Whenever I see the dress code smart casual it always gives me cause for pause as I’m trying to rack my brain of what I have in my wardrobe that fits the bill. Ultimately I think it’s all about working off duty style whilst still maintaining an element of polish. It’s about marrying the best of both worlds and merging casual pieces with elevated staples.
This Carla Zampatti jacket is one such piece that is right at home when worn back with dressy separates, but I can still pair it with denim and have it look cohesive. One of my favourite combinations is jeans and a white tee, which can be super casual but when paired with a sophisticated jacket it lifts the look into one that’s polished without being too fussy. Jeans have definitely become more accepted for events and relaxed workplaces, and when worked back with classic pieces it can easily be your go-to ensemble for those times you need to dress smart casual.
Great flats are essential for smart casual dressing which is why I am really loving my new Dior flats. They’re a classic shape, incorporate sleek details and as a bonus are super comfortable to be in all day. As for my accessories, a statement bag, with structure and extra finishes such as a chain strap or embellishments is the ideal option for elevating a look without being too overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your eyewear. These coloured Le Specs sunglasses add a modern touch, without compromising the overall vibe of my outfit.
Date with Kates are always fun and a great excuse to pull out a new outfit. For my recent Date with Kate with Sabrina Carpenter, I wanted to go for something feminine and polished for our meeting at Sydney’s Hacienda. One look I’m really loving at the moment is layering slip dresses over a crisp white tee. I think this 90s inspired look is fresh and so easy to pull together. I wanted to add a formal element to the look so I opted to wear my Balmain blazer over the top.
I wanted to wear heels with this outfit but thought a stiletto would be too much so instead decided to pair it with my Balenciaga sock boots. The silhouette of the shoe is fitted and streamlined enough that it doesn’t look too bulky against the flowy nature of the dress, however it grounds the look at the same time.
As far as accessories go I wanted simple and classic so I decided that my Dior bag which with its structured shape and gold chain strap looks was the perfect addition the look. I’m still really into the small sunglasses trend and this pair by Poppy Lissiman is certainly getting quite the workout of late. I like the fact it manages to look both unfussy and dramatic all at the same time.
I always love putting together a holiday wardrobe. I think it’s because of the fact I know I’ll always be in a great mood in whatever I’m wearing and it will remind me of that particular getaway whenever I pull it out of my closet again at home. During my recent family trip to Thailand I wanted to bring pieces that were light, easy and also with an element of polish. I never really steer too far from my usual look when I am away, I just tweak it a bit so it’s a little more relaxed.
One of the first things I look for in any potential outfit for a holiday wardrobe is its versatility. I liked the fact that the below skirt and cami could be worn together and as separates, which allowed me to get more wear out of it while I was away. It was also perfect for the warm weather and I could wear it out to dinner without feeling too dressed up. I think that’s the thing with a tropical island getaway — you want to be able to wear pieces that look great but also don’t look too fussy or overdone as the whole vibe of the destination is so relaxed.
I spent most of my time away sans shoes or in sandals or slides as it was just easier, plus it was ideal for the weather. I brought the below pair of pink slides with me and pretty much lived in them. They were comfortable but the bow detail and the velvet fabrication made it look and feel a little more luxe. I’ll definitely be wearing them throughout summer, but every time I do I’ll always be reminded of the great family holiday we had.
I always look forward to the David Jones Spring/Summer Collection launch every year because it reminds me that gorgeous weather and long balmy days are just around the corner. It also never fails to get me really excited to plan my new season wardrobe as I watch each look come down the runway. I always mentally bookmark a few faves that I know I’ll want to check out in-store later on.
I always enjoy attending events with Luke so I was happy we were able to go to the show together this year. It’s also a fun excuse for the both of us to get dressed up and have the night off! I was in the mood for a big splash of colour and couldn’t go past the below metallic pink skirt by Camilla & Marc. It was a fun focal point to my look and was really in keeping with the mood of the evening. As I was wearing such a modern skirt I wanted to add a classic element so opted for a white button down with a frilled collar and wore the sleeves pushed up to give it a more relaxed vibe. The midi length skirt gave me the perfect opportunity to show off a pair of great shoes and I eventually decided on a pair of ankle strap Tony Bianco heels which had a slight metallic sheen. Adding a touch of Dior to a look is never a bad idea, right? I just loved the below Dior clutch and the bold logo nameplate on the handclasp and thought it was perfect for the night. Rather helpfully the bag can also be worn using the chain strap so it’s great for events that might require me to go hands-free in case I need to hold a glass or grab a canapé.
