The Danish ‘90s icon that put the ‘super’ into model reveals all about her first foray into luxury lingerie design.
Helena, what’s your everyday look?
I’m a big fan of vintage dresses; I mix them into my daily wardrobe.
Your go-to after-dark outfit?
My favorite look will always be a classic Hedi Slimane for Dior suit.
Your top five pieces for SS13?
Pierre Hardy’s pink perforated-leather bag and color-block suede sandals; Red Valentino’s polka-dot parka; Nina Ricci’s white tiered gown; and Horiyoshi the Third’s silk snake-print scarf.
How did your luxury lingerie line for Triumph happen?
I’m Triumph’s spokesperson and campaign girl – designing a personal collection for them was part of the collaboration. I love lingerie and working with such a respected company is a great honor.
What inspired the collection?
So many things! Photographs of Eastern Europe in the ’30s and ’50s,Playboy magazines from the ’50s and images of a young Jane Birkin. I based the colors on paintings by Egon Schiele and Francis Bacon – dusty, nude tones mixed with bright yellow, orange and red. The Poetica line was particularly inspired by Danish summers.
Tell us about the details…
We sprinkled Swarovski crystals onto the Poetica pieces and I sourced some handmade lace from vintage sample books. It was an exciting part of the design process because I’ve been collecting vintage lace since I was a teenager.
How do you get in shape for lingerie shoots?
I’ve been training with my boxing coach Jason Lee for seven years and when I’m at home in Copenhagen I enjoy swimming in the ocean. I also do yoga sun salutations.
What are your fondest modeling memories?
Being photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for various campaigns; traveling to amazing destinations; and building a close friendship with photographers Rocco Laspata and Charles DeCaro.
You’re also a photographer – do you find that one discipline informs the other?
I always saw my modeling career as a great education in photography, surrounded by very talented people. I learned a lot about light from Herb Ritts: he turned the human body into art. Patrick Demarchelier makes you feel very comfortable in front of the camera. Peter Lindbergh is inspirational because his imagination is so childlike.
Could you be tempted to return to the runway?
It wouldn’t take much, except for my own courage. Regardless of how simple it seems, it’s actually quite nerve-wracking.
What’s coming up this year?
I’m designing another collection for Triumph. I also have a line of body products and candles out soon, which is very exciting.
Photographer: Christy Bush
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