Tuesday, March 30

Rei Kawakubo

"The main pillar of my activity is making clothes, but this can never be the perfect and only vehicle of expression. I am always thinking of the total idea, and the context of everything. Fashion alone is so far from being the whole story" Rei Kawakubo

image and quote from AnOther Magazine

Monday, March 29

Friday, March 26


 photo by Helen James

 "Life is like a new hat. 
You don't know if it suits you
if you keep trying it on
in front of your own mirror."  
Shirley McLaine.

If you missed it yesterday you must head over to Showstudio to watch Philip Treacy create a unique Hat which was live-streamed.
Watchers were invited to submit questions. 
Philip's candour and generosity are astounding. 
Have a great weekend and don't forget to wear your hat.

Thursday, March 25

Henry Varnum Poor

I would like to forget about the world of Fashion, live here, paint and drink coffee all summer. 

House of the late Artist Henry Varnum Poor

Wednesday, March 24

New Growth, New Talent

The dawning of the new season is always one of my favourite times of year. Winter was long and very very cold this year. Spring is making it's entrance a little late, but we wait with much anticipation. Daffodils are in bud, soon a golden sea will sway on my front lawn.

Packets of seeds lie patiently with pledges of staggered planting, crop rotation and  bountiful harvest ringing in my ear.
all above images by Helen James

The delicate primroses surprise with their strength and push through the debris of last years growth.
There is a lot of work to be done and I look forward to it.
All of this advancement in the garden has me thinking about growth in other areas and last week I had the opportunity to encounter some, which is the growth of talent in Ireland. 
I was impressed by the collections of the 3 newcomers who showed at The Golden egg Innovation Awards. 

Ruth Duignan
Image of Ruth via The Irish Times

Not only were all three collections beautiful but the three designers showed professionalism and maturity that will stand to them in this difficult business.
I believe as a country we really need to nuture all this talent. We are in danger of witnessing another "brain drain" of the 1980's where all of our Talent left our shores in search of opportunity. We cannot let this happen again. Talent and creativity are at the core of a vital and thriving country, without this we are a vacum.
One way this nurturing is already happening is through The Nokia Young Fashion Designer Award, now in its seventh year.

If you are near Dublin head along today to Powerscourt Townhouse in Dublin 2  where you can view the creations of 20 finalist students from around the country who are all vying for the Title.
This is the first year that the pieces have been on view to the public, so take the opportunity to check out emerging creativity.
The show will run through until Sunday March 28th
The Winner will be announced this evening.

Monday, March 22

Le bel ete by Vanessa Bruno and a winner

Le Bel Ete
A Film for Vanessa Bruno featuring Lou Doillon

I have seen some really inspirational "fashion films' recently.
Boudicca again showed a film during London Fashion Week
Lula magazine has a beautiful short on their site
The Zena Holloway piece I posted Here
It is very interesting to see this new development in Fashion promotion, 
I know fashion has used film before but there does seem to be a flourish at the moment. 
No doubt it is influenced by the overwhelming popularity of sites like Youtube 
and the ever increasing importance of online promotion
I am waiting for the day to premiere the Helen James short film. 
I am itching to do one

On another note The Winner of the Reebok easytone trainers is

Comment no 10 was left by Rose so congratulations Rose, drop me an email and we'll get you kitted out and Thank you to everyone who entered.

Wednesday, March 17

New Helen James collection

I have no fingertips left, having spent the last few days handstitching lace and beading on to chiffon and silk dresses for a new mini collection.
Early tomorrow morning I set off to Galway to attend the Golden Egg Fashion Innovation awards
I am honoured to have been nominated as Best Designer 2010
Here is a preview of some of the items I will be showing.
All clothing and headpieces by Helen James
Photographs by Helen James
Model is the divine Chacha,

ps. don't forget to enter the fab giveaway which ends monday

Tuesday, March 16

Happy St Patricks day

For those of you missing the Emerald Isle this St Patricks day here is a picture of some woods in Westmeath.
and with some Imps..................

photographs by Helen James

Monday, March 15

Tone up

I like the idea of toning my legs and derriere, but I don't like lunges, treadmills, or indeed setting foot across the threshold of a gym.  
The people over at Reebok have contacted me about a trial they are doing of their new Reebok Easytone trainers: they give me trainers, I wear them.  I am interested to see if these things work or are comfortable and how they look, ie, not like special needs shoes.
"Yay Helen that's great for you!" , I hear you say.............. but NO, great for you too, as they also invited me to offer a pair "to someone in my community" and that means YOU.
To enter simply leave a comment below before Monday March 22nd
......and in a couple of weeks our legs will look like this

The winner will receive a Pair of Easytone trainers of their selection , a gym kit, gym bag and a pedometer, you wear them and then give Reebok feedback on comfort, results etc.
So if you would like to take part leave a comment below.
Good Luck

Friday, March 12


A Monk by the Sea
Casper David Friedrich

Our lives are so full of noise......   Emails, Mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter  not to mention landlines and TV and while I couldn't live without them and I do embrace the advancement of communication.......this weekend is time for a little respite. 
So put away your devices of communication and spend some time alone, even an hour of no interuption can replenish the soul.

