Creative chaos is something I think one should cherish tenderly! Stuff scattered everywhere in every little nook, inspiring magazine clippings taped to the wall mixed with words, old photos and strange undifined things.
A lot of what is randomly pasted up on the wall may seem completely insignificant to a passerby, while for the one who put it there it really kicks off the adrenaline system and makes the butterflies start dancing in the belly. All it takes is one look at that incomprehensible mess on the wall and you´re swoosched right into your own sweet heart. Suddenly you sit there in the middle of fabrics, sentences, words or paint.
You just know that you are on the right track, that the ticket in your hand has the right destination. Like destination unknown. It is all about daring to stay in that moment....not really knowing how the outcome will turn out… Questions like: Is this really right? Should I have chosen another material? will start popping up, but you don´t care....instead you start enjoying the fact of not knowing.
Of course, it can also be incredibly annoying not to be in total control, I'm the first to admit that, but for the most part, if I just allow myself to be swept away, I really love that feeling of just following the little invisible thread that whispers to me and dares me to have confidence in my own process.
So ..... you get an idea ..... Then you have to try it out. It can be about a particular fabric, a color combo or maybe you find an old skirt in the wardrobe that you turn into a strapless summer dress. Then there are other ideas… Like you get a real strong need to try out that wig you bought last summer, to see if it matches the new mustache collection. That is actually an important task. I call it the warehouse inventory. There is actually a law that says that you HAVE to do warehouse inventory on a regular basis. So I´m just following the law.
Can you believe how good I would have fitted in this video. I would have been so awesome looking in my wig and criminal attitude! Then I would have borrowed dad's petrol blue corduroy suit from 1977. What a beauty! Imagine that, and then add all my inner beauty….. can I just say…..Wow! www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rRZdiu1UE
A question I often get is if I regret that I stopped producing clothes back in 2008. And the great thing is that I really never have. It was simply time for me to do something else. I had been one with my company and my collections since I was 19 years old. It was time for new adventures and dreams. Since my company had been a big part of my life for so many years, it was obviously very scary. But I knew despite shaky legs that it was the right decision.
But then there was that raincoat..... A coat that I designed the last season and never actually got to see finished! A pastel pink raincoat with large, red strawberries all over and a green, long and wide shoe lace in the hood! Even today, I find myself daydreaming about that pretty thing….. It had been so lovely in the spring rain.
Amazing people workin´ it with their sewing machines, being kind to themselves and proudly showing off what they've made! Thank you for sending pictures of your lovely creations. Check ”Jasmin coat” out, here as a raincoat by odandulky.blogspot.se! Or the little bird placed on a bag made by Katharina!
When I was 13 years old and seriously started sewing my own clothes, it was an extremely effective and accessible way to express myself. Cross striped patchwork pants with bellbottom legs got my friends to look twice. It was fun! I was seen, appreciated, sometimes laughed at, but in most cases I did get Respect. Respect because I had the courage to stand for my creativity.
What is considered good looking is not always just about colors, shapes or cuts. It's just as much, if not more, about what one's eyes and one's body language are saying. It is about Owning it. To really, really OWN IT!
A regular Wednesday dress for bicycling to work or some cocktails in the evening with Jean-Pierre or whatever his name is? I personally think that you have the right to wear party clothes whenever you want. And it really doesn´t have to be silk. Take whatever that is hiding in your fabric cupboard and make it into something that no one else has. Mix and splice with a hundred layers and remember - it doesn´t have to be perfect! Finnish with a belt or a scarf, match it or mismatch it! I like the unexpected combinations! Ella dress from my book is so ready to be sewn!
