Laura McLaws Helms
Fashion/Cultural Historian, Writer & Consultant





COVETEUR: Inside a Fashion Historian’s Vintage-Filled Closet

By the time we finish raiding a fashion-lover’s closet, we consider them to be something of an expert. It would be tough to own 600 pairs of shoes and not know a thing or two about the industry. But it wasn’t until we met Laura McLaws Helms that we truly understood what it means to know *everything* about fashion. Or at least enough to fill your home with floor-to-ceiling fashion books, magazines, and, of course, really, really good clothes…


SELF SERVICE #49 (Fall/Winter 2018): i-Obsee

Some of Laura’s inspirations and obsessions.



A visit to Laura’a vintage clothing collection.


CAP BEAUTY: Laura McLaws Helms

We first caught a glimpse of Laura’s apartment on instagram, and immediately knew we had to get in there to shoot. Inspired by her love for EVERYTHING vintage, this fashion historian schooled us on everything from eBay to Etsy…


NASTY GALAXY by Sophia Amoruso (2016)

Interview by Sophia Amoruso (founder of Nasty Gal and Girlboss).


THE GLOBE AND MAIL: School House Rock

One-page interview, in print only.


LONDON LIVE: First Ever Thea Porter Exhibition Opens


HARPER’S BAZAAR UK: Best Exhibition Books 2015

A pioneering designer of bohemian chic in the 1960s and 70s this book examines Porter's work and her intrepid travels around the world. Bazaar's own Diana Vreeland championed her clothes and this is the first book devoted to her, featuring rare photographs of her collections, sketches and excerpts from her unpublished memoir.


VOGUE.CO.UK: Suzy Menkes: Thea Porter’s Bohemian Rhapsody

The heady scent of the souk, a passion for pattern, embroidery inspired by a silken sari and gypsy dresses in Liberty prints - Thea Porter's look in the Seventies was the perpetual reincarnation of her Middle Eastern childhood in Damascus and Beirut…


THE INDEPENDENT: Pret-a-Porter, again: A flamboyant designer from the Seventies has a new following

Three years ago, when the idea for an exhibition dedicated to the designs of Thea Porter was first mooted, no one could have guessed that the exhibition would open just as the shops filled with spring/summer collections which seem to have been influenced by Porter’s sumptuous haute-hippie aesthetic…


THE CUT: The Designer Who Brought the Caftan to Britain

Zandra Rhodes, Ossie Clark, and Mary Quant have all received recognition for their Swinging London–era designs — but a lesser-known name from the same era is now getting her due, thanks to a new exhibition and book. London’s Fashion and Textile Museum is currently displaying a retrospective devoted to Thea Porter, the bohemian designer beloved by Talitha Getty and Faye Dunaway for her dreamy, flowing designs. The retrospective runs through May 3, and has also generated a book, Thea Porter: Bohemian Chic, out this week. Laura McLaws Helms, the curator of the exhibition and coauthor of the book, and Cameron Silver of Decades (and a member of the It’s Vintage advisory panel) walked the Cut through the designer’s significance.


RED: The wonderful world of Thea Porter

With the first ever exhibition of Thea Porter's magical 1970s designs on display at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, curator Laura McLaws Helms introduces us to the definitive tastemaker of the 1960s and 1970s, and the woman who really made bohemian chic a thing. There's a reason Kate Moss is fan. Enjoy.


THE DAILY BEAST: Simon de Pury’s Favorite Instagrams

With the first ever exhibition of Thea Porter's magical 1970s designs on display at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, curator Laura McLaws Helms introduces us to the definitive tastemaker of the 1960s and 1970s, and the woman who really made bohemian chic a thing. There's a reason Kate Moss is fan. Enjoy.


At 11:30 on a Saturday morning, the Gimme! Coffee shop in Williamsburg bustles with locals and tourists. After scrambling for a table, I was joined by Laura McLaws Helms, a self-proclaimed “consulting fashion expert and cultural historian.” Strawberry blonde-haired and wearing a honey fox fur coat over a mustard yellow cashmere turtleneck that enhances her hazel eyes, Helms is a combination of a gap-toothed Lauren Hutton meets 1960s French actress Natalie Delon. At just 30 years old, Helms channels her love of vintage through writing, editing, curating and consulting for clients such as jewellery designer Eddie Borgo. When she’s not drawing mood boards or tracing the history of trends, she also publishes her own magazine, The Lady…



Three-page interview, in print only.



One-page interview, in print only.



Chronicling my looks during Paris Fashion Week, March 2012.


Helms, a fashion and cultural historian has her very own vintage archive jammed packed with pieces from almost every era. Curious, I almost dared to take a peek of what was sure to be a vintage wonderland of sublime 40-80s era dresses galore. I wandered not, ultimately deciding to oblige Laser’s (Laura’s beautiful blonde kitty) lavish affections. Each time Laura stepped out from Narnia her closet, my heart skipped a beat…


ANYONEGIRL: Laura McLaws Helms of ‘Sighs and Whispers’ Exclusive Interview for AnyOne,Girl

Fashion Historian and consultant Laura McLaws Helms dedicates her time to bringing back the older flavors of fashion via her widely followed blog, Sighs and Whispers. A tastemaker’s dream destination, you can spend hours trawling through her finely selected images ranging from the 1940’s to the 1990’s. Having followed her blog for some time, I recently had the opportunity to interview Laura where she told me about her addiction to scanning magazines from libraries around the world to her current pastime of researching Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac to give a lecture on Stevie’s influence on fashion at the end of October this year….



It’s a wet day. One of those cold, itchy, drizzle days that get into your clothes and shoes and bones. Laura opens the door in a long, burgundy, velvet gown with a dangerously deep, plunging neck line. She reminds me of a mischievous, Medieval nobleman’s daughter. Maybe it’s the 50’s eye liner or her godly shapes; either way she’s a divine appearance. I met her the week before Christmas. We were introduced at least three times by different people who all claimed “she has great vintage. You should shoot her!”.


ME MAGAZINE #20, guest edited by Eddie Borgo

Four-page interview, in print only.


STYLE LIKE U: Video interview with Laura