MY CUL­TURAL LIFE BELLA FREUD

A style icon on what they’re read­ing, watch­ing, lis­ten­ing to and more

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Lon­don-born Bella Freud launched her epony­mous fash­ion la­bel in 1990, and has since brought her book­ish brand of cool to col­lab­o­ra­tions with her­itage Bri­tish la­bels from Biba to Bar­bour. Now, she is turn­ing to in­te­ri­ors: Freud re­cently trans­posed the slo­gans that adorn her cult jumpers – song lyrics, catchphrases and the perky-eared whip­pet drawn by her father, the painter Lu­cien Freud – onto cush­ions, blan­kets and can­dles. This year, along­side Retrou­vius’ Maria Speake (who worked on Freud’s home and her brand’s Lon­don store, 1), she has de­signed a pent­house in the Grade Ii-listed BBC Tele­vi­sion Cen­tre in White City. ‘It feels nat­u­ral and ex­cit­ing,’ Freud says of work­ing on the apart­ment, which opens and goes on sale to the public in Septem­ber (@bel­la_freud; bel­lafreud.com; tele­vi­sion­cen­tre.com).

My all-time favourite piece of mu­sic

is prob­a­bly Nick Cave’s No More Shall We Part. It is ex­quis­ite, so sad and so up­lift­ing. Bob Mar­ley’s Get Up Stand Up also springs to mind. When I first heard it at 13, it was like an in­spir­ing call to arms. I’m now lis­ten­ing to Richard Rus­sell’s Ev­ery­thing is Recorded – the al­bum has a lot of mi­nor chords, which I love, but have to watch out for if I’m feel­ing melan­choly.

A track that makes me feel in­stantly happy

is Walk This Way by Run DMC, which I of­ten play in the morn­ing. It peps me up and re­minds me of my best self.

The book that has in­flu­enced me the most

is Jack Ker­ouac’s The Dharma Bums. When I read it, aged 14, it was like an elec­tric shock. I was en­tranced by the rhythm of his words. Read­ing Mal­colm X’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy

( 3) had a very pro­found ef­fect on me, too. It made me ex­cru­ci­at­ingly aware of racism and my sel­f­righ­teous prej­u­dices in a way that I hadn’t pre­vi­ously ap­pre­ci­ated.

I’ve been read­ing The Andy Warhol Diaries for ages, which is great for when I’m feel­ing anx­ious as it’s both bland and in­ter­est­ing. I like to have a few books on the go – I’m fin­ish­ing Donna Tartt’s A Se­cret His­tory, which is the op­po­site, al­most too dis­turb­ing, and have just started Chelsea Girls by the poet Eileen Myles. My top five film list goes as

fol­lows: Apoca­lypse Now, Some Like It Hot ( 4), The Pro­duc­ers, Freaks and La Grande Il­lu­sion. They are like part of my DNA. Oh, and I must add Ken Loach’s Kes. I saw it when I was ten or 11 and was so moved that I have never dared watch it again. My favourite gallery is the Cour­tauld In­sti­tute ( 5) at Som­er­set House, where I al­ways look at Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-bergère. The last ex­hi­bi­tion I saw was the Pi­casso 1932 show at Tate Mod­ern, all about his pas­sion for Marie-thérèse Wal­ter and the amaz­ing por­traits he painted of her ( 2). It was hor­ri­bly crowded, though – ev­ery­one ob­vi­ously wanted to get in on the love. My for­mula for a fun night… If I get a chance to dance my head off, prefer­ably with a gay man, then I know I’ll be happy.

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