Bella Freud may have collaborated with a quintessentially LA brand, but she celebrated the launch of J Brand X Bella Freud in true British style. Held in an English country style garden near her west London home, Bella invited her friends and celebrity fans of the brand including Alison Mosshart, Laura Bailey and Scarlett Curtis to a traditional tea party with a fashion twist. Think cushions embossed with her 1970 branding, waiters wearing Bella branded white shirts serving tea and cocktails, while a miniature Shetland pony added extra Instabait. 'I always walk by this garden and thought what an amazing place it would be to hold a party so when this came up I was like I have the perfect place,' Bella explained.
Although, it's Bella's first collaboration with J Brand the results make you think why hasn't it happened sooner. Consisting of 17 pieces its the perfect fusion of laid back LA style and Bella's Seventies vibes including wide legged jeans, retro denim jackets and slogan sweatshirts. Here Bella talks us through it...
'When it comes to jeans I always either go for a boy cut or a wide leg shape, like the Jane ones I designed and I'm wearing today. They suit me. And pretty much nothing else does. Growing up, denim wasn’t really a thing like it is now but I was always interested in it. I still remember my first pair, slightly paled turquoise coloured pair from the Kings Road. I didn’t get loads of new things in those days so to go to a shop and find something that fitted me so well was magical. And I think that’s the power of clothes. They can make you feel really good so you can forget about what you’re wearing and you can just be your best self.'
'When buying jeans the most important thing to look for is a pair that makes you have a good ass and long legs and then you’re winning. Styling wise I wear them with a platform when I’m making an effort but I’ll wear them with plimsolls too. It’s quite nice having something that fits with a high shoe and then you can wear them with a low shoe and have them drag on the ground.'
'The Gangs of Love jumper is another one of my favourite pieces. I love those words. Inspiration wise, I was thinking about Californian and LA and how LA is gentle but then there's the tough side to it too with the gangs. But there is also the love. For me, it's about the inclusion rather than the exclusion. I was thinking of the feminism of inclusion too and including men. It’s just about caring for each other.'
'I liked to have the LA girl as a type of muse and I was thinking about her and the words that are relevant to her. My muses are always Michelle Phillips, Kate Spade photography, and my late friend Anita Pallenberg. Women like Anita were raising awareness of issues for the first time in the 70s and it's like that has all been rediscovered now. There's a fresh feeling of urgency. For me it's thinking about how to get people to be interested in issues rather than telling them what to do. Fashion is a really powerful communicator. And the message is even more relevant today.'
'The greatest style lesson that Anita gave me is not ever being closed off to what could make a good look. She was so open and so discerningly so. That combination meant there was nothing ever lazy about how she dressed. She was brilliant. So to have her granddaughter Ella in the campaign was such a great fit. I’ve always wanted to work with her and this just felt perfect.'