We caught up with graduate of LJMU, Helena Green, to find out what she's been up to since receiving the Superdry Outerwear Award in Truman Brewery this June. Helena’s work was originally inspired by the 1950’s teddy boy subculture with statement prints inspired by the iconography of astroid and space invader games prevalent in the 1980's.
Helena demonstrated her aesthetically clashing inspirations, by utilising neon perspex to create key chains that adorned the creeper shoes in her final collection. Find out what Helenas been up to since winning the accolade below!
Firstly, a huge congratulation on winning at Graduate Fashion Week 2018! What award did you win?
I won the Superdry Outerwear Award.
How did it feel when your name was read out?
It felt amazing to have won and I just couldn't believe it! I couldn't believe what had just happened, it was a huge honour! I am so grateful! It was an incredible experience!
Photography by Will Barker
Which university did you attend, and how do you think they prepared you for graduation?
I went to Liverpool John Moores University. We got a lot of contact hours with tutors, which allowed us to ask questions and discuss ideas. We were taught all aspect of the design process, from design to pattern cutting, manufacturing and etc. I think by learning this it makes for a better designer, as you understand the whole process a garment is going to go through and the construction of the garment.
We also did a lot of live projects and competitions to help us to prepare for designing for a company or a brand. Through this we also got to talk to people from head offices to get an understanding of what the actual fashion world is like.
Describe the inspiration and concept behind your work.
I was inspired by 1950’s Teddy boys, 80’s arcade games and denim. I liked the idea of the Teds ‘stealing’ the style of the upper class, in order to state: ‘We’re just as good as you’. This outerwear garment incorporates the western influences that the Teds adapted into their dress, such as curved jetted pockets with arrow ends. With Brothel creepers being the Teddy boy’s shoe of choice, D-loops are added as a detail to the sleeve. The simplicity of arcade games such as Asteroids and Space Invaders inspired the print and embellishment. Neon Perspex’ are laser cut into 8-bit spaceships, sewn on to the jacket and attached as key chains to the D-loops, to embody the peacock attitude of the Teds. This oversized denim Jacket is worn as an over garment, with a tailored Teddy boy blazer and drainpipe jeans.
Photography by Zoe Griffin
What one thing would you recommend our readers do whilst at the event?
I would recommend seeing every show you can! There is such so much inspiring work being created across the UK and different universities have different styles, it’s great to see so much creativeness in one place. If you are a graduate or a student, go and talk to the brands and businesses, ask as many questions as you can, take your portfolio and the gap between graduation and getting a job won’t seem as much as a leap!
What do you plan to pursue now, and where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
My plan is to get a job as a menswear junior designer and work my way up. I’m not sure where I hope to be in 5 years’ time. The dream is to create a business for myself. Eventually I would like to lecture at university level and share my knowledge.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself in first year, what would it be?
Some advice to my first year self would be it's okay to not know what the future holds and just enjoy the present.