On the week that celebrates all things Halloween, it is entirely fit to celebrate one of its modern-day ambassadors. British eccentric and Tim Burton’s muse, Helena Bonham Carter’s wardrobe is perhaps as close to Alice in Wonderland as one may get, so much so that she starred in the film. Like the enchanted fairytales and historic memoirs that she brings to life, Carter’s style is playfully fun with a thread of medieval darkness.
Reminders of her past characters often linger on her clothing; a nod to Sweeney Todd in her gothic, macabre layers and lace-up booties, the patchwork knits of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory or the bustled, elegant corsetry of her early years as a Victorian in Wings of a Dove. All this beneath a crazed, flurry of curls that almost demonstrates her run from a Shakespearean love triangle to Sweeney’s barber lair.
"Like the enchanted fairytales and historic memoirs that she brings to life, Carter’s style is playfully fun with a thread of medieval darkness."
In 2010 she wore mismatching shoes to the Oscars, which delighted Marc Jacobs so much that she became the face of his AW12 Campaign. What's wrong with wearing mismatching shoes? she asked. "Who says we can't? I was just having fun. For me, fashion is all about fantasy and putting unlikely things together. That's what I love. I genuinely love dressing up."
Perhaps Carter carries off her wild style because she is undeniably beautiful. A true dollface – wide eyed with flawless skin and a variety of European influence (Spanish, Jewish, French, Russian). Carter herself says, “I owe my looks to my mum – which was 90 percent of getting my first job. And, some people would argue, 90 percent of my entire career.”
Text by Mhairi Graham