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My MUSE | Helen Streefland

My MUSE | Helen Streefland


For our very first My MUSE deep dive, we wanted to feature someone fabulous. Someone warm, stylish and totally timeless.

It had to be Helen Streefland

 When we opened our Ponsonby boutique five years ago, Helen was one of our very first customers. If we weren't in MUSE curating her wardrobe, you'd find the two of us - complete with Helen's husband Wayne and two gorgeous pugs - sitting in the sun outside discussing our careers, children, mutual love of Bacio cheese scones and of course, all things fashion.



We adore Helen, an exceptional artist, passionate cook and, most recently, a crafter of exquisite ceramics; she is the epitome of style. Her recently renovated St Mary's Bay home is exactly as I imagined it would be - chic and generous, impactful and eclectic. Every painting in her house whether from the streets of Paris or a local up-and-comer, tells a story. Her eye is so on point. To kick off our new My Muse series, I sat down with Helen to talk about art, Jack McKinney and the joy of cooking on fire.



Helen, How did you get into ceramics?

 Ceramics was actually an elective when I completed my Bachelor of design. I majored in painting, but I have always really enjoyed making objects with porcelain. I love the fragility, pureness and tactility of the material: making the objects by hand slab, pinching the porcelain as thin and light as it can be... its captivating.

No one pot or plate is like the other. I imagine different food being displayed on the objects as I am making them. Then, once the porcelain has been shaped, I make supporting bases to help hold it during firing. It's very much like flesh without bones until the firing is complete.



Muse Cashmere - Madeline Sweater in Black, Rebe - Barbie Boots in Black, Victoria Beckham  - Tailored short in Khaki Green 


Where can we find your pieces?

  The objects will be for sale at Railway Street Studio at the beginning of November.




 Alemais - Derby Lounge Shirt & Pant, Alighirei - The Rhymes of Love Earrings


What was it like working with architect Jack McKinney?

 It was great. Working with Jack helped me to consolidate principles I learnt while doing my Bachelor of Design. He really loves texture and thinking creatively on the spot. To work through the curios of a villa renovation, he will draw a wonderfully layered concept. The ability to create something different for each project is what makes Jack special. Our builder, Willie De Gruchy, ran with all the difficulties and was excited about the ideas. They were both so great to work with, the gave 120%. The embraced the newness of ideas and the desire not to repeat what others have built.




La DoubleJ - Long Sleeve Swing Dress in Tapestry, Sporty Swing Dress in Tripping Nero, Sweatshirt Dress in Eden


We always love hearing about your recipes when you visit us in store, who or what inspires your cooking?

Cooking is a real passion of mine. Over the years I've been inspired by the London chefs who owned the River Café, and the Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage cookbooks are firm daily favourites for inspiration. My enjoyment of cooking on fire was inspired by Lennox Hastie, although I suppose this goes back further to being a bit more primitive. While we were renovating, most of our meals were made on the front lawn. I really enjoyed this and knocked up a big box to grow herbs and vegetables in, right next to the Komodo Jo.

I feel fortunate to still have a full house, I can cook feasts every night for my young adult family. I get joy from growing and cooking my own food. Traditional concepts please me. Fashion and wine are amongst my passions. It all becomes a visual feast in the end.




Victoria Beckham - Utility Shirt Dress in Khaki, Rebe - Barbie Boots in Brown Croc Effect Leather, Mineraleir - Sien Earrings in Marine (Gold / Blue Topaz)


Whats on your MUSE wishlist?

Rebe's boots! They're right up there with the best internationally. I think her latest over-the-knee boots have a real edge - the ones with the sculptured heel and toe. We are so lucky to have such great local talent. I also love the exotic Ostrich feather dresses by La Double J. The Liam Blazer by Tibi and latest Victoria Beckham shorts are going to be great wardrobe staples for me this year. And MUSE knitwear - it's been designed with an eye on style and quality. I need to put my blinkers on, but it's been impossible lately! The staff at MUSE provide such brilliant service. They're informed and motivated, and they really care about their clients.




 Nagnata - Romeo Track Pant in Black, Nanushka - Hide Puffer in CreamMuse Cashmere - Madeline Sweater in Black


My Muse is a series which celebrates our diverse community of creative, intelligent, like minded women. If you know of someone who you think should be featured, send us a DM to nominate them. 



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