Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Matriarchal style icon

Having been submerged in a sea of black at Paris Fashion Week, it's refreshing to see Bryan Adams’ stunning photos of a vibrantly colourful Camila Batmanghelidjh in April’s edition of British Vogue. You probably need no excuse to buy a copy, but this fascinating feature makes a very worthwhile reason.

The Iranian born psychotherapist and social entrepreneur is interviewed by Gwyneth Paltrow about her amazing work for inner city children, through her charity, Kids Company. The article also features work from the forthcoming ‘Shoebox Living’ exhibition at Haunch of Venison, W1, for which children were asked to recreate a room from their house in a shoebox.

Camila is an unlikely style icon, whose powerfully positive personality is reflected through her bold, bright and highly individual choice of clothing. She says she finds the fabric for her clothes at Peckham Market and pieces bits together to create her own garments. Her original, handmade outfits give added impact to an already larger than life character, putting shrinking violets to shame. Camila’s voluptuous, matriarchal style also makes her the perfect subject for photographers and artists: her portrait (by Dean Marsh) even hangs in London’s National Gallery. I love the images (see below) in an article by writer and photographer Fran Monks.

If you’re also a fan of Camila’s look, you’ll probably like some of the handcrafted, ethnic inspired clothing at ShopCurious - tribal dresses by Bezemymailan and dramatic printed silk shifts by Lola Faturoti, for instance.

Camila’s much more than a style icon: she's a role model and mother figure to many impoverished children, though I expect they admire her exotic clothing too