Helena Christensen: 'My clothing style was awesomely awful when I was growing up'

 

Anything that feels or looks forced on a woman doesn't make her look beautiful I would never buy something thinking who it might please around me. I wear things for my own pleasure and for feeling comfortable; inner beauty is usually nothing to do with trying to make an effort.

Photos I have of me during my teens make me cringe with pride When I was growing up in the 1980s I had that strange perm people wore, I put on horrible frosty lipstick and blue mascara and my clothing style was awesomely awful; I took it all the way, but I'm happy about that, as I was an exciting teenager to look at.

Kids are now more confident expressing how they feel It shows in the way they will no longer be dictated to by magazines on what they're meant to wear and how they're meant to behave. They've become more empowered.

Beautiful clothing brings back beautiful memories I've a vintage bathing suit which goes down really low, almost as if it has a skirt part, and when I look at it now, I think of summers in Denmark, lying on the beach all day.

You won't find anything in my house that's less than 25 years old I've been collecting things my whole life, though I only buy vintage pieces, and it's all neatly arranged. Some are just rocks, branches or seashells I've found – I don't spend huge amounts of money on them. Collectively they form a history of my life in objects.

Feeling uncomfortable in your heart and stomach is a good indication of whether you're about to do something wrong Nothing I ever did that made me feel uncomfortable has had a positive impact on me, so I follow my gut in small ways every day of my life.

My trip to Kenya last year changed the way I viewed fashion Meeting women there struggling to survive [Christensen visited those affected by the current drought in the Horn of Africa as an Oxfam ambassador] was an eye-opening experience. They needed so little – and really, so do we, yet we live in a world of over-manufacturing and over-using. If I didn't buy any more clothes for the rest of my life I would still have way more than enough for what I need; it's my family that's important.

I have many pet hates Though I feel ridiculous talking about them when you consider what big issues are going on out there. I do get annoyed by a lot of things when I'm flying, though, such as when your seat is down by just an inch and the [air steward] asks you to put it back to its upright position. What difference could one inch possibly make? Or when they tell you to switch off everything, I want to get up and say: "New studies have found they won't affect anything up here!"

Helena Christensen, 43, is a Danish model and global ambassador for Oxfam; she is currently working on Grow, a new scheme to help tackle worldwide drought (oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/system)

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Cover Supervisor

    £75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

    Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

    Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

    SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

    £1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam