Plus, meet the emerging London designer she can’t stop wearing in Rio
TV presenter Helen Skelton’s Olympic style cased a bit of a Twitter kerfuffle last week. Depressingly – in 2016 – it wasn’t the former Blue Peter presenter’s sports expertise, intellect or on-screen charisma that had her trending across social media. No, the reason was far more reductive: the length of her dress.
Daft comments came in thick and fast about an asymmetric white dress which Skelton wore – while, FYI, she was presenting the BBC coverage for the swimming category – and ranged from the truly ridiculous: ‘Has @HelenSkelton stopped to commentate on the swimming on her way to a toga party?, ‘Love #HelenSkelton but has she run out of clothes in her suitcase & having to now use her hotel sheets?? #unusualfrock’, to the downright sexist (we shan’t waste your time with those).
Thankfully, there was some wisdom within the fray, and one tweet read: ‘If you’re struggling to concentrate on the sport because a woman has a pair of legs, it says more about you than her #HelenSkelton #Rio2016.’
When she spoke to Marie Claire back in January, Skelton compared Twitter to ‘a bad boyfriend’: ‘Sometimes it’s really useful, but often bad for your ego. It’s particularly good for scores and updates when I am out and about but people, myself included, don’t always mean what they say on there.’
In case you’re not familiar with the 33-year-old mother-of-one, she segued into sports presenting when her profile soared following a string of daring charity stunts, which included travelling further in a kayak than any other woman and finishing the Namibian ultra marathon.
Her approach to fashion is just as plucky, and she’s been championing a range of emerging designers, including Edeline Lee and Alexander Lewis during her time in Brazil. As well as shining a global spotlight on these lesser-known designers, Skelton has been mixing in highstreet pieces from Asos, Kurt Geiger and Whistles.
Edeline Lee Show, Autumn Winter 2016, London Fashion Week
Edeline Lee, the London-based designer behind the aforementioned white dress, was overjoyed when Skelton’s stylist Cobbie Yates (who’s also worked with Jessis J and Justin Bieber) got in touch about wearing her designs to the games: ‘Helen’s taken a step off the beaten path to wear more interesting clothing than your average TV personality. I think the spirit and colours of the clothing are completely aligned to the job she is doing,’ Lee told us. ‘Helen is a strong, vivacious, intelligent and beautiful woman who loves her job and is having fun while making an impact.’
The Canadian-born designer cut her teeth under Alexander McQueen and John Galliano before launching her eponymous line in 2014. As well as Skelton, you’ll find Lee’s feminine but fashion-forward designs hanging in the wardrobes of Alicia Vikander, Taylor Swift, and Solange Knowles. This season, she be showing on-schedule at London Fashion Week on at ‘The Painting Rooms Presentations’.
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So, let’s get Helen trending for her support of fresh design talent and for having fun with fashion instead of over archaic attacks on hem-lengths.