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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I laughed out loud — in delight! — when I saw actress Helena Bonham Carter’s wild hair, exposed tulle and, especially, her mismatched shoes at the Golden Globes in January.

Helena Bonham Carter, courtesy E!

Would I wear this outfit? No. Do I love a woman whose outfits scream, “Fuck you, fashion police!”? Hell, yeah!

I realized Helena had to be my first Wear What You Want™ icon when I read an interview she did with People last month:

“Sometimes I get it right and I sometimes I get it wrong,” she told People. “But fashion is all about having fun. I think fashion has been hijacked by the fashion industry creating rules on what one should wear and I feel like breaking the mold and seeing that the world won’t crumble.”

She went on to say, “Why not wear mismatching shoes? Who says we can’t?” and, when asked what she will wear to the Oscars on February 27, she laughed and said, “Maybe I will wear the exact same [Vivienne Westwood] dress I wore at the Golden Globes but with matching shoes … Or put the shoes on my head!”

In a new story in the Telegraph, the Oscar dress question came up again. This time, she said, “It’s probably going to be a catastrophe. But it’s like, I’m gonna go for it.” I can’t wait to see! And, by the way, I thought she was stellar in The King’s Speech.

Check out the Huffington Post for a slideshow of Helena’s past outfits.

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45 Responses to ““Wear What You Want™” Icon: Helena Bonham Carter”

  1. K-Line says:

    Secretly, I love her! Do you remember Lady Jane? Hawt sex scenes with Cary Elwes!!

  2. patni says:

    I love her. I might not wear that outfit either, but i am so sick of people just wearing safe and boring. I am aaaaalllll for wear what you want. Who cares? its just clothes.

  3. Jem says:

    I so agree with her about fashion being hijacked by the fashion industry creating rules…what’s hip & what’s hot, what’s in & what’s not, what’s a flip & what’s a flop…who cares!
    Helena’s creative & quirky way of dressing pisses all over any contrived fashion bible bullshit… Huzzah for Helena!

  4. Courtney says:

    She’s an amazing actress. I don’t care what she wears!

  5. CDP says:

    I love her, and “The King’s Speech” (one of the few movies I’ve seen this year) was a great, great movie. She will be one of the few reasons to even look at Oscar fashion next month. Most of it will be the usual dreary styled perfection.

  6. Yes, ever since Hollywood hired stylists, the red carpet’s lost personality. It’s really boring, especially to a magazine editor like me. What’s worse is the stars are like walking advertisements, “I’m wearing so and so with this and that.” it’s so refreshing when the star says, “This is MINE.” Those would be Oprah and Reese Witherspoon before she divorced Ryan.

  7. And I just want to add the following:

    1. She was really fantastic in The King’s Speech. she really did nail the Queen Mum role!

    2. Isn’t that a WendyB pose?

    • WendyB says:

      Very close! But considering the lack of arm action AND smile AND lipstick…I can’t give her credit for the pose. Just for the shoes!

  8. Sheila says:

    I just adore her – I love that she wears whatever the heck she wants and be damned what people say. And I think she looks great!

  9. Toby Wollin says:

    You know, I think Helena BC is actually very very clever in this. By taking the “Mad Woman of Chaillot” position, she takes all the crazy fug girl/fashion pundit/that dress should have been worn by someone smaller and younger garbage out of the equation. Not as totally off the charts as Bjork but definitely the English eccentric. And she’s copping a snook at the whole thing. Good for her. And I think she was wonderful in The King’s Speech. Just marvelous.

    • WendyB says:

      An extremely sexist and much older man who I know professionally once said to me, “What are you going to do when you can’t be cute anymore?” over lunch. (BTW, I was already about 40 when he said that so I was thinking, “Cute?” But 40 is probably pretty cute to 80.) It was inappropriate to slap him at that moment, so I said that when I was done with cute I would be completely mad, wear my lipstick on my teeth and dare anyone to say anything about it. I’m definitely going to take inspiration from Helena.

  10. Rachel says:

    My friend saw her at a cafe in England once with her kids. She was wearing a bustle in the middle of a normal day. That is called Not Giving a Fuck.

  11. Poochie says:

    Michelle Obama recently said a similar quote re: her state dinner McQueen dress – “Look, women, wear what you love. That’s all I can say. That’s my motto. I wear what I like because…I gotta be in the dress, so…”

    She could be your next icon. Or Tilda Swinton, who I love fashion wise.

  12. She’s always Fight Club in my mind, disheveled Victorian mad beauty. Donald Pliner sold Mauds in differing colors: the only way to get a matched set was to buy two pair.

    Just pure beauty and nothing can ever be wrong on her.

