Helen Mirren in Huishan Zhang at the 2014 Glamour Women of the Year Awards

Posted on June 04, 2014

If we like this at all, it’s only because of who’s wearing it.

Helen-Mirren-Huishan-Zhang-2014-Glamour-Women-Year-Awards-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Icon award recipient Dame Helen Mirren attends the 2014 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Berkeley Square Gardens in London, England in a Huishan Zhang dress.

Helen-Mirren-Huishan-Zhang-2014-Glamour-Women-Year-Awards-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)Huishan Zhang Fall 2014 Collection

Helen-Mirren-Huishan-Zhang-2014-Glamour-Women-Year-Awards-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Helen-Mirren-Huishan-Zhang-2014-Glamour-Women-Year-Awards-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Helen-Mirren-Huishan-Zhang-2014-Glamour-Women-Year-Awards-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)

Helen-Mirren-Huishan-Zhang-2014-Glamour-Women-Year-Awards-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (6)


Mmmm….no. We don’t like this very much, we’re afraid. But we do like it on her, if that makes any sense. If the white lace parts could just be mentally erased from this dress, we’d probably be much more on board with it. The hem length’s a little odd on her, but for some reason – again, none of this is making much sense to us except that it’s all driven by a love for Queen Helen – we’re tickled by the black lace boots peeking out the bottom.

We don’t know … it’s objectively bad to us, and yet somehow almost right for her. Such is the power of Queen Helen of Fuckinfantastica.

Strangely enough, we think this might work equally well on Helena Bonham Carter – except the white lace would almost certainly have to be black.




[Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images, FameFlynetUK/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES, vogue.co.uk]

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  • Beto

    I love this look on her. I agree with you, the dress on another person or model is… unmemorable. But on her looks quite right. Sans the shoes.

  • antheapena

    Queen Helen of Fuckinfastastica is the best thing I’ve read all week

    • Kent Roby

      BK’s have been bowing down to QHofF for eons (she just hasn’t been featured in a while)!

    • AnneElliot

      All this time I thought it was Fan-fuckin-tastica. I obviously haven’t been reading closely enough.

      But I hate the dress, though I always bow down to her.

  • NBG

    The black lace boots make it for me, It’s like a Queen Helen middle finger to all those starlets in beige pumps. (Or it’s that in MY head!)

  • Sobaika

    I don’t have the aversion to lace that others seem to have – my problem is that it just doesn’t seem to go with the rest of the dress. It’d be much more interesting without it.

    • Imasewsure

      I think we’ve been subjected to an onslaught of hideous lace dresses over the last few years so that is where the aversion comes for me. Generally I like it if well moderated (and not funerial) but as you say, this particular lace should move on to another dress

  • sherrietee

    The cut looks fantastic on her, but that’s really the only thing going for it (although yes, I rather like the boots, which is really saying something coming from me.)

  • On the model the lace sleeve/tights combo makes it look as though she’s wearing a lace catsuit under the dress. Which is almost an improvement, given that it is not an attractive dress. The Fan-fucking-tastic aura is not enough to save this.

    • Rhonda Shore

      I think it’s the length on Queen Helen that isn’t quite right…it should be a few inches shorter…She somehow pulls it off.

      • demidaemon

        I agree. The look on the model actually shows it was shooting for calf length or higher, but this ankle length is not right.

  • GorgeousThings

    No, I can’t get behind the dress. But I do love the boots.
    And of course, I luuuurve Queen Helen!

  • Emerald

    Oh yes, Queen Helen will wear whatever she pleases and I’ll still bow down. But that “There’s Something About Mary” hair is making me giggle this morning.

    • smh4748

      The hair got me too. It’s too close of a replica to not be a reference to that, and that cracks me up.

  • mrssage

    Oh no…..oh those booties…..I have no words. Poor Helen. Who convinced you to put those on your feet? You should go home and slap that person.

  • Kate Andrews

    Yeah, get rid of the lacy sleeves.

  • Pamdela

    I actually love this look. She’s such a buccaneer! So much swagger, and for a woman of a certain age, that’s a huge, ongoing achievement.

