Thursday, February 28, 2013

Helena Bonham-Carter, Style Svengali

Do you know dear Prttynpnk? When she comments on my blog, first I laugh, and then I think.  About my recent bloomers, she said "OOH! How is it that Helena Bonham Carter hasn't wrestled you to the ground for those?" And then she pointed out that this remark was a compliment!

No fear that I'd take it otherwise--I am a fan of HBC but hadn't given her a lot of thought lately (as I try hard to squash interest in celebrities in myself). But Prtty's comment made me go looking to see what Helena's been about, and I found the personal style part of her, well, persona, intriguing.

Here we see a grown-up woman (close to my age) who is clearly very interested in and deliberate about clothes. And yet she is not trying to use clothing to look younger, thinner, sexier or on-trend. Of course it doesn't hurt that she's a bona fide world-class beauty, but still, if you saw this person on the street, you would probably think, "What a nut!"

With a kindred spirit

Love the contrariness of this look

Dress, bloomers, knee socks and passenger tricycle--I ask you, does it get any better than this?

The eighties called and said they love you, too.

In full sail, with socks askew

From the bottom of my heart, I admire this woman.

Apparently Helena even launched a fashion line in the mid-2000s with British designer Samantha Sage called--wait for it--Pantaloonies. This venture seems to be defunct, however, if the lack of current info online can be considered an indication.

Pantaloonies: just the thing to wear with your Victorian mob cap (they really did offer them!)
Above all, Helena is unapologetic and consistent in her fashion impulses. She's made an art of appearing on Worst Dressed lists and she seems proud to acknowledge herself as a "fashion anti-Christ."

For the record, I know HBC is not the only wearer/designer/champion of this grungy, romantic, shabby, high Victorian style. But she has given it a higher profile over many years than anyone else.

Thanks again, Prtty, for the awesome compliment and for inspiring me to look up Helena Bonham-Carter!


  1. Fantastic post!! I can't believe I ever resisted HBC's whimsy. Now she's someone I aspire to become. And Anne/Prtty is the best. She always nails it. Why Joan Rivers hasn't hired her is beyond me.

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  3. I have such hair, javket and sass envy with the BC! She is just amazing!!