7 age­less style lessons from He­len Mir­ren as she turns 72

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FASHION - By BETHAN HOLT

He­len Mir­ren has in­dis­putably be­come a na­tional trea­sure; she’s our de facto stand-in for The Queen, a glossy but bril­liantly Bri­tish pres­ence on the red car­pet and an ad­mirably hon­est and out­spo­ken ad­vo­cate for very mod­ern is­sues like so­cial me­dia pres­sures which you might not ex­pect a sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian to be­come in­volved in.

Style-wise, the Cal­en­dar Girls star — who celebrated her 72nd birth­day last month — has the knack of al­ways look­ing pol­ished with an in­her­ent ease and joy to her look, whether it’s a sharp suit or full-skirted gown. Here, we break down the build­ing blocks of her age­less, so­phis­ti­cated look.

1 2 Find your desert is­land de­signer:

If Mir­ren had to choose one de­signer to wear for­ever, then we feel con­fi­dent in as­sum­ing that she would bun­dle up her wardrobe of glam­orously flat­ter­ing Dolce and Gab­bana and skip off into the sunset. The Ital­ian de­sign duo’s cheerful flo­rals and witty prints are ren­dered on dresses with cinched waist and ro­man­tic flared skirts which Mir­ren turns to for pho­to­calls and pre­mieres.

A quirky ac­ces­sory will en­liven a clas­sic look:

Ex­hibit 1. The black tur­ban which Mir­ren topped her out­fit with at the Power of Women awards in Oc­to­ber last year.

Ex­hibit 2. A patch­work pouch bag which Mir­ren slung over her shoul­der for a party at Ver­sailles.

Both these off­beat ac­ces­sories were paired with quite po­lite looksa black suit and a white lace dress re­spec­tively- but trans­formed them into some­thing unique and mem­o­rable.

“There isn’t a tip or piece of ad­vice that works for all. I think ‘fake it’ is a good one, but go­ing to the gym isn’t bad ei­ther. Exercising is a very good way of con­trol­ling your mind. Yoga is all about med­i­ta­tive prac­tices,” Mir­ren told The Tele­graph ear­lier this year as she dis­cussed men­tal health at a L’Oreal event.

A quick glance at any shot of Mir­ren on the red car­pet re­veals this ‘Fake It’ (or maybe she’s made it al­ready?) ap­proach; she’s all daz­zling smiles, jolly poses and per­fect pos­ture. It makes any out­fit she wears look in­fin­itely more fab­u­lous.

4 Don’t be afraid to go barefaced:

When Mir­ren an­nounced at the height of Christ­mas party sea­son last year that she thought it might be time for us to be­gin go­ing bare-faced, the state­ment did raise some eye­brows. “I think it would be won­der­ful if it be­came a fash­ion (to go barefaced),” she ad­mit­ted. “Things are al­ways cycli­cal, so I sus­pect we might’ve reached sat­u­ra­tion with the whole selfie thing and maybe we’re mov­ing in an­other di­rec­tion. It would be great if we are, with­out be­ing pu­ri­tan­i­cal, be­cause I love make-up, dressing up, so I don’t want to be ‘Oh we’ve all got to go with­out make-up’.”

I think what she is say­ing here is that we shouldn’t con­sider a full- face of make-up the only op­tion for look­ing and feel­ing good.

While fem­i­nine dresses are Mir­ren’s go-to look, she is also savvy enough to know that one can­not live on flo­rals and frip­pery fab­rics alone. So her other go-to look has be­come a sharply tai­lored suit which she teams with crisp shirts, slicked-back hair and some­times a swipe of red lip­stick. It’s a com­plete step change but works just as bril­liantly.

Suit up:

3

Con­fi­dence is your great­est as­set:

On the whole Mir­ren toes the lines with her fash­ion choices, strik­ing a so­phis­ti­cat­edly mod­ern rather than dar­ing tone. But she does some­times re­mind us that mix­ing things up is rarely a bad idea. See the time she wore her beau­ti­fully em­bel­l­lished floor-sweep­ing skirt with the most sim­ple cash­mere jumper.

Rules are there to be bro­ken:

Close anal­y­sis of Mir­ren’s style re­veals that often the key to the ef­fort­lessly chic im­pres­sions of her looks doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily lie in the clothes (as well judged as they are) but how she wears her hair. Some­times it is styled into a glossy blow dry, some­times it’s tou­sled curls and oth­ers it’s glam­orously swept back. But it’s al­ways a style which would look as great on a 20 year-old as a 70 year-old.

It’s all in the hair:

has the knack of al­ways look­ing pol­ished with an in­her­ent ease and joy to her look.

PHO­TOS BY VALERY HACHE / AFP, BEN GABBE / GETTY IM­AGES AND SPLASH NEWS

He­len Mir­ren

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