  • I absolutely dig this. The only thing that bugs me is the hair, which from certain angles looks mighty silly.

    • Julie Ree

      I sadly got a Something about Mary vibe from her hair that made me sad, so I am not alone in this assessment.

  • Beardslee

    Great shape, and and interesting deployment of lace. And I dearly love looking at an actress who has a natural face.

  • sienna elm

    The only thing I really don’t like is the length of the dress. Everything else I can handle (in my world the gravity defying hair doesn’t even exist!). I adore the boots!!

  • Lily

    The shape is a right fit for Queen Helen, but the white washes her out, especially with her hair color. Get rid of the white on the decolletage and shoulders, and exchange those lace booties for a subtly-blinged sandal, and you may have a look. I think for most women of a certain age, sleeves are a necessary evil, but for this dress, I just don’t know what they should be of.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I’m too transfixed by those earrings to notice much of anything else.

  • DagnyReardon

    I find this unfortunate. She is my role model for “women of a certain age” dressing.

  • largishbearishAtlish

    too busy. even for HER to pull off.

  • With you on this as usual. I don’t hate the existence of the white lace, but I would have liked the neckline altered. I like it (the neckline with its faux-slouchy sleeves) on the model, but for the Queen, perhaps the body of the dress cut with a bit of sweetheart, and then I don’t know what to do with that lace–lower it too or whatever.
    The fit on her–that side view–she’s ridiculous.

  • Is it just me, or does the dress make her look short? I can’t figure out why that is… maybe because it stops at the ankles?

    • majorbedhead

      No, I was thinking it was stumpifying, too. It’s hitting her at a weird spot.

    • kimmeister

      It’s a super awkward length on the model as well.

  • teensmom99

    “Such is the power of Queen Helen of Fuckinfantastica”–and the few others who have style at that level. They can make anything look good. Sense of humor (which is how I interpret the black lace booties and big rings) seems to help.

  • MartyBellerMask

    No. No. Nonononononononono. NOOOO.

    • SugarSnap108

      Agree. Agree. Agree. And agree.

  • RiceRiceBaby

    I’m so distracted by her hair! All I can think is Something About Mary. “Is that…hair gel?”
    I do not like the dress. Take away the lace and change the hem (longer? Shorter? I’m not sure which) and I’d like it more.

    • Jangle57

      That hair was my thought too – I was going to post that but I thought, no, someone else MUST have had the same thought and went looking…. Also agree in general about the dress as well but I’m not sure it can be saved.

  • Anna

    Sorry, Queen Helen, I’m getting a shower curtain vibe from this. Love the jewels though.

  • deelup

    She was getting very repetitive with her fashion. She had found a great look and did it over and over. This is different and I love her for going for it.

  • Nancer

    Wow! Love, love, love her. Those earrings are ah-may-zing!

  • barbarienne

    Either subtract the sleeves/shoulders entirely, or change the lace to plain sheer white (she seems to like her arms covered). Fix whatever is happening with that weird “Something about Mary” hair. Then this would be amazing.

    But it is indeed a tribute to her magical fantasticness that this is working even as-is.

  • Anna

    This dress does not do Helen’s rockin’ bod justice.

  • Gatto Nero

    Either the lace *or* the print. They’re an odd mix.
    But I love that she went for something unusual, and love the shoe she paired with it.

  • MoHub

    She always takes so much pleasure in what she wears that it’s impossible not to like it no matter what. She is Queen Helen, and she always rules!

  • MilaXX

    It’s kind of an ugly dress, but I don’t exactly hate it on Dame Helen. I do wonder if perhaps a silver shoe would work better. I think the problem with the dress is it needs to be either or. Either it’s lace or it’s black/white. The mix of those two fabrics doesn’t quite work. It is only the fabulousness that is Helen Mirren that makes it work at all.

  • Danielle

    Her bangs are defyiiiiiiiiiiiiiing gravity.

  • Fordzo a.k.a. Fancy Mukluks

    And HBC would need a bird’s nest on her head. Definitely a bird’s nest.

  • This all strikes me as an object lesson in “overdone”: too much going on in the dress (black! white! lace! panels! shoulder straps! long sleeves! gored skirt!), too much going on with the jewelry, too much with the boots, and to literally top it off, an extra ski-jump swoop unnecessarily added to her mega-cute normal hairstyle. That a black clutch with an oversize decorative sparkly clasp is the only bit of sanity in this ensemble says a lot. No thank you to any of it, not even for Queen Helen.

  • @Biting Panda

    Not even a little bit.

  • MarissaLG

    I think the most egregious part of this look is the shoes. The length of the dress + the height of the shoes is really terrible. And yes, the gown would be much, much better without the lace. Even still, this look is barely passing. Jewelry/Bag/Face are stunning.

  • AzulFashion

    I think you’ve got it. The lace should be black.

  • I like it, except that it looks like a table cloth, but since I used to dress up in my mom’s table cloths, I sympathize with the look. She’s rocking some ’90s hair here, too. I used to do everything in my power to sweep my bangs that high.

  • She looks awesome….but dress silhouette not flattering on her OR model!

  • marlie

    From the neck up, Queen Helen is killing it. I’m not partial to the dress, but she’s sort of making it work. It might have been better on her if it was a little shorter. But the shoes are a no-no.

    • MoHub

      Interesting. I’d have preferred it full length. And it needs better underpinnings; she’s sagging a bit.

      • marlie

        Full length could have been ok too. This tea-length is really unfortunate.

        • demidaemon

          Agreed. It’s that neither here nor there length that I always abhor.

  • Not crazy about the dress, but I am enjoying those lonnnnnng earrings and those lace boots are fabulous. Mere mortals couldn’t make me like this look, but Queen Helen is making it work.

  • queeniethebold

    i LOVE the shoeses!

  • Mr. J.

    I just love her wrinkles…I’m old too, and let me tell you….it’s heartening. Plus, she’s a reminder that you can be Getting Up There and still have FUN. She always looks as if she’s having a marvelous time.

    • MoHub

      Precisely. Every stretched, injected, and Botoxed celeb needs to take a lesson from Queen Helen in wearing one’s age with dignity and enjoying every year.

    • prettyinmink

      I love her wrinkles too. It really gives her face character and she looks more beautiful than all those other ridiculous looking stretched-out starlets.

  • alyce1213

    There’s Something About Helen . . . Oh my, a hair gel overreach.
    Face, earrings, shoes – check. The rest is best forgotten, that’s a really bad dress.

  • FibonacciSequins

    Maybe she just thinks it’s fun? Judging by that Conan bang flip, she was in a kicky mood.

  • lamamu

    Get rid of the sheer white lace, color the rest of the lace black, and I think the dress suddenly becomes fabulous.

    • conniemd

      Agree with this totally. I could even live with the striped lace as white, just hate the sheer white lace.

  • Lizzyisi

    It’s a lovely shape. A really lovely shape.

  • GillianHolroyd

    Well no, the dress is rather stumpifyingly awful but I was surprised how much I like her in white/white lace. I never thought it would work with her pale skin but from the clavicle up, she looks like a Frostee Freeze. Love the dippetty-do swoop and those stunning earrings.

  • rebeemoon

    But the earrings! Can I have them when she’s finished?

  • msdamselfly

    Love the way her feet look

  • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

    Queen Helen of Fuckinfantastica. enough said.

  • Nika E

    Can we talk about the badass shoes? She always has great shoes.

  • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    I looked at that and said, “HBC, in black.” It feels like I correctly answered a question in class.

  • Sophie

    Love the earrings. Would like the whole dress better without the white lace, but as it is, even Helen Mirren can’t make it work for me.

  • Wink

    She usually nails it, so she gets a pass for this unfortunate choice.

  • smayper

    “Along comes a lady in lacy sleeves…” Points for first Kitten to identify the quote. Also, love the fact that she is out and proud with her laugh lines. I love a gorgeous unretouched woman!

    • little britches

      Raised on Robbery!! – by the one and only Ms. Joni M.

