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Catholic Life

Designer gives tips on modesty

A fashion designer is teaching young women how to dress with purity

By on Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Helena Machin, pictured with posters showing different female silhouettes

Helena Machin, pictured with posters showing different female silhouettes

A fashion designer is teaching young women how to dress with purity after her brother’s death made her rethink her career, writes Estefania Aguirre.

Helena Machin, who works with high-profile clients for a famous milliners in London which cannot be named for privacy reasons, is offering style masterclasses for women, teaching them how to dress attractively and modestly.

“I want to invest some time and love into the next generation,” said the 30-year-old.

“I want to have them embrace their femininity by modest and attractive dress and in doing so fulfil their God-given potential. It’s a voluntary project so I am juggling it around other commitments but I will give as much time as I am able.”

Helena came up with the idea after her twin brother, James, passed away from a terminal illness three years ago.

She said: “He spent his life serving others, showing them the way to Christ through his heroic example, despite being unwell for a lot of the time. Through his good humour and good example he bought many people back to their faith.”

About the same time Helena discovered Opus Dei. Turning 30 this Christmas made her realise that whatever time she had left, she had to be doing something worthwhile. She questioned whether working in fashion was the right thing to be doing. But God soon taught her, through the example of St Josemaría Escrivá, to make holy her every day work, however trivial it might sometimes seem.

In a talk she gave recently to a group of young women she explained the different body shapes and gave tips on how to best dress according to that shape.

Helena is starting a series of projects, one of which includes an intensive short course she will be giving at Easter at the Baytree Centre in London for 14- to 18-year-olds. She will also be giving lectures in schools and in university chaplaincies.

Helena said: “One tip I would give to all young women out there would be: if you want to be treated like a lady, dress like a lady.”

For more information, please visit the website

  • daclamat

    Good free pub. Nice one, Stef. My Granny used to say, if you don’t want to sell it, don’t put it in the window,

  • guest

    Love this! Praise God for people like her! 

  • Leah Darrow

    Helena, wonderful work you are doing. You are in our prayers. Blessings always, Leah Darrow

  • Scunninghamjr

    Here’s a couple sermons by a priest of the FSSP on modest, virtue, & dress (the 2nd one goes into the teachings of the Church on dress.  Enjoy! THese are great


  • Th

    Great job, Helena!

  • sophia

    Keep up the good job!

  • Anna Hamilton

    Many thanks for this, Helena! My prayers are with you. Anna, age 16

  • guest

    Great! Modesty needs to make it’s comeback! :)