loading
drag

Hey, I Like Your Style! Inside the wardrobe of writer and party-thrower, Ben Freeman

IMAGES VIA @ILOVEPASTA2000/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

“After living in the holy trinity of fashion cities (Berlin, Newtown, Cronulla) I’ve realised through many an outfit that feeling and looking comfortable and chic is up to you, not how the people are dressing around you.”

We know personal style is a journey (I’m looking at you, Tumblr years), so we’ve introduced a new series Hey, I Like Your Style!, diving into the fashion psyche of our favourite creatives. We’re talking the good, the bad and the 2007.

While the internet has made our fashion icons feel closer than ever before, even the most effortless of outfits came from a closet with some (well-dressed) skeletons. Clickable product tags, photo archives and lives chronicled in 30-second clips just don’t tell the full story.


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


These are the stories behind the wardrobes, exploring how we develop our own personal style. There’s a brilliance behind the way we choose to express ourselves and at FJ, we know every outfit has a story.

This week, we’re exploring the fashion journey of media boy/party girl, Ben Freeman. Having experienced the “holy trinity of fashion cities” (Berlin, Newtown and Cronulla), Ben’s style is refined beyond his humble 22 years. With a penchant for tacky slogan tees, Eckhaus Latta and Liza Minnelli, Ben is the walking poster child for ‘having fun with fashion’ – and he looks good doing it, too. Read on for his style journey.

Who are you and what do you like to wear?

My name is Ben Freeman and I’m a writer, media boy and party-girl/thrower from Eora/Sydney. Not to sound like the most insufferable writer on the planet but I inadvertently like to wear clothes with words; dumb slogans, not-dumb poems, silly brand names, etcetera.

What has your style evolution looked like? Do you feel like you’ve gained confidence in the way you dress?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)

I grew up in Cronulla (hold for applause) so I used to almost exclusively wear white linen button-ups and beige chinos before realising that I’m simply obsessy with making out with guys.

When I was 19 I moved to Berlin (hold for heckling) in an effort to not just be gay in theory, but also in practice, and began to freak it with the way I dress. I’d save up my restaurant tip money to buy obnoxious club singlets, shiny shitty satin shirts and giant chains to embody the queer-expat-club-rat I was destined to be.

Gaining confidence and power with the way I dress has been a process but now, constructing an outfit at the beginning of the day or just as the night’s about to erupt is one of my life’s greatest joys. When I’m not dancing and wearing the tightest tank top to ever exist, I love wearing loud pants and my giant motorbike jacket. I want to look approachable and hot at all times.

Personal style is a journey. Have you ever felt like you needed to fit into a particular fashion box?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)

Absolutely! I feel a weird wave of dysmorphia every time I have to wear a ‘straight’ outfit for whatever reason, to the point where I’m raiding my sister’s jewellery wardrobe on Christmas day because I want the Country Road linen shirt I was gifted to still make me look like a gay. This wouldn’t happen if I didn’t feel like I was playing straight-drag all throughout high school.

On the other hand, even when I first arrived in Berlin I stocked up on a wardrobe full of all-blacks trying to fit in but instead, I looked like I was working backstage at a high school performance of Rent. After living in the holy trinity of fashion cities (Berlin, Newtown, Cronulla) I’ve realised through many an outfit that feeling and looking comfortable and chic is up to you, not how the people are dressing around you. (A single tear rolls down my cheek).

Take us back to those awkward teenage years. Do you have any fashion regrets?

I’ve always had a strange relationship with how my body fits into clothes, especially when I was a teen. I remember seeing this tweet that was like, ‘Do I have body dysmorphia or is my body just weird?’ and it’s both something that read me for filth and was incredibly comforting. Everyone and their bodies are weird… I am both crazy and not crazy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)


I remember feeling so embarrassed in year seven when I had to shop in the women’s section for jeans because they better suited my child-rearing hips. I used to regretfully hide them in ugly oversized shirts and hoodies. Now, my hips are my greatest feature when it comes to being at the club; I couldn’t dance without them!

Outside of garbage bag-sized shirts, I regret those scoop neck tees that for some reason went below your ass… however I do feel these will unironically come back in three to five years.

What are the most expensive and least expensive items in your wardrobe?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)

My most expensive items are my beautiful Eckhaus Latta wide-leg khaki jeans, which I bought during the Christmas season of COVID along with a few other manic isolation Ssense purchases. Hari Nef describes Eckhaus Latta better than I ever could: “Eckhaus Latta is craft and kink, the party and the morning after when you’re worn and soft and pungent.”

I also have a bag from Florist in New York that I literally fawned over for years until I finally bit the bullet. It makes me feel like the flashy city queer I dreamt of being when I was like 15.

My least expensive item is a Christmas shirt I bought before Inner Varnika this year at a souvenir shop that reads ‘Naughty Is The New Nice’ in a garish red font. It’s dumb and I love it!

What is the most meaningful fashion piece you own?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)

One day while I was living in Berlin I was helping a friend with a jewellery shoot (shoutout to the divine Sade Blake whom I love) and had to race to work before realising I forgot a black shirt.

I haphazardly ran into a secondhand shop and pulled the first thing I could find, which was a black, silky (probably satin) shirt, which would become my go-to club outfit from that point onwards.

I had a gag where I would unbutton the shirt ever so slightly, revealing my chest hair and whatever cheap chains I was wearing, order an espresso martini, make sure I had an audience of friends, and hold it above my head as I swayed my hips onto a heaving dancefloor.

Every time I did it, I felt like a six-foot-four Liza Minelli at Studio 54. A lanky Amanda Lepore. The shirt is a real symbol of how formative my time there was; with the shitty satin proving indestructible.

What’s in your cart at the moment?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)

JW Anderson teased an entire collection around Sissy Spacek’s Carrie that I am dying to buy a shirt from, but it won’t be released until AW 2022. However, I want one of the new Alix Higgins ‘A gift from the fall’ hoodies. I feel as though they’re going to take over the it-girls of Australia this winter.

What fashion piece are you saving for right now?

I want Prada loafers and I’m not afraid to say it!

What are the wardrobe items you wear on repeat?

I have like three white tees on rotation at the moment, one from Helmut Lang, one vintage Oprah Winfrey logo shirt and one saying ‘Brat Pack’ in red font. I told you I like words! I also have these epic mustardy, camo-esque pants from sex-positive Parisian brand Carne Bollente that will never get old.

Who are your favourite local designers?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ✰ Ben Freeman ✰ (@ilovepasta2000)


I love a club-ready tank top (have I mentioned I party?), and some of the favourites I own are from Lucinda Babi, Alix Higgins and Pigsuit.

I just found this designer Brendan Plummer on Instagram and he has the sickest collection of ever-so-slightly gross photos of people printed onto shirts, bomber jackets and polos. Incredibly my shit.

The same goes for Tobias Sangkuhl, who creates these gorgeous, almost medieval-inspired pieces, riddled with chainmail, that look like they’d work for jousting just as well as they’d work for Club 77. Obsessed. Also, I’m a forever Poesia Pietra fangirl. Forever!

See more of Ben’s killer looks here.

Lazy Loading