Helena Bonham Carter at the HIGH London Flagship Store Launch

Posted on March 20, 2014

Darlings, we’re not gonna lie to you. We’ve been through too much together to do that to you now. It’s just that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel today. None of the stars are wearing anything remotely interesting to us. Those bitches.

Thankfully, the universe sent us Helena.

Helena-Bonham-Carter-HIGH-Store-Launch-London-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Helena Bonham Carter attends the HIGH London flagship store launch at Bond Street in London.

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She just wouldn’t be Helena if she was wearing something uninteresting. We can’t actually sign off on the head gear, but this is a refreshingly relaxed silhouette for her. She’s usually all “Victorian streetwalker” in her shape and style. This is closer to “Edwardian Bohemian,” like some flitty aristocrat who goes to lots of seances and health retreats. She’s progressing through the decades and the social classes, apparently. By the time she’s in her dotage, she’ll be sporting Queen Elizabeth II drag.





[Photo Credit: FameFlynetUK/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES, PacificCoastNews]

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  • Danielle

    God bless Helena.

    • charlotte

      I actually mispronounced her name in my head because I can’t wait for the return of Orphan Black.

  • conniemd

    Actually, rather than Edwardian Bohemian it looked like 20th century bag lady to me with the clothes dug out of some dumpster dive.

    • MoreShoes

      Thank you. That’s exactly what I wanted to say. She looks like bag lady, very expensive bag lady, but still. I’m getiing sick of her stint.

      • Qitkat

        I thought I was the only one disturbed. Let’s you and me and @conniemd:disqus have our own tea party. We can even wear flowers in our hair.

        • MoreShoes

          That’s fine. We can also wear Viviene Westwood clothes in her honor. Or dumbster clothes, whatever is available πŸ™‚

  • acevedob

    Lmao “like some flitty aristocrat who goes to lots of seances and health retreats”

    • StarburstLady

      In other words, the character she played in Howard’s End?

  • Jessica Freeman

    At least in a LBD, Helena brings her cuh-razy to keep us entertained.

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      Cuh-razy indeed! If Emma Thompson is our crazy aunt Emma, who is Helena? The crazy(ier?) next door neighbor that sits crouched on their lawn chairs chain smoking and drinking bottomless mugs of coffee? Just wave nicely, if anything ever happens in the neighborhood, she’ll either know about it, or be responsible for it.

  • 3boysful

    It cracks me up that she seems to have gone to the effort of donning pantyhose, but little or no makeup.

  • decormaven

    Is it a hat or a headband? At least she’s welcoming in the first of Spring.

    • 3boysful

      But only with her head!

  • Anna

    Lol, ah Helena. Love that your headgear is all in full bloom on one side and then there’s a little hot pink bow on the other, my 6-year-old self approves and my grown self admits that this is my favourite part of your outfit.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Me too!

  • Nancer

    Awesome! Love this. :]

  • Snailstsichr

    I adore her shoes. Black and navy makes me twitchy though.

    • Constant Reader

      I love the shoes, too! I don’t mind black and navy when it looks intentional, not as if the wearer got dressed inside her poorly-lit closet and thought her outfit was all black.

  • ScarlettHarlot

    I want that coat. I’m tall, I can pull it off!

    • JauntyJohn

      I know, right? Second pass on that coat in the photos reveals it for the uber-cool treasure it is.

  • Is she queen yet?

    • Lucinda Head

      HBC, HBIC

  • Rand Ortega

    She’s the Zardoz of fashion. You scratch your head, but you thank God she exists & can’t imagine the universe without her

  • Wendi126

    I believe she’ll become the Queen Mum rather than QEII..and it may not take long

    • Wendi126

      Whom of course HBC played in The Kings Speech.

      • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

        And played that role beautifully. I was so sad she didn’t get an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

        • Agnes Gooch

          Though we all know it takes more skill to act with restraint than not, it rarely gets the Oscar (and let’s be real, Colin Firth’s Oscar was a reward for the restraint-busting TV act of diving into that lake many years earlier).

