You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time and it feels like you’ve known them forever? Meet Helena Handbasket, a fellow The Cheek Of It Graduate who popped into my life one day and, despite living a 7.5 hour flight away, we’ve stayed in touch and have been good friends ever since! When Helena was visiting the UK again last summer, I had the privilege of photographing her as a birthday present to herself. I’m so excited to be sharing these images of Helena Handbasket along with her interview with you all – sit back, grab a drink and lets get stuck in!
Occupation: Actor, Glamour Goblin, The Ghost with the Most, babes.
How would your best friend describe you? My best friend followed up with this description of me and now I’m crying: “I wish I could find a word that also summarizes beauty and magic creating. You are so inspired and inquisitive artistically and everything you produce is so true, and honest, and funny, and beautiful and I just wish there was one word to say: “she leaves beautiful and magical things in her wake wherever she goes”
Name three things that you always carry with you? Crystals for spiritual support, business cards because networking, lacrosse ball for all my knots!
What inspired you to book a photoshoot? I have always wanted to shoot with Tigz from the moment I saw her show photos from 2011. I made a promise to myself for the trip I took in September to shoot with Tigz as a birthday gift. She did not disappoint!
Who would play you in a movie of your life? Kate McKinnon.
Whats the most interesting thing about you that the internet doesn’t know about you yet? I have a really great relationship with my brother. We don’t get to see each other as much as we would like, as he’s in LA and I’m in Chicago. One of our favorite things to do is to call each other up, each of us pours ourself a drink, and we start playing Super Mario World at the same time with the volume on mute, and we talk. It’s really wonderful, it’s a way for us to feel close to each other.
Tell us about one of the outfits you wore for your shoot – Who made it? Why do you love it? The deep red dress with the black and gold lingerie was made by Sarah Lowry for my Joan of Arc act. I love it because it’s glamorous but also eerie and dark. That’s sort of the aesthetic I go for, spooky glamour with a hint of camp.
What song gets you on the dancefloor? Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae. That song is such a banger.
What are you most proud of in your career so far? Last year, I got to act in a feature length film about polyamory, queerness, and sex workers. It’s a wonderful little rom-com called Two in the Bush: A Love Story. We found out we got picked up for Outfest LA and will be having our world premiere in July!
What is your top body confidence tip? Set aside 15-20 minutes for yourself in the morning, put on a song that makes you feel good and sexy, and just let yourself roll around in bed for a bit. Do some improvisation to wake your body up, feel yourself, and delight in it. It helps me to get up, look in the mirror, regardless of how I look or feel that day, and say “f**k yes, you are fierce.”
What will your autobiography be called? Probably something like “Anxiety, Pizza Rolls, and the Pursuit of the Weird: A Glamour Goblin’s Journey”
If you could be a model for any brand, which brand would it be and why? I would love to model for some sickening makeup line like Sugarpill or Melt Cosmetics. Either that or Playful Promises or some bespoke corsetry company. I also have a lot of friends who create amazing jewelry, lingerie, and costumes, I would love to model for them.
What exciting project are you working on right now? Going to Outfest LA with the film is up next. After that, I’m developing some new work that I can’t quite talk about yet. But stay tuned!
Want to feel glamourous like Helena Handbasket? Pack a mini suitcase with your finest wardrobe pieces and send me your next availability right now. I am so excited to photograph you!