ROSIE Dennington almost deleted the email that may well change her life.
At a quick glance she assumed the unfamiliar address was spam from HSBC bank, but the letters actually read HBC.
They were the initials of one of the most famous actresses in the world: Helena Bonham Carter.
And the email exchange that followed has now led to one of the 22-year-old fashion designer’s gowns appearing in renowned magazine Vanity Fair.
Miss Dennington, from Eynsham, said: “It is like a dream coming true. It is so surreal.”
- Rosie Dennington
Last Christmas Miss Dennington’s father, Jon, 61, secretly sent off samples of his daughter’s work to the Harry Potter actress.
In May an email pinged into her inbox and within weeks the ex-Cherwell Valley College student was standing in a London office with Ms Bonham Carter twirling around in dresses she had designed.
- Video: The Vanity Fair photoshoot with Helena Bonham Carter
The former Eynsham Primary and Bartholomew School student, who specialises in costume design and corsetry, said: “I got an email from her PA saying that Helena had seen my designs and really liked them and wanted to see more. When I got there I assumed it would just be her PA, but Helena was there too.
“People say you should never meet your idols, but she was just so lovely and supportive.
“She said: ‘I have a shoot coming up next week, could I take your dress?’ and I was trying to be cool, and said’ yeah, ok’.
“Then she mentioned it was for Vanity Fair and (photographer) Mario Testino was shooting it. It was overwhelming.”
- The dress, known as the Bird Cage worn by Emily McLeish
The dress, known as the Bird Cage, has three layers of skirts one of which is embroided with poetry and another strewn with petals and tiny birds, a crinoline with a 22-panel corset on top.
The pictures, taken as part of a feature on the International Best Dressed List, are featured in September’s magazine, which is out now.
Ms Bonham Carter has been a big influence on Miss Dennington’s work. She said: “She just takes risks with what she wears, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. It is a great way of expressing yourself, and I think more people should do it.”
- With her dad Jon
Miss Dennington, who lives with dad Jon, mum Elaine, 60, and brother Christopher, 29, studied fashion design at Birmingham City University and graduated with a first class degree in 2013.
She is now creating her next collection of work which she funded by working at the Cancer Research shop in Botley Road, Oxford. Miss Dennington works under the name Rosie Red Corsetry and Couture and is hoping to create costumes for films.
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