Laura Helen

  
Laura is a dressmaker, textile designer and artist based in London. She studied at Central Saint Martins and obtained a degree in BA Textile Design and specialised in knitwear. With starting to learn how to sew at nine she has gained experience working with pattern cutters and started creating items for private clients and projects in 2018. She sustainably sources yarns and fabrics as much as possible and has a strong attention to detail.


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About Me





I am a Dress Maker, Textile Designer and Artist based in East London. I have a degree in BA Textile Design and trained at Central Saint Martins, UAL. I grew up in the countryside in Suffolk, and always dreamt of living in a city.

It all started at the age of 9 with a textiles lesson in middle school. A love story blossomed with a sewing machine. Since then I have become inseparable with each machine I have owned. Starting with a John Lewis mini machine which I used until it no longer worked. I then moved onto my grandmas 1950s Nekki machine, incredibly heavy but surprsingly reliable. I was then gifted my aunties old Juki industrial machine which allowed me to create even quicker than before. Unfortunately I also used that until it could no longer be repaired. Finally I use my Singer Heavy Duty machine which does everything I ask it do.

I love to create garments and designs which all start with a drawing or random idea that pops into my head. I enjoy sourcing materials second hand from charity shops or supporting small businesses. My final collections at university predominately used vintage and second hand yarns. Inspired by the 60s and 70s I create unique and one of pieces for personal projects and private clients.












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‘Welcome to Wonderland’




‘Welcome to Wonderland’ is an exploration into my superstitions and mental health. I used a magpie feather (I have to salute to a magpie and say ‘good morning Mr. Magpie’ whenever I see one) to find my colour palette. When you look closely it is irredescent with jewell toned purples, blues and greens. I also made a mood diary to track my mental health. It was a visual diary, I created shapes and patterns, used different forms of media which represented my moods. You can clearly see the emotions and how I laid down the paints or other medium, the expression behind each day. I used these patterns and depictions to translate into knits. 

The garment I created consisted of second hand and vintage yarns. I put out a message on a Facebook page for my home village back in Suffolk asking if anyone had any yarns. They pulled through, I soon had loads of yarn that would otherwise go to waste. I used both domestic and industrial knitting machines on this dress. Swarovski crystal beads finished it off. 

Crystals also played a massive part in this garment, I have a ritual in which I use my crystals and yoga to heal my soul and better my mental health. I noticed that the magpie feather and my crystals held many of the same colours in my palette.

Using my superstitions, crystals and mood diary to help I created this garment. Styling wise I was inspired by my favourite era, the late 60s and early 70s. The era of psychedlic fashion, counter-culture and hippies. Another passion that fills me with joy and contentment.




Photography: Charlie Ann Buxton


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‘Deeper into Wonderland’





‘Deeper into Wonderland’ follows on from ‘Welcome to Wonderland’. This time it became much more personal. I explored my life with bipolar and my recovery from anorexia, continuing the mood diary and questioning the way my brain works. Sleep deprivation and detoriating physical health became a daily part of my life, weekly visits to the hospital and blood tests, thrice weekly therapy all whilst completing my degree. This collection focuses deeply on my mood diary, my daily life and the things I did to try and make it better. I managed to find a correlation between my hypomanic episodes and the way I treated my body, I tended to work on myself more than when depressed. Although hypomania does have its serious problems in itself it is interesting to see how I was more open to continue with recovery. Obviously it came with very little sleep, hallucinations, delusions and other threatening symptoms. It is shown in the diary and my exploratory art which guided me to a final outcome. Furthermore, you can see how medication bought about stabilty for me.

I played with humour throughout this project, one of my coping mechanisms. the whole project in itself actually helped my mental health because it made me really look at my life and strive for a better relationship with myself and food.

I continued to find my colour palette from crystals and feathers- this time peacock feathers. I also continued using second hand yarns and deadstock vintage ones. Much of my yarn came from a little place in Manchester, which I took a 6 hour coach to with a broken foot, to search for the perfect second-hand fibres. I also developed my own crystals this time, experimenting with borax, salt and other substances. I produced a dress, skirt and choker along side fabric samples. Again I used both domestic and industral knitting machines. I also used crochet, hand embroidery, professional embroidery machines and free machine embroidery.




Photography: Hannah Conway




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Dressmaking

 

Here is a collection of the seamstressing projects I have taken on. With over 5 years of experience being a slef-employed seamstress and 15 years of sewing, where I actively pushed myself to learn and perfect new skills, I have created many personal projects as well as tailoring needs for private clients. 
I have gained invaluable experience with pattern cutters, working on making products for small businesses and my time at university prepared me for the future. It gave me my eye for detail, the strive for perfection and determination.



Photoshoots coming soon...



-Psychedelia

-Lockdown Birthdays

-Mick Jagger

-Mods and Rockers

-Flower Child

-Love is...