Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Red Dress (part 1)

Vogue <span class=

Once again I draw upon you for my academic research! Last time your fabulous form filling helped me get 84% in my contextual studies essay!

My MA dissertation is about the red dress. I won't bore you or reveal my full examination/question just yet, but I would like to ask you to comment on these two photos of Cate Blanchett in a red dress.

What is your reaction to women when they are wearing a red dress?
How do you feel when you wear a red dress?

Vogue Australia 50<span class=
Images: Getty Images

PS Post Update - thanks for all the brilliant comments keep 'em coming! Also the dress Cate is wearing is an Ossie Clark and I forgot to thank the wonderful Shrimpton Couture for alerting me to this splendid red dress!


  1. I think women who wear red dresses are condident with a sense of self. When I wear red I feel empowered.
    hoppe you are well. she looked stunning in Red!

  2. I feel sexy, strong and I like teh way it contrasts with pale skin

  3. I think it's a very powerful sexy colour (good thing) it also reminds of that dreadful Chris De Burgh song!! (bad thing) x

  4. I have never really thought about whether it makes me feel or look sexy, confident etc but I do like red (espec red shoes) and I feel it is a colour thats suits blondes and brunettes alike. I guess it is considered a sexy colour by many.

  5. Red is one of my favourite colours. A red dress makes me feel confident and strong, but you have to have self-confidence to wear a red dress as it definitely gets you noticed!

    When I see a woman in a red dress I think she wants to be seen and wants to show she's in control. What I also love about a red dress (being on the pale side myself) is that it can really work with a pale complexion.

  6. That is so stunning! Cate is beautiful!

    OOh yes I agree with Top Bird, very Handmaid's Tale!

  7. Hi darling! Wonderful post!
    Oh, I adore red dress! So stunning!


  8. I would never ever wear a red dress- aside from the Chris de Burgh/Handmaids tale overtures, it makes me think of 90s hookers and my aunts in Manchester going out for a night on the town (an experience that scarred!)

    I think the Cate Blanchett is different though; it is long and feminine and 70s inspired. I can see how this would be empowering, and she looks great. But the phrase red dress rather than this picture has very different connotations for me.

  9. PS - If it helps, I just asked a male collegue what he thought and he responded that red dresses were as tacky as wearing red lingerie on Valentines day!

  10. Red is my favorite color and Cate is my favorite actress, so I'm a BIT biased, but ...

    I generally buy into the belief that red is a power color, and when I see women in red dresses, I feel like they are strong, confident, and kindred spirits. I think, "GO YOU!"

    When I wear my red dresses, I don't generally feel extra strong and powerful myself, though. I just feel confident and comfortable. It's a color that has always looked good on me, so it feels like home.

  11. Cate looked STUNNING in this dress. I love it.

  12. One of my favorite dress-wearing moments ever was in red, while everyone else was in black:

  13. I'm working my up to red. I love Cate in this. Another great red dress was the wrap dress that Eva Greene wore in her last scene in Casino Royale.

  14. I LOVE Cate in this dress...

    I think, when I see a woman in a red dress, either "she's pulling it off" or "she's really not pulling it off".

    I've never worn a red dress - though I'm not averse to it and I wear many bright colours. I have worn many red skirts and accessories.

  15. Ohh a woman in a red dress = confidant, eye-catching, making a statement, standing out, intelligent, alluring, charming without being tacky (in this case anyway!)


  16. I'm a huge fan of the red dress. I have never worn one, so I can't say what I feel like in one, but I do have red pieces in my wardrobe, and I wear them when I a) feel bold; b) want to feel strong.

    I love red.

  17. I think Ms. Blanchett looks stunning, in that dress, especially given that the shape of it is rather demur and only reveals with the v-neck.

    Red makes me feel sexy. I'm fairly certain men notice me more when I wear red. I had a boyfriend who couldn't keep his hands off me if I wore a red top.

