“1970″ is worked on to the chest of a sweater; “Je t’aime Jane” reads another; or “Ginsberg is God” — references to Jane Birkin in the music of Serge Gainsbourg, and to the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Bella Freud’s Bohemian childhood seemed to lead her to counter-culture characters.
Of all the references to the Seventies flooding across fashion, Bella Freud is a rare designer who seems to get to the essence of that decade — literally, when it comes to her fragrances. They have the same evocative names as the clothing, presented in the most simple way.
On Net-a-Porter she has a scented candle with her name and logo — as drawn by her late father Lucian Freud, better known for his portraits with psychological depth.
I remember how Bella’s earliest collections, back in the Nineties, always looked prim, pink and pretty, as though she were trying to erase a hippy, trippy childhood so vividly expressed in /Hideous Kinky/, the book about their unconventional young life in Morocco, written by her sister Esther.
But now Bella’s offerings are simple, cool and worn by friends such as It girl Alexa Chung. Wearing a plain sweater with the words “The last poets”, she manages to capture the free-wheeling artistic spirit of the Seventies without a fringe, a flared trouser or a platform-sole sandal in sight.
“Je t’aime Jane” sweater, by Bella Freud Photo by www.net-a-porter.com
“1970” intarsia fine knit from Bella Freud’s sweater range Photo by www.net-a-porter.com