Thursday 19 July 2018

WATCH: Fashion designer Helen Steele doesn't believe in doing colour by half

Helen Steele's studio in Monaghan is a riot of explosive hues but at the same time, her dresses in silk and a new line of cashmere scarves are soothing for the soul - something that sits at the core of the 'Steele experience', writes our fashion editor

Family: Halle (left) wears 'Tiki' dress with frilled V-neck in grey tribe print, €755; Ronnie wears red 'Oscar' cashmere scarf, €150; Helen wears 'Sharjah' dress in white tribe print, €550, all these pieces available exclusively from helensteele.com Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Family: Halle (left) wears 'Tiki' dress with frilled V-neck in grey tribe print, €755; Ronnie wears red 'Oscar' cashmere scarf, €150; Helen wears 'Sharjah' dress in white tribe print, €550, all these pieces available exclusively from helensteele.com Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Halle wears 'Izzy' dress with belt in green thread print, €765; Maya wears 'Cora' dress in pink thread print, €775, both available from Costume. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Ronnie in the 'Oscar' scarf, €150, also available in green. Photo: Frank McGrath
Helen wears shower-proof anorak in ‘Bragan’ print, €650, exclusive to helensteele.com Photo: Frank McGrath
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

It's a family celebration of all things art as two of Helen Steele's three children jump into action for our Weekend magazine shoot at her studio in Emyvale, Co Monaghan. For the youngest, Ronnie (13), it's an opportunity to make his modelling debut and he wears the first of his mother's new line of luxe-feel cashmere scarves.

His sister Halle (16) is an experienced professional by this stage having modelled for her mum on a number of occasions, and her ambition is to become a plus size model. Older sister, Chloe (21) was away at an audition on the day but Halle's pal, Maya Peters (right), who has appeared in a number of films, joins the line-up.

Anyone who has worn Helen Steele will invariably comment on the sensation of wearing 100pc silk dresses which become trans-seasonal - cooling in the summer and snug, worn with cashmere, in winter. The vivid tribal and threads prints featured here were all created by hand at Helen's Monaghan studio and printed on 100pc pure silk in a series of flattering shapes, available in one size. Some are drop waisted, others A-line or frilled at the side and can be worn fitted and ruched with a belt (right) or loose like Helen's tunic on the previous page.

The concept is luxury versatility for women who crave different silhouettes in their lives depending on their mood and the occasion. The 'Cora' dress (right) with its cute pleating down the front and gathered hemline, has been a big hit this season and when Amy Huberman wore it on a night out in Helen's La La print, it triggered a stampede to the designer's exclusive Dublin stockist, Costume, on Castle Market.

You can now also buy some of Helen's dresses and more luxurious bespoke pieces from her website (helensteele.com) - and art lovers should know that the designer is open to one-off commissions.

Photography and video for independent.ie: Frank McGrath, INM

Styling: Helen Steele

Hair and make-up: Leonard Daly using YSL Beauté, leonarddaly.com

Shoes: Models' own

Dresses and scarf available from helensteele.com and Costume of Castle Market, Dublin 2.

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