Eclectic à la Mode had the recent pleasure of meeting Carla Labat, the wonderfully talented designer behind Camille K, a line of statement jewelry crafted from original Chanel trims, vintage buckles and chandelier rock crystals, gold bullion threads, and handcrafted Parisian treasures. Many of these stellar pieces have historical ties dating as far back as the 1800s. Did I mention that they are becoming a celebrity favorite? Catch a look at Carla's pieces on stars the likes of Ashley Tisdale and Kendall Jenner among others!
Check out PART ONE of the intro to this beautiful line, and enjoy some shots from the Launch Party for Camille K's special Limited Edition collection, hosted at the Camille K Showroom.
What inspirational elements have come together in your jewelry making?
I grew up with my mom who sews really well and she was always dragging me off to fabric stores... so I was very exposed to textiles and things like that. And as I got older I danced for a long time, I was in musical theater, so I was very exposed to costuming. Then when I got even a little older than that, I got married to a frenchman and we moved back and forth from Paris for a while, and I really got to know the fleamarket there...
Paris is certainly a beautiful and inspirational city, what is your favorite thing about a visit?
I think one of my favorite things at night is when you’re walking along and you look into a top window of an old, old building... and you think how many people are so lucky to live around all this history... what an honor to live in an old building like that.
Tell me more about this fleamarket! I'll need to see it sometime!
After 27 years I’ve gotten to know a lot of very interesting people. One of the most special vendors I work with is a couple... The husband’s family produced all of the appliques and trim for Chanel for many many years... generations of his family did this. Recently Chanel started buying up all of their artisans, and this particular man, Michel, did not want to be bought, he refused. So he just kind of closed shop, took all his stuff, stored it, and locked it away... all of his trims and all of his salesman’s samples which were just gorgeous, all of it was just kind of lost to the world, not to him, but to the world! And fortunately his lovely wife said we just can’t keep all this to ourselves, we need
to do something!
So they opened a stand in the fleamarket. So they’re there, and they sell their beautiful trims, and so for me, that’s a relationship I’ve developed with them over a long time. And in the beginning, I just bought what was sold in their stand, but now as the years have gone by, they bring out special pieces when I come that they aren’t willing to sell to just anybody. It’s really special. They tell me stories about what certain trim was used for over time, and the time period, and what went into making it... Coco Chanel stories and things like that! And it’s very special, because they’re the manufacturers of those things, they have a history, because of what they started.
Simply amazing. Carla is so lucky to have access to such wonders! And her jewelry really ignites every one of them!
And now please enjoy a peek into the Launch Party for the Camille K Limited Edition Collection...
|a vintage Chanel salesman sample|
|beautiful limited edition pieces|
|baubles, beadwork and buckles!|
Camille K Jewelry can be found at www.camillek.com.