I think we all have those magic pieces of clothing that have a special place on the “Wish List Wonders” list. I’m not talking of the unattainable, crazy-wait-list, custom-made items from bloody Hermes or Valentino?!?
I’m talking of the item that is just not quite within reach of your current life budget. The item that will take a little more than a few Ebay sales or a wait for next month’s pay cheque to obtain. The item that, if you eventually do get to buy it, then because you’ve lusted after it for months (maybe years?) you’ll treasure it for years. I feel this way about my Alexander McQueen skull scarf & my Lulu Guinness Lips clutch – both gifted to me from my über stylish Mum who completely appreciates the finer things in life. The iconic pieces from your little world, whatever they may be, just make you smile.
An item that had pride of place on my Wish List Wonders is…….A Bella Freud jumper.
I first fell in love with this beauty when I spotted one of my style queens, Kate Moss, wearing one to tea a few years back.
I have since been ohh-ing and ahh-ing at the sights of Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Sam Taylor Wood, Laura Bailey and Poppy Delevingne ever since!
I can’t tell you what the magic is of this jumper to me is – I just bloody adore it. There is no doubt that in my days before kiddliwinks, young free and single, I would already be a proud owner of this beauty. Actually, I’d probably have both of my favourite versions, the 1970 and the Ginsberg is God. In my early 20’s, I used to work at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Like the rest of the young hip nursing dollies, we would do agency nursing bank shifts during any large working breaks in our shift schedule to earn extra pennies. I recall a lovely girl who would purposely work an extra two nursing shifts a month just to gather the guilt free shopping funds. The majority of her pay cheque was taken by her ‘living it up’ London lifestyle and flat rent in lovely Islington. I know, without a doubt, I would have scheduled myself three shifts over a couple of months and then promptly skipped to Bella and bought the jumper. Alas, I’m no longer in my carefree 20’s!!! Any pocket-money is not only jointly earned but shared between the four members of the well deserving crew in my house. Ebay is my source of my guilt free shopping funds now – even then, it takes time to list stuff and post out during my lunch break. So, this baby will just sit beautifully as a member of my wish list wonders. For now, for now!
A little night-time insomnia (see how those night shifts came in handy!!) has led me down the garden path of discovering a few more details about Bella Freud’s life and career. She is one cool chick. Maybe not surprising as she comes from quite the family dynasty.
Bella, born 1961, is the daughter of Bernadine Coverley and the artist Lucien Freud, many consider him to be the greatest British artist of his time. She has a full sibling being her sister, writer Esther Freud (married to actor David Morrisey) who wrote the memoir of their hippie childhood in Morocco, “Hideous Kinky”. It is acknowledged that she has 12 half siblings. Her Uncle Sir Clement Freud, the writer, broadcaster and MP is the father to her cousin Emma Freud (partner is writer & director Richard Curtis). Bella is also the great-granddaughter of the inventor of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. Tragically, I learned that her father, Lucien Freud, died at the age of 88 followed four days later by the death of her mother, 68 years, to cancer. Bella is married to James Fox, author of The book “White Mischief”, and they have a son, Jimmy, 14 yrs (Christian Louboutin is his godfather).
Bella’s fashion career started by working for Vivienne Westwood in the 80’s. After studying fashion and tailoring in Rome, she returned to work for Westwood and cites her ‘refusal to keep fashion in a box’ as an influence on her own career. She spent a year working for Stirling Cooper, which was a London-based retailer that helped to redefine UK fashion in the late 60’s, with brands such as Biba, Browns and Clobber. She undertook consultancy work for the British fashion company Jaeger during the 90’s and has been responsible for the relaunch and revamp of fashion house, Biba. She has also waved her magic wand over Miss Selfridge and Barbour.
Freud worked with John Malkovich in 1999 to produce three short films in 48 hours. This is where her ‘Ginsberg is God’ slogan comes from. The short film “Hideous Man” is about beatnik girls waiting around at a club for their favourite poet to arrive. Bella wanted one of the girls to have the equivalent to the band tee. This amazing jumper was the result!
Bella has also contributed to the Sunday Telegraph magazine, Stella with a column called “Bella on Beauty”.
It was 2007 that Bella launched her own knitwear collection. The Telegraph described it by saying: ‘… there is iconic quality to her clothes – slinky tailored suits and eccentrically chic knitwear, classically English with a dash of sex, drugs or rock’n’roll – snatched up not just by Chung but by many other sultans of swing, Kate Moss, Sophie Dahl, Madonna, Courtney Love. They contain wit and playfulness, jokes that feel ‘in’ even if they aren’t. (When Jane Birkin misread the slogan ‘Ginsberg is God’, on a Freud sweater, as an homage to her late husband, Serge Gainsbourg, Freud designed a new, limited-edition one, reading ‘Je t’aime Jane’ with ‘Gainsbourg is God’ on the back.) Over the past decade if a company – Jaeger, Biba or Barbour – needed a designer to sprinkle the magic dust of cool, it was Freud they choose’. Retrieved from The Fashion Telegraph interview 12 November 2012 http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG9658195/Bella-Freud-bares-all.html
Bella is very actively involved with her charity working with children through artistic, educational and sports-based activities inspiration in Jordan, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza, co-founded with Karma Nabulsi.
