Teresa Helbig after 25 years in fashion: “We must not fall for the obvious or hypersexualize”
He has been staying in his thirteen for 25 years. Teresa Helbig is the first person of the plural, a matriarchal society with a personal life as passionate as her career. “I’m not easy now, nor was I when I was little”, one of the many confidences that she shares with TELVA accompanied by some of her muses.
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There are those who wait until Monday to start a diet or have the perfect sportswear to enroll in a gym. What could be a turning point, the celebration of a quarter of a century of one of the main exponents of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid is one more day in the atelier of the designer Teresa Helbig (Barcelona, 1963). You don’t have to wait until you turn 25 to take stock or wonder what things would have changed if you started now. “We are just as excited, but just as unaware as when we started. Designing is such a tough profession that it gives you the feeling that you never know anything for sure.It has been difficult, it has been hard, a long-distance race, “he acknowledges with that peculiar, close and colloquial way of speaking with which he contributes to making the marabou feathers, velvets, silks and gauze that hang from his arms affordable. coat racks. “It is very difficult to work in fashion and stay”, she is sincere, and that she is one of the great privileged women who has found a speaker in women, and has dressed from Queen Letizia to actress Macarena Gómez for the Goya awards . Surrounded by his gang (gang), as she catalogs the young actresses who best represent her idea of femininity, it is easy to realize that Teresa Helbig in these years has not yet internalized the real dimension of her figure within the national industry.
The cause is found later in one of his statements, when he tries to disembowel what he believes has been his secret to sustain himself all these years. “It is in not having ego, giving the lead to others, this is a work of generosity and love of sewing.” A quality with which you are born or in which you are educated. And this you could not start from one Monday to the next.
- I don’t know if you know that you mention your mother (Teresa Blasco) a lot, even when they don’t ask about her.
- She is “the boss” of Teresa Helbig, we work together. A very modern woman, they even called her “weirdo” within her family because she always wanted to be independent. She always worked, she was a seamstress and she instilled in me to do what you want, what you like, and that in this life you have to be financially autonomous to feel free.
- How did these teachings take shape?
- In which I always saw her work. The phrase I remember saying the most to me as a child was: “Girl, run.” We went together from one place to another to deliver a suit, a bag. “Run, we did not arrive!”. If they called her “weird”, I have also been very special, I am not easy now nor was I when I was little. My mother got mad because I was always pissed off. Everything seemed ugly to me. The house ugly, the school ugly, the neighborhood ugly … Only the cinema saved meof those bad moods that he had to see everything ugly. And to top it off I was a lousy student, unable to concentrate. Our first trip together was on International Women’s Year (1975). We flew to Zaragoza, as if we had gone to Manhattan. I also learned from her that the details that cannot be seen with the naked eye are the ones that really matter. She is creative even when she cooks, she feeds us all. The house is always open and he says to everyone: then stay and eat!
- What kinds of mantras or thoughts have you tried to follow so as not to end up frustrating yourself? With such a barrage of trends, how do you preserve your “editorial line”?
- Be true to yourself, first and foremost. We have never made a suit that did not have a soul and after the pandemic we see how big brands begin to bet on that way of working that we already had and that has not been premeditated. Without large productions, without making concessions that had nothing to do with us, without producing 25 collections a year … We could not work in the short term, we never have. We have not followed trends either, this bores and overwhelms me. I am the type of person that if the cake is put in it, it gets up, I do not paralyze. We have to continue. During the pandemic we created a line for children, Petite Helbig, just to keep the team alive.
- That you persevere has merit, with which it is falling …
- Our work consists of transmitting security to the woman with what she is wearing, but we do not say it, the clients tell us. Make suits with which you can lead any moment of your life. For many years, corsets were imposed on women, then Coco Chanel arrived and freed us, but we were corseted again. Then they make us like dolls … Enough already! Let’s be ourselves!
- In these 25 years of profession, how have you connected your personal life? Besides your mother, your partner has been very supportive.
- He has protected and exalted me. When we met Chema (Paré) was a professional handball player at the time of Barça de Urdangarín. We started to go out and he entered the studio and he said: but this is very nice Helbig -he always calls me that-, you have to open windows! He left his job because he thought: you are alone and we are going to move this forward. I remember that he said “in four months we are going to parade”, and my mother and I looked at each other and thought, he was drunk! Indeed, he organized a parade, on the catwalk 080 in Barcelona. Neither my mother nor I had imagined the possibility of parading, it seemed like the bomb to dedicate ourselves to something that would fill us.
- And are you still together?
- A Helbig is forever (jokes). We got married when we decided to adopt our daughter, a process that took five years. We could have children but adoption was something that I have always had in my heart. My daughter Zinash, born in Ethiopia, is now 8 years old and we adopted her when she was six months old. The wedding lasted three days, like a gypsy wedding. My friends told me: we can no longer call for more calls! I wore three Teresa Helbig dresses.