Helena Bonham Carter in Vivienne Westwood

Posted on May 10, 2012

There is simply no point in applying rules and standards of style to Helena Bonham Carter. It is best to simply let Helena Bonham Carter wash over you, like a wave of crazy; a wave of crazy dressed like a Victorian streetwalker.

Helena Bonham Carter attends the European premiere of “Dark Shadows” in London in Vivienne Westwood.

Also, because she clearly doesn’t give a flying fuck what you or anyone else thinks of her clothes.

Never change, HBC.


[Photo Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images]

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  • mozzer0906

    I have to admit I love it.  On anyone but HBC it would be a joke, but on her it all works.  LOVE the bracelet she is sporting and the color pop on her nails.  

    • Scarlet39

      It does somehow work on her, doesnt it? 

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         That bracelet is gorgeous!

    • tripletmom96

      i was going to say pretty much the same thing… only HBC could pull this off, but wow!  it’s great on her!

    • Also the woman has flawless skin, doesn’t she? 

    •  Yes, it is wonderful. This is how I dress in my dreams.

    • kingderella

      HBC is always HBC, but within that frame, she sometimes gets it right and sometimes not.
      i think this is pretty fucking fab!

    • YAY!  LOVE!

    • MissAnnieRN

      Yup. Cosign 100%.

    • Nelliebelle1197

      My son and I once had the pleasure of encountering HBC and her little Burtons at LaBrea Tarpits. She was just doing the usual afternoon mom thing like me, no special treatment or entourage.She basically looked exactly like she does above, except more covered and more monochrome black and outfitted with buttoned kitten heeled boots. We did the usual mom exchanges and other than looking beautifully mad, she was typical mom. Very nice.

  • gsk241

    Oh, HBC, you crazy bitch!  I do love you so!

    • demondoll

      Yes, yes, yes. She’s bonkers and I love her.

    • NinaBoo

      Even if your skirt is made from mattress ticking.

      • Glammie

        Sniffle . . . my one piece of Vivienne Westwood is made from mattress ticking.  I, um, kind of love it.  Even if HBC would rock it better than me.

        Anyway, SOMEBODY needs to be at home in Vivienne Westwood–so here’s to you Helena BC–as fiercely British and eccentric as your favorite designer.

        How is it that she’s not played Miss Havisham yet?  Tim Burton doing Dickens could be both dreadful and wildly entertaining.

        • formerlyAnon

          Isn’t she supposed to be Miss Havisham in a movie that’s coming out this Christmas? Or was that a project that didn’t happen?

        • alice

          Ya, she’s in great expectations that’s already been released in Europe (i think?) look it up on imdb. GREAT cast 🙂

  • filmcricket

    I could swear she’s worn this before, or something of Westwood’s that’s very similar. I kind of love the idea that she has a collection of nutball frocks in her closet, as opposed to borrowing them for the RC.

    • Brigitte Todd

       She does seem to reuse stuff a bit, which I think is awesome. And she’s another woman who doesn’t seem to age.

    • I think all her Westwood dresses are pretty much the same, although I don’t remember the stripy version before.

    • UrsNY

      It reminds me of her costume from the beach fantasy scene from Sweeney Todd. She’s the best. 

      • MikeW_PHX

         I was thinking the exact same thing!!!! 

    • Sara__B

      I love internet searches! HBC wore the same gown to the 2006 Belle Epoque Gala dinner.

      • Glammie

        Brava Helena, you timeless crazy clotheshorse you!

  • belfebe

    HBC can do no wrong.  She’s up there with Her Fuckingtasticness Swinton.  We are simply not worthy.

  • i love HBC and her quirky way of dressing . . . but I can’t help thinking I’ve seen this dress before.

    • Cathy S

       That’s just what I thought. Maybe it was just similar?

      •  I think it’s very similar to the Vivienne Westwood she wore to the Golden Globes in 2011, probably better remembered as the ‘one pink shoe, one green shoe’ outfit. Different fabrics and color scheme but with same explosion of tulle at the bottom/swoop of tulle across the bodice/rumpled overskirt look.

  • Ugh, the proportions are all off, and that hem.. and those sho…Ahh I kid, she’s awesome and I love her and I kinda wanna be her.

    • I know, right?  I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of taking notes up in here.

  • LOVE. 

  • Eva Green has lessons to learn. 

    • Yeah. If you’re gonna dress as a witch, might as well be Bellatrix!

