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February 24, 2016

Scene and Heard: Cate Blanchett

Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan

Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer

Editors' Notes

Beryl LaCoste Hamilton and Cate Blanchett at the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards held at the Beverly Hilton.

“I was at the ready because once again I have chosen form over function,” said Cate Blanchett, who emerged quickly from backstage wearing a black Atelier Versace gown to accept the Lacoste Spotlight award at the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday, February 23. “A lot of actors get up here onstage—this is where they hold the Golden Globes—to say how thrilled they are, but really, I actually am. I adore costume, I always have,” said Blanchett who accepted the award from noted costume designer Sandy Powell, with whom Blanchett has worked on a number of films including The Aviator and Cinderella. Beryl Lacoste Hamilton, granddaughter of Jean René Lacoste, was on hand to congratulate Blanchett. Lacoste Hamilton said, “Look at the career she’s had, and family. She’s a modern woman.”

The actress, nominated for a Best Actress Oscar this year for her performance in the Todd Haynes film Carol, with clothes also designed by Powell, described her long-standing affinity for costumes. “My sister trained as a costume and set designer, and I as an actor, and we used to play this game every weekend where she would dress me up and I would inhabit the form that she had given me. And she’d give me names, and our favorite character was Piggy Trucker,” Blanchett explained. Turns out Piggy was a man who drove a pig truck and consequently became conflicted about his meat consumption habits. Though the Blanchett refrained from playing the part during her speech, she gleefully recalled the fun she had depicting him. “I won’t perform Piggy for you, but she would name this thing that she had created, and it was a dialog and it was fun,” added Blanchett, noting that the game with her sister enabled her to learn to work with costume designers early on in her career. “It’s been a conversation,” she said. “In the end, it’s in those costume fittings… where you actually get to make manifest the psychological things you’ve been talking about in the rehearsal room.”

By Elizabeth Varnell

Pictured: Cate Blanchett in Atelier Versace and a Tiffany & Co. necklace at the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards held at the Beverly Hilton.
Photo by Stefanie Keenan

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