  • LJCdoc

    She looks mostly cute. Too bad about the consumption.

  • snarkykitten

    I realized why she’s on my irrational hate list. She looks like my mother after her day long benders.

    • The Counselor

      That is a powerfully unpleasant association, but I can totally relate.

      • snarkykitten

        In photos, she always looks 3 sheets to the wind, her hair is a frekin mess, and her clothes look like she threw on whatever was clean. so yeah. sorry fangirls.

  • BlairBear

    look at the joy she is bringing to the people in the backgrounds. This is my idea of public service

  • SewingSiren

    I must confess the headwear is my favorite thing about it. I love flowers. Just love.
    * Ps I hope that scraping the bottom of the barrel isn’t nearly as unpleasant as snaking the drain to your washing machine. Don’t ask why I bring that up, because I’d rather not say.

    • gabbilevy

      Maybe she’s secretly a Fannibal. (Search “Hannibal flower crown” if you don’t know the reference)

  • The Counselor

    In the 2nd and 3rd pictures, another woman has the same kind of flower thing on her head, so maybe that part of the look was related to the specific event. It really says something about her sartorial history though, that we can just as easily imagine it was an accessory she chose…

    • ballerinawithagun

      Good eye! In the fourth picture you can also spot flower headgear on a woman behind some gauzy scrim.

  • Sara__B

    I would love a tour of her closets.

    • charlotte

      I’d stop by at Tilda’s house, too.

    • Imasewsure

      I bet everything she owns in a big pile on the floor… she dives in naked and then comes out the other side with her outfit of the day!!

  • Was really hoping she was wearing a ship in the head flowers so we could be headpiece sisters. (See my disqus pic) Plus the dress has an almost nautical flavor so it would have been cheeky.

    • Imasewsure

      She probably swapped out the wacky nautical thing she was wearing when she got there for this store event themed one here. You know she didn’t just show up without something crazy on her head!!

  • I have a sudden urge to hike to JoAnn’s and make myself a flower crown.

  • alyce1213

    “We can’t actually sign off on the head gear. . .” But IT’S SPRING!
    She’s delightful.

  • kmk05


    • formerlyAnon

      I don’t mind it. But if you do, the worst part is that she’s clearly got lip color, eye shadow and some kind of foundation or at least concealer on (she’ll be 49 in May, this is taken *after* the event – there’s no way her skin could look that monochromatic without at least a little help), in order to look ‘naked faced.” And probably more make up than that. [I am reminded of magazine articles teaching teens how to do a “natural look” face with only 6 or 7 items of makeup.]

      • kmk05

        Natural face with 1000 brushes! I am so happy I have consigned those magazines to the bin.

        I think what really gets to me here is the monochrome that you pointed out. Her face is flat with no blush or contour. I’m not asking for Kardashian makeup, but at least a cheek colour! The eye makeup is also in the ‘red-brown’ consumptive trend and it just makes her look tired.

        On an unrelated note, if she’s turning 49 then I want to smoke what she’s smoking because DAMN.

        • formerlyAnon

          49 or 48, not sure.

          And I’m sure all it takes is decent genes, plenty of money and the right “people,” starting in your early 30s, to be just as well preserved.

          • And SPF.

          • formerlyAnon

            Oh yeah.

  • 8daysaweek

    I had a folder in 5th grade with a unicorn on the front wearing the EXACT SAME headgear. Lisa Frank Realness, y’all!
    Oh, Helena, don’t ever change, darling.

    • demidaemon

      I almost miss Lisa Frank, except for being the only boy in my class sporting them, Kittens, unicorns, and rainbows everyone! How could it be any better!

      • formerlyAnon

        My bleeding heart bleeds for you as a child. You were brave or crazy or both. Stubborn as hell, or completely lacking in a sense of self-preservation.

