Hellen Van Reese graduated from Central St. Martins earlier this year, and now her sustainable collection gets an airing as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ones to watch. A brightly coloured collection of deconstructed tweed is accessorised with cubic blocks of the same material, sometimes on a skirt or a shoulder, sometimes worn as a hat. We grab a moment with her backstage to find out the how, where and why of her collection…
Planet Notion: You make your own fabrics, can you talk us through the process?
Hellen Van Rees: I’ve been looking at Chanel and their tweed fabrics, they use so many different types of yarn to construct one fabric, their garments are really exquisite and that’s the idea that I started with.
PN: Where do you find fabric to re-use?
HVR: I started sourcing my yarn from remnants of knitting factories, and then i weave them into fabric so the garments are seamless.Everything is sustainable material.
PN: How did the idea for the cubes come about?
HVR: I wanted to do a modern twist on Chanel because we’ve seen it! So I’ve been looking at contemporary artists like Rachel Whiteread who fill rooms with lots of three-dimensional cubes and I thought it would be really cool to do Chanel with cubes; like future Chanel!
PN: Did you make the shoes yourself as well?
HVR: I remake the fabric in the shape of the shoes.
PN: Are you finished with tweed now, or do you think it will make an appearance in your next collection?
HVR: I think there’s a lot more to explore, I keep getting more ideas just from doing it. I think I will keep going but for example this season I’ve been adding rubber coating and I will keep adding new things.
PN: Finally, is making fabric your biggest passion?
HVR: It’s the basis I start my collection with. I always start with a fabric idea or a construction idea and only then do I start thinking about shape and what type of garments I will make.
Words – Carys Kirkpatrick
Photos – Kaye Ford