  18. What a great dress - she looks more ethereal than ever somehow.

    Red has always been my favourite colour. I have more red shoes/accessories than I care to admit and often wear red dresses or tops both for day and evening wear.

    A red dress always cheers me up and makes me feel confident; the strong colour also seems to add a bit of pep to my steadfastly pale skin and dirty-blond hair! It has to be the right shade of red though - tomato is a huge no-no, blood-scarlet is perfect.

    Great topic for a dissertation - enjoy!

  19. Red is a very passionate and sexy color for me...I feel that a woman in red is in her most sext mood!
    Good luck for your research! It seems to be so interesting!
    Share with us all when you can!

  20. Request fulfilled....I personally have a real dislike for red but only when I'm wearing it... on other people like Ms. Blanchett, it looks fantastic.... but the question is all dependent on the cut of the dress, the style etc.... what's going on along with the red dress....

  21. Hi there-sorry for the late reply, my internet's been down:-( Back to business, I always thought I wanted a red dress-I bought one last year (an Ossie) but its not really me!! I love it more on others I think, I feel more at home and confident in patterns, especially florals and I like plain colours like black, grey, white and green!

  22. I would love to wear a red dress, but don't have the confidence. I think that a women who wears a red dress is totally in control of her confidence and happy in her own skin.

    It's very sexy, although I don't think that Cate looks sexy in this one - sophisticated, glam, grown up, confident, but not sexy

  23. Cate is always stunning on the red carpet..she is one of the most elegant women of her generation.

  24. Beautiful summery, breezy silhouette!


  25. Red says power and sex, to me. A red dress is aggressive, in a good way, although Nancy Reagan came close to ruining red for me. Because of her awfyl penchant for wearing red,it was briefly knows as Reagan Red.

  26. For me, red spells glamour. One Hot Tomato.
    Sister Wolf, Regan Red and Carrington Blue ?

  27. Blondes look fab in red. Cate looks radiant here and Sienna looked sophisticated in her red lippy at whatever-that-premiere-was earlier this week. I like this dress because the long sleeves make an otherwise vampy dress a bit more demure. I wouldn't wear a red dress because I don't like drawing attention to myself - I would be feel over exposed! But my reaction to other women in a red dress? Hmm, depends on the dress I guess, but if it looked good I'd like it. But I don't know if I'd react to it any differently than any other coloured dress...

  28. Hey Make-Do! I made my over from Sister Wolf's site. Interesting post!

    Cate Blanchett looks sophisticated, sexy and powerful in this red dress. It's strange to use all those words to describe the effect of a dress that actually looks quite comfortable (not clingy, no exposure of boobage etc) and I think it's the color that does it. Black may have looked too old and serious. Green, blue, pink, yellow...all bad, those colors would have just made it look too retro. Red, oddly enough, looks perfect.

    I myself cannot wear red. I think it looks bad with my skin tone. I do wear it away from my face though-- I have a pair of Paul Smith red skinny cords that I love.

    Wait, I did wear a red dress one night though (I can do it for night-time) and I do remember acting like a right little minx all night, but then again I was plastered at the time.

    Re: the Chris de Burgh song. He apparently wrote that about his wife. Then he had an affair with his young, blond babysitter. The radio stations in Ireland alternated between playing the schmaltzy "Lady in Red" with the equally but in a different way atrocious "Blond hair, blue jeans." Perhaps it's because of that, but when I think of a woman in a red dress, I do think of someone more mature, sophisticated and in control of their sexuality. The opposite of someone with blond hair and blue jeans.

  29. I'm late to this, but will throw in 2 cents: I have a similar aversion to red as Sister Wolf's - mine stems from too many St.John knits trunk shows and women in their red knit jackets.

    That said, I would wear a red dress but would be very picky about cut and color red. I love Cate's dress, it's gorgeous, but as soon as I saw the shoes I hated red again. Too much red! And the shoes look cherry red, a different hue from the dress. But the first photo is all sexy and strong. A great red dress.

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