We caught up with two-time Ocean Drive cover model, fashion icon, and art-lover Helena Christensen on what she loves to do when she’s in town, her “barely there” fashion advice for Miami women, and more.
Andres Sosa and Helena Christensen
If you’ve ever wondered why fashion and film go together like popcorn and butter, leading online retailer THE OUTNET.COM has your answer. “Both industries are super creative, and it’s clear that fashion influences the movies,” says Andres Sosa, THE OUTNET.COM’s executive vice president. “And every now and then, a film will come out and revive an old trend and make it new again.”
To celebrate fashion’s prominent role in film, the retailer hosted a special screening event, dubbed “Film with Style,” alongside the Grand Classics at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, and enlisted supermodel Helena Christensen to host the stylish soirée. Fittingly, the model chose to show Bonjour Tristesse, a film brimming with gorgeous style and set in France.
Before the screening, we caught up with Christensen on her love of fashion and the arts, what she likes to do when she’s in town, and what she thinks Miami women should be wearing (hint: not too much).
You have graced many magazine covers, and you are a two-time Ocean Drive cover model. What comes to mind when you think back to those covers? HELENA CHRISTENSEN: I think of Miami, the sun, the heat, and careless, beautiful summer days.
Why did you choose to feature the film Bonjour Tristesse? HC: It’s just one of those movies that has stayed with me through life.
What fashion advice would you give to the Miami women? HC: Be naked all day. And if that is a little too intimidating, then just get really good bikinis.
Do you have any go-to plans when you visit Miami? HC: Miami Beach has the most incredible beaches. I’m always in the ocean when I’m here. I love the water, the color, and the temperature is amazing. And, of course, Miami has some great restaurants. We went to 27 Restaurant & Bar, and loved it; the vibe was great.
As a leader in the fashion and design industry, has cinema played an inspirational role for you? HC: Yes, absolutely! I’ll go see a movie and walk out wanting to be that character for a few days, inspired by the hair, clothes, style, and feeling it gives. Bonjour Tristesse is one long inspiration. I watched it for the first time when I was 18 and there are emotions and subtleties, new ones that I discover each time I see it. Givenchy did the entire wardrobe for the movie, and it makes you want to freeze every moment, take a picture, and then go home and recreate the looks.
How do you feel a city like Miami inspires the cinematography of a film? HC: I think the light here is really inspiring and probably has been for directors and cinematographers. It’s almost like Miami is in its own world, its own little time bubble, and people just thoroughly enjoy themselves here. You leave all your worries at home and come down here to have an easy, sort of breezy, time.
Many renowned names such as Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and more have hosted various Film with Style events. How did you partnering with THE OUTNET.COM and Grand Classics come to fruition? HC: The chance to see this movie on a big screen was just a wonderful thing and basically why I said yes to this whole thing. I guess it’s a selfish reason, but it’s rare to see a movie this old in a beautiful screening room like this, and at the same time, come to Miami!
Growing up, was there someone in particular that sparked your love of fashion and the arts? HC: Early on as a teenager, it was mostly painters. It wasn’t until I went to Paris as a 20-year-old and started working with the designers and magazines that I got into fashion.
If you could raid the wardrobe of a movie character, who would it be? HC: Salma Hayek depicting Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo’s style was and will forever be one of my favorites. Any Marilyn Monroe movie, of course. And Jean Seberg’s closet in Bonjour Tristesse. To have a full wardrobe by Givenchy wouldn’t be the worst thing!
As an iconic supermodel and photographer, what advice would you give to individuals on either side of the lens? HC: I’ve been a photographer as long as I have modeled, and when I am in front of the camera I just kind of disappear in my own headspace and I abstract from anyone around me; it becomes just me and the camera. Having your photo taken can be intimidating and slightly uncomfortable, but the right photographer will have a way of making you feel relaxed. Since I’m on both sides, I think it’s easier for me to understand what the subject feels, and I just try to use whatever magic powers I have to help them relax. But when in doubt, keep your chin down and give a slight smile!