If you’re not familiar, British designer Helen Woollams has created a brand synonymous with gothic, macabre glamour and fetishism. A label that celebrates the weird and makes the outsider then norm. It wasn’t too long ago that Hellavagirl Couture was given it’s big break, with Woollams named Designer of the Year in February 2016, this is one brand That’s rising with velocity and establishing it’s very own niche at London Fashion Week.
For SS18 Woollams treated us to Human Meat Freaks, a show that brought our deepest darkest fetishes to life in a pre-show ritual featuring circus performers and gravity defying acrobatics. To the uninitiated it would appear that Woollams is out to shock her audience, we’ve become pretty close over the years I’ve been attending her shows and knowing the designer, the show is more about breaking down barriers and saying a massive Fuck You to society and conformity. If a guy wants to wear a gown then so what? In the world of Hellavagirl Couture it’s about owning your aesthetic and topping it off with a crown and a bold red lip.
“Inspired by our love for flesh, fetish and guilty pleasures, gender-less extravagance with a rock and roll edge. Non conformist Fashion for the bold” Hellavagirl Couture
Human Meat Freaks built on the capsule collection produced for FW17 and made the most of the impressive showspace in the grand temple space at Freemason’s Hall. The collection gave us bold harlequins with elongated proportions and striking sequins, huge black shredded gowns with an aesthetic reminiscent of Brendan Lee in The Crow and the most diverse cast of models this season.
In the Hellavagirl universe what sets you apart is your differences and that goes for the cast of models too, Woollams has managed to create an expectation for the unexpected and delivered something with undeniable edge. Think Bad Romance meets Plato’s Atlantis and you’re definitely on the right track, in fact if Gaga is looking for a new tour wardrobe designer then Hellavagirl has her vibe cut, edged and belted with black leather and sequins.
Standout pieces included a two piece checked suit with an exaggerated sleeve detail proving the trend for a differentiation from a regular sleeve is going nowhere for SS18, and a green and black sequinned jumpsuit that I’d literally wear tomorrow if I could. With white and dove grey added to the palette this season Woollams has proven that her ideas are far beyond the realms of noir. this is one designer who’s far from a one trick pony, something she’s proving season after season, and that’s tricky to master with a niche that’s so small. Hellavagirl Couture has fans baying for more and more show related chatter on the front row than most other shows put together, it’s probably the only show I’ve ever been to that got a standing ovation from the audience who pretty much stormed the runway just to be part of the spectacular finale of dancing models.
So how was the fashion? It was good. Damn good and surprisingly wearable for the brave fashionista. Sure it’s out there, it’s big, bold and most definitely in your face, but if you’re suppressing an inner goth, or there’s a tiny part of you with the desire to act out, then Hellavagirl is all about rebellion and shunning the entrapments of conformity and there’s probably a part of you that’s curious about exploring that. There are certainly pieces from the collection I could see myself wearing during LFW FW18 and lavishing the attention they receive, if fashion is about showing your personality then Hellavagirl is about sharing your deepest, darkest secrets; even if they make everyone around you uncofortable.