We caught up with the supermodel at the launch of Maison Triumph to talk all things lingerie
After three years as the face – and body – of Triumph’s Essence collection, original supermodel Helena Christensen has swapped the photo studio for the design workshop as she makes her first foray into lingerie design.
The luxury underwear line for Triumph features three key style ranges – the Dahlia (rose stretch-tulle and ornate black lace), the Poetica (crystal embellished white separates), and the Ballerina (feminine and vintage-inspired).
We caught up with the Danish-born model earlier today at the Maison Triumph, a pop-up showspace in the capital’s Covent Garden to coincide with London Fashion Week, to talk lingerie inspiration, ’50s screen icons and the British designer who could tempt her back onto the catwalk.
This is your first foray into lingerie design. How have you found the process?
I don’t ever commit to doing anything unless I can do it whole-heartedly, so I was very hands-on in the design process. I would never want to create a collection that didn’t reflect me and that I wasn’t 100% happy with, so it’s been an intense process to get it right, but it’s been worth it.
The lingerie looks very vintage-inspired. Are you a big fan of this kind of look?
Absolutely, I’m hugely inspired by vintage fashion. I think this is because the pieces are all handmade and crafted by artists. From the intricate details to the lace, you just get goosebumps when you look at it. I’ve also always had an affinity with faded colours and obviously vintage pieces will give you that look.
Aside from vintage clothing, what else inspired you when making the collection?
Everything from photos and movies to the silver screen actresses from the ’50s. I particularly love those women because of the silhouette the clothing of that era gave them – high-waisted, nipped in waists and curved hips. That look accentuates the female form and it just feels right, so I extended that into my designs.
What’s your most treasured item of lingerie and why?
I have quite a few vintage pieces that I wouldn’t even dare to wear! First of all they don’t fit because they’re built for a different shape from a different era, but also because the fabrics are so fragile, so I just like looking at them.
You also model the range, so how do you get in shape for lingerie shoots?
I always try to be motivated to work out more before a shoot and to cut out certain foods, but I never do it. I usually try to eat a varied diet anyway and I’ve been boxing for eight years now, which also keeps me in tip-top shape.
As London Fashion Week kicks off today, is there a UK designer that could tempt you back onto the catwalk?
Well, yeah. Vivienne Westwood’s shows were always incredible. She is a fascinating and inspiring woman, and I adore her clothes. I love her mind, the way she thinks and how she works that into her collections. Doing her shows was like being part of a performance, so I’d definitely do one for her again if she asked me.