Now I remember years ago, when Triumph bras and pants were decidedly sporty looking, with more emphasis on stretchy straps and shape enhancing panels than sexy glamour. Fast forward a couple of decades and the look has taken on a much more sensual and sophisticated style, and this is in no doubt down to the influence of Ms Helena Christensen. The model has now turned designer, and whereas before she was happy to front Triumph’s campaigns, now she is much more hands on.
In an interview with Vogue magazine, Ms Christensen explains: “I was already their campaign girl, but Triumph suggested evolving the partnership and collaborating together. It was such a great opportunity to work with such a traditional, established company and have them support me in making my own line. I designed it all myself, but obviously had a team working with me to explain all the technical aspects – we put together mood boards, sketches, fabrics, just anything that I felt inspired by,” she said. “It was fascinating to sit with experienced designers and see the background of the construction. There was a lot to learn – I even went to Hong Kong to talk to the seamstresses and see the samples, I was really involved.”
The luxury range created by Ms Christensen features three very distinct styles, including Poetica (sexy, Swarovski-adorned lace); Ballerina (feminine Seventies-inspired glamour); and Dahlia, (soft romantic separates).
Ms Christensen described working with the creative designers at Triumph as “an honour” and a great “responsibility”, and drew on her considerable knowledge as a model for inspiration: “I’ve been in the business for so many years as a model, and you’re constantly surrounded by creative and inspiring people – it’s a mind-blowing business to be in,” she told Vogue. “But you absorb all that inspiration, and you keep it inside – it really was a very educational time.”
The supermodel is not sure whether her first foray into fashion designing will lead to bigger things, or in fact, a whole new career: “It’s not something I really have ambition to do,” she said. “I was simply offered this opportunity and I jumped at it. You should always take these opportunities when they come along. I definitely have a new found appreciation for the work that designers do now!”
A return to modelling on the catwalk is not entirely out of the question however, as Ms Christensen revealed that there was one British designer that she particularly admired, and could tempt her out of semi retirement: “[A catwalk return] is absolutely not out of the question,” she said. “If anyone asks, it’s always flattering – like I love Vivienne Westwood, so that could tempt me. But it would have to be of the same style – I couldn’t appear alongside all these young teenage models, it wouldn’t look right. It’s a business that’s always evolving, so I would never say never.”
The Helena Christensen for Triumph lingerie collection launches in-store and online from January 2013 and is available from Net-a-Porter.