      • smayper

        YES! I buy you whatever you want at TLounge on Friday. See you there..

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Lovely. She looks like she’s having fun playing dress-up! Which she definitely IS.

  • NMMagpie

    Queen Helen busted out the SASSY hair!

    And those boots are soon to be seen in my wardrobe.

  • KayEmWhy

    Not a fan of the dress on her or the model, but love those boots.

  • Bad Idea Jeans

    I love the polka dotty print, but think that material could be made into a much more interesting dress without all the crazy mixing of fabrics that do not belong together. It does improve the dress to remove the white lace bits. But this dress makes me long for her D&G widows weeds looks, and that’s not right.

  • littlevase

    Helen, show us your clutch!

  • suzq

    Stylist: Huishan Zhang is one of the hot designers in the world today for his amazing ability to mix prints and fabrics.
    Helen: What a FUGLY dress!
    Stylist: No, no, NO! Ms. Mirren. This is a WORK of ART!
    Helen: Could he not afford to make the entire dress out of one fabric? Was he forced to use remnants?
    Stylist: It is an expression of post-modern, sensible use of luxurious fabrics to evoke the complexities of today’s modern woman: simultaneously romantic, edgy, and voluptuous.
    Stylist: It has excellent interior boning structure, will fit you like a dream and give you a 26″ waist.
    Helen: A 26″ waist? What didn’t you say that before? I’ll wear it!

    • demidaemon

      Love this imaginary exchange!

  • Meg

    I can’t see past the “There’s Something About Mary” hair…

  • Shawn EH

    The print parts are based on Roy Lichtenstein paintings, I think; weirdly, his pop art version of Chinese watercolors. Maybe if the lace matched the blue dots? I think what makes it work is the silhouette, and of course Helen.

  • SistaT

    It’s just the length that isn’t working for me. If it was shorter and those boots were laced up to the knee, I would be all, “YES, MA’AM” about it.

  • kimmeister

    Things I like:
    – The amazing earrings and ring
    – The white lace sleeves and neckline

    Things I don’t like:
    – The boots. Lace overkill much?
    – The pointilist misty mountain print juxtaposed with white lace
    – The fact that her awesome ring is too big for her and won’t stay in one spot

  • I think she looks beautiful, white lace notwithstanding. And her earrings are fantastic.

  • Imasewsure

    Ditch the lace and this would have been kind of awesome on her… also take the lace and the earrings to start building another outfit I think. Still Queen Helen… whattyagonnado…. awesome anyway

  • judybrowni

    A 60ish(?) woman makes it werq better than the model
    Who woulda thunk that!
    Queen Helen, indeed.

    • Elsewhere1010

      68, I believe. An amazing, incredible, beautiful, courageous, gracious 68. If only we all could look that good when we get to her age…

  • poorellensmith

    Sadly, I don’t love this. But I DO love that she has the fabulous sort of life in which those earrings get a strong showing! ::contemplating my own life as a personal trainer, in which I rarely even get to wear JEANS, let alone drop-head jewelry:: Sigh.

  • ashtangajunkie

    The dress is kind of horrifying, but damn if Helen Mirren doesn’t slay it with her fabulousity.

  • cocohall

    What have they done to our Queen? Off with their heads! She is always fabulous, but the dress is out of the DSM –it has a personality disorder and should be kept away from the general population. For everyone’s safety. I do not mean to make fun of mental disorders, but seriously this is a very confused dress.

  • Jaeda Laurez

    If they got rid of the lace, she’d look like a boss. i mean, more so than usual. love the hair too.

  • AndieJay

    The silhouette is awesome on her, and I even like the length. But the dot panels make it look like a wedding dress for a test pattern designer.

  • MsC

    I like the shape of the dress, but there’s too much going on. Get rid of the white lace, and the sleeves, and it would be better.

  • Qitkat


    Psssst, Helen, you really should have that foot fungus looked at, I think it’s spreading.

  • Coco Cornejo

    I wonder if it would look better if the wall behind her wasn’t white. I’m having a hard time getting beyond all that glaring brightness to even see the dress.

