Freya Flavell made her way to Portland all the way from Melbourne earlier this year. Motivated by love to make such a long distance move, her Ruth Radelet meets Jane Birkin features and impressive mix n’ match style convinced me right away to add her the Sister Style ranks. Her closet boasts treasures from her grandmother’s closet, collected vintage items, and indie Australian labels which come together on her beautifully thanks to her eye for mixing patterns, texture, and color.
By day Freya slings toys and cupcakes but in her free time she illustrates quirkily beautiful women dressed in what I have to imagine are Freya’s dream outfits, her drawings removing the limitations of sartorial reality. I met up with her a few months ago and was immediately cheered by her charming orange Victorian home and sweet demeanor. We talked travel and the Melbourne design scene over tea, and then we took some pictures –
VGS: What is your first fashion related memory?
F: I used to have an amazing 50s style salmon pink tiered dress with silver sparkly ric-rac trim. My first fashion memory is wearing this dress around our Seattle home at about age 6. When we moved to Australia it came with me and stayed in our dress up box for years, but sadly I grew out of it. Before I moved to Portland at the start of this year I gave it to a best friend’s daughter. It felt good to pass on the silver ric-rac legacy – she loved it a lot!
VGS: What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed between Australian fashion and American fashion?
I think Australia is always reevaluating its creative and cultural identity and trying to find its individual voice. In my opinion, labels like Romance Was Born, Desert Designs and Jenny Kee capture the true essence of Australian boldness, multiculturalism, its unique flora and fauna & Australiana pop culture (see the Romance Was Born Snugglepot & Cuddlepie collection referencing a classic Australian children’s book). I personally don’t know many US labels that explore American culture in such a literal way.
In my observation of Melbourne and Portland street style I would say the trends are relatively similar, lots of navy linen minimalism and plenty of tattoos, but while the Portland jewelry scene seems to have a lot of dainty, geometric brass, in Melbourne accessories tend to be more bold and colorful!
VGS: Which one item can you never have too many of?
F: There comes a time when you definitely do have too much of one thing, but I do always like to have an exciting array of vintage summer dresses and plenty of pairs of underwear and socks.
VGS: Which shops / brands / designers should readers be checking out?
F: You should be checking out my favorite emerging and established Australian labels of course! Hunter The Label, FME Apparel, Oats The Label, Abbey Rich, Per-tim, Sister Studios, Monkhouse, Kloke, Rouda, Vege Threads, P.A.M., Soot, House Of Cards, Vanishing Elephant, Verner, Caves Collect, Kuwaii, Witu, Campbell Charlotte, Mirador, Romance Was Born, Alannah Hill & Alpha 60 are faves.
For jewellery, Petri & Specks, Zaric Jewellery (Slovenian but popular in Melbourne), Ono, Glitter Dream Accessories, POMS, Bianca Mavrick, Tilly Jewellery, Holly Leonardson, Al-Ma Jewellery & The Misandrist Superstore.
I would also recommend checking out Folk Collective, a new Melbourne street style modeling agency that is always coming out with collaborations and showing off the freshest Melb faces.
I hope to photograph Freya again this summer, her gamine charm and lovely artwork are so inspiring!
Follow Freya on Instagram and Tumblr and check out her drawings on Etsy.