        • demidaemon

          I think I was oblivious. I was all: “PRETTY! I like kitties and rainbows and unicorns! BRIGHT COLORS!”

          Yeah. I still am stubborn as hell, and maybe still a little bit of that final point.

          • formerlyAnon

            Well, from the glimpse we get here, you seem to have done pretty well, doing it your way. (I understand the oblivious, though I tend to deploy it in social situations and then not understand why I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. )

          • demidaemon

            After remembering this, I suddenly feel the need for “BRIGHT COLORS!” moment, considering the weather (not spring yet! why?), and the drab ass clothes celebs seem to be preferring. More Lisa Frank realness please!

            I have no problem playing the oblivious card when necessary. Also smiling effusively despite possibly wanting to strangle everyone in the near vicinity for their ignorance.

          • 8daysaweek

            I’m with you on the need for bright colors. On Tuesday, I wore a coral dress, cobalt blue on Wednesday, and pink today. Tomorrow, it’s teal. My clothing motto of the moment is “If spring won’t come willingly, I will drag it in by force, dammit.”

          • demidaemon

            I heartily approve. I wore a green sweater on Tuesday and a gold argyle one today. I wish I could switch them out permanently, but I have to make some concessions for warmth. πŸ™

            Your logic is also my colleagues logic. Let’s see if it works.

  • Kitten Mittons

    Why, of all things, are the strands of hair hanging in her face the one thing that bother me?

    I love her brand of crazy.

  • mjude

    must needed today

  • Sweetvegan

    In two of the pictures, there is someone standing behind her, wearing the same flowers in their hair. Either that’s a one-in-a-million coincidence, or the flowery things were part of the event. Maybe their goody bags had those flowery headbands in them?

  • Shawn EH

    This looks comfortable and nearly chic for her; it’s also a bit dowdy and drab due to her trademark mix of black and blue, but she looks comfortable and pretty. Can’t see the headgear, no, doesn’t exist for my eyes.

  • MzzPants

    My joy is complete.

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    This is how you know spring is here!

  • Belvane

    If you Google images from the event, you can see several other women and girls wearing similar floral garlands. Looks like they were door prizes or some such.

  • JP

    I love how out of the box she tends to be. Crazy, but lovable. And I want those shoes now.

  • MilaXX

    Looks like QE II drag to me, but I actually like the shoes.

  • random_poster

    This + unibrow = Frida Kahlo. Thank goodness there is no unibrow!

  • DTLAFamilies

    I like her but I don’t like this. Stringy bangs, no makeup, scuffed shoes. Meh.

  • Garcia Loca

    I’ll throw out a crazy theory that the headgear is a tribute to support Ukraine. There.

  • bunnybstuff

    I would totally wear those shoes! The rest, not so much.

  • MannahattaMamma

    that’s just a whole lotta person there, is what that is. and i love all of it/her

  • Kelly

    “like some flitty aristocrat who goes to lots of seances and health retreats”
    That’s it exactly! You’ve nailed it. Or else she’s on her way to her opening night as Madam Arcati. I like this look (except for the flowery thing). Adore the shoes.

  • I want her shoes.

  • CT14

    The floral headband seems to be a purchase at the store.

    She has a small pink bow on her right side, and just that small pink bow in other pictures. Then there’s a picture with the headband and another customer at the opening wearing the same thing.

    IT’S a purchase! Or a door prize!

    • jw_ny

      or they got both drunk and stuck a bunch of flowers from the centerpieces in their hair. It looks pretty haphazard.

  • formerlyAnon

    I think this HIGH store launch was a cover story. It was a secret baby shower for some 40-ish famous person. The store provided the gift bags, in the way that rich people are courted with free stuff the rest of us can’t afford. The headgear (a woman behind her has one, too) is something they made as a shower game. (The hoi polloi use kleenex to make flowers, the famous use actual flowers.)

    Judging by the next-to-last photo, cocktails were served.

