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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’.
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.