Judi Dench’s most fashionable moments from the 50s to today

At 85 years old, Judi Dench has become British Vogue’s oldest cover star.

The actor – known for her roles in the James Bond franchise, Shakespeare in Love and more – is on the front cover of the fashion magazine’s June issue.


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Introducing the June 2020 issue of #BritishVogue where Dame Judi Dench, at 85, makes history as the oldest person ever to star on the cover of Vogue. Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the world into lockdown, @GilesHattersley visited her home in deepest Surrey to discuss everything from why retirement is completely out of the question, to how she has become a social media phenomenon – without being on social media herself. Click the link in bio to read the interview and see the full story in the new issue, on newsstands and available for digital download on Thursday 7 May. #JudiDench wears a trench coat by @DolceGabbana. Photographed by @Nick_Knight and styled by @KPhelan123, with hair by @SamMcKnight1, make-up by @TheValGarland, nails by @MikePocock and set design by @TomoTattle.

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In the accompanying profile, her daughter Finty Williams says: “After the photoshoot, she came back literally thinking she was Beyoncé.”

This isn’t the first time Dench has made a fashion splash. Not only has she been ruling the stage and the screen since the Fifties, but she’s had some pretty incredible looks along the way.

Her style has always been timeless and classic, not slavishly tied to trends. Here are some of her biggest fashion moments.

The Fifties…

Judi Dench

Nowadays, most of us board flights wearing leggings and hoodies. This wasn’t the case in the 1950s; back in 1959, Dench touched down in London in a particularly chic, shaggy coat. Of course, this was all topped off by her signature pixie crop – a look the 85-year-old still models today.

The Sixties…

Judi Dench

Even though this is a stage costume, we’re still counting it as a huge fashion moment. Back in 1968, Dench played Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret, and did so in a series of racy outfits befitting the iconic character.

The Seventies…

Actor Michael Williams on the day that he wed actress Judi Dench at St. Mary's church, Holly Place, Hampstead.

Dench married fellow actor Michael Williams in February 1971. She did so in an outfit perfect for a winter bride, wearing a white coat with a fur hood and a big grin on her face.

The Eighties…

Judi Dench in 1082, with her Bafta TV award for Best Actress for 'A Fine Romance', at the British Academy of Film and TV Arts Awards

Dench kept things sleek and elegant for the 1982 Baftas, wearing a black turtleneck outfit which would still very much work on the red carpet today.

The Nineties…

Judi Dench winning the best actress award for Mrs Brown at the 1998 Baftas

When winning the best actress award for playing Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown at the 1998 Baftas, Dench showed you can never go wrong with a black velvet evening gown.

Judi Dench at the 1999 Oscars

But her undoubted signature style can be seen in her 1999 Oscars outfit, when she won best supporting actress for her role in Shakespeare in Love. It involved a floaty long dress, a chic coat over the top, and in this instance we have to give a special shout out to her intricate clutch.

The Noughties…

Dame Judi Dench arrives at the Curzon Mayfair in central London, for the premiere of 'Iris'. The film follows the story of Booker Prize-winning novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch who died in 1999, played by Kate Winslet and Judi Dench. 2002

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the actor’s blue crushed velvet coat and matching choker, worn to the premiere of Iris in 2002 – and hope she still has the jacket in her wardrobe.

Judi Dench at the 2002 Academy Awards

The Noughties was also very much Dench’s black phase, but she showed dark colours don’t have to be boring at the 2002 Academy Awards with a gown featuring delicate detailing around the waist.

The 007, James Bond logo on the back of Dame Judi Dench's neck as she arrives for the World premiere of 'Quantum Of Solace' at the Odeon Leicester Square, WC2.

Like the legend that she is, for the premiere of Quantum Of Solace in 2008, Dench bedazzled ‘007’ onto the back of her neck.

Dame Judi Dench arriving for the world premiere of Nine at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

Dench didn’t used to wear a lot of colour, which is what makes the lemon gown worn to the premiere of Nine in 2009 such a knockout.

The 2010s…

Skyfall premiere Judi Dench

There was a stage when Dench would only really be seen wearing black on the red carpet. However, over the past decade or so she’s embraced colour, and is often seen wearing white – for example, the chic outfit for the 2012 premiere of Skyfall.

Dame Judi Dench during filming for The Graham Norton show at the London Studios, London.

The only arbiter of cool we’re interested in, Dench wore a black leather biker jacket on The Graham Norton show in 2014. She layered lots of delicate necklaces together – a jewellery trend which has recently taken over, making her a bon afide style icon.

Judi Dench Victoria and Abdul premiere 2017

For the 2017 premiere of Victoria and Abdul, a film about the friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant, Dench stepped out in a pale blue outfit with an beautifully embroidered coat.

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