During my years in the fashion industry the most common comment I got was probably: - I wish I could sew! I still do not understand why there are so many people who think they can not sew. I am convinced that most of us can put together a small blouse, skirt or top. It's actually just about being a bit brave for a moment. To welcome that childlike sense of creative chaos. Just to see what happens, be a little wild and crazy! Maybe the seam will be straight or maybe it will be totally crooked. Who cares?! The most important thing is that you have started! Step 1 - START! Pat yourself on the back and welcome the adventure. See the charm of a homemade skirt just like you do with a jar of homemade marmalade! Because then, ladies and gentlemen, it can only get better! Soon each stitch will be a little easier every time you sew and suddenly the feeling of resistance and low self-esteem will be gone! Instead, you will feel proud, brave and with a straight back you will hear yourself say: - Check this out! This, I have made ??myself .... And I know .... it does not even show! And remember - Coco Chanel herself must surely have started somewhere!
Little black dress, little white dress or why not the little black and white dress? The best of friends, white and black. Light and dark that creates a curiously balanced sharpness. Just add a small detail in color on a button, a zipper or a delicate silk ribbon and the harsh properness will fade. Pastel like a light pink or a mild mintgreen will soften it. A sharp red, yellow or green will give you a small explosion. Here is a black and white tango that breathes a burning red. www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zl7resIK4Q
I can´t wait for the spring any longer! Where is it already??? This bird might bring it just a little closer. Print out the pattern here: Sew this little bird and put it on Rose top or on the back of a Leone jacket from the book! And this song will definitely make you dream of a blue skye! www.youtube.com/watch?v=roPQ_M3yJTA Print here
Love the colors and poetic feel in this new video by Hanna Turi. It gets the idea of coated fabrics, rubberboots, warm sweaters and heavy boots started in my head…. Then add really light tiny ribbons and buttons as a contrast and print an old map on a skirt or blouse….. I seriously start considering growing a white beard…… www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMWZ4r86EsU
Check this out! A girl named Josefine has sewn Julie blouse in a greymelange jersey! Gorgeous, both the top and her :)
The character of this top completely changes depending on the fabric. It can be light, floral and elegant or like this greymelange jersey top that shows a little bit of shoulder. That nude shoulder brings me back to the crazy styles of the 80’ies. Loose tops, leggings and streetdance! Feel it! You pay in sweat! www.youtube.com/watch?v=82Qy1Dd9jdc
Isn´t it just like a big bag of candy filled with nutty inspiration? Like an old, pale and dusty photograph that comes alive in your mind, even more colorful than it ever was. This does not have to mean that what you choose to create in this moment of inspiration must look like something from the 80’ies. You can just pick up the classic 80’ies colors neon yellow or neon pink and use it in the lining of a jacket or just as the neckhanger. Here is a pleated Zoey skirt in stereo print. Another way is just to put a neoncoloured button in the waistband of a grey wool skirt.
When Madonna was dancing down the streets of Manhattan with a tape filled with her music in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other, neon colors lit up the whole neighbourhood. The story goes… she went up to the hippest dj:s in the city and said:
”If you play this tape, I will come and dance on your dancefloor tonight!”
When the night came and the cool people started gathering outside the club, the dj put the tape in the taperecorder and pushed Play……. It must have looked something like this……. www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f5puMAUsjw
Oh, and here is some poetry that came with my Spring collection 2005: (Suggestion: Why not start your morning routine with rapping this to your self in the bathroom mirror? It will so make your day :)
“Yes Yes ya´ll, to the beat ya´ll, is it clear this is not a fall ya´ll!
Stereo, stereo, stereo, stereo, pleeeaase - this is a celebration to the old school hip hop and you can not say it better than - stonewashed denim - it can not be more refined than thiiiiiizzz!
Loosen your seatbelt, hooood it up, make it feel like home man! It shall all be clear, let life itself be your guide to the real street life. Be true to yourself and you will feel the rhythm in your shoes.
Heeeey, let´s have a party, feel the music and dance!”
A fabric. A button. A ribbon. An eiffel tower or an ice cream on a sunny summer day. In a flash there is an idea in your head!
Where does your journey begin? When does it start buzzing in your head? Maybe it is a small drawing or the color-combo on the bus seat that makes your head start spinning?
Many of you have difficulties finding beautiful and good fabrics. So during this spring I will list a number of fabric stores on the website in Sweden and Scandianvia and maybe even further away! And web-shops of course.
