Interview: Camilla And Marc

Australia’s brother-sister design duo Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman debuted their Spring/Summer 2011-12 collection between the spectacularly ornate walls of the Sydney State Theatre foyer last Thursday (5 May) for Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. The collection, which the named “Infinite Variability”, merged the sporty silhouettes which featured heavily throughout the week (wide-leg pants, singlets, strong jacket shoulders, tees) with luxe fabrications: jacquards, silks and suede. Now that the main event on the national fashion calendar has wrapped and the clothes have gone to market, Pedestrian asked the Freeman-Topper how the response has been and what’s up next for Camilla and Marc?…

Last week you debuted the collection at your RAFW show – How does it feel? Now – we feel exhilarated and inspired to continue creating wonderful things!

What were you doing in the moments before the first model walked out? – Do the two of you have a pre-show ritual? Marc and I always steal a moment together before the show to chat through things and give each other a big hug and kiss.

You showed in Sydney’s State Theatre – who came up with that concept? The concept we gave to our creative director and producer was to find a venue that was both intimate but decadent, heavily decorated and ornate. Be it a grand old home or a theatre… They instantly looked back at us and said ‘we have the perfect venue’. And so it was…

Does showing in such a spectacular venue make you more nervous? Is it intimidating? No in fact quite the opposite, not intimidating at all. It was intriguing and exciting and we felt we had so many incredible elements to work with. As soon as the tech run-through commenced, the music and lighting came on both Marc and I looked at each other without saying a word and knew that the guests were going to be in for quite an experience.

What a strong collection. It was really bold. The fabrication and the colour and the prints… Where did this come from? What inspired this direction in your designs? We were on a trip to Paris to select our fabrics for the season and at the back of our minds we felt this collection was going to take a new direction for the brand but we weren’t sure at that point what that was going to be. From the moment we saw the Baroque-inspired jacquards it clicked. It took us on a wonderful journey of referencing the past but knowing that it also needed a fresh contemporary injection. This injection came from bold colours and razor sharp tailoring coupled with the exaggerated volumunious silhouettes.

Did you have a particular muse that inspired your clothes this season? We have an amazing group of friends who inspire us everyday.

Can you explain a little about your concept of “Infinite Variability” and how it relates to the clothes… Interpretations vary between people. These infinite interpretations can be rather interesting and inspiring. Especially through the creative process of this collection our team were constantly seeing new and different interpretations from one another which in turn inspired us to take on new challenges and elements

You and Marc work so closely together. Do you ever have bust ups? We practically live in each other’s pockets. If we aren’t working together we are socialising together. At times it can be challenging however we are very honest with each other so we waste little time beating around the bush.

The styling for the show was fantastic. How did you end up partnering with Michelle Jank? It was all about timing, sometimes life does that to you… What a magical experience it has been to work with Michelle she is a brilliant creative genius who will inspire us and hopefully be part of our lives forever.

How has the response to the collection been so far? It has been overwhelming. People have been so amazing, positive and supportive.

So now that the show’s over what’s next for you guys? Spend some much needed time with the kids, playing, laughing and just having fun. If we are lucky maybe have a rest for a minute. Then we will commence working on our winter collection and planning some exciting projects we have in the pipeline for both here and overseas.