    • Kitten Mittons

      I want this to be true so badly. And I want HBC at my next baby shower. If she agrees to come, I’ll start working on the baby part tout de suite.

      • formerlyAnon

        I find this insufficient justification for a baby. (You know they’re only really really cute because if they weren’t we’d leave them out on the hillsides to be eaten by coyotes once we realized how much sleep deprived work they are? . . . Yes? . . . Or . . . maybe that’s just me?).

        However, if a baby was part of the plan, anyway, that all sounds reasonable. We just need to find someone to pitch it to HBC.

        • demidaemon

          I agree with Anon. Although, considering what some people do with their unwanted children, I find the coyote eating version relatively humane.

        • Kitten Mittons

          Just a bit of hyperbole for effect. No worries on that front.

          • formerlyAnon

            Ha! Not at all concerned, really. πŸ˜‰

  • Joanna

    I need those shoes. Now.

  • UsedtobeEP

    I’ll say this: no matter what else is on this board, she is always the first fashion picture I click on. Everytime.

  • marlie

    The jacket is great, but I’m not in love with the dress. “Bohemian” really isn’t my thing. But I think her headgear is crazy-fun!

  • willworktomorrow

    Why doesn’t she get an “of course”? Here’s one: OF COURSE.

  • Sarah

    I love her coat very much. I like all the elements of her outfit, actually, but I’d maybe not put them together in this way…then, I’m not HBC and never will be.

  • She is a fucking delight.

  • Sophie

    Is her hair even scragglier than usual? I really like the outfit, especially the shoes.

  • Trickytrisha

    Gasp! She’s wearing stockings? Yay for her. I adore this quirky, winsome wench. May she continue to amaze us for decades to come.

  • crash1212

    Headgear indicates at least one celeb knows it’s Spring! Love her. Lover her style.

  • LeelaST

    She is just a hoot. Love her. Love that coat too, wish we could see more detail.

    • formerlyAnon

      So with you on the coat.

  • majorbedhead

    Bless. I love her. And I am lusting after the coat and shoes.

  • MsALVA

    Those shoes are amazeballs. I want them. And Helena really is from another time. She’s just dressing as if it was still 1910.

  • Jacob Bowen

    This was the PERFECT palate cleanser after a day full of middle schoolers and feeling personality devoid. Thank you HBC for lighting up my afternoon!

    • demidaemon

      The fact that you deal with that age-group willingly is award-worthy. I worked with them for an after-school club and barely got out alive and with my sanity intact. It’s part of the reason I moved on to college-age students, although, quite frankly, some of them still haven’t matured from the terrible twelves.

  • This is the Stevie Nicks street urgent look I actually love! I agree – the hair and floral head display is a bit much, but I really love this vintage look.

  • PastryGoddess

    She’s just fucking with us now isn’t she

  • Lilak

    One thing I know: She has way more fun getting fixed up before leaving the house than I do!

  • HIGH by name, high by nature.

    • formerlyAnon

      Do you know, what does HIGH sell? Google was unhelpful, given the amount of retail in the UK located on their various cities’ High Streets. The actual store only popped up in relationship to these photos of Ms. HBC.

      • No idea at all! Never heard of them. I will test my google-fu as well.

  • B_C_J

    She has a style that is uniquely hers. LOVE HER.

  • cocohall

    I’d be on board with this if she didn’t look completely pissed. She looks like the bottle of Tanqueray is quite empty now. There is “My Fashion Salute to Miss Havisham” disheveled, and then there is “too drunk to notice my headband is dangerously listing to port” disheveled. But cute shoes.

    • Lower L

      Liked for “dangerously listing to port.”

  • DaringMiss

    This outfit is pure Queen Mother drag!

  • Gatto Nero

    The shape and style of the dress don’t particularly highlight her assets, shall we say, but I love her because she is never boring and is always unapologetically herself.
    And I kind of love the coat on her.

  • VicD

    I am LIVING for the days of her QE II drag! Can you imagine her in all those glorious colors, with matching frock, coat, and hat?!

