My Style: Alexander Helle

Portrait of Alexander Helle of Norwegian Rain

Portrait: Bent Rene Synnevaag — Courtesy of Alexander Helle

Please describe your style in three words.

Tailoring. Functional. Black.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Thinking too much about what others think. Wear what you really like. Let it be you.

Do you believe in role models?

A hundred per cent. Role models are an eco-friendly fuel to grand visions and a spark to a greater version of you.

What are your favourite fabrics?

The hi-tech Japanese fabrics we use in Norwegian Rain keep making me really excited. Eco- friendly, functional and stylish in one go...Japan is always a step ahead. And wool. Naturally!

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

My inspiration is triggered by diversity. Hence I don't dictate other's way of dressing.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Paris for their sense of self-esteem and the ability to give a personal flare in their outfits. London for the ultimate mix of precise expressions—and their dedication for brilliantly crafted shoes.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

My style is deeply rooted in conservative elements, but I guess the totality is not.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Balance. One small surprising detail is much better than two.

Celebrities and style...

Have been the only thing the Norwegian press has been covering the last ten years. This has triggered the creative scene to work harder, smarter and together. Things are moving underground. Watch out for Norway!

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Waistcoats. And my hats…this way I don't need to spend time on my hair.

A man should always look like…

The man he is. Clothing is a reflection of you, just like your opinions.

Who taught you what you know about style?

A random blend of quantitative and qualitative episodes in life.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Because of working late at night and Fiona, my kid, that keeps waking up during night, I stand in my boxers disoriented for five minutes just staring into my wardrobe—waiting for a seducing wake-up call from a detail in there. It usually rings. Then I rapidly compose the rest within seconds. The next choice dictates the following, like a domino game, as most things in my closet work together. All this happens within six and a half minutes.

What is your biggest regret?

Instead of having regrets, I prefer to spend my energy on what I can actually change. You always have this option.

The three essential things a man should know about style are…

Balance. Choose what fits your body. Choose what fits your mind, not the mind of others.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I don't shop much anymore except from some vintage artefacts here and there. Inspiring friends and acquaintances have made most of the things in my wardrobe. I feel very privileged that way.

We will never see you wearing...

Something that I don't love!

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

Too close for comfort maybe, but my partner in Norwegian Rain, T-Michael, is wearing his suits like a second skin. He's the first to jump into a dirty container if we need some materials for a project. And the totality of his style is never boring, even though he's always wearing a suit and shirt. He never adapts his style to the occasion, like most do.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

I only notice if something is inspiring. If not, I don't reflect on it.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

I have an old picture from the 60’s showing my grandfather (named Odd) on the street wearing a perfectly fitted safari suit with a turtleneck sweater under. It looked very natural on him.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Sveen & Djønne—two furniture designers from Bergen Academy of Art and Design. They're not new, but they are now re-gathering as a duo—facing a new spring. I've had the pleasure of spending quite some time with Karl Marius (Sveen), and he always transports me into a creative state.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My three piece suits from T-Michael, my hats from SuperDuper Hats, and a tie pin from Title of Work.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Being careless is. Style is thirty percept karma, so if you don't feel comfortable, you would have a hard time pulling off an outfit.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Yohji Yamamoto for the volumes, Maison Martin Margiela for the universe they have created. Acne for their windows. Art Comes First for their artistic energy.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Siv Støldal, a Norwegian fashion designer with interesting ideas.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Do whatever you want as long as it does not hurt anyone!

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