Helena Theise , life after a fashion degree

Helena Theise graduated from The Swedish School of Textiles in 2016 and presented her Spring/Summer 17 collection at Fashion Scout during Fashion Week last year. Helena’s final collection was an exploration of rectangular constructions combined with the experimentation of print and pattern. When we first saw Helena’s collection we were mesmerised by her use of colours and shape. Each piece from this collection has been digitally printed inside and out. While the prints are complex and provocative, there is a sweet simplicity in the geometric construction of each individual item. We caught up with Helena to find out about her collection and what it’s really like to study for a fashion degree.

What is it really like to study a fashion degree? Is it more practical work i.e just making clothes or is there more to it and is it worth the thousands you pay?

It’s frustrating, stressful, and includes many many sleepless nights and that’s not from partying. At the same time, it is such a privilege and joy to be able to live and breathe what you’re passionate about on a daily basis. Yes, it’s a lot of practical work but there is definitely more to it than that.

I think it’s easy to get lost in the expectations, demands and deadlines when you are studying and sometimes forget the playfulness and curiosity that drives most of us. But I would say yes – it was worth it.

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Photographer: Jan Berg

Model: Helena Hedberg

What was the main influence behind your SS17 collection?

Starting this project my main influence was my utmost respect and fascination for Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus. I did an internship with them last fall and this experience inspired me in so many ways. They opened up a world of pattern cutting that I hadn’t seen before and I developed an interest in 90 degree angles when making garments which I later used in my degree work.

Rebellion (or refusal to accept authority, code or convention) is another strong influence behind my work. It’s frustration and anger mixed with longing. I like the mix between the poetic and the explicit.

Your collection was one of the more vibrant collections from your institutions’ final collections. Did you design the collection hoping it would be commercially viable?

I did not intend for it to be commercially viable, no. I wanted to go as far as I could with what I had to work with, and not worry about whether it would be on trend. I view my pieces as conceptual (some more than others), but I definitely think there is a developing potential if I would choose to go more commercial.

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