,” she wrote on Instagram. Blanchett herself is no stranger to repeating looks on the red carpet, having worn her 2014 Golden Globes to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
With the Emmy’s just two weeks away, we can’t help but hope that Blanchett’s fashion statement is a sign of what’s to come. That is, a greener, more conscious display of style on the red carpet going forward.