Cate Blanchett's Red Carpet Style Evolution

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It’s not often that you come across an actress who, for decades, manages to capture America’s heart not only for her amazing talent on screen, but also for her ability to stun everyone again and again with each successive ensemble she wears on the red carpet. But when it comes to Australian actress Cate Blanchett, there’s no denying that the superstar easily fits both bills. And while, like every other celeb, she’s had her sartorial highs and lows over the nearly two decades of being in the spotlight, it’s practically mind-blowing to look back at the Oscar nominee’s early days on the red carpet and discover that the chic, high-fashion, and envelope-pushing gowns and ensembles she wears today were her M.O. from the start. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at 10 of the star’s best and most defining looks throughout her red carpet career.

2003 Directors Guild of America Awards

She may have made her first sartorial splash in a show-stopping and body-hugging John Galliano gown at the 1999 Academy Awards, but the actress really stepped into her now-famous polished but edgy style with this metallic silver two-piece suit at the 2013 Directors Guild of America Awards.    

2004 Golden Globes

Think this award season’s maternity style is amazing? Blanchett was pioneering sexy mom-to-be fashion back in 2004 when she wore this deep-plunging, ruby red Donna Karan number to the Golden Globe Awards. 

2005 Golden Globes

Just one year later, Blanchett was back at it again, showing off her curves and impeccable fashion sense in a powder blue, floor-sweeping number from Jean Paul Gaultier.    

2007 Academy Awards

Taking a step onto the edgier side, the Blue Jasmine actress opted for a fits-like-a-glove gunmetal gown from Armani Privé — just one of many of the amazing looks from the designer that she’s worn over the years.    

2007 Rome Film Festival

That same year, Blanchett pulled out all the stops in this sexy, strapless, and voluminous number from Armani Privé for the Rome premiere of her epic biopic, Elizabeth.    

2010 Cannes Film Festival

If she was hoping to make a statement at the Cannes Film Festival, this avant-garde Alexander McQueen gown — complete with a major bird graphic and tulle on tulle on tulle — definitely did the trick.    

2011 Academy Awards

It’s hard to capture the true beauty of this Givenchy Couture gown in a photo, but we’re certain the breathtaking beaded number will go down in history as not only one of Blanchett’s best-ever looks, but also one of the best red carpet moments of all time.    

2013 Dubai Film Festival

The blonde beauty joined the caped crusaders in 2013 with a flawless burgundy Valentino number that perfectly captured her daring and streamlined sense of style.    

2013 'Blue Jasmine' Premiere

It’s not often that Blanchett opts for a figure-hiding ensemble, but this flared, groovy, and printed number from Christian Dior Couture does the style pro a surprising number of high-fashion favors. 

2014 Golden Globes

It was a good sign of what was to come this awards season when Blanchett showed up to the Golden Globes in this high-neck (but super-low-back) lace Armani Privé gown. And just think: If she looked this good for the first awards show of the season, imagine how good she’ll look at this Sunday’s Oscars.