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Sustainability has become a hot topic in fashion, and Cate Blanchett is putting it front-and-center on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. The jury president is stepping out for the festival’s opening fete Tuesday night wearing an intricately detailed, black lace look that keen style watchers may recognize: it’s the same Armani Prive gown she wore to the 2014 Golden Globes.
“From couture to T-shirts, landfills are filled with garments that have been unnecessarily discarded,” Blanchett tells THR. “Particularly in today’s climate, it seems willful and ridiculous that such beautiful garments are not cherished and reworn for a lifetime.”
The Ocean’s 8 star’s stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, echoes the statement: “We couldn’t see any reason not to re-wear a dress we love so much and so many reasons to re-wear a dress,” she says. “It’s not just couture gowns that take hundreds of hours to make but all clothes that are filling landfills. We need to get the word out to get rid of this ridiculous notion that dresses cannot be worn twice! Beautiful clothes should last a lifetime.”
As this year’s Cannes jury president, Blanchett is choosing her wardrobe carefully to address several issues that are top of mind in Hollywood and the fashion industry, including sustainability and female representation. “It’s an opportunity to tell a story,” says Stewart, whose first time working with Blanchett on her Cannes wardrobe was in 2006.
On Tuesday afternoon, for a jury photocall, the actress chose a pastel pink suit by Stella McCartney, a designer who has made environmental and animal welfare the foundation of her luxury business.
Blanchett and Stewart have spent a lot of time thinking about the growing call for sustainability in fashion. (In 2014, the actress accepted her Oscar for Blue Jasmine wearing Cannes sponsor Chopard’s eco-friendly “Green Carpet Challenge” laurel earrings made from fair mined gold and responsibly sourced diamonds.)
“I recently had lunch with the young designer Esteban Cortazar who is using mushroom leather and looking at how to get silk from spider webs,” says Stewart. “Designers are thinking about this stuff now and it matters to them. Our choices will be reflective of things people are talking about.”
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