  • Anathema_Device

    I think the problem with other stars who dress crazy from time to time is that they are far too self-conscious about it. HBC clearly dresses for herself (and dresses crazy most of the time).

    • JackieOBlue

      It’s called unique personal style.  On almost anyone else, they would look like they were wearing a costume but on HBC that is just her.  I love it.

  • Sara__B

    I criticized  Eva Green for turning a gown into a costume, yet I always enjoy HBC using a costume as a gown. You summed it up well, T Lo: Never change, HBC (and Vivienne Westwood).

  • I adore it. Then again, I love her. She’s so weird and kooky, without ever trying too hard! It’s an art. 

  • Jessi03

    Oh Helena.  I love you so.  Never stop making movies, dear.  I need you on the red carpet.  Also, this looks like it could have been designed by Jeffrey Sibelia.

    • dschubba

      During a team challenge with Jerrell Scott.

      • Jessi03

        Ha! I was thinking Santino as a partner, but Jerrell works, too!

  • Gorgeous bracelet. And if she was wearing something normal, what would be the point of being her?

  • I love her and she looks glamorous here!

  • crash1212

    Love her. She’s SO beautiful and really knows her style. She’s well put together – look at the jewelry and the red nails are perfect. She’ perfect. Never change, HBC…indeed.

  • I adore her.  She is completely herself, without reference to anyone else’s opinions or thoughts.  Bravo to her, for having the strength of character to stand against the doubtless crushing pressure to conform to more middle of the road ideals of beauty, and style. And of course, she looks gorgeous, and wonderful.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    Her skin is FLAWLESS.

    • shirab

      Even on her hands, did you notice? They look quite young.

      • Sara__B

         That’s what limited sun exposure (or unlimited sunscreen) can do for a gal.

    • fursa_saida

      Also, her HAIR. 

      • deathandthestrawberry

        I’ve been jealous of her hair since Room with a View.

        • carolynmo

          Oh, Lucy honeychurch! Yes, once again, an HBC look that has me shaking my head.

        • mountainFashionista

           I was obsessed with that movie in high school — I tried really hard to make my pin-straight hair into Lucy lusciousness…  Alas, I’m afraid I’ve always been a bit of a Charlotte Bartlett.

    • girliecue

      And her face! I think she has such an exquisitely beautiful face, and I love that her delicate, porcelain doll-like features are a complete contradiction to her unconventional, devil-may-care personality. Just as her outlandish, fanciful sartorial preferences belie her refined manners and sharply intelligent mind. HBC is a walking billboard for the axiom “don’t judge a book by its cover”, or better yet, “don’t judge.”

  • HBC is the honey badger of the red carpet-she don’t give a f*@#.

  • ballerinawithagun

    I will always love Helena.

  • aimee_parrott

    She looks like she’s about to be Jack the Ripper’s next victim, yet somehow it works.  Weird, just like her.

  • Yes. Awesome. Lucy Honeychurch in a brothel. Love it.

  • Jena Marie DiPinto

    I absolutely adore her. I want to be her. Honestly. If I could trade lives with anybody on the planet, it would be her. Working with Burton and Depp playing nutball roles designed for her, wearing nutball outfits designed for her, hair always wild and yet somehow looking gorgeous the whole time? What more could a woman want? I ADORE her.

  • mmgk

    Love.  It makes me laugh that this is who Lucy Honeychurch grew up to be.  

  • nannypoo

    I like this. I can’t think of anyone else who could wear this, but it’s perfect for her. Not to be too picky, but I think she needs some blusher.

  • Yay!!  I completely agree.  Love her.

  • SapphoPoet

    Somehow, she always seems to pull off looks otherwise known as “batshit crazy.” I love her style–so unique and different.

  • Le_Sigh

    Lord, I heart that woman.  

  • Ozski

    She’s found her look and stayed with it. More power to her. She has the most beautifully flawless décolletage and I am salivating over that emerald bracelet!

  • Judy_J

    She looks like she just stepped of the stage after a performance of “Three Penny Opera”, but I love it.

  • I love it. At this point, I would question her sanity if she showed up in anything other than Victorian streetwalker couture. 

  • MilaXX

    This outfit look just like every other she wears; Victorian hooker. I will give her credit for at least wearing fairly normal makeup.

  • lucyloo222

    I love that she works her natural skin color… she’s not orange or “old leather jacket” brown, she’s porcelain, which is how she was born and how she should be.  She wears what she wants, she’s comfortable and looks amazing in it.  Brava!