Then check back here on Monday for a fantastic Giveaway

Thursday, March 11

Mercedes Helnwein

Plastic devices
I started off researching something for a completely different post but I came across this Illustrator, Video and Fine Artist and couldn't pass them by without showing you.
I am completely in awe of her work and imagine my surprise to then discover she divides her time between LA and ..... a castle in Tipperary, sure just down the road from me!!

Plastic devices II
Her Draught-womanship is astounding but I also am drawn to the humour and sinister aspect to her work.

Local News

Office Ink

A video related to Images 1, 2 and 4

To see a video of The Artist at work go to  Lula Magazine and click on Dark Star.
Link to her Website MercedesHelnwein.com

Tune in on Monday to enter an exciting giveaway

Wednesday, March 10

Erik Madigan Heck

Image by the extraordinairily talented Maverick Erik Madigan Heck founder of Nomenus quarterly

Sunday, March 7

HJD Recommendations: Tim Ryan and Estee Lauder Night Repair

This blog is about things that inspire me and about things that I love, so I thought I would let you know about some of my favourite things. The things I cannot do without. 
Call them recommendations if you will, Yes, HJD  Recommendations. 
I would like to state that I am recommending things that I love and I have not received any product or payment of any kind.
First up is a product that changed my skin! 
I had heard a lot about it and read many testaments to its power and finally I decided to indulge and try it out for myself.
My first bottle was bought the day before Fashion Week , A/W 2007. 
Always an exciting and busy time, when your months of hard work are finally unveiled to your clients. I had spent the day preparing the Hotel room where I was showing the collection, hanging, steaming, fluffing and flouncing.  
After dinner I sat up with the remarkably talented Mr Tim Ryan, drinking tea, as I handstitched the final touches to a silken gown and Tim crocheted the collar of a delectable cardigan.
We chatted about life, love and the state of Fashion!

Tim Ryan knitwear photographs by David Timmons  

Before we knew it the night had slipped away and there were far too few hours left before our first appointments arrived. 
As I prepared for my bed I remembered my new brown bottle,  Estee Lauder Night Repair.


I slapped some on and retired. When I awoke.......what seemed like moments later, I padded barefoot to the bathroom to see the damage of such a swift slumber.

I glanced in the mirror, only to find that my skin glowed...... no really, it looked better than 30 litres of water and 40 hours sleep! 
I was hooked and have been ever since. 
I can also say that with extended use you really notice the difference.
I do not buy a lot of fancy skincare products and potions but this one which costs about  €50 a bottle and lasts me about 3 months is honestly, in my opinion, worth it.
I have since gone on, to also become slightly addicted to their Daywear plus Moisturiser!  

Friday, March 5

Helen James by Simon Watson



Some images from one of the very first photo shoots I ever did..... what could now be considered Vintage Helen James
All photos by the extremely talented Simon Watson

Wednesday, March 3

Wendy Bevan and The Fashionternet


Why is it that as digital photography progresses and produces sharper and more vivid images, what becomes appealing are ones that are blurred and faded.

All images Wendy Bevan 

I would like to hang any one of these on my wall.
I do believe that as the world of Fashion changes, with the acceleration of the internet as the heralder of Next seasons "big thing" so magazines will have to change.
No longer does the consumer wait for the September Issue to see the Fall collections, she has already seen the show livestreamed from the Brands website: Prada  
Had all the trends twittered to her by Cathy Horyn, Kiki Georgiou or Liberty London Girl.
Seen how the Fashion crowd have interpreted it, (trends begin to filter through editors and stylists attending the shows, moments after it ends) via The sartorialist or Garance Dore.
So the role of the magazine will have to adapt and evolve.  One thing that I believe will have to happen is that they will become more experimental and daring with their photo shoots. The consumer will buy the magazine because she wants to pore over the images, rip them out, stick them on her wall........... just like this one.


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