August 8, 2022

As she rocks pink hair, bold dresses and “bad-ass” make-up, Helen Mirren is as fashionable and sophisticated as ever.

These days, the word “influencer” gets bandied around a lot, a catch-all term for anyone trying to get noticed on social media. But if you want to see a real influencer, take one look at Helen Mirren, who at 77 has more fashion- and beauty-industry clout than most young Insta stars could ever dream of. Sitting across from me via a screen – Helen is in Cannes, I’m in London – wearing a slim-cut, round-neck green dress with her hair slicked back in a modern ponytail, she looks every inch an idol. The actor has the sort of presence and confidence that is alluring in anyone, whether 17 or 70.

Yet she is a charmingly un-grandiose interviewee, making relaxed chit-chat. Her well-trained eye immediately zones in on my cheesecloth blouse: she squints and asks if it’s vintage (it is). She talks about the “very hot” weather in Cannes, and asks whether it’s sunny in London as if we’re old friends.

We’re speaking the day before a red-carpet appearance. Helen tells me she’ll be wearing a sparkly Jenny Packham gown and no, she hasn’t thought about how she’ll wear her hair or make-up yet. (As it turned out, she had hair extensions put in to create an XXL half-ponytail.)

Helen is as chic as she is charming. Her irreverent style and “so what?” attitude to beauty are so appealing in this cookie-cutter world. A regular on the red carpet and the awards circuit, her fashion choices get braver and bolder every year, making her a frequent feature on best-dressed lists, too.

Whether she’s in a pretty floral dress toughened up with Russell & Bromley biker boots, as seen on The Graham Norton Show earlier this year, the waist-cinching sugary-pink Dolce & Gabbana dress she wore to collect her Lifetime Achievement prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, or the bright-yellow frock she sported at Cannes last year, her approach is never timid. And Helen, an ambassador for L’Oréal Paris (that’s her, below, walking in their 2019 show), is also up for adventure when it comes to beauty, trying pink hair, “bad-ass” eye make-up and everything in between.

So who better to discuss her past red-carpet looks than Helen herself? With some pictures to hand, she talks me through some of the more interesting from recent years, and the seven lessons in beauty and style that make her an inspiration to women of all ages.

Read the full article/interview in our press library.