As someone who writes about books for a living, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple’s smash-hit 2012 novel about an eccentric mother and architect who mysteriously disappears. So, I had no idea what to expect when I went to a screening of Richard Linklater’s film adaptation of the novel a few weeks ago.
The acting was award-worthy, the settings were dreamy (think: a big, old house set against a gray and rainy Seattle backdrop and the expansive beauty of Antarctica) and the plot was, for anyone unfamiliar with the book, absolutely fabulous. But the thing that stuck with me most? The film’s costuming. Specifically, just about everything Cate Blanchett wears as the lead, Bernadette Fox.
Bernadette’s wardrobe is truly a minimalist’s dream. She envelopes herself in a wardrobe of neutrals, selecting classic silhouettes that are at once super flattering and ultra-comfortable. Bernadette is a brilliant, if idiosyncratic, mind, who would be perfectly happy never speaking to anyone aside from her husband and daughter. Her wardrobe suggests a woman who is unbothered by trends or status items or fashion in general. You can imagine her opening her closet and grabbing a few items with her eyes closed.