  13. April says:

    I have a major girl-crush on her, and I love her theory of fashion! She rocks everything she wears and that’s all that matters! Fashion is definitely all about fun.


  14. Lynette says:

    WendyB, you write a fine post, honey. And your subject matter absolutely sings out loud, waking up those lucky enough to be within your sphere. I love this post. I wish I had her guts, shoot, I wish I had your guts. Thanks for stopping by to visit earlier.

  15. I had to type bobfosse awesome!!!!!! I love Helena she can act the shit out of anything. I love that she does not care what the rest of the world thinks.

  16. Maja Piraja says:

    God I love her and her crazy husband.

  17. mystyle says:

    Hi there-love this post, she is just so eccentric and uniquely stylish, I wish I had her self confidence a bit more regarding style and fashion!

  18. cryskay says:

    i think she may be onto something – the mismatch shoes trend that is. i’m surprised more people don’t wear mismatched shoes. lol xo

  19. Go channel HBC is what I say. you’ve got her love her for doing as she pleases!

  20. Mary says:

    I do love the way she wears whatever the fuck she wants but she lost me with the different coloured shoes. The VW dress is gorgeous and that look suits her well. BTW am I the only person who found ‘The King’s Speech’ formulaic and tedious? The relationships were hard to believe and the royal family as witty purveyors of one-liners just ridic.

  21. Love your blog. Now following.

    Love her style.

    Check out my blog if you’ve got time and feel like it. It would mean a lot. I’ve just started.
    Karoline Kalvo

  22. I love her excentricity. She is a one in a million. Xxxx

  23. Tina says:

    OMG it would be hilarious if she just wore the exact same outfit to the Oscars that she wore to the Golden Globes! I would love if anyone ever did that!!!

  24. Sally says:

    Helena is most definitely her own woman. I adore her for her eff-off fashion choices!

  25. You will be so jealous, she lives in my suburb. Have only spotted her a few times but she always looks bonkers, I love her. And I think it is heartening that women all over the place think she is totally awesome.

  26. Lianne says:

    don’t like her dress, but I love her! Great actress


  27. elena daciuk says:

    first of all…i absolutely love your trademark “wear what you want”…being a fashion consultant for many many years…it kills me when someone wants to look like someone else…how about just being you? the best you that you can be…i admire people that find their own personal style…whether others approve of it or not…and wear it…because it is what “they” like…and what “they” feel most comforstable in…
    although i personally would not wear mis-matched shoes…you gotta give it to the girl…
    i’ve been known to raise an eyebrow or two with my outfits…which i think are pretty tame…but even to that i say…i’m the one wearing it…i’m not forcing you to…great post wendyb!…(once again!)

  28. My eldest daughter used to wear different colour converse to school in 6th form – not my favourite look but like you, you gotta love em for it!

  29. Maddy says:

    I love her!! She’s a fashion badass, but we’ve come to know and love that about her by now! Plus, she’s an excellent actress, so she can wear whatever the hell she wants in my book!

  30. melina bee says:

    I was literally thinking this morning about the fashion police and how I usually like best who is on their worst dress list. I love HBC, she’s so talented and has retained her unique identity when so many other actresses become generic copies of one another. I agree whole heartedly with her quote and would like to paraphrase Anna Wintour when she said that bad taste is refreshing, it’s lack of taste at all that really blows.

  31. liz says:

    I love her so much. To me, she epitomizes what an actress should be like. She’s brilliant and beautiful and the wild dressing only adds to how awesome she is.

  32. Tiffany says:

    love the two color shoes



  33. lisa says:

    She is definitely amazing.

  34. Amen to wearing what the HELL you want! And in the immortal words of Sheree from RHOA “Who gonna check me boo?”
    More women need to embrace their inner “Wear What You Want”

  35. Miss Janey says:

    She is stellar in EVERYTHING. Miss J has never seen her turn in a bad performance.

  36. Susan Tiner says:

    She looks great. I especially like her mismatching shoes. Now I can’t wait to see the movie! It’s on the list.

  37. I love her and her fearless style. I would actually wear some of her outfits (some I don’t have the bottle for but love anyway).

  38. Oh! She’s fabulous. I cannot wait to see what she does at the Oscars either xx

  39. stacy says:

    I love her, I just wish she would not look like such a mess. Wear what you want is a great policy, but why try to make yourself look like a train wreck?
    It’s just not flattering and she’s such a beautiful girl. I can’t even appreciate the clothes because it’s kind of a mess. Sorry to say it!

  40. Rubiatonta says:

    I love HBC, too. And as I’ve said before, you’ve got to give her credit for getting the red shoe on the port side and the green one on the starboard.

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always admired HBC’s fashion sense and bravery.