  • She’s such a pretty crazy Victorian streetwalker…

  • cmb92191

    One day HBC is going to show up in a “normal” dress on the runway and we all will think “What the fuck happened?”  
    I love that the Victorian streetwalker is her look, she’s committed to it and does it.    Good for you honey!

  • eclare

    The shoes are boring and not worthy of the rest of it. Otherwise, rock on, HBC.

  • mjude

    love her

  • Eclectic Mayhem


  • For some reason, it makes me think of the american flag.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Swonderful and who could ask for anything more…

  • Laurie Bergman

    The red lips and nails are the perfect small element of “matchy matchy” complimenting this delightfully chaotic jumble of a frock. I love that she always looks relaxed and truly comfortable in Westwood creations that would read as Frankendresses on everyone else. She always strikes me as the yang to the Swinton yin.

    • alyce1213

      Wonderful yin yang observation.

  • MoHub

    Helena Bonham Carter and Vivienne Westwood: a marriage made in cray-cray heaven!

  • BeeBeauNYC


  • miagain

    Why the hell not… she is a wonderful breathe of fresh??, musty??, mothballed??..air!!
    I read somewhere that she had a very serious growing up… nursing sick relatives… so she’s reliving her crazy youth now!!
    good for her…

  • Honestly, I think she looks great. Crazy, but not in a way that actually detracts from the fact that she’s a beautiful woman who hasn’t aged in the last twenty-odd years.

  • introspective

    I love that she gives cray face to back up the cray clothes. the last pic is a gem. she, of course, is too fab.  

  • I love Helena Bonham Carter and everything she chooses to be.

  • Susan Crawford

    I love her brand of insanity! The bracelet is awesome, and so is she. Keep that freak flag flying, HBC!

  • formerlyAnon

    I love her, and this. Who else could wear All That, and not look overwhelmed by it. (Especially such a small person, too.) Part of it is how vivid her face is, and not because of the makeup – in her case, it’s easy to see how being an actress helps her wear clothes.

    It’s as if she and Westwood were put on the planet for each other.

  • I love it. She wears Westwood like she was in V’s head. It’s tatty and tarnished and totally rocking on HBC. 

  • SpcilK

    She is in your words, “Bat Shit Crazy” and it works for her. Hope she doesn’t put a spell on me for my post.

  • Pennymac

    My God, she carries her cray-cray well. HBC, never disappoint me with any normalcy. You are FAB!!!

  • HobbitGirl

    I think it works because of her confidence. These young pop tartlets may wear ugly dresses, but they always look like they’re sucking it up and trying to pretend their getup is pretty. HBC, like honey badger, doesn’t give a shit. She owns that look.

  • I love her face. 

  • kimmeister

    I’m another fan of the bracelet.  I’ve been wanting some emerald in my life . . .

  • alyce1213

    I love love love Helena Bonham Carter. 

    She’s totally committed, down to the frayed edges. She manages to go over the top and still reign in too much crazy by choosing  these flattering silhouettes and subdued colors.
    Accessories are perfect (real emeralds, I hope), gorgeous makeup and nails, and that complexion!

    She’s also a fantastic actress. 

    The last shot is classic.  It made me smile.

  • Lilithcat

    If Helena Bonham Carter did not exist, Vivienne Westwood would have to invent her.  And vice versa.  Seriously, this is clearly one of those cases where client and designer were made for each other.

  • I love her so much! Everything about her is what I want to be when I grow up!

  • It’s perfect.  I would love to raid her closet

  • TAGinMO

    I love her style, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a striking woman no matter how she’s dressed. Plus, this is a “Dark Shadows” premiere, which is squarely in her wheelhouse and begging for traditional HBC red-carpet garb.

    But every once in a while, I catch myself wondering how gorgeous she could look if she dialed the cray-cray back just a notch and went a bit beyond her safe zone.

  • TAGinMO

    I love her style, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a striking woman no matter how she’s dressed. Plus, this is a “Dark Shadows” premiere, which is squarely in her wheelhouse and begging for traditional HBC red-carpet garb.

    But every once in a while, I catch myself wondering how gorgeous she could look if she dialed the cray-cray back just a notch and went a bit beyond her safe zone.

  • kirkyo

    This is actually super cute on her.

  • Snailstsichr

    She is such a gem. My only (tiny) complaint is that her fascinator blended into her hair. Maybe it needed more color. Or a feather or something.

  • But it’s the same Vivienne Westwood dress over and over again. She’s as bad as the Jolie.

  • granddelusion

    It’s hard to believe someone actually designed that. But I LOVE it, and I love her for being so blatantly batshit.

