Camilla and Marc is one of our absolute favourite Australian fashion brands. They constantly push boundaries, but present just the right combination of fashion and wearability in their collections. Their designs are always aesthetically beautiful and have a modern sophistication that remain timeless.
Camilla Freeman-Topper, talented designer and one half of the power team behind the highly acclaimed label, Camilla and Marc, shared with us her insight into the fashion industry. We love her approach to hard work, conscious attention to design and her advice on balancing business and art.
When was the moment that you realised you were creative?
There wasn’t really a specific moment when I realised I was creative but, rather, something that was always quite natural to me. I studied art at school and for extra-curricular activities so expressing myself creatively has always been part of my DNA.
Did you try any other careers or projects before your current profession became successful?
I was very fortunate to show my graduating collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2003, straight after completing my Masters in Italy. The interest generated by the buyers and media who attended, enabled Marc and I to start the CAMILLA AND MARC brand at the age of 21 and 23.
What is your go-to snack?
Always fresh fruit, at the moment, its raspberries.
What are three items that you always carry with you?
My iPhone, Lucas’ Paw Paw cream and fresh water.
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
Always give 110% in everything you do.
What is one piece of advice for someone wishing to pursue a career in fashion design?
Remember to stay true to yourself and your message, and your designs will always be authentic. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of balancing art and commerce.
What is your favourite flower?
Pale pink David Austin roses.
What is your signature scent?
Jean-Paul Gaultier Eau du Parfum.
When you design, who are you designing for?
I design for myself, friends, colleagues and our loyal CAMILLA AND MARC clientèle.
What skills are important to start your own fashion label?
Creativity to produce unique designs, a strong business acumen to ensure longevity, and a thick skin to overcome any obstacles throughout your journey.
For your most recent collection, where did you draw inspiration from?
We explored the many forms of light and shade, including the concept of reflection and refraction. The artist James Turrell’s magnificent installations also inspired some of the graphic prints, cuts and textures used throughout the collection.
Name a designer, past or present, that you admire?
Alexander McQueen because of his incredible abilities in tailoring, draping and creating form. He was a spectacular and hugely intelligent designer.
Describe your design aesthetic in a few words?
Soft tailoring. Strong silhouettes. Luxurious fabrications.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I get huge satisfaction knowing that our clientèle choose CAMILLA AND MARC designs for special moments in their lives such as their birthday, an anniversary, a bridal party, their child’s christening, etc.