The idea for Hellen van Rees’s graduate collection came, as all the best ones do, from something simple: the square. This season she shows seven outfits based on the geometric shape, combining a sense of the past, inspired by Chanel’s traditional tweed fabrics, with a nod to the future in her use of hundreds and hundreds of foam blocks meticulously covered with single threads.
Hellen’s designs aim to do something new with old materials. She takes the silhouettes of 1920s flapper-girl dresses and remakes them in handmade tweeds using recycled threads sourced from factory remnants. So every fabric in the collection is produced sustainably. “The materials came from years of collecting fabrics and scraps,” Hellen says. “They all have a different background, and some have a story behind them. That way it’s a bit more personal. Years of collecting has gone into the collection.” It’s undeniably an impressive feat of technical craftsmanship, an intense process used to execute her original idea.