  • snarkykitten

    bleh. she always looks like she slept in a barn and made her dress out of whatever was available. plus she annoys me irrationally since tim burton decided she’s the only female actress on earth.

  • Clueless_Jock

    I wonder who else wears Vivienne Westwood.

  • She’s the only one who could (and should) wear this.  And I must say it’s appropriate for Dark Shadows!

  • Joyce VG


  • mom2ab

    Can you still call it “crazy” when its what you expect her to wear- so much so that you look twice and ask didn’t she wear that before?

  • ccm800

    This is getting old. 

  • marilyn

    Of course she looks ghastly, but that is what she is going for.  A few too many and her charming quirky self becomes lockdown material.  So, she needs to walk the line on that one.

    However, I believe she has committed the ultimate faux pas for RC:  She is deliberately trying to look fat.   Yikes!

    • Really? Fat? Really???

      She looks healthy, and her skin is amazing. The dress looks like she ran into JoAnn fabrics covered in super glue, and cut her way out, but you can’t deny that complexion. Wow.

  • suzanne77

    She looks great and she looks like herself. I adore her. 

  • TheOtherChristina

    She looks gorgeous and crazy. My favorite combo!

  • I think she looks amazing.

  • I’m giving her snaps and I’m not even gay.

  • Louise Bryan

    She makes a beautiful witch, too, but a little crazier type than Ms. Green.

  • StelledelMare

    I love her so much

  • LUV!

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I love and respect her as an actress and think she’s quite attractive, but she dresses like the crazy neighborhood bag lady.

  • Is this bitch ever going to age? Except for better eyebrow grooming, she looks just like she did in Lady Jane. Anyway, batshit crazy as usual, but fabulous.

    • BigShamu

      I was just thinking the same thing so much so I had to look up her age.  Apparently not caring what anyone thinks of her keeps the wrinkles at bay.

      • TieDye64

        Damn, I must care waaaay more than I thought! haha. Her skin is amazing.

    • AthenaJ

      I was just thinking that… her face is gorgeous.

      • Adriana_Paula

        And I’m glad she ditched the glasses/shades she sometimes wears on the red carpet, so we can see that lovely face.

  • Call me Bee

    I would expect nothing less.  Adore! 

  • Cathy S

    I love her so much. I just wish the top part wasn’t so droopy over her breasts. The rest is spectacular though.

  • EEKstl

    Aw, she’s just HBC.  Love the stripes.

  • j_anson

    It’s not that it looks bad, and I get that it’s her thing. But it’s boring. It’s exactly the same silhouette and general look as she always wears. It’s not “crazy” anymore when you can predict exactly what it’s going to look like ahead of time. I mean, if she loves these dresses, then more power to her for wearing them for *herself*; but *I’m* bored with ’em.

  • asmith

    Lovely.  She’s got her standard look, which is quite flamboyant as standard looks go.  It works for her.  Why stray from that?

  • pepper76

    I love her. She’s a great actress and seems like she would be very amusing to be around. It’s interesting that she didn’t really start dressing so crazy until she hooked up with Burton, though. I don’t remember her looking like this at all back when, say, she was with Kenneth Branagh.

    • formerlyAnon

      Never thought of it like this: but meditate on the strength of mind? character? it would take to choose men like Branagh & Burton.  Not small personalities, though of course I have no way of knowing what either is like “at home.” The chutzpah she displays in her wardrobe is small potatoes in comparison.

  • AthenaJ

    I love the Brits

  • Qitkat

    Are outfits like this actually IN the VW collection? Or does she *design* them specifically for HBC?

    Because, well…this is really verging on Bodacious Fugliness.

  • erinbinek

    I’m sorry but I don’t love her and it seems like this costume is a uniform for her. I feel like we’ve seen her in this a hundred times before.

  • susu11

    Classic HBC. I’m enjoying what looks like ‘Old Glory’ stuck underneath her skirt.

  • Qitkat

    I actually hope she’s laughing her arse off at all the praise she gets for dressing like this. You can throw your *batshit* and *cray-cray* and *quirky* around all you want, this is one damn ridiculously stupid dress, and I’m sure she’s well aware that it is. She’s a beautiful woman and a very talented actress, but dressing like this and getting all this praise just annoys the hell out me. 

    Perhaps I ought to go back to lurking again.

    • formerlyAnon

      Oh, don’t! [go back to lurking]

      Unless you really, really want to.

      It’d be boring if everyone posting agreed.

