Camilla Freeman-Topper

Designer, CAMILLA AND MARC

| Sydney

Take gorgeous beaches, an overarching look-on-the-bright-side spirit and ultra-hip, albeit accessible design (both fashion and interiors) and what do you get? That’d be Australia, kids (PSA: it’s not just kangaroos and shrimp on the barbie). Among its style cognoscenti, of course, is Camilla Freeman-Topper, fashion designer and one half of the coveted womenswear label, CAMILLA AND MARC. Interested in fashion from a young age, her story reads more like fairytale than run-of-the-mill: she started interning for Vogue Australia while studying design in Sydney, moved to Florence on a scholarship for a Masters in fashion design, then celebrated graduation with an offer to debut her collection at Australian Fashion Week (in stark contrast, we left university with a “softer” figure and a small fortune in student loan debt…). Freeman-Topper turned to her brother, Marc, and their shared brand was born. Now nearly 15 years old, the label has become synonymous with chic tailoring and pretty-meets-powerful dressing. Moody floral mini-dresses hang alongside fox fur-trimmed blazers, culottes and crisp cotton, single shoulder shirts— inspired by sources as disparate as architecture, Russian matryoshka dolls and artists Helen Frankenthaler and Pablo Picasso. Freeman-Topper sets the bar when it comes to flattering silhouettes (but really, we’ve never felt more confident than when rocking a C&M frock) so it’s no surprise that the line counts Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss and fellow CP contributor Elaine Welteroth as fans. When she’s not in her studio working on a new collection or rubbing shoulders with such aforementioned beauties, she’s soaking up the best of Sydney with her husband and their own little beauties, Missy, Leudi and Wolfie. Here, Freeman-Topper sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on Sydney.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: There’s a beautiful little spot at the back of an interiors and garden store in Woollahra— one of Sydney’s inner suburbs— called Parterre Café (MAP IT). Set away from the street, it’s incredibly private and intimate, and its charming French provincial styling and menu are outstanding. My favorite dish is the breakfast salad: poached eggs over smoked salmon, brown rice and a preserved lemon dressing.

COFFEE OR TEA: Tea at Little Evie in Surry Hills (MAP IT); they offer the best organic variety of premium teas.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Cho Cho San (MAP IT). It’s always buzzing and the fresh Izakaya menu is perfect for sharing. Try the raw trout!

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A margarita. The best place to order one is Bondi Icebergs (MAP IT)— nothing beats its view over the beautiful Bondi Beach.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: For restaurants, Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point (MAP IT) for a coffee and croissant; Cho Cho San for Japanese; Hubert’s (MAP IT) if you love French; Bondi Icebergs does steak and fries like no one else; Fred’s in Paddington (MAP IT) has the most exquisite menu and bar (it’s situated underground with the best selection of liqueur from around the world. I order red wine and paté— nothing beats it for an intimate date night). For shopping, I recommend walking around Glenmore Road— the best of Australian designers are located there and you’ll find something truly special and unique. Also, the beaches and bays in Sydney are breathtaking; pockets of secluded beaches can be found by the adventurous.

WHERE TO STAY: Either Qualia in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands (MAP IT) or Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains (MAP IT).

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Bondi Beach as the weather warms up. The atmosphere is all encompassing.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Sushi at Jackie’s Café (MAP IT) or a healthy salad at Orchard St (MAP IT)– both on Glenmore Road.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Scampi pasta at Fratelli Paradiso.

SYDNEY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: The little bays in and around Sydney are just so beautiful. Try Red Leaf, Kutti Beach, Parsley Bay or Gordon’s Bay.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Siam Cabana Thai Massage in Bondi (MAP IT), followed by a Japanese dinner and a walk home.

ULTIMATE DAY-TO-NIGHT: I would start the day with cuddles in bed with my three babies and my husband, then do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk followed by breakfast at Three Blue Ducks in Bronte (MAP IT). I’ll often visit the weekend market in King’s Cross to grab something from one of the amazing Middle Eastern food stalls for lunch to enjoy with my children. The afternoon is for relaxing and reading followed by an early evening drink with my husband and dinner at 10 William St. in Paddington (MAP IT)— the perfect day.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is polished, tailored and off-duty. Shopping has been made so easy with online stores like Matches, Net-A-Porter, My Theresa, Opening Ceremony and Luisa Via Roma. For a more personalized service, I love to shop at Parlour X in Paddington (MAP IT); it offers a beautiful selection of luxury and premium brands.

BEST GIFTS: Koskela in Alexandria (MAP IT) has a beautiful selection of art and ethically produced homeware (the accessories, gifts and clothing for children are really special). Their handmade cards are also really delightful.

 ULTIMATE AUSSIE MOMENT: Over the summer, my family spends a lot of time on Sydney harbour. We take off on a mid-week afternoon for a sunset cruise with a few close friends. We eat seafood while we watch the sun go down. CP

Camilla’s Sydney

From L to R: First Row: Coffee at Little Evie; Bite at Cho Cho San; Décor from Koskela; Womenswear at Parlour X. Second Row: Outside Orchard St.; Fred’s; Icebergs Bondi; Cho Cho San.

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