I applaud Mirren for not only her abundant talent, but for her realistic approach: if it's a great dress, give it a good run! We can learn from how she's styled it at various times.
The two earlier shots serve as a) a cautionary example, and b) an it-depends.
At left, what seems to be a matching jacket worn with the dress makes her look like a walking wallpaper sample. Her bland hairstyle makes even Dame Helen look like one of those matronly, carefully-coiffed women you see at charity events. The nude heels don't remotely go with the dress.
The pearl rope gives pearls a bad name and explains why some women avoid them: too high on the neck, creating a strangled, tight effect, and at the same time, drooping toward the famous bosom in oddly-arranged strands.
Sidebar: Dame Mirren does know how to rock pearls; here she is at the Geilgud Theatre in an ultra-long rope worn with wit and a marvelous grey-lace dress I would kill for:
On a second occasion (top right), she seems to have put herself in the hands of a stylist who thinks leopard plus floral plus bootie equals hip. The coat desperately attempts a pattern-mix, but the leopard bears no relation to the floral and its length looks haphazard: just shy of long enough, but not short enough to be smart. (Or perhaps the dress was altered to remove the sleeves and create a new neckline?) However achieved, the slight scoop is a more flattering cut and her hair is softer, less staid. The ensemble at least moves into the right decade.
The third time's the charm; finally, as seen above, the dress comes into its own. The cardi frames the print without competing, the box bag is chic, the leg is light, the shoe discreet and though not as edgy as the bootie, suits the retro-print dress.
The only questionable note here is the necklace, which has a nice vintage feel, but seems to sit low. I think floral print plus flower necklace is a bit repetitive, but if I looked like Dame Mirren, I might try it.
Hair and makeup just superb!
A closer look at the necklace; what do you think?
As contrast, and part of my own internal might-I-wear-print-in-this-lifetime? dialog, I checked out Mirren's recent appearances in solids. Here she is in ecru, at a Women in Film pre-Oscar party (with Melanie Brown):
And in one of my favourite-ever Mirren evening gowns, an enchanting shade of green, at this year's Golden Globes:
She's wearing glamourous emerald earrings, and here's a closer look at her hairstyle, a vast improvement over photo #1, but maybe she was growing it; we've all been there.
I'm thinking a solid shade lets the woman wear the dress, not vice-versa.
PS. Upon receiving her star, placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year, Mirren said, “I couldn’t be prouder and more happy that I’m actually going to finally lie next to Colin Firth, something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time.”