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Thursday, 4th Sep 2014
Pictured above - Bella Freud with collection model Adwoa Aboah
New for AW14, we are proud to launch our first collaboration with British womens knitwear designer Bella Freud. The Bella Freud Blank Canvas collection is available in Laurel Wreath Collection stores and Fred Perry online now.
We met up with Bella to discuss the collection, and discover the influences behind it -
Born in London and studied in Rome, Bella Freud has established herself over the past 20 years at the forefront of British women's knitwear design.
Launching her eponymous label in 1990, Bella quickly went on to win Most Innovative Designer Of The Year at the 1991 Fashion Awards. She is perhaps best known for her signature "Je t'aime Jane", "Ginsberg Is God" and "1970" jumpers, alongside her work in fashion film collaborating with John Malkovich, Lara Stone and Anita Pallenberg amongst others.
Bella, hello its lovely to meet you
Hello, its lovely to meet you also
I'm really interested to hear about the influences behind the collection, I get a strong sense of dancehall and reggae music influence when I look at it
Definitely. I've always loved how people look and dress on the reggae scene - they always look so stylish and well turned out. I remember being 10 years old and being in Dalston in East London where there is a large West Indian population, and being intrigued by how people dress - they always looked so cool! I kept this in mind when designing the collection and it was definitely a direct influence.
Is reggae and dancehall music, and the scene around it something you are personally into?
I love reggae music! Growing up my favourite band was called Matumbi who were one of the biggest British reggae bands of the 1970s and 80s. If you look at pictures of them now they always looked so smart and turned out. They are a great band.
Not just the music, I love the scene too - from the hardcore rastas to people really enjoying dancehall music - its got such a great vibe. As a designer I find the whole aesthetic endlessly appealling and I wanted to incorporate this into my collection for Fred Perry - a brand that also has roots in this scene.
Ah yes, the collaboration with Fred Perry - how did this come about. Obviously you are a well known British women's designer...
It was suggested to me and I was really keen. I've always admired Fred Perry as a brand, I've always found it to be quite a personal brand - people get really involved with it, and it's never ever bland. I see it as being very honest, bold and British so I thought it was a good match for my ideas.
Alongside the knitwear in the collection, you also got to reinvent the iconic Fred Perry Shirt - how did that feel?
Initially quite daunting! I love the Fred Perry Shirt - I wear the Fred Perry Shirt! I think as a piece of clothing it is quite perfect as it is. However it was really fun to get to put my own stamp upon it. I made the collars bigger to reflect the era I had in mind, and played with the tipping. Something I really enjoyed was translating the reggae influences into my collection. Stars feature throughout, and these are a direct reference to reggae artists - I always found them so flashy when growing up wearing all their jewellery and pins. The stars are about taking the Fred Perry Shirt and adding in that element, adding that flashy reference to the collection.
The model used in the shoot for the collection is extremely striking - did you choose her personally?
Yes! The model is Adwoa Aboah. Shes gorgeous isn't she. I've known her Mum for years and I've seen her grow up and get more and more beautiful. I thought she'd be a great fit for this collection, and it was an honour to involve somebody I've known since a child in my work
There is a Fashion Film to accompany the collection also, I know you had a background in film alongside design - did you direct it?
I didn't direct the film this time around, but I did come up with the concept for it. It's all about dancing, but dancing for yourself. Everybody dances in their bedroom at some point - even if they don't want to admit it!
I love the song featured in the film
Yes, its called "Girlie Girlie" by Sophia George. Its a reggae classic from the eighties. I think the collection is very feminine, so it seemed like the ideal choice to soundtrack it.
(see the film online here > http://bit.ly/YdY3Uk )
There are also accessories in the collection..
Yes, hats and scarves sit alongside the main collection. I wanted to convey a sense of fun. Going back to what I said earlier about making the collection flashy - the accessories are an extension of that. I wanted to make the collection feel special, and adding a hat or a scarf feels a bit like adding a bit of flash to your outfit - it adds an extra something. I really like that idea.
Bella, thank you for your time
No problem, lovely to meet you.
Pictured below, Bella Freud at the Bella Freud Blank Canvas Collection launch at Celestine Eleven in London.
Our women's Blank Canvas collaboration with Bella Freud is sold in Laurel Wreath Collection stores - find your nearest store > http://bit.ly/1ojcdgu
View the collection online here > http://bit.ly/1rNUqkU
See the fashion film that accompanies the collection here > http://bit.ly/YdY3Uk
Thursday, 14th Aug 2014
As part of our men’s Sports Authentic range, we recently launched a new collection of archive-inspired track jackets (See the range online here > http://bit.ly/1lDbEtf)
Inspiration for the collection came from the Britpop movement of the 90’s, taking inspiration from the Britpop bands of the era such as Blur, Pulp, Elastica and Oasis amongst others.
As a brand Fred Perry also has its own unique heritage and history surrounding the track jacket. Fred Perry started producing track jackets as part of our main sportswear line in the 1970’s, where they quickly found popularity as a casualwear item alongside being used as a sports jacket.
By the 1980’s the track jacket had become an essential piece of casual clothing, seen all over the country from nightclubs to tennis courts to terraces.
When designing the new Sports Authentic track jacket collection, we delved deep into the Fred Perry archives - alongside taking inspiration from the 90s Britpop movement – looking at past designs to ensure the new collection stayed true to the roots of the brand.
Here are some images we found from Fred Perry Sportswear catalogues, originally from the early 1980's. Whilst our design remains authentic, perhaps it’s a good thing our marketing has moved forward somewhat…
View our new range of Sports Authentic track jackets online here > http://bit.ly/1lDbEtf
Our Sports Authentic Track Jackets are available now in Fred Perry Authentic stores, find your nearest store here > http://bit.ly/1ojcdgu
Monday, 14th Apr 2014
Established in the summer of 1982, Southsea Deckchairs are the small UK company responsible for the majority of deckchairs you see in our Royal Parks and dotted along the British coastlines. We paid a visit to Southsea Beach to explore the setting that inspired this enduring British deckchair company.
Classic striped deckchairs were originally designed so that each colour represented a different seaside resort, making it more difficult for them to be removed from their righful spot. Alongside our clothing collaboration, Southsea Deckchairs have created a limited edition run of deckchairs sporting red and navy stripes, based on the Fred Perry tipping dimensions. See our men's and women's collaboration collections with Southsea Deckchairs online and in our Authentic shops now.