— March 20, 2015 —
No trip to Paris is complete without catching up with the beautiful and talented Camilla Freeman of - what else - Camilla & Marc. A longtime centrepiece in the landscape of Australian fashion Camilla & Marc is sold around the world at prestigous retailers such as Barneys, Matches, Harvey Nichols and Shopbop. After over a decade in the business, and having established themselves as a top contender in the luxury fashion market, Camilla & Marc are launching a denim capsule line as well as a footwear collection this season. We caught up with Camilla on her first day in Paris for fashion week at her showroom on the stunning Rue Richelieu (a stones throw away from the historical Palais Royale) to get an up close and personal viewing of her Fall/Winter 2015 collection. And we've got all the scoop on it, just for you, below!
Tell us a little bit about this collection.
Camilla: This collection was inspired by fluidity and a series of coincidences; a moment in time when things happen in a series of fluid coincidences. We’ve got lots of fluid pieces, but they’re contrasted back with the tailoring of the brand that we have every season, so there’s always a moment of military-inspired pieces throughout the collections. So we still have them, but the way that we styled the collection, for example, is that we’ve got military jackets with really soft fluid pieces underneath. You can see there’s this fluidity and also this hardness; everything’s got an element of hardness, whether it’s a soft draped piece with a bit of hardware, there’s that contrast and element of surprise.
Camilla: We started with some very neutral tones, mixed back with black. We’ve got some beautiful lace pieces, where we appliquéd two different laces together; a heavy guipere style lace with a very soft chantilly, and we’ve wrapped and draped it on the mannequin. We’ve worked a lot with the mannequin this season; we’ve done lots of draping, lots of wrapping and folding and twisting.
Camilla: And then we go into the tortoise print, which we pleated and draped. We have a few softly pleated pieces, which are a bit more grown up, or you can wear them with a sweater and it can be really cool. Every season we do a blazer, it’s one of our staples. We’ve got this military style tailored jumpsuit, which is off-the-hook! It’s one of my favourite pieces. We have a lot of jumpsuits this season. We’ve done some beautiful knitwear for fall, they really suck you in! We have more evening dresses in the collection, which are really important to us. We also worked with a beautiful French jacquard fabric, it almost looks like cameo or clouds, it depends which way you look at it; every way is different! We’ve also got a couple of spotted pieces, as well, which look really great on; it’s one of my favourite looks, it’s very fun.
What about the fabric development?
We develop all of our prints in-house. Every print from every collection you’ve seen have all been made in our head office. They take a long time, as I’m sure you can imagine. The starting point was something I ripped out of the newspaper that I saw that I liked; it was the corner of a painting that I had seen, it was the strangest thing, and I ripped out the corner of it, and I said, “I just want to start with an idea of working with these two colours together and paint brush over the top of each other,” the colours were the reference point, from the newspaper, and we just developed it from there. And, literally, it’s a completely different thing; and it always is, we always start with something very random and just work it and work it and develop it. I really enjoy that process, though it’s sometimes frustrating when you don't know what it’s going to look like in the end. I feel like I go into a prints with two different minds: I know exactly what it’s going to be or I’m really not sure. There’s never any grey area. Mostly I have an idea of what it’s going to look like in my mind, but for this I didn’t. It was an interesting evolution. When you get where you need to get, you know it immediately. We just kept working it until I knew it.
And that actually kind of ties in with the whole idea of fluidity and coincidence.
Yes. It’s fluid, an evolution, a process. When you know, you know!
Which pieces are doing well so far?
The tortoise print, the lace styles, the long light pink trench - it’s really flattering on so many different complexions - the tailoring, because that’s a given for us, and the spots are doing really well. The khaki, it’s always a risk, you never know, but it was done really well this season; that's been really good.
So the dot pieces are your favourite?
I just think it’s really fun, you know? Often, my favourite pieces are a little bit more tailored, but this season it’s very different for me, which I quite like!
Do you wear most of pieces every day of the week?
Yeah. The rule of thumb is always, “Would we wear it?” We always check in, you know? I would wear pretty much every piece, if it suited me, yes.
So, since it’s a Fall/Winter collection, can you tell us what are your holiday traditions?
It’s summer in Australia! Growing up, we actually used to spend most of our holidays - which is our summer holidays but your fall holidays - in the snow in the States or in Canada! So we would be skiing and having White Christmases and doing all that.
If you were having a White Christmas, what would you wear from the collection?
I’d probably layer a knit with a blazer over the top and then one of the skirts. Lots of layers!
Can you tell us a little bit about your own personal style and how that reflects on the brand?
I guess I wear very tailored pieces with very fluid pieces! It’s kind of an epitome of what this collection is. I’ve always worn lots of layers, I’m always wearing a tailored jacket with a soft dress or a top and trousers or a skirt. I tend to like to go for a more elegant, effortless style, rather than edgy. Timeless!
Those are all words I would use to describe Camilla and Marc!
There you go! I’m a mum of three, I go to the office and then I go home, so I need to be able to wear something that is practical, as well!
And tell us about the shoe collection.
Well it’s really like my fourth baby! I have lots of babies now! It’s something that’s been very important to us for a very long time. I studied in Florence, I did my Master’s there 12 years ago, so I knew when I was there that I was going to do something like this at some point. So Marc and I have spent the last three or four years working to grow a relationship with our factories. Prior to launching, we’ve actually spent three years building this relationship, they're like family now. It’s an amazing extension of the brand that has done really, really well in Australia. It’s very much, like the mainline, the simplicity of the shapes with the hardware; making a statement out of shape and the hardware. That’s an easy way of describing it!