  • Arlene Conklin

    She is BEAUTIFUL! Look at that skin, the perfect makeup! She could be in a brown paper bag and STILL look better than a LOT of other women on the red carpet or the asphalt! LOVE her! Non conformity is the best fashion statement!


  • Beth G

    Do you ever wonder what she wears around the house? Sweats?  Yoga pants and a t-shirt from the 80s?

  • Impossible to not love her! She has the perfect attitude needed to pull of her crazy outfits. I think that the HBC/VW combination is one of the best (if crazy!) things to happen in fashion.

  • She’s the best thing since Cher in her RC 80’s prime

  • AWS

    <3 HBC forever and ever, amen…

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I love that she looks as though she just rolled out of a pile of laundry on the Titanic!

  • Never change!!!! Please, never change! Love you forever!

  • KathKo

    Off course.
    Helena and Vivienne.
    really, it’s a no brainer.

  • This is her thing, no one else’s, and she is shutting it the fuck down.

  • LUV. HUH.

    And I need that shade of lipstick, stat.

  • turtleemily

    It took my brain a bit to figure out that the last line read HBC and not HBIC.

  • holdmewhileimnaked


  • God bless her, she looks awesome.
    On an unrelated note, I would kill for her complexion.

  • Kolo_Ol

    She looks pretty sane and tame for HBC

  • Her jaw bones are EVERYTHING!!!! WERQQQQQ

  • Esz

    She’s so mental – I love her! I also love how SHE loves Vivienne Westwood. Rock on! 

  • butter nut

    HBC can do whatever she wants.  

  • Love her hair and makeup too. HBC is the HBIC!

  • joything

    Our planet would be so much poorer if HBC did not exist.

  • drdirection

    hell yes!!!

  • Laylalola

    Yeah, but if you were a designer would you lend to her? I wonder about that when it comes to Courtney Love too. 

  • guest2visits

    She’s pretty even in all of this. Still; it would be just as wonderful to see her in something more conventional. (occasionally)
    Helena’s got a lovely face and figure, maybe something like that red lace dress on Emma Stone – Met gala.
    Never got into Dark Shadows on TV; thought it was flat, cheesy and boring. But I felt that way about all soaps, growing up.
    However; can’t wait to see this cast take on DS with the kind of sarcastic wit revealed in previews.

  • Lisa

    Wait a minute!  Her shoes match – get her, girls!  

    Kidding – she’s bananas and awesome, and I love it whenever she hits the RC!

  • mayavaly

    I never really think of HBC as a person. She seems like this perpetual character, eternally embroiled in some kind of turbulent period drama. As such, her rc outfits are never particularly memorable. But I do appreciate the fact that she gives zero fucks. Her looks are just a little disappointing. Rather like Degas paintings. Sort of pretty at first, but after a while all the skirts, and frills, and lace just gets boring. At least we have her to thank for helping to keep Westwood in business all these years, god bless ‘er.

  • quiltrx

    She looks fucking awesome, as ALWAYS.  And seriously, I’m starting to think she has a horrid portrait rotting in that attic next to Johnny Depp’s. 🙂

  • Zippypie

    I am genuflecting at her feet. FAB!

  • allisankelly

    Never, ever, ever change, HBC. Her face is perfect and if she dressed more conventionally I wouldn’t know how to react.

  • Christina Brennan

    I feel like I’ve seen her wear this same dress a hundred times already.  

  • BayTampaBay

    She looks great.  She knows what works for her and works it.  

    She is in that great special group that includes, Cher, Aretha, Sharon Stone and GaGA.


  • giiiirrrr

    I know I’m late on this, but I cannot help but comment that I absolutely love this dress and HBC in it.  It is both one of my favorite Vivienne Westwood dresses and my favorite HBC red carpet looks.  Fun, flattering, and cool as hell.

  • It is an incredibly well-dressed Victorian streetwalker, though.

  • Sophie Collier

    Vivienne Westwood is the perfect designer for her.  I bet they have insane tea parties together.

  • Neverbuynewclothes

    She does not seem to age.  Maybe her inner child is the one who dresses her.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    All she needs is a parrot on her shoulder.

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    Who also thinks that Helena and Johnny Depp are the same person.???…

  • TomBord

    Seeing Johnny Depp in drag always makes me smile. 

  • Hetha Innis

    I’ve always thought of her as Vivienne Westwood’s muse. Love her.

  • Vodeeodoe

    I guess I could google it, but is that shit kind of inspired by that Liberty Leading The People painting?