Teresa Helbig touches the sky in Paris: we travel with the designer to her most special show

“I'm Teresa, the Helbig!” Of all the people capable of spreading enthusiasm over the phone first thing on a Monday, Teresa Helbig (Barcelona, ​​1963) is the best.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
30 March 2024 Saturday 10:35
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Teresa Helbig touches the sky in Paris: we travel with the designer to her most special show

“I'm Teresa, the Helbig!” Of all the people capable of spreading enthusiasm over the phone first thing on a Monday, Teresa Helbig (Barcelona, ​​1963) is the best. She has reasons: based on perseverance, trusting her instincts and understanding the importance of not rushing the natural pulse of times, she has turned her name into one of the most relevant in the fashion industry in Spain.

The designer created her first collection in 1996, and in those golden years for the Cibeles catwalk, she decided not to walk until she felt ready. Next to her was her mother, Teresa Blasco, a seamstress whose profession helped her daughter Teresa grow familiar with patterns and fabrics. They still work so closely together that talking to one is talking about the other.

In 2019, she began an international expansion in Los Angeles that last November also took her to New York. With a signature fashion business model based on custom-made garments and wedding dresses - all produced by hand in the firm's atelier in the Catalan capital - the company, which employs 24 people to whom Helbig refers As a “family”, it has a turnover of more than one million euros annually.

In June 2023 she received the National Design Award given by the Ministry of Culture and which the designer took more as a push to continue than as recognition of her career, and in 2022 she became the first woman to design the crew's uniforms. from Iberia. “When we entered the contest I always bet that we were going to win,” she remembers. “I don't know if it was cockiness or if I sensed it. The proposal we made was wonderful.”

Back to this Monday, March 1st, Teresa Helbig has one more reason to be happy. In just four days she will fulfill her dream of parading in Paris with her Fall/Winter 2024-25 collection in an initiative that is part of Iberia's Talent on Board program. The aviation company asked her what her dream was, the designer answered that she would show in Paris, and after this phone call she would head to the airport.

“In the end, things well done and teamwork have a reward,” he reflects. “This opportunity is also a vindication of our effort and tenacity. From our gaze. When we started we didn't make productions, we didn't sell to stores... according to industry standards, we did everything wrong."

“Good morning, this is the commander speaking. Today we fly on an A-350 named after Teresa Helbig in honor of the designer who created our crew's uniforms. This is a very special day for her because she presents her first fashion show in Paris, the city of fashion, a show in which she will be accompanied by Iberia.”

Five days have passed since that phone call, and on this flight are the press covering the event and part of the Helbig gang, those clients and friends of the firm, among whom are Eugenia Martínez de Irujo, Leonor Watling, Luz Casal or Macarena Gomez.

Already in the space of Le Marais where the fashion show will take place in a few hours, Chema Paré, the designer's partner and CEO of the company, asks if we have flown “on the Helbig” while Teresa's mother summarizes with “Teresa has taken to the sky” the emotion he felt upon learning that a plane was named after his daughter.

“Now it's an art gallery, but it was Pierre Cardin's old museum. Everything we do, all our actions, are consistent with who we are. We were looking for a little box, a blank space, not a Versailles-style environment,” says Helbig about the location backstage before the lights go out.

“We have been working on the collection for eight months. We are very exaggerated. Somehow, before I knew he would introduce her here, I was already thinking about Paris. The garments are inspired by Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. It is a tribute to the fight and tenacity, to the search for justice. That combined with the sophistication of Paris, a city that is always in my imagination.

The technique of the collection follows tradition. There is a historicist point of view, but the prism is very fresh.” At 1832 Sur Mer there are also its hallmarks: craftsmanship, the combination of fabrics and materials, devotion to detail and attention to the client, “an aunt who also does things according to her rules, is well informed and knows what he wants.”

The actress Leonor Watling laughingly confirms this after the presentation: “I was sitting next to Clara Roquet and Pilar Palomero. "We spent the entire show asking each other for dresses!" She says while Luz Casal, who met Teresa Helbig in 2017 working on the cover of her tribute album to Dalida, reflects on the number of looks that walked the catwalk.

“It is the first time we have made 57 departures. I always believe that shows have to happen quickly, but this time, that you have come for this… It has been a titanic effort to make so many clothes, but the enthusiasm has overcome us,” commented the designer a few hours before the show.

“She is such an exquisite woman in her work… she deserves to be here,” concludes the Galician artist. “She is very delicate and distinguishable. Her dresses have a very sensual artisanal part,” says Elvira Lindo. At this post-show cocktail, everyone wants to talk about the clothes, but also about the love they feel for the designer. She of creation and creator.

“What Teresa does is incredible, it feels very good. We would wear them even if she was a bad person,” Watling jokes. “But the thing is that Teresa is knowing her and loving her.” “When she called me to tell me that she was parading in Paris I went crazy with joy, I am a total fan because apart from my friend she is my favorite. At the same time, she did not surprise me because it is logical that she has come this far,” shares Eugenia Martínez de Irujo. "And what's left".