Helen Mirren & Helena Bonham Carter Rep Different Ends Of The Workin' It Spectrum


The BAFTA Britannia Awards were held in Los Angeles last night. (As an aside: Is there also like an American Academy of Film and Television Arts Americana Awards ceremony that is held once a year in London? No.) Helen Mirren AND Helena Bonham Carter showed up, and we are pleased.

So, here’s one end of the aforementioned workin’ it spectrum. It’s not just that she’s got a bodacious bod, but more importantly, it’s inspiring to see a woman over the age of sixty in Hollywood having fun getting dressed. I hate the idea that when we’re girls, we’re encouraged to play dress-up, and as young women, we’re expected to look attractive and presentable, and for those us who try to reclaim these expectations into our personal style by focusing on what’s fun to wear rather than what’s conventionally pretty or sexy or beautiful or cute or whatever, there inevitably comes an age when suddenly, we aren’t encouraged to express ourselves however we want by our clothing, and we can’t have fun without being shamed for wearing something “age inappropriate,” and even though Helen Mirren isn’t totally shattering all that with her fashion choices, at the very least, she reminds us that just because a women is over sixty doesn’t mean she is no longer interested in dressing up or feeling frisky or wanting to be beautiful. End of verbal diarrhea.

So here’s the other end of workin’ it, and it’s the one that is basically like, “I could give two fucks about what you think,” which doesn’t mean that Helena Bonham Carter isn’t interested in fashion, or that she’s a sloppy dresser. Quite the contrary, actually. It means she’s someone who is using her clothes to very carefully assert — perform? — her identity. And that identity, so far, seems to be a boozed out kitchen wench who stowed away on a cargo ship to America, whereupon she became a barmaid at a saloon in the wild, wild west.

Andrea Riseborough’s dress is so been there, fugged that. Although, I can’t tell if the dress looked worse when it was all bedazzled or when it’s as white and as bare as the walls of a hospital isolation room. Good bun, though. The fuggery of Amanda Eliasch’s outfit is one I have never encountered before. I’m impressed by how she managed to take some recognizable elements of British style—like the hat and the glove—and turn it into… this.

Asha Leo is so pretty and I love her earrings, but her dress is boring and the sequins look cheap. Victoria Summer is also an attractive lady, and I love the roaring 20’s vibes she’s giving out, but the dress looks just a bit too tight and spandex-y for my tastes. More prettiness from Felicity Jones, who looks more shy than ever — and per usual, she’s shown up in a dress that fits her perfectly. Her gown is simple, but the almost corset-y structure of the top is a smart contrast to the floaty layers of her skirt.

Teri Polo is wearing a dress reminiscent of a post-shower towel. It just happens to be a fancy towel with weird lines. Lucy Davis will always remind me of the Yazoo song, “Only You,” and fans of the British Office will know what I’m talking about. She’s wearing my least favorite shoe—the open-toed bootie that cuts you off right above the ankle—with a dress that has boob sequins and, well, is that a bedazzled treasure trail she’s got there? Meanwhile, maybe it’s just the lighting, but the sequins on Amelia Jackson-Gray’s shift also look tacky and boring to me.

I want Alan Cumming to give me eyeliner tips. I want Nigel Lythgoe to show other men how to wear a suit with a pocket square, and I want Christopher McDonald to show other men how to wear a suit sans pocket square.

Another too-tight spandex dress that is in the middle of choking Alice Evans’ girls. Let ’em breathe! Also, she is possibly wearing sheer lace, open-toed booties with a gown. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor went pretty basic and simple. Sarah Cairns went simple and low-cut, and Morgan Freeman’s tux almost looks like the ones that are printed on novelty t-shirts—have you ever seen those? They’re cute.

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