As always it was another great event by David Jones! Seeing Karolina Kurkova star in the show was a definite highlight as was seeing Aussie models Jessica Gomes and Victoria Lee. I walked away with far too many outfits that I’d fallen in love with and my spring/summer looks are now very much in planning mode.
Credits: Kate: Skirt (not available in store yet), Camilla & Marc; Shirt, Camilla & Marc; Shoes (similar here), Tony Bianco; Clutch, Dior
I’ve talked about my love of suiting before and it shows no signs of waning. I’m really starting to appreciate the appeal of a great suit. It really does impart a sense of confidence with its ‘I mean business’ vibe and it always looks polished no matter the occasion. Whilst I’ve been wearing pants suits a lot, I decided to change it up a little with this jacket and skirt by Camilla and Marc. It takes the traditional office suit and modernises it with the statement buttons on both pieces and the cinched in, double breasted style blazer. The mini also makes it look less corporate and a little more on trend whilst the white tee is a slightly more relaxed alternative to a button down shirt.
To help ground the outfit I chose to pair it with my favourite Balenciaga sock boots. I felt heels would be a little too delicate in this instance so opted for ankle boots help toughen up the look a little and give it a more fashion forward feel.
In keeping with the classic feel of this ensemble I chose to pair it with an oldie but a goodie—my black Chanel bag. It’s the kind of piece that’s been so great to have with my wardrobe as it can work back with virtually everything I own and really elevates any outfit. My Poppy Lissiman small frame sunglasses add a little edge and gives the whole look a truly modern feel.
The word tracksuit doesn’t immediately conjure up images of a chic ensemble suitable for your next event but it’s time to turn that notion on its head. Enter this gorgeous forest green set by Camilla & Marc. The pants and jacket both have a distinctly athletic vibe however both have a refined aesthetic that make them look appropriate for a slightly dressier occasion.
The key to dressing up something that’s quite sporty looking and making it work for a function is your accessories. In this instance, this tracksuit definitely called for a statement heel to elevate it. I have rediscovered these Aquazzura heels recently and couldn’t resist pairing them with this outfit. The snakeskin adds an edgy touch whilst the straps give them a strong focal point and provide the ideal contrast to the simplicity of the jacket and pants. A simple pair of classic sunglasses seemed the perfect choice so as not to overwhelm the look whilst I kept my jewellery to a minimum, sticking to a lone gold bangle to add an elegant finishing touch.
I love being able to push the boundaries as far as my outfits go and in this instance, taking something that seems at first to be quite casual and turning it into an unexpected go-to for dinner or a work party. I think fashion is always about experimentation, playing with trends and learning to put your own spin on outfits—even when it comes to the humble tracksuit!
When I think of classic looks anything tweed is instantly top of mind. There’s something about it that’s so luxe and sophisticated. I couldn’t resist this set by Camilla & Marc mainly because I love that it straddles old world glamour with a distinctly modern vibe with the standout pattern, textural element and the longline cut feeling so contemporary. The gorgeous buttons are the ideal finishing detail and really elevate the look. Meanwhile the flared cropped pants add a playful touch and give this set and it’s suit-like silhouette a relaxed feel.
I wanted to ground the look with my choice of footwear so boots seemed the ideal fit. When it comes to pairing boots with a busy trouser, I think fitted sock style boots are the best option. The slim look works well with the flare detail and the pointed toe give it a little edge.
When it came to accessories for this outfit, I wanted to stick to black to complement the dark tones in the jacket and pants. My cat eye sunglasses added a on trend element, whilst my Chanel bag is one of my favourite go-tos when I want to punctuate a look with something I know is understated and always stylish.
I can always count on Camilla and Marc for a really great dress. The colour and checked print is so appropriate for this time of year and has just the right look and feel for winter. I’m guaranteed to fall head over heels with anything with an off the shoulder feature as I think it’s so flattering. What I love about this frock is that it ticks so many boxes. The midi length is polished and classic, whilst the features such as the ruching down the front and the draping gives it a sophisticated feel that still maintains an effortless feel.
In keeping with the colour scheme I opted for my raspberry Marco de Vincenzo braided heels as it picked up the similar tone in the dress. As for my favourite finishing touch to an outfit, my sunglasses in this instance are fun and relaxed incorporating my go-to cat eye shape and modern clear frames.
