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Posts Tagged ‘Hideous Kinky’

stella-bella-1_2390010aThe Victoria & Albert Museum in London often has Friday evening lectures and events. I was lucky enough to be in town on  Friday, November 2nd when British designer Bella Freud discussed her career with Hadley Freeman, American expat and fashion journalist  for The Guardian.

Yes, Bella Freud is related to the artist Lucian Freud (her father) and Sigmund Freud (her great-grandfather) but she’s a force of her own with a long and successful career in fashion. In the 1980s while still a teenager, she left school and worked for Vivienne Westwood. Later she studied fashion design and tailoring in Rome. She has designed for Jaeger as well as her own knit wear line and she was recently involved in the relaunch of Biba.

The Bella brand logo  is a drawing by Lucian Freud of  Bella's dog.

The Bella brand logo is a drawing by Lucian Freud of Bella’s dog.

That evening about 75 of us, mostly women, gathered in one of the upstairs lecture halls in the lovely V&A building. Dressed in smart winter coats and boots, most of the crowd appeared to be fashion students. Ms. Freud sported a chic unfussed look in flowing grey tuxedo trousers and one of her own knit sweaters with 1970 across the chest. Sexing it up a bit she had on a pair of platform shoes. She wears her hair casual-long reminiscent of the 1970s. Indeed, she’s a cross between Karen Carpenter and Patti Smith.

Ms. Fraud commented that she has always prefered boys clothes because she’s attracted to the uniform look that boys wear has. “I like the limitations of boy’s clothes and the potential for the unkempt look of a tie or shirt,” she told Ms. Freeman.

Soft-spoken and not at all a corporate fashionista, Ms. Freud said she enjoys the freedom working on her own allows, although, she appreciates what a large fashion company can offer such as resources and staff.

When it comes to inspiration, Ms. Freud said she relies on what’s going on inside. “The most important part is getting out my drawing book and drawing. Because that’s where it all comes from.”

Film is also an interest and Ms. Freud has made several shorts, three in collaboration with John Malkovich and all including her own costume designs. We were treated to a viewing of Ms. Freud’s latest film, Submission.

The discussion closed with a question about the significance of 1970. Evidently there’s nothing personal about that year for her just that it was, in general, an interesting artistic turning point. Aesthetically speaking, I’d say it’s also a good-looking combination of numbers.

(With an artist father and a bohemian mother, Ms. Freud had an interesting childhood which was fictionalized in her sister’s novel Hideous Kinky. The novel was made into a movie in 1998 starring Kate Winslet.)

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