Wanna share your fabric-secrets with others? That would be awesome! Send me an email with your hottest tips or comment here below! More is more!
The competition is now over so check out all those lovely and brave people that have sent in pictures of their creations!
Some of them have sewn for the very first time and submissions have come from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and even the USA! It makes me so happy to see how the same style can turn out in so many different ways depending on colour, fabric or prints.
PLEASE keep sending me photos of what you are making! It is so lovely to see and it makes me so happy!
It is such a pleasure to wear nature. When you are living in the city you are sort of in the forest at the same time. Close to the blueberries and brushy fairy tales. Close to the calming voice of the trees, the loving silence and whispering winds. A small brown tree on powdery pink, far far away from sirenes and buzz.
Sharpen your senses, pull on your finest blouse and finish with a tie! Even though really good business is often made while wearing a onepiece jumpsuit hoodie it doesn't mean you can't wear a tie once in a while. Straighten your back and feel the power! It´s business time!
AND when you are not making business – Do not forget to send me photos for the competition (see below), there are still some bags left!
Ready? It is time for a competition! Lot´s of fabulous people have bought the book SY! and that makes me so happy! Has anyone already started sewing? The first 10 of you who have sewn an item from the book will be awarded with a Jenny Hellström logo-bag!
And remember: No seam is too ugly!
Take a picture of your creation either flat or on a hanger against a white background and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org together with your addres.
Imagine an early spring day in the morning noise of Paris, you shiver a bit, wrap your jacket around yourself and cuddle. A little coffee, a braided café chair, a wobbly table. Bonjour, petit dejuner, merci, merci. It's rush hour. For all others.
You just sit there. Waiting for nothing. A scent of a soon blooming Paris. A bit too cold to sit outside, but you do it anyway. And of course you´re wearing an unreasonably nice jacket. Light pink lining with black dots. I love it when lining surprises!
The jacket is called Fleur jacket. Perfect for an imaginary spring day in Paris!
Fleur jacket is a style that welcomes playfulness with colors and patterns! You can mix it whatever way you want! Try it! The easiest jacket in the book!
I had some friends come over on a sleepy sunday to discover how easy it can be to sew. None of them had sewn since middleschool and now suddenly they all were making real clothes from my book! Gustav and Erik made one Tie each, Gabriella made a ”Coco skirt”, Motoko made a ”Julie blouse” and Oskar made a present to his girlfriend!
If you just have a really good pattern and a strong will you will soon have created a piece of clothing that looks like it´s been purchased in a fancy shop! Or you might even have a lovely crooked seam that whispers the “homemade”-song, and how can that be anything other than charming?
I am so enormously proud over my friends that dared to challenge themselves! People!!! Get rid of all your doubts! It is time to start sewing!
Here are two coffee roasters, one food journalist, a splendid restaurant manager and a fishdoctor (means phd in fishonology) sewing away!
The day had come for a certain girl to meet her mother in law. It was a big day and for the special occasion she had washed her hair, bought new pretty shoes and dressed up in a dress that she had sewn herself. It had the color of a sunny summer morning with beautiful pleats in the neck that slowly folded itself out in a generous ocean of yellow cotton. Rushing by a display window she caught a quick reflection of herself and could not hide the excitement she felt. This just couldn't go wrong!
And of course it didn't! The mother in law was not at all a disappointment. In fact she was very sweet and loving. It was the friend of the mother that was the problem. As soon as she heard that the dress was self made her eyes went all dark. She grabbed the hem of the yellow ocean and carefully started to inspect it and its stitches.
– I hope you are aware of the importance of the inside looking as good as the outside? she said haughtily and put on her glasses to be able to look even closer.
Well… what can I tell ya? The importance of the inside looking as good as the outside…..? Like 1952? Perfect hair, legs together, straight back, flowered wallpaper, correct, correct, correct and never ever wrong? Ladies and gentlemen - Those days are sooo over!
