What Helena Bonham Carter taught me about style

Yesterday it was announced that my style icon Helena Bonham Carter has made the New Year Honours list and is to be awarded with a CBE for services to drama.

I adore Helena Bonham Carter. She stars in some of my favourite films and every role is different- from the frankly crazy Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter to her voicework as a storytelling mother squirrel in The Gruffalo (yes, I love it!). Her relationship with the darkly quirky director Tim Burton is not only admirable in this age of celebrity bed-hopping but also endearingly kooky- they live in their own neighbouring houses attached by a connecting door.

However, the one thing I really love about Helena is her style. She is the patron saint of wearing whatever you feel like and not giving a monkey's whether anyone else approves. Her style is so quintessentially her and yet it never seems contrived or try-hard.

So without further ado, here are the top 3 lessons that I learned about style from Helena Bonham Carter.

1. If you want to wear bloomers, bloody well go for it!

Ok, so I admit that this look isn't something I would wear. It's not the outfit here so much that I love- it's the attitude! She is wearing bloomers! Proper, full on Victorian undergarment-esque bloomers. Does she care? Not at all. In fact, she's even dressed little Nell in bloomers too. The message here is loud and clear: Who cares what's in the high street ? If you like it, wear it!

In fact, I actually did start wearing bloomers a couple of years ago. Only under my dresses, mind, but whenever somebody caught a glimpse of them, I was showered in compliments!

2. You can be eccentric and glamorous simultaneously.

Kooky and elegance don't go together, right? You're either a quirky dresser or you're chic and sophisticated, surely? Not so! Helena's red carpet looks show how it is possible to inject your own individual style into a black tie dresscode. The key? Keep one element traditional. If you want an extravagant print, stick to a classic silhouette. If you fancy unusual details, consider elegant colour schemes.

I wish I'd learned this before my 2004 prom. Maybe then I wouldn't have ended up looking like this:

Moving on...

3. Mismatched shoes are cool!

Finally! Let me take you back to 2005 for a moment. I'm 17 years old and I'm in a club with my shoe-size-six best friend. I own black Converse hi-tops and she owns a matching red pair. We have decided to swap one shoe for the night so we are each in one red and one black, like a sunburnt penguin rolling down a hill or a newspaper or however those old jokes go.

People are dumbfounded. Even in a rock club, surrounded by men in PVC corsets and women with enough facial piercings to set off an airport security alert, we are drawing attention.

Then, 6 years later, Helena Bonham Carter comes along and wears mismatched shoes to the Golden Globes. Exactly the same style but a different colour each, just like we did. Except Helena's choice is a more sophisticated choice, naturally! After all that time, we have finally spotted someone who doesn't think it's a totally barmy idea.

Although, we are going to take all the credit for trendsetting...

So there we have it, 3 style lessons learned from the bloomered, mismatched and generally wonderful Helena Bonham Carter. I can't wait to see what she wears to meet the Queen...


  1. That's absolutely brilliant! You make up your rules about style and fashion! That's exactly what it should be. Fantastic! :-)

  2. I really like this post! I've always admired the fearless outfits Helena chooses to wear to award ceremonies - she and Tim Burton make for a striking couple!

  3. I love her I think she is so gorgeous! You have such a lovely blog, Glad I found you so I could follow

    You should come check out my blog if you've got a sec (;

  4. Haha great! HBC is one of my absolute favorite actresses and I love how she never compromises her personal style for the red carpets! Thanks for sharing!


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