I am planning to wear this to a lunch or event as it’s the perfect colour and style for such an occasoin. And best of all it’s able to maintain an element of polish whilst still being quite striking in its design.
Brother and sister design duo Camilla and Marc Freeman have seen great success since the launch of their brand in 2003. Their namesake label is now stocked in Australia and internationally at major retailers such as David Jones, Saks Fifth Avenue and Net-a-Porter. Additionally they have also launched a diffusion line C&M, which comprises off duty pieces and swimwear. It has now been 15 years since they first showed at Australian Fashion Week, and this year, Camilla and Marc are opening this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) and I for one cannot wait to see their latest collection. I caught up with Camilla and Marc at their Sydney studio ahead of MBFWA to chat about what Fashion Week means to them and what we can expect from this Resort collection.
So guys are opening Fashion Week. Are you excited? How are you feeling?
Camilla: Excited. There’s a nice little hum in the office. Everyone’s really looking forward to it. The energy is definitely at a high.
Marc: We’re busy and there’s a nice, frenetic energy. But we’re organised and focused, and extremely excited to be opening the week.
What does it mean to you to open the week?
Marc: It’s really an honour. We’ve been in the industry now for a little while, so to be able to [show] at the beginning of the week is a huge honour.
What does Fashion Week mean to you guys? Why is it so important to show?
Marc: I think we love being able to put our range on the runway. To be able to present our vision in a immersive experience, to our customers, to our buyers, and to the media. So Fashion Week is really important to us, to be able to share that message.
Camilla: And not just that. I think also to be able to show all of those people the way that we would style the collection. That’s really important.
What can we expect to see on the runway?
Camilla: Some exciting things happening. We’ve been working on the show for about six to eight months. The set is going to be, as Marc said, a fully immersive experience. And the collection is looking beautiful. [Vogue Australia Fashion Director] Christine Centenera is flying in to style it.
Oh, wow. Fantastic.
Camilla: So we’ve got some exciting styling touches coming from her. And some interesting new silhouettes. And the rest, you’ll see.
What was your inspiration behind this collection?
Camilla: The resort collection was inspired by a strong, forward thinking woman. Which drove us from the very beginning, and it’s continued to do so. And you’ll see that on the runway.
How would you describe the Camilla & Marc woman?
Camilla: She’s strong, she’s effortless, confident. She is sensual and feminine as well. I think those two words are really important here, with the confident woman that I described before.
So as a brother and sister duo, is that easy working together or does it find its challenges as well?
Marc: Surprisingly easy… I think we’re very close, both in age and as individuals, so we find having a working relationship to be effortless. While the business of running a business and daily life are hectic, I think being able to rely on someone – your sister —
Camilla: [Someone you] trust implicitly.
Marc: Yeah, that you trust implicitly makes business a little bit easier
Have you always shared the same vision?
Camilla: Very much so. But we’ve got different strengths so that’s, I think, part of it. That’s part of the magic.
Marc: I think we share the same vision, but we often look at it ibn a slightly different way.
Camilla: Different angles.
Marc: So think that allows us to achieve our vision in a better way. In a more considerate, powerful, and better executed way.
What do you think is the secret to your success?
Camilla: I think trust is definitely one. We have an incredible team around us, who have been supportive in helping us build the business that we have today. And we wouldn’t be here without them. And each other.
Marc: A lot of hard work…But it’s shared vision and a great team that allows us to achieve it all.
You’ve had some pretty incredible celebrities wear your outfits. Is there one that stands out in your mind?
Camilla: Do you know what, we get often asked this question. And just seeing anyone and everyone—whoever is wearing our pieces—makes us feel really happy. There isn’t one person that we’ve gone, “That’s our dream.” It’s really been daily, weekly, monthly, when we were out and about and we see someone wearing one of our pieces or carrying one of our shopping bags. That’s the good stuff for me.
And do you tell them that it’s your brand?
Camilla: Yes. Well, I was just saying…The other day I was at a function and there was this beautiful woman wearing one of our Emory dresses from the current collection, and I went up to her and I said, “You look absolutely radiant. You look beautiful.” And she was so happy, and it’s nice when you can, you know…touch someone like that.
What is the most satisfying part about having a successful brand?
Camilla: I think there’s a lot of things. Being able to wake up every day and know that you’re going to a place that you absolutely love to go. And see the people, and the people that are around us, they really inspire us—inspire me—every day.
If you could have anyone wear your brand, who would you dress?
Camilla: Honestly, again like we were saying before, there isn’t one person. It’s just – it’s the journey of seeing people, you know? That’s what makes it worthwhile.
