Fashion at Its Very Best

April 20, 2016


One person who always fascinates me is the actress and Oscar winner (the only Australian to win twice) Cate Blanchett. It seems that every time I open a magazine/newspaper or watch TV she’s there – looking absolutely splendid in some incredible outfit.

Not only does it seem that she’s always in the U.S. while her home base is Australia with her director-writer husband and four children -- the trip from her home, a suburb called Hunters Hill in Sydney, to the eastern United States is a logistical nightmare.

Going from Sydney to Los Angeles takes 16 hours and 45 minutes and from Los Angeles to New York is another four hours and 55 minutes. Yet, she seems to commute constantly while looking fresh-faced and smashing in every outfit she wears which is ultimately photographed and viewed by the whole world.

The dramatic Sydney Opera House in Australia

I watched her in a TV interview once and she reminded me very much of Gloria Steinem in one respect: she speaks very quickly in whole sentences without a single hesitation. This is much more of a feat than most people realize and she does it effortlessly it seems.

Which brings me to this: a fascinating article as told to Tara Lamont-Djite, that appeared in Bazaar, 2016 titled Secrets of a Celebrity Stylist and subtitled Elizabeth Stewart reveals what it takes to make Cate Blanchett the best-dressed woman in the world.

Photo: Courtesy of Bazaar

Trust me, it takes a lot of mind-boggling effort. Take a look at the salient points I’ve picked out and make sure you’re sitting down while reading.

  • I’ve been styling Cate Blanchett for more than eight years. Because of her crazy schedule, she doesn’t have a lot of time for fittings. She tends to come in for them right before an event.
  • Cate and I email three to four times about dresses before we meet, so there’s been some back-and-forth about images we’ve exchanged.
  • Normally we try to prep all the clothes the night before a fitting because we often start very early. I’ve had fittings at 2 am. The preparation for an awards show is always ongoing because there are a lot of custom things involved.
  • When Cate and I are together, we’re looking for pieces for several events. We’ll do our fittings in Cate’s hotel or my studio – whatever works.
  • Today was a usual day. Cate landed from Sydney and we went right to work on what she would wear for some upcoming TV appearances and the New York premiere of Carol.
  • I had roughly 10 dresses to show her. We never have the luxury of a three-hour meeting. We fit about 20 events in less than an hour. During this process we photograph everything.
  • One year at the Oscars Cate was about eight months pregnant and she wore a Dries Van Noten dress. She arrived that morning, tried it on for the first time and then wore it. She’s really decisive.
  • Cate loves new designers so we stay on top of that as well. For example, she wore a tattoo dress by Yacine Aouadi in New York. She’ll send me an email about a designer and say, “What about this person?” And it’s always someone I’ve never even heard of, which is amazing.


You’ll never have to worry about fit with our layering tops. Our size chart is very accurate and all our tops will give you an extremely flattering silhouette because our luxe Italian fabric always fits perfectly and looks sensational. How can you beat that?

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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