Another look at Inkheart and Helen Mirren


A while ago we told you about Inkheart, the film of the book by Cornelia Funke with Helen Mirren playing great aunt Elinor, a bookish eccentric who has a wardrobe to die for. We’ve now seen the film and can recommend it entirely for the wonderful clothes.


We know it’s a little early to start thinking about winter outfits, but this film is certainly going to be our starting point for inspiration. Costume designer Verity Hawkes wanted an ‘old wool mixed with modern leather biker jackets’ look, with a bit of Edith Sitwell thrown in, which is enough for us to start getting excited (Mirren actually rides a vintage motorbike to the rescue at one point) but the film has some further great style ideas and we think Ms Mirren stands out a mile from everyone else in the film as the best dressed star.


We love the turban, for starters, which Ms Mirren carries off with aplomb, and the giant cocktail rings which add extra glamour to her animated hand movements. In fact the oversized jewellery generally, including the earrings and silver pearls, looked wonderful. In the library scene Mirren wears a long silver kimono wrapped as evening dress, over a high necked lace blouse, which is making us think that a kimono-as-a-summer-dress belted in the middle might work when the sun comes out.


The mix of colours (madder rose and petrel blue, tweedy browns with floral prints and a lovely putty coat with a great neckline) are a relief from our default black and when worn with dollops of clever eccentric slightly-cross-lady attitude, really make us yearn for winter.


Since we do have the summer to get through before we can really exploit this look, we suggest picking up on the oversized cocktail rings for now. As we are sitting on the beach while writing this, the idea of great costume jewellery to brighten up last year’s kaftan and add some extra glamour to the sandy landscape seems a cracking idea. Earrings and necklaces can look a little odd worn with swimsuits but brightly coloured costume rings are madly perfect. Try looking at the very well priced rings on where we found this square vintage crystal one for £17.95, or scour ebay.


Square crystal vintage cocktail ring £17.95 at Avalaya 

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