What are the biggest challenges you face being in the Australian fashion industry?
Camilla: I think that it’s the opposite. It’s not challenges, it’s we are so far removed from everywhere else in the world. I actually think that we have advantages. We’ve got an amazing landscape that inspire us every day. We’re ahead of everybody.
Camilla: In terms of timezone, and really the only downside is you lose a day when you fly back from wherever you’ve been. Apart from that, I feel like there’s more pluses than negatives.
Marc: I think Australia is a really fortunate place. I think we’ve got quite an affluent country. And people love fashion here. So I think while we are long way away from the rest of the world, I think we have an amazing country that really embraces Australian designers…So we’ve been fortunate to be able to build a really strong business in our backyard.
Do you think living in Australia influences your brand?
Camilla: Certainly. I think the landscape, number one. Light. Colour. It definitely affects our decisions when we’re going through the design process and choosing colours. When you look at say, London life versus Australian life, it’s just so different.
Marc: And likewise, we get to travel a lot. So I think being an Australian, everyone travels. Just to go anywhere is far, whether it’s in Australia or outside of Australia. I think by virtue of the way we live geographically, we get to experience the world and learn by the world. We come from an English lineage, but we really are a melting pot for all nationalities globally. So I think there is a unique lifestyle happening in Sydney, in Australia, that influences us on a daily basis.
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
Camilla: So far, I would say this. There isn’t one. Every day is a journey for us. Every day we are continuing to enjoy, inspire, be challenged. It’s just a continuous journey. I think we are so privileged to be able to do what we do and be able to love what we do, that I just…Every day is a highlight, and it continues.
Marc: Yeah, I was going to say It’s a journey. And that’s what we love about having our own business; that we’re able to go on that journey, and particularly go on that together. The two of us and with our team. So I think there’s no specific one, but it’s the small things that really get us excited.
What’s your number one styling tip?
Camilla: Don’t even start to get dressed until you feel fantastic about yourself. Then when you’ve put all those pieces on, just make sure you’re comfortable, because that’s the most important thing, I think. Every woman should feel confident and comfortable and beautiful in their own skin.
What’s the number one wardrobe essential?
Camilla: A fabulously tailored blazer.
What is your favourite piece from the runway [current collection]?
Camilla: I do. I have a jade Lurex funnel neck top and skirt, that I just can’t wait to wear. And I can’t wear it until the runway is done, so it will be one of my first outfits that I wear.
Do you only ever wear Camilla & Marc?
Camilla: I wear lots of Camilla & Marc, but I definitely wear other brands. I like to mix it up. And then there are days where I’m head to toe.
Where do you see Camilla & Marc in five years time?
Camilla: Continuing to evolve. Continuing to do what we do. Continuing to try and be better at what we do.
Fashion Week Five:
Shows I attended: Camilla and Marc Location: Royal Hall of Industries Fave show: Camilla and Marc of course! Biggest trend I saw: Oversized silhouettes, tailoring, pastel prints and striking tailored blazers The highlight of the day: Seeing Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler on the runway in a green metallic dress. And the set— the transformation of the The Royal Hall of Industries into an Australian desert environment was incredible.
Australian Fashion Week Day One is always an exciting time and one of my favourite events of the week. There’s a lot of buzz as the hectic few days ahead kicks off with one designer headlining the day. This year, one of my favourite designers, Camilla and Marc had the honour of showing on day one so I was excited to pull together my look to attend.
I am all about great suiting at the moment so I couldn’t resist wearing a white Saint Laurent suit. An all-white look is always quite impactful whilst remaining classic. Of course it was also one of the rainiest days we’ve had in Sydney in awhile so I had my work cut out for me keeping everything pristine but I was determined! I particularly love the white cigarette style pant which I’ve always found to be a really flattering cut. I wanted to keep to a single colour palette so a silk shirt in the same colour was the perfect piece to wear underneath the blazer. I also found this to be a really effective, yet subtle way of adding some depth to my outfit.
Accessories were key to this look to avoid it looking too stark. A pair of black embellished Christian Louboutin heels added a punchy statement item to my overall ensemble. Whilst a silver Sandro chain strap bag was an accent piece that helped to add a modern touch to such a traditional look. Here’s to the rest of the week!
Credits: Blazer, Saint Laurent; Pants, Saint Laurent; Shirt, Saint Laurent; (from David Jones) Heels, Christian Louboutin; Bag, Sandro.