One fine day - the latest collection from Helen Cody
Japan, admiration of a young artist, and a new muse. These things have entered Helen Cody's consciousness and made her the happiest of couturiers right now.
"This collection is all about them - Laura Rakhman-Kidd [who is modelling on these pages] and Shane Berkery. She was my model; he is an artist who I think is extraordinarily talented. It's about them," says Helen, flatly, unequivocally. "The whole thing evolved since I began following Shane's career when he graduated from NCAD three years ago. He is one of the most significant Irish artists to emerge from an Irish college in years," she says. "He won the Hennessy-Craig Award at the RHA last year. His connection with his Japanese ancestors, how that is reflected in his work, is something I really connected with."
Shane colaborated with Helen on her shoot today, creating the beautiful cherry-blossom panels used throughout.
"I am completely comfortable with the fact that I have a business that is not commercial," Helen explains. "I love artistry, be it beautiful photography or beautiful clothes. I love creativity."
"I always have a person in my head when I am designing. Often it is my clients, creating in response to them. But this time, it was 100pc about Laura Rakhman-Kidd. She was completely my muse. It started with my 'Red' collection last season; she just got me. It was inspiring to watch her move. To see how she interpreted my work, modelling it. She is extraordinary."
Photography, Helen informed me, inspired a lot of the composition of her ensembles this season - the layering, the creating of shadows, playing with light and dark. The subtle seductiveness within the collection. Enhanced by her use of structure - corsetry and obis.
Hand-made blousy flowers have burnt edges; grosgrain ribbon is hand-frayed to be raggy-edged. There are 30 metres of tulle in one dress. The silk pleated top, left, took a week to hand-pleat. Such is the craftsmanship of Helen's work.
"It's about mixing nostalgia and now-ness," she says. "Everything is very special. We don't have to do volume. We take pleasure in everything we create. That is our DNA."
That is a happy Helen Cody.
Photography by Eilish McCormick
Fashion edited by Constance Harris