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Cool Couples : Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton

May 17, 2015

One of the most amazing and life affirming things about Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton is the total erasure of the flimsy line between fantasy and reality.


For anyone growing up playing with spiders and bugs hidden under the rock, talking to shadows and having a ghost dog as company, or being a girl who wears a pink dress only if it’s been buried underground for a month, then singed with your mum’s crème brûlée torch – for those of us who despised the shiny goodness of the ordinary, there is no better fairytale duo to lead us away from the grown-up world.

The King and Queen of the Undead


The Young Outsiders-Vintage For Two

Helena Bonham Carter, the great-granddaughter of the Liberal prime minister Lord Asquith, and the granddaughter of the famed orator Violet, Lady Asquith, grew up in upper middle class Golders Green wearing flamenco dresses made by her stylish, eccentric half-Spanish mother.

Contrasts and Similarities

As a very young girl Helena Bonham Carter already looked several hundred years out of her time: her strong Pre-Raphaelite eyes and cascading curls over porcelain doll’s face were instrumental in her discovery by the film industry.


Beautiful as she was, when placed in period corsets she switched on like a faerie light: it wasn’t just her unusual beauty that made her stand out, but also the strong undercurrents of dancing wilderness and solid reason fluttering right under those corset stays.

Together Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton Are Ravishing!

Because, Helena Bonham Carter is smart. Yes, she did borrow Emma Thompson’s husband, the director Kenneth Branagh, give him a good shake and drop him back after a little while. Yes, she did fall for Tim Burton after he put her in the ape costume for Planet of the Apes (and could you blame him?).


Yes, her eccentricity sometimes eclipses her good judgement in clothing and (some would argue) men. But it’s her smarts that have landed her some of the most memorable roles of the past two decades, her quite crackling intelligence with which she executes those spellbinding roles and stays true to herself.

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton – Crumpled Up Fantasy

Who doesn’t remember A Room with a View? Wings of a Dove? Sweeney Todd? Alice in Wonderland? Planet of the Apes? Who has not seen her in Harry Potter? Dark Shadows? The King’s Speech? And yet what we remember the most are her off-duty style where, Helena Bonham Carter says, she mixes Marie Antoinette with Vivien Westwood and hopes for the best.

Slime and Shadows

Everybody knows that Tim Burton is no Richard Burton to her Elizabeth. The macabre director and animator whose mum had a cat-themed gift shop (these things haunt you for life!) is the melancholic poster boy for the dark gothic fantasy, who directed pretty much everything worth getting the spooky chills for since the 1990s.


His drawings, paintings and animations owe a lot to the dark genre in the style of Edward Gorey and the early Hollywood horror films, whereas his dress sense owes a lot to nobody.

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton Wearing the Red Carpet in Style

In their collaborations as in their private life, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton exude striking sense of fun. The amount of dirt poured on them, the ripped costumes, the messed-upedness that appears to be their life is a vivid tableau of every dreamy Goth’s desires. Every smelly Lolita wants Helena Bonham Carter’s prim little hats. Every pale pimply boy dreams of being resurrected as Tim Burton. Every bored youth from all corners of the planet looks up and finds that their strangeness cannot and should not be categorised.


It’s not just about that mantra about “being yourself”, it’s about being endlessly creative, vulnerable, eccentric and funny, no matter who’s looking. It’s also about being in love with the fellow freak. Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton’s relationship may now be dead, but as we all know, death is just the wedding bells for some.




More white gauze – HBC in Wings of a Dove.

Accessorising with phosphorescent ectoplasm.

And with a living slimeball.

Picnic blanket always at ready.

Burton having a bad hair day.

Marie Antionette meets Vivien Westwood.

Close to the electric socket, for the last minute hairstyling.

HBC and Burton endure another round of Golden Globes.
HBC and her stylish mother Elena looking like Mongolian emissaries.
HBC as a peg-legged seductress in the Lone Ranger
Helena thinks of what to wear next while relaxing in her garden lounger tub.
Helena wears a small island.
Helping a fellow fairy – Burton and HBC in Central Park.
Casual yummy mummy playground style.</p>&nbsp;
Helena adds bounce to her step with special bouncy shoes
Wearing several kinds of black.
Red carpet style 1 – at 2013 Golden Globe awards.
Red Carpet style 2 – wearing the carpet.
Red Carpet Style 3 – with arm sling as accessory
Red Carpet style 4 – At the London premiere of Dark Shadows.
Red carpet style 5 – with mother Elena 2011.
Investitures At Buckingham Palace. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
The pilot saw red and flew in, but it was only HBC’s pompom hat.
In Fight Club.
Tim Burton draws his wife.
No-one knows which is which!
Neither does HBC.</p>
Burton is allegedly dating some new blonde.
Whereas HBC looks as ravishing as ever.