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      And the purse, of course!

  • traceyishere

    High washer woman drag.

  • nannypoo

    Her makeup could not be worse. I like the outfit, shoes included. I wouldn’t wear any of it, but she looks cute.

    • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

      I cried when I saw her makeup.

      • AnneElliot

        I actually thought she wasn’t wearing any.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Bless HBC for staying true to her own, dotty self. I hope I live to see her in QEII drag!

  • Not sure about this because it is very much like my halloween witch costume, no joke. Except my hat is more fetching. I put it all together with clothes from Goodwill.

  • Lower L

    Can any of the BKs identify the shoes? They are fantastic.

  • mickiemonkey

    “Do you mind? I’m going to put the centerpiece in my hair. Thank you, dear.”

  • Sunraya

    She looks almost normal except for bouquet on her head.

    I chuckled when I saw the thumbnail of her with the category Fashion on the picture (as opposed to Whiteboard, or another one.) it just seems so funny, HBC and Fashion!

  • jif

    But the pigeon-toed stance, oh…

  • quiltrx

    The dress and the fairly-bare face are disappointing, but those shoes are so cute, and I LOVE the coat (looks a bit like something Jillian from years-ago PR would have made).

  • t bell

    I think that she appears to be one of the dotty ladies in an Agatha Christie mystery during the post war period wearing her pre war finery.The only thing new for this character is the hat.

  • icm

    Second Hand Rose. That sweater has the weirdest sleeves .The bits of fabric (I think ) at her armpits give the illusion of 2 big sweat stains.

  • joything

    I so want her to take me shopping, and show me how to pose for the paps, when I move to London to be rich and famous. XXXOOO

  • Granny panties

    That coat looks really lovely.

  • Columbinia

    Okay, I’ll buy that this is progress. Maybe it’s even Edwardian Bohemian. Does that mean she’s doing retro Bloomsbury Set now?

  • gefeylich

    Even though she looks like a bag lady in expensive clothes, her face is still remarkably the same as it was when she was in A Room With A View. She crazy, but she has good genes and bone structure.

  • Mim McDonald

    Helena, I love you, but these horrible hair flowers have got to go.

    Nice coat, though.

  • Helena Del Rey?

  • DeTrop

    Love your comments. Keep ’em coming. They’re more entertaining than the pictures.


    I like those shoes. A lot.

  • Antonia Elise Iacampo

    I not a shoe person, but I LOVE those shoes. No idea what I’d wear them with, but I want them!

  • dash1211

    She’s the crazy auntie I always wanted.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    I want those shoes. Like, now.

  • CurbGirl

    Looks rather like she should be roaming around the Height looking for the ghost of the 60’s.

  • Laylalola

    Jesus Christ, I know everyone loves the woman, but for fuck’s sake she dresses like a goddamn mess and it’s not flattering.

  • Clash D

    Of course.

  • I love those shoes, and that’s a great coat. The dess OTOH does not flatter her. And the flowers, well, what can I say? HBC loves sticking stuff in her hair.

  • Timothy Donner

    Gone shopping en route to a funeral that she’s happy for

  • Fuchaforever

    I love her cuh-razy…I just wish she had put on some make up and brushed her hair or gotten rid of those fly away bangs or something. :/ I mean like Frida Kahlo, another original and unique dresser, who looked always impeccable with her neat braids. Oh well.

  • Mrs. O

    She’s fabulous. She reminds me of a dozen Englishwomen I know who are so rolling in dough and/or status the they just go their own ways, wearing ridiculously expensive items in any way that appeals to them. They really do this. And you go to lunch with them at Simpson’s in the Strand and then walk to the British Museum and they are treated like goddesses by every server and doorman and docent. This type is so well known and so stable over time that it can be found in British novels of manners from Jane Austen to Angela Thirkell to Alexander McCall smith. Helena BC is heiress to a fine old tradition, and she’s holding up her end splendidly.