Cate Blanchett had the ability to know exactly what her character in Blue Jasmine would and wouldn't wear.
The actress stars in Woody Allen's movie Blue Jasmine, in which she plays a New York socialite whose life has tumbled down around her ears.
Costume designer Suzy Benzinger crafted the look Cate sports for the film, and shared what the Australian star is like to work with.
"When Cate comes into a room as an actress, the other Cate, the fashion Cate, is left behind. I assisted Theoni V. Aldredge for a long time and saw the same thing happen with other great actors - De Niro, for instance. His whole demeanour changes when he puts on the clothes," Suzy told the New York Times. "With the good ones, the clothes change the way they walk, the way they stand. For Blue Jasmine, I had I don’t know how many racks of clothes in my loft, and Cate came in one morning and immediately went to a simple sheath dress and said, 'This is not something I’d ever wear in a million years, but I’m feeling Jasmine right now.'"
Suzy has styled the cast of five of Woody's films. The acclaimed director has his own signature look and opinion on style that can make her job challenging.
"If you took a picture of Woody from 30 years ago and another from today, he’s wearing the same thing. Don’t expect him to come out in a John Varvatos suit. It’s not going to happen," she laughed.
"So, when Woody watches screen tests, he never understands why characters have to have more than two costumes. He’ll say: 'Oh, she’s dynamite in that dress. She can wear that in the scene with Clay.' And I’ll say: 'Woody, there’s no way she would be wearing that dress. It’s six years later!'"
Suzy praised Cate's strong sense of who her character Jasmine is. She described how the outfit in one scene, in which the actress dons a red Carolina Herrera dress, came to be.
"We had a Valentino strapless dress for the cocktail party scene, but Cate did not want to wear it. She felt she didn’t do service to the dress. She said, 'I just think Jasmine would be more beautiful in this,' meaning the Carolina Herrera. There is something you should know about Woody’s crews. They’ve worked with him for years, and they’ve seen it all. They’re not interested in what an actress has on," she continued.
"But the day Cate Blanchett walked on set in that Carolina Herrera, I had a gaffer come up to me and say, 'I’ve never seen a woman look more beautiful in my life.'"
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