Nominated for Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett arrived to the 1999 ceremony in an instant-classic violet gown embroidered with flowers and, perched on her back, a gorgeous hummingbird. Supposedly, the same man who made that immortal dress, John Galliano of Dior, was also responsible for Maestro’s look that year. Her ensemble does capture the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink millennial Galliano aesthetic much more than Blanchett’s, but I remain unconvinced that this dress wasn’t the product of a proto–Project Runway craft-store challenge. Or hey, remember in Pretty in Pink, when Harry Dean Stanton gives Molly Ringwald two ugly dresses and she has to make one pretty dress out of them? I think maybe it was that kind of situation, except in this case Maestro had a roll of wallpaper, a bunch of faux fruit from Linens ’n Things and a scarf I bought in Oaxaca, and she still hit the red carpet looking as confident as if she were wearing the other Galliano dress.
Next Céline Dion, 1999