Portia Freeman's latest modelling gig is for Uniqlo's ultra-cute debut collaboration with the iconic 1960s Queen of Print, Celia Birtwell. The collection - featuring on point culottes (just wait, you'll see) flirty flippy dresses and pajama shirts - will be launching 21 March. But before the shopping extravaganza (the blue patterned blouse is OURS) wWe caught up with the Brit model, front row favourite and super stylish mama (to heavenly little Dylan) to chat fash...
Grazia Daily: What is your favourite piece in the Celia Birtwell collection and how will you wear it?
Portia Freeman: I adore the culottes and shirt outfit I'm wearing in one of the pictures that's been released. I love wearing grey and I love the cute pattern on it too. I think it would look great with either heels or flats.
Grazia Daily: Do you own any vintage Celia Birtwell pieces? And are you a fan of the ‘70s?
Portia Freeman: I am lucky enough to own an Ossie Clark dress in a bold Celia Birtwell print. I found it years ago at a really cute vintage store (which sadly no longer exists) on the King’s Road called Steinberg and Tolkien. When I first spotted it, I knew that it was one of those pieces that nobody else had seen and I wanted it to stay that way! so I rushed straight into the store with tunnel vision and tried it on as soon as I could. I am a huge fan of '70s fashion. I love the high waisted trousers and floaty blouses of that period and it’s definitely a look which I always look out for particularly when vintage shopping, however I do like to add a modern twist whether that be through a tailored jacket or fabulous heels.
Grazia Daily: The last time we bumped into you at fashion week you were really enjoying a trouser suit – how’s that going?
Portia Freeman: I still love wearing trouser suits. I completely fell in love with a polka dotted one by Orla Kiely which I wore to Matthew Williamson's show. I've also worn some killer suits on photo shoots -a great excuse to try them on. I currently have my eye on a Paul Smith number.
Grazia Daily: Tell us a bit about your involvement with Global Kids Fashion Week?
Portia Freeman: I'm so excited to be involved with Global Kids Fashion Week. It's a great way to celebrate children's fashion, which I don't think is recognised enough especially with the lesser known and emerging designers. Since having my son I've entered the world of children's fashion and I love it! I am really looking forward to the show in March!
Grazia Daily: Is your son Dylan a fussy dresser? Or can you pop him in anything?
Portia Freeman: Dylan is a great dressing up doll! He's still at an age where I can dress him in pretty much what I like but he's now starting to recognise items of clothing in shops if he likes them. He loves a patterned shirt with a jumper over the top and brightly patterned socks.
Grazia Daily: What are your earliest fashion memories?
Portia Freeman: My earliest fashion memory has to be when I was about four, wearing my godmother's oversized heels outside in the pouring rain pushing my dolls’ pushchair. I've always loved heels. As a child I loved looking at my grandmothers collection and trying to walk in those too so you can say I caught the shoe bug at an early age!
Grazia Daily: What can you not live without during LFW?
Portia Freeman: I can't live without a good pair of high heels from Charlotte Olympia and Vita Coco coconut water ! I am seriously addicted to both!
Portia with front row pal Tallulah Harlech and with her son Dylan and hubbie Pete Denton.
Grazia Daily: Who do you like to hit the front row and parties with?
Portia Freeman: I always love bumping into the model and actress Tallulah Harlech and the presenter Laura Jackson for a a good front row giggle and catch up.
Grazia Daily: What’s been your favourite ever fashion shoot and why?
Portia Freeman: I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked on so many fashion shoots with some seriously talented people, however a favourite which always pops out in my mind would have to be when Dylan was asked to shoot with me for Vogue Italia. We were both shot by the amazing Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello. Dylan was such a good boy. He took it all in his stride with no complaints. I was beyond proud of him. It was shot in Paris so my mum came along too for extra support so it was a nice little trip for us all.
Grazia Daily: When did you first think that you could make a career out of modelling?
Portia Freeman: It's strange because before I had my son I kind of just went along with the flow of life and went down which ever route modelling would take me, but now I really want to make sure I can give my family the best life I can, so I'm working hard at doing that.
Grazia Daily: Who is your style icon?
Portia Freeman: I love loads of different people for their style. I'm currently obsessing over Bridget Bardot and Goldie Hawn in the 60's and am constantly Googling them or watching their movies for inspiration.
Grazia Daily: What do you think are the best and worst things about LFW?
Portia Freeman: The best things about Fashion Week has to be being lucky enough to sit front row and admire the designers new collection. I love being part of that. I also love bumping into people who I don't necessarily get the chance see a lot. The worst thing about London Fashion Week would have to be if I get hungry and don't have time to eat as I’m rushing between show venues and also if it rains!
Grazia Daily: What’s been your biggest fashion disaster? A particular outfit you really wish never happened?
Portia Freeman: I most definitely suffered a lot of fashion mistakes throughout the '90s. Looking back I remember being in love with a floor length white puffa coat with a fluffy faux fur hood and worn with chunky silver jewellery… Yum... Enough said…