How to play with patterns like a Portuguese It-girl

Helena Coelho brings delicate prints and laid-back bohemian vibes to the streets of Lisbon.

Yes, you can wear florals, stripes and polka dots together. Lisbon-based model, chef and television presenter Helena Coelho is living proof of that notion, with her passion for vintage folklore styles, intricate patterns and classic prints. We asked her to put her signature touch on H&M's latest styles.  

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNER?
"Nicky Zimmermann, and Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli."

WHO IS YOUR STYLE ICON?
"I'm very inspired by the '70s fashion icons like Cher, Jane Birkin, Joni Mitchell, Ali MacGraw, Anita Pallenberg and Stevie Nicks."


WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?
"Vintage meets folklore."

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE ON EARTH?
"The Arrábida mountains in Setúbal, Portugal. Where the Mediterranean flora meets the clear and calm ocean. Those mountains have old religious meaning and overwhelming beauty, like a convent from the 13th century and a chapel inside a cave where the fishermen used to celebrate the protection of Saint Margaret."


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD?
"I'm a cook so it's very hard to tell. I cook many different meals from different countries that I've visited. Some days, I'm obsessed with Italian food, others with Thai or Moroccan food. But I can tell you that Portuguese food has an incredibly rich variety."

IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE YOUR APARTMENT IN A HURRY, WHAT WOULD YOU GRAB?
"My cats Pilar and Zappa, and my beagle dog Mali."

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO LOOK?
"A basket bag, a vintage jacket and my floral H&M Dress."


WHY IS FASHION IMPORTANT?
"It’s the most useful art expression of our time. It expresses the soul of generations, the political and social beliefs."

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN HISTORY, WHAT FASHION ERA WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE IN?
"The sexy-elegant 1920s."

WHAT ITEM WOULD YOU NEVER PART FROM?
"My basket bag." 

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?
"A fashion designer. During my childhood, I used to draw clothes for my dolls and afterwards for my friends and myself, I still do some creations for myself."


WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY FASHION PLEASURE?
"Vintage folklore and ethnic clothes. I live searching for them, it’s like a challenge."

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET?
"Myself, it’s an unfinished discovery [laughs]."

WHAT DO YOU NEED RIGHT NOW?
"A good camera!"

WHAT IS YOUR LATEST BEAUTY DISCOVERY?
"All organic creams and lotions with no chemicals."


Adam Katz Sinding is the photographer behind Le 21ème. Follow his work on @le21eme.


HELENA COEHLO

OCCUPATION: Chef

LOCATION: Lisbon, Portugal

INSTAGRAM: @helenic

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