Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sibling revelry: Fashion Week openers Camilla and Marc crack page one

Sydney's brother-and-sister fashion act Camilla and Marc Freeman are on a roll. First they scored the highly-coveted opening spot at Australian Fashion Week: 9am on Monday April 30th. And now they've made the cover of one of the world's most influential fashion publications: US fashion trade 'bible' Women's Wear Daily.

The Freemans are part of a double-page story inside Tuesday's edition about up-and-coming labels in the US market, from which their image was selected for page one - with their names, a brief backgrounder and stockist CV splashed all over same.

And while they are not the first antipodians to make WWD's cover - Collette Dinnigan was the first back in 1996, followed more recently by a handful of other names notably Josh Goot, Dinosaur Designs and Lover and Kiwis Trelise Cooper and Karen Walker - it's a pretty significant coup, not to mention a great leadin to their Fashion Week show.

"Marc and I are really excited that camilla and marc has made the cover of WWD, hopefully this is a positive sign of things to come for the label in the USA" Camilla Freeman told Fashion Season.

"We have also just confirmed [high profile UK- and now also US-based online retailer] net-a-porter.com as a stockist, which is great news as they are such a respected online store. All this good news has made the hard work involved in our RAFW show that much easier!"

I'm not going to pretend that was a first-hand quote.

You may get to hear from Alber Elbaz, Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs et al while Fashion Season is on the road but back in Sydney we have to make do with statements from twentysomething designers' publicists. Such is life. Australian designers are clearly busy bees these days. So much of the world to conquer, so little time.

But look, the Freemans have a charming, feminine signature, a great story and I wish them well. I mean come on, how many brother-and-sister fashion acts are there? Well OK, maybe Gianni and Donatella Versace and Christopher and Tammy Kane and then of course Rebecca Davies and her brother and Belinda Seper and her Joburg-based bro..... but that said, it's fairly unusual you have to admit. Camilla, 25, is a graduate of the Whitehouse Institute of Design and Marc, 27, has, I kid you not, an engineering degree from the University of NSW.

What else can I tell you? They will open Fashion Week down at the Sydney Theatre Company - using one long front row stretched along the STC boards between the Hickson Road entrance and the restaurant. The collection, in a muted palette, is described as "a strong collection of modern directional silhouettes paired back with feminine timeless fabrics".

Bring it on.

Patty Huntington is a contributor to Women's Wear Daily.

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