Sometimes academics isn’t for everyone. Helena Toulousy Michel graduated from the French International School in Bethesda, Maryland with honors in English and Arts as well as a French Baccalaureate. When she transition to college life at George Mason University, she realized that she needed to express herself in a different way.
“I’ve always loved dancing, interpreting my ideas through movement and music,” Michel said. That is why I started my own fashion line. Performing for an audience has always gave me that adrenaline rush. After dropping out of school, I just couldn’t seem to find what I wanted to do. I moved to Rome, Italy where I went to the Accademia di Costume e di Moda where I learned how to create patterns, learn about fabrics, how to sew these fabrics and how to create what was in my head. Soon enough, I dropped out of that school as well because I was being bullied and didn’t fit in. In the end, I had learned everything I needed to in order to start my own company and so J’aimoda, LLC was born.”
The owner of J’aimoda is making quite a statement at the Power Plant Live making costumes for her dance group, Samsara Entertainment, who perform at the Mosaic Nightclub and Lounge. The line started with a knit black and white houndstooth capris with a fold-over waistband for hip support. Now, the brand has branched out into black and white psychedelic print bell bottoms with mesh inserts and even elaborate costumes for a music festival called Dreamscape.
“What truly inspired me to start my line is the fact that I love my comfort,” Michel said. I love being in sports clothes. The sports clothes that I have encountered are just so bland and average. Also, if the design is original, it tends to be uncomfortable.”
As the summer progresses, Michel would like to focus on marketing her workout shorts and creating an easy coverall to put over all shorts that could be worn in dance class, yoga class, or the gym.
“My line isn’t just about workout clothes and lounge wear, but it is also about costumes,” Michel said. I love performing. That is why my partner, Zohar and I, created an entertainment group. I make different types of bodysuits, high waisted bottoms, adjustable bra tops and little bikini bottoms depending on the theme of the evening or event.”