Horse racing has always been a point of fascination for Bella Freud. Back in 1991 the designer made a Super 8 fashion film at Newbury racecourse with James Lebon, now a format deeply embedded in style culture. A charged atmosphere with all aspects of society mixing, the power of dress in that microcosm of raucous and urbane enables a moment – you can be whoever you want to be for an afternoon.
Today, on day three of Glorious Goodwood, Freud has designed a set of graphic racing silks to be worn by Tricia Simonon in the celebrity ladies' race, which includes 90s style magazine stalwart and Corinne Day muse, Rosemary Ferguson as another rider. Kate Moss and Luella Bartley too have imagined racing colours, with an Aladdin Sane lightning bolt and bookish floral propositions. Dazed spoke to Freud about her inspiration – and the magnetism of star prints.
Dazed Digital: What do you love about the races?
Bella Freud: I love the way people dress at the races. I love people dressed to the nines during the day. That formal kind of daywear doesnt really exist anymore except at the races. Also I love the toffs and the working classes being so hand in glove and relying on each other to make the thing happen.
DD: Can you tell us about the design you've created?
Bella Freud: My good friend Tricia Simonon is wearing my design and I asked her which colours she liked. I have an old Schiaparelli jacket made from Naples yellow wool with black embroidery and we both liked that colour scheme. I sent some different designs to her and she picked the Star, that made me happy.
DD: Stars are a recurrent emblem in your designs. Is there a star print you've owned (or designed) that you have fond memories of?
Bella Freud: I love a star print. I always get a lurch if I see a nice one. One of my favourite of my own designs was a star print chiffon shirt I did for Jaeger which I still wear. It was good mix of 70s and cartoon. Somehow stars have a lot of class if they are done right, they never have a shelf life.