Celebration season is here, so we’re taking a look at the vintage party and cocktail dresses of Freis Spirit, a revival of the iconic Diane Freis brand that became known around the world in the 80’s and 90’s.
About Diane Freis
Hong Kong-based designer Diane Freis rose to fame several decades ago with her bold colour, vibrant prints, focus on intricate embellishment and immaculately designed couture dresses. Her dress designs have been worn by famous names including Kate Moss, Nicole Richie, Princess Diana and Bo Derek – to name just a few. Today, these stunning vintage designs are seeing the light of day again thanks to Diane’s son Jason and his partner Lucy, who tells us more about Freis Spirit here.
About reviving the brand
The Diane Freis brand was well known in my family – my mum had worn her designs for many occasions, including at my own christening. I met my partner Jason, Diane’s son, in 2017, and I learned that Diane still had an archive of unique pieces that had been untouched since they were manufactured in the early 90’s. On seeing how contemporary the designs looked, I realised that women of all ages could wear the dresses today and feel great.
As a holder of a fashion degree, and also having worked in the fashion industry, to me this was an opportunity too good to be missed. I knew straight away that I wanted to revive this vintage brand.
We have a range of customers, from girls in their 20s to women in their 60s. In reviving the brand, we incorporated a youthful, playful twist that represents the versatility of the designs.
About the dresses
Each dress in our collection is vintage, and has been kept in unworn, pristine condition for the last 30 years. New-vintage is rare to find in the vintage clothing industry, particularly in Hong Kong!
Each dress was hand-beaded and hand-painted by local Hong Kong craftsmen, and appeals to the growing importance of sustainability. These are investment pieces – high-quality, classic designs that are timeless.
The dresses combine an array of beautiful materials including chiffon, silk and lace. Diane was famous for her one-size-fits-all designs. Every one is cut on the bias, meaning the design and fabric can stretch to fit different sizes and body shapes.
View the collection of vintage designs, including cocktail dresses perfect for the party season at freisspirithk.com and on Instagram @freisspirit.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2022/23 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.