Professor Helen Storey

Profile image of Professor of Fashion and Science

Professor of Fashion and Science

London College of Fashion

Biography

Professor Helen Storey MBE RDI is an award winning British artist and designer. She is Professor of Fashion and Science at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion and Co-Director of The Helen Storey Foundation.

Helen graduated in Fashion from Kingston Polytechnic in 1981, and then worked with Valentino and Lancetti in Rome. She returned to London and worked with Belville Sassoon before launching her own label in 1983 with Caroline Coates. Storey’s late ‘80s and early ‘90s collections were noted for their questioning of traditional notions of glamour, expense and women’s image, including the launch of her 2nd Life range of clothes in 1992. In 1991, Storey won Most Innovative Designer Of The Year and was nominated for British Designer Of The Year by The British Fashion Council.

Storey was awarded Honorary Professorships at Heriot Watt University and King’s College London in 2001 and 2003 respectively and became a Visiting Professor of Material Chemistry at Sheffield University in 2008. In 2012 she was awarded Honorary Doctor of Science at University of Sheffield and Honorary Professor of Craft and Design at University of Dundee. Helen was awarded a Royal Designer for Industry in 2015 for pushing the boundaries of fashion and design and making challenging scientific concepts accessible to the public.

Her pioneering work over the last decade has brought the worlds of art and science together, producing hybrid projects, and products that have broken new and award winning ground, and in 2009 she was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Arts’.

Research interests

New technologies in the sciences and arts, emotional literacy, cross-curricular tools for reaching new public audiences, human well-being, delivering new content to invigorate the National Curriculum, new environmental solutions.

Research statement

Helen Storey’s work widely spans the arts, sciences and new technology fields. She produces projects that illuminate aspects of science and wellbeing in ways that directly interact with the public, with the broad aim of helping individuals reach their full creative potential. More recently Helen has begun to focus her creative energy on working in collaboration with other Universities and industry to solve global problems through cross - disciplinary means.

Helen’s most recent project Dress For Our Time uses the power of fashion to communicate some of the world's most complex issues. Through fashion, science and wonder Dress For Our Time will help us change the way we think and act upon climate change.  Chapter One, which saw the first ever physical embodiment of the Dress installed at St Pancras International Station from 26-29 November, was timed to coincide with the opening of the United Nations Climate Change conference COP 21. With the station a gateway to Paris – where many of the delegates would have been passing through – many came face to face with the world’s first digital couture dress dedicated to exploring climate change and its human impact. 

This first iteration of the dress digitally displayed data showing the impact of climate change on our physical world. It showed our planet as it will be if we DON’T DO ENOUGH. The dress has been developed in partnership with award winning interactive creative agency Holition, and the data has been taken from a study conducted by a team of global scientists and provided by the Met Office.

Previous projects include Dress of Glass and Flame, a collaborative project between Helen and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and London College of Fashion. Produced by world renowned Berengo Studio in Venice, Helen was drawn towards the chemistry of both glass and flame. She wanted to create a work within which a part of the original creative and alchemic process could be kept alive.

Catalytic Clothing which seeks to explore how clothing and textiles can be used as a catalytic surface to purify air, employing existing technology in a new way. Working alongside chemist Prof Tony Ryan PVC Faculty of Science at Sheffield University, the pair, who are from very different worlds but whose minds have come together over recent years, have been highly successful in art/science collaborations which have led to real world applications. 

 

Students

Reiner Rockel, Self-regulating, knitted fabric system capable of moisture harvesting to establish an aeroponic micro-environment sustaining plant life (practice based).

Project awards, and grants

2014 – present – Dress For Our Time, funded by Unilever and supported by Met Office, Holition, Helen Storey Foundation and UNHCR.

2014-2015 Dress of Glass and Flame, funded by Royal Society of Chemistry

2013 – TRANSFER (Trading Approaches to Nurturing Sustainable consumption in Fashion and Energy Retail) funded by ESRC and in collaboration with University of Sheffield.

2010 – Primitive Streak extension funded by The Wellcome Trust

2009 - present – Catalytic Clothing, funded by EPSRC and in collaboration with University of Sheffield.

2004 – present  – Wonderland, funded by EPSRC, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council England, Higher Education Innovation Fund, Sainsbury and Interface, University of Ulster and in collaboration with University of Sheffield.

2008-2010 - Free Radicals, funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

2004-2006 – Eye & I, funded by Arts Council England

1997-2000 – Primitive Streak, funded by the Wellcome Trust Sci/Art Prize

Selected research outputs