So there we go, no wonder we are drawn to and adore Bella Freud. I want to own one of her sweaters even more now! One day, one day. Her style is most definitely up my street, but the fact that she has come from a creatively rich family and pursue’s a passion for helping children through the arts in the middle east – all hail, Bella Freud.
The justification rounds
In true form to my absolutely ridiculous world, you know I have already worked out the cost per wear and the outfit combos for this jumper. I have dissected every eventuality it can skip along too. If you need any help on the justification front, then so far I have………..
Round one (ding ding)
1) £280 can you wear it 280 times over a lifetime?
It’s a question that is way too responsible when dealing with an iconic fashion piece. What am I even thinking? But you know what? Probably…….could I?…………Hell yeah!!!
2) It’s merino wool so I reckon it is good for Spring, chilly Summer days (especially if visiting the UK!!) Fall & Winter.
3) On a practical front (I’m now a mum with two boys and a gallon of stain remover in my laundry room) it’s handwash and so can easily be looked after. Afterall, this will go no where near the family laundry basket!
4) It’s a statement piece. It’s iconic. It’s cool. It’s bloody Bella!!!
5) Dress up, dress down…..done!
6) Perfectly compliments denim, leather & black. Are they in your wardrobe? Yep, they are in mine. Done and dusted!!
Round two (ding ding)
You need a lifter and your hair is a mess. You are late for the Friday night Vernissage at the art gallery this evening. What do you wear? :
Bella jumper + black faux leather skirt + ankle boots + red lip and make the hair even messier.
Dinner at friends:
Ready to guzzle back that bottle of red and have a good laugh with a lovely dinner your mate has cooked up? Out comes to play the army jacket + the black ripped jeans + the Chelsea boot + little black clutch. You’re good to go!
Off to a posh exhibit in Montreal? Want to be hip but without trying? What do you wear?
Bella jumper + skinny jeans + black blazer + heeled boot. Woop Woop!
Night with the lovely girls:
It maybe the pub, the new bistro, the favourite haunt that you all know instantly what you’re ordering. Before you all launch into the crazy hilarious mad catch up. You are fondling and admiring the pieces that have come out to play. Amongst the bracelets, cool skirts, detailed ankle boots, new jacket that is flying off Zara’s shelves is……….Bella Freuds jumper + denim skirt + biker boots + copious amounts of red wine and laughs!
Shopping day out somewhere nice with a mate. Comfy (will be trying stuff on) but cool (you will be spotted & appreciated) What do you wear?
Bella jumper + flared dark jeans + leather jacket + Stan smiths.
Dinner with hubby:
Rare but much-needed. It wouldn’t be anywhere grand. Just lovely food and a good catch up conversation not centred around the children or fixing the house.
Bella jumper + leather/faux leather trousers + black jacket + studded ankle boots (not romantic, but after all he knows me well enough by now!!)
I’m a believer that life is short and to smell the roses along the way. I am a complete and utter displaced Brit trying to make the best of living somewhere that is not easy for me to thrive in. Just because a country speaks the same language does not mean they are similar in culture. This jumper would be my little bit of ‘home’. I believe you take care of the things that are precious but that they also shouldn’t be saved for special occasions behind glass or tissue paper. Sometimes the fact that it is a Tuesday and I survived the parent teacher night without telling the teacher to get a grip and do her job, I survived work without sticking my fingers up at the moaning groaning individual who doesn’t know how lucky they are and that I did the weeks groceries in my lunch break fitting in the post office to post the Ebay shoes I’ve sold. This is enough to celebrate, laugh at the ridiculousness of it all but also count my blessings that myself and my little crew are healthy. It’s like using the sterling silver cutlery for everyday. Why? Why not!
Bella jumper + boyfriend ripped jeans + Stan smiths + a big bloody smile on my face!
The winner is……..
See, I told you I was good. I have had a life time to perfect this!! Agency nursing night shifts aren’t always easy work and have to be worth it!! As soon as the funds or opportunity are there than Bella needs to come to me!
Which one do you want?? I dare you to visit Bellafreud.com
What I’m wearing today # OOTD
Madewell blue embroidered top
Gap 1969 destructed boyfriend jeans
Birkenstock White Madrid sandals
Tootle Pip x