When the cameras stop rolling, dress to please yourselves

The fashion police have felt the frayed collars of two of Britain's best young actors. Melanie Rickey senses a miscarriage of justice

WHEN Helena Bonham Carter boarded Concorde to New York on Wednesday, onlookers were surprised, shocked even, to see her dressed in a mish-mash of most un-film-starry clothes, with tousled hair and not a hint of make- up.

Where was the cashmere wrap? The sunglasses? The leave-me-alone-I-am- a-movie-star demeanour? It was in exactly the same place as Kate Winslet's leave-me-alone-I-am-a-movie-star demeanour when she boarded Concorde last week wearing a mini-skirt with bare legs, boots, chunky socks and a black leather coat; put away until Oscar night on 23 March, when both women will look every inch glamorous icons of the silver screen.

The truth is that today's young actresses are an entirely different breed of women from the Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and Lauren Bacall types of the Forties and Fifties. Then, every detail of their clothing, make-up, eyebrows and hairstyles were slavishly copied to such a degree that most fashionable women of that era looked like clones.

In the late Nineties, we've got a diverse selection of supermodels for inspiration, and frankly we would rather look to Kate (Moss) and Helena (Christensen) for fashion tips, not our lovely actresses Kate and Helena who are all the better for their imperfections and remind us of our humanity.

Unfortunately this doesn't stop the bitching, sniping and deconstruction of their every fashion choice. Bonham Carter doesn't seem to care too much about fashion as her rather hideous patchwork jumper shows, but she doesn't really have to. She was the face of Yardley cosmetics from 1993 to 1996, and has done her time as a two-dimensional image.

Winslet, on the other hand, is the hapless victim of style bloodhounds, who revel in her weight problems and ridicule her style. Those chunky brown boots she wore last week do not represent her need to show her inner "tomboy" nor do they imply that her feet "are firmly planted on the ground" despite her rise to fame. That is utter rubbish. Kate Winslet is still, as she often points out,a 22-year-old woman from Reading and has probably worn boots like that since she was a teenager, no doubt with 501s and a leather coat - just like other women her age. Why should she wear Manolo Blahnik heels and designer dresses? She is not paid to be a clothes-horse, she is paid to act, and she is very good at it.

Last November, when Helena Bonham Carter was getting primped, preened and laced into a Vivienne Westwood gown for the London premiere of The Wings of The Dove, she commented: "I'm dressing up and pretending to be a movie star," and after changing out of her dungarees and trainers, donning the gown, and spending three hours in hair and make-up, she looked sensational, and assumed her part beautifully, just like Kate Winslet did in her Vivienne Westwood gown at last year's Oscar ceremony - and just as they will again on 23 March.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

    Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

    Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

    £100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee