Helen Mirren's Cheeky Chic Has Us In The Pink
Cropped pink locks are the look du jour - today alone, I've seen two women sporting a sassy rose crop. It's a style we can attribute to Dame Helen Mirren, who wowed crowds with her hairdo at last week's BAFTAs.
When interviewers asked about the new look, Mirren replied: 'I just thought it'd be fun!'
So what exactly is the appeal of Dame Helen's style?
When Mirren gets her look really right, I'd describe her style as cheeky chic. It's her way of dressing for her age, shape and colouring, while letting her joie de vivre animate her ensemble.
Sometimes that attitude is pure class. Other times, there's that delicious twinkle in her eye - like on BAFTA night.
'I love Helen Mirren,' enthuses one of my image consulting clients. 'She really seems to enjoy style, without taking it all too seriously. She doesn't dress like an old lady, but she's not mutton-dressed-as-lamb either.'
Mirren has found her sartorial sweet spot - she's making the most of herself, but without looking desperate to be trendy and youthful.
Mirren's motto might well be 'girls just wanna have fun!' What's not to love?
Dame Helen is one of the rare celebrities who has embraced ageing with grace and a sense of humour. But being playful with our looks as we age is a delicate art. There's a fine line between looking fun and ridiculous. Mirren's pink hair is a fabulous example of how she pulls off the former.
Tony Glenville, Creative Director of the London College of Fashion, says Mirren's BAFTA look 'worked well because the pink toned with her usual hair colour, rather than being a complete change or a very harsh, silly tone.'
'Helen Mirren knows how to combine playful and chic,' adds Veronique Henderson, Creative Director of Colour Me Beautiful. 'She is having a bit of fun with this hairstyle, but it's still tasteful and suits her colouring and personality. It's not over the top. And she combined it with an elegant Nicholas Oakwood dress.'
Mirren's in-the-pink moment is also a reminder that attractiveness is both a physical and psychological experience. Getting older is not about becoming invisible - it's about becoming comfortable in your own skin. That's where the twinkle comes from.
Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, clinical psychologist and author of You Are What You Wear - What Your Clothes Reveal About You, says 'Helen Mirren reminds us that the external no longer needs to be used to bolster the unsure internal self of our youth.'
As we ripen in our lives and tastes, our style becomes 'the external expression of a life fully lived,' Baumgartner adds.
It helps that Mirren is blessed with great genetics. But it's also how she seems to feel about how she looks that makes her so attractive.
'Fashion is personal - you have to not give a toss what other people think,' Mirren says in an InStyle interview.
3 Tips For Dressing Cheekily-Chic
1. Keep It Simple: If cheeky-chic is new to you, riff on something you already do. Mirren's pink hair worked, because it wasn't vastly different from her base colour. If changing your hair colour is too radical, try a new lipstick shade - something just outside your comfort zone. Or try an ooh-la-la flick on your eyes.
2. Pair Your 'Cheeky' Addition With Chic: Keep the rest of your look classic and pay attention to grooming. Try a pair of seamed or micro-nets stockings with an elegant dress. Your classic base gives you the canvas to play with new 'cheeky' accessories, without the overall look seeming too out there.
3. Fire Up Your Twinkle: Keep your look interesting by adding playful touches. And then wear your clothes with panache. It's the HOW you wear them that makes a look come to life. If you watch Mirren's BAFTA footage on the red carpet, she was rocking that hairstyle, and looked like she was having a blast. It's attitude that ignites cheeky-chic. As you're walking down the street, or entering a room, pretend you know a delicious secret. Then watch your inner-twinkle radiate.