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How Bella Freud's J Brand Collection Is an Authentic Nod to the Rolling Stones: Exclusive

Bella Freud x J Brand
Courtesy of Bella Freud

Bella Freud x J Brand 

Bella Freud is no stranger to stardom, especially considering her lineage—she’s the daughter of artist Lucian Freud and the great granddaughter of Sigmund Freud (yes, the one and only). But her claim to fame is all her own doing. The London-based designer launched her namesake line in 1990, and she went on to garner a cult following for her sparkly lurex ‘70s-inspired knits and cheeky slogan sweaters (It-Brit Alexa Chung is a huge fan of the ‘Je t’aime Jane’ piece in particular).

Now, she’s teamed up with fashion’s favorite denim brand J Brand to drop a 25-piece collection of denim styles, including jeans, a skirt, and a jumpsuit, along with statement cashmere and merino wool knits. The result? A highly wearable (i.e. highly covetable) line-up that successfully fuses elements of Freud’s signature whimsy with J Brand’s craftsmanship. There are straight-leg styles (Freud’s personal favorite, because it’s boyish, but not masculine), ‘70s-inspired wide-leg silhouettes (that’s perfect for dressing up or down), and a sweater embroidered with “Gangs of Love” scrawled across the front (a call, Freud says, “to sisterhood, camaraderie, and fun”).

But it’s more than just your average denim collaboration. At closer glance, it’s a collection that’s, interestingly enough, rooted in music.

“I always used to think what I really wanted to do was be a musician and I just hadn’t dared,” Freud told Business of Fashion about her love for music, specifically the Rolling Stones. So when it came to her inspiration, she was naturally inclined to gravitate toward Anita Pallenberg, along with Jane Birkin and Michelle Phillips. “I think back to the really glamorous girls at school and the women we looked up to for style inspiration,” Freud tells Billboard. “Anita Pallenberg in her cut offs and gold lurex skinny rib sweater and Jane Birkin who made denim seem like the most desirable uniform.”

But it’s Pallenberg that really played a significant role in the making of this collection. As an It girl in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the late Italian actress-slash-model was muse to the Rolling Stones, linked to guitarist Keith Richards (they had three children together), and will forever be remembered as a style icon for her effortlessly chic aesthetic. And that’s why Freud chose Ella Richards, Pallenberg and Keith Richards’ granddaughter and daughter of supermodel Lucie de la Falaise (whose aunt was Loulou de la Falaise, muse to Yves Saint Laurent), to model the J Brand x Bella Freud designs.

"I have been friends with Anita Pallenberg, who is Ella's grandmother, for many years,” Freud says. “Anita has been my style icon since I was 12, so to be able to work with Ella, who is a modern, cool young woman with her own distinguished and original style, on this project was exactly what I wanted—a continuation of the family beauty.”

The J Brand x Bella Freud collection is available now at jbrandjeans.com.

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