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.
There are times when the occasion dictates my outfit but sometimes it’s the other way around and an outfit just appeals to me. As was the case with this Camilla and Marc dress. I first fell in love with the colour. The bold hue is striking and just has a confident vibe to it—I think that’s the case for anything red! And then I saw the beautiful intricate lace and it was game over—I knew I needed to wear it. It adds some great texture while also being quite a striking feature that really lifts the entire dress. The bell sleeves also gave it quite a romantic sensibility which made it perfect for a luncheon I was attending.
As far as my accessories went, I think gold is always a great colour to pair with red as they both lift each other. Keeping this in mind I opted for my favourite gold Gucci heels with pearl detail. I kept the rest of my look quite simple with a simple black velvet Gucci clutch with gold insignia and cat eye sunglasses.When wearing such a standout colour I think it always pays to dial down the rest of your accoutrements to allow it to take centre stage.
Attending events is always fun but there’s something special about going to something that’s supporting such a great cause. I recently attended the Bistro Moncur charity ladies’ luncheon which was raising funds for SISTER2sister, an organisation that helps ‘at risk’ teenage girls make better choices for a positive future.
It was a stunning afternoon at Bistro Moncur, a restaurant in Sydney’s Mosman. From the absolutely gorgeous floral installation to the incredible food and catching up with guests like Today co-host Georgie Gardener, it was a lovely way to spend a day, whilst also helping a worthy cause.
The charity luncheon raised an astounding $68,000 which will be donated in full to Sydney-based charity, SISTER2sister. The lunch was to drive awareness and raise much-needed funds which will go towards empowering young women to reach their limitless potential.
I’m a firm believer that off duty style doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice looking polished. Don’t get me wrong—super casual lounge wear definitely has a place in my life but sometimes when I’m out and about I want to adopt a considered look without sacrificing comfort. This is when I rely on a great dress. This Camilla and Marc number is unfussy, with a simple silhouette, making it a blank canvas from which to build an outfit, but the exposed shoulder detail gives it a point of interest. Adding touches of colour are great when working with white so I opted for my metallic Maje knotted slides and classic monogrammed Louis Vuitton backpack. Given backpacks have now had a stylish reboot, far far away from the bag you may remember carrying to school, they’re a great option on days when you’re on the go and have a million things to do. They’re especially a godsend for mums—free hands are a necessity when wrangling little ones. I never leave the house without a pair of sunglasses so my Poms black frames are a must.
When it comes to my wardrobe I generally tend to favour lots of neutrals and muted tones. I gravitate towards shades that can easily be worked back with the rest of my wardrobe seamlessly but every so often I’ll want to wear a vibrant hue. This navy jumpsuit has a classic feel from the silhouette to the colour, but for a day look it was calling out to be paired with a bold pop of colour to give it a more casual feel. A simple tote is one of my go-tos when I’m out and about and in a bright red it gave my ensemble a fun touch. When working with such a intense colour, I wanted to let it take centre stage so I chose simple accessories. My favourite white Gucci sneakers and black sunglasses seemed the right fit whilst the addition of a pair of drop earrings help to lift the entire ensemble. When it comes to days where I’m out and about, I always like to make a point to turn a casual off duty outfit into something with a little polish without sacrificing comfort and in this instance, a little colour really went a long way.
We’re halfway through summer already and it’s at this point when your current season wardrobe can sometimes start to feel tired. The novelty of pulling out your warm weather clothes and rediscovering them again has worn off and you may feel the urge to buy something new to refresh you current looks. If you’re planning on indulging in a little retail therapy it’s a great idea to opt for pieces that you can get plenty of wear out of and can be transformed into several different ensembles. If you want to ensure you get maximum cost per wear, these five things definitely offer longevity and versatility.
The cold shoulder dress
The cold shoulder silhouette has cemented its place as one of the key trends of the season so it’s a great style to opt for when it comes to dresses. Grab one in a crisp white and you’ll definitely get plenty of wear out of it.
My pick: This Paxos number incorporates a few dramatic touches such as ruffles and bell sleeves, making it a standout piece.
High waisted denim skirt
A denim skirt should have a permanent place in your summer wardrobe simply because of its sheer versatility. Tees, singlets, button downs… the list of its possible pairings is lengthy.
When it comes to swimwear I always go for neutrals and no prints as I find I always get more wear out them that way. A plain black swimsuit or bikini is a must but look for interesting finishing touches to inject a little personality.
My pick: Marysia do gorgeous styles in plain bold colours that more than stand out in a crowd. This top and bottom can be mixed with other pieces in the range if you want to change things up but they work so beautifully together that you’re guaranteed to have them on high rotation.
The colourful slides
Slides are the footwear of choice this season so why not have some fun with them? Look for bright colours, textured finishes and embellishments.
I’m all for a sleek pared back look but there are times when I want to embrace something that’s rich in details. This Camilla and Marc dress definitely falls into the latter and is the perfect piece for this time of year. The frilled neckline adds a unique touch and is an eye-catching feature that turns it into something beyond a garden variety summer frock. The gorgeous print is understated allowing the ruffles to stand out and really make a statement. In keeping with the feminine vibe of this look, my Gucci slides with painted floral motif seemed the perfect fit whilst simultaneously grounding the look with its structured silhouette. My burgundy top handle bag adds a touch of colour whilst being the ideal contrast to the peachy shades of the dress. Black sunglasses and a bold pair of drop earrings are the ideal accessories, making for a strong statement without being overwhelming.
Everything about this ensemble by Fendi is bold and vibrant which is perfect for another busy day at Fashion Week. As soon as I saw the balloon sleeves of this blouse I knew I wanted to continue the voluminous silhouette by pairing it with culottes. The waved pattern on the pants and the waved detailing on the blouse help give the outfit continuity along with the hints of blue in both. When it comes to volume it was important to have the nipped in waist of the pants in order to avoid the outfit from overwhelming my frame and the streamlined heels to act as a counterpoint to the billowy nature of the rest of my look. I also decided upon a forest green Camilla and Marc coat to complement the blue tones in my pants and blouse and kept accessories to a minimum-just a pair of Celine sunglasses and a simple Jerome Dreyfuss clutch.