How my inside looks like is no ones business. It can be messy, uneven and thready, but it is still mine. I am going to love my inside just the way it is. And sure, I do love a straight seam, but sometimes it gets so much more interesting when its not as straight. It just means that someone has been struggling a bit, that someone maybe had to put up with a little fight. That is a beautiful thing.
I sew as I want. And if I wanna’ show my hem, trust me I will. Otherwise - Stay away from my dress please!
Wow! When I saw this truck that was parked in my neighbourhood the other day, I just melted of love! First of all – who paints a taco truck pink??? I felt an urge to know! It MUST have been a person with great taste at least! And secondly – I wondered if they had veggie tacos? Very important questions like these went through my mind - and then what happened - was one of those moments that I love so much: This wonderful truck experience – now in my mind - turned into a skirt - just like that! That heavenly creamy pink color can not get anything but totally faboulicious on a skirt. AND of course - with a matching tie! I am ready to serve! -WHO WANT TACOS?
This skirt is called Toto and is featured in my new book. You can have your own great taco-truck moment and make it anyway you like with a matching tie!
Many years ago while I was still working with my fashion brand Jenny Hellström, we were working with a great guy named Ludvig. I did not just like him for his beautiful freckles but also because he shared my passion for rainy days – and always when I hear people talk about how they love rain, they get just a little bit more interesting to me. Ludvig had been modeling for us for a couple of seasons and during this period of time he had collected quite a few garments from my collections. One day he stopped by my show-room and told me this crazy story. He had been dressing up for a night out with some friends, gotten ready to go and wrapped his Jenny Hellström logo scarf around his neck since it was freezing outside. He folded up the collar of his wool coat and finished his ensemble by putting on his Jenny logo hat. When he arrived to the Metro station there was a bit of a wait so he leaned against a wall, looking as gorge as he always did. Suddenly two guys started walking towards him. It was obvious that they wanted to provoke him and soon he realized that they wanted to fight him. As you see on this picture - this guy is not a body builder so let’s just say – not the most comfortable situation one could get in to. They started pushing him, first almost playful but rather quickly it got more and more violent and soon one of the guys grabbed Ludvig’s scarf. Ludvig knew that he had not a chance against those two thugs. He closed his eyes waiting for it to happen, but for some reason, it didn’t. For a moment, time stood absolutely still. Ludvig was getting quite confused about the whole situation. He now slowly felt the grip of the violent guy loosening up and when Ludvig opened one of his eyes to see what was going on he got seriously confused. Now – for some reason the angry guy stood there looking almost happy, smiling at Ludvig, and said: -Damn, thats some serious shit you are wearing! He had now also discovered that the t-shirt Ludvig was wearing had the exact same print as the scarf. That means: Jenny’s dad’s face all over Ludvig’s upper body including the head! The guy now let go completely of Ludvig’s scarf and looked at him with great respect and said: -Man, that Jenny Hellström totally rules! His friend nodded seriously. They high fived Ludvig and walked away. Ludvig brushed the dirt off his shoulders and stepped on the next train.
Once a while I write myself a letter. It might sound a bit coocoo, but it is such a warm and fuzzy cotton love for my heart. I have a deep belief that our soul is directly connected to our creativity. That the creativity is the loving voice of our soul. There is no better place to be than right in the center of a sparkling creative moment. It is just pure love for me, an absolute silence, a lost stillness. It really doesn´t matter what is going on around me, I can still feel that amazing sense of peace. When I´m in that moment, I know for sure that I am right where I am suppose to be. It´s been like that as long as I can remember. But since I´m human I tend get off on the wrong track sometimes and I forget this mighty force of love. That is what those letters to myself are for. I write them and then I place them somewhere in my home: Inside a book, behind a painting or in my jewelry box. Then I forget about them. Today I found one when I was dusting off my big, shiny, smiling Buddha and it made me so very happy. After an intense autumn of real hard work, I really needed that dust to sneeze me right back to my soul-track. I am now going to write a new letter and hide it somewhere really, really dark.