    Do the stylists know that the backdrop for these events is going to look like? Seems like it would be important in deciding the color scheme for the outfit.

  • traceyishere

    Terrible on the model, terrible on her, except the fabu shoes.

  • LadyVimes

    I’d love it if it were longer. I hate dresses that can’t decide if they want to be gowns. Those earrings are sublime though, and she looks magnificent even with the indecisive dress.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I’m not thrilled by the dress, but Queen Helen is giving it her very best, and I do love the black lace boots-also her hair!

  • Raspberry2012

    I love this look on her. It’s not good on the model, no. But it’s perfect on Queen Helen. It looks like it was made for her, and it’s beautiful!

  • Constant Reader

    I wish the dress had been hemmed to the length on the model, but otherwise she is really making a weird dress work. I’m loving lace boots on Queen Helen alone — commoners need not apply. Also, I’d cut a bitch for those earrings.

  • blue808

    I can’t with that cockatoo hair.

  • BayTampaBay

    She looks great! Dame Helen, YOU GO GIRL because you look better in that dress than the model does and the booties make the outfit!


  • formerlyAnon

    No. I admire her deeply for pulling off the lace booties and I think her hair works surprisingly well. But even the model looks more . . . upholstered than she does dressed. (Side, full length view is better than full on, but the top half is just awkwardly heavy. On both Ms. Mirren and model.)

  • joancarol

    When I get old, I shall wear wings in my hair.

  • quiltrx

    My first thought was definitely “lose the lace”. Other than that, I rather like it. Those earrings are killa.

  • demidaemon

    I am not loving it. I like the shoes and actually have no problem with the torso lace appliques (shocking I know). but that hem length is throwing me off like crazy.

  • imakeart

    I love her for many reasons, but among them is that I, too, am an earring maven. Those are particularly stunning.

  • macwell

    It’s not the best I’ve seen her in, but as usual – she sell it. 😉

  • Judih1

    Love the shoes – I want the shoes. I give the dress a B- I think it flares out to wide and don’t think that color is flattering on her. A tad too much jewelry (including jewelry on the purse) But she makes it all work becaue of WHO she is

  • “Pardon me, is everybody here? Because if everybody’s here, I want to thank you all for coming to the wedding, I’d appreciate your going even more, I mean you must have lots of better things to do, and not a word of this to Paul, remember Paul, you know, the man I’m gonna marry, but I’m not, because I wouldn’t ruin anyone as wonderful as he is–Thank you all For the gifts and the flowers, Thank you all, Now it’s back to the showers, Don’t tell Paul, But I’m not getting married today.”

    Seriously, this should be Amy’s dress in a production of Company. Bless this bride, totally insane indeed.

  • Swiftlytiltingplanet

    I rather like it. Especially in the 3rd picture (of Helen).

  • Call me Bee

    Love it. Bow down–it’s Dame Helen.

  • Kelly

    Not even Queen Helen of FF can pull off this overdone mishmash. Plus, her makeup is too pale, and the cowlick is. . .I dunno. I may let her have the cowlick. I mean, there’s something uber-cool and weird about even typing “Helen Mirren’s cowlick.”

  • Pterodactyl111

    How delightful is that hair??

  • Damien W

    No from me. Technically, a woman her age is old enough for that dress, but this is Helen Fucking Mirren, who can still make jugheads crash their jalopies into telephone poles. The hair is what kills everything. She looks like Tintin’s grandmother.

  • Lorelei_D

    I think this looks better on her than it does on the model!

  • Alfred Cox

    No mention of the hideous shoes?

    • Read a little slower.

      • Alfred Cox

        OMG U guys responded to me. I can die now lmao. Thanks.

  • She looks stumpy.
    Diggin’ the lace booties.

  • malarson2

    Oh my god. I totally want to go to Fuckinfantastica. In fact I might even want to live there.

  • Akemi

    I love her, and I agree, this only works because she is the HBIC.

  • e jerry powell

    The hem length is a little odd PERIOD.

  • Kristen Reyes

    This looks like what lady gaga would wear to her 6th wedding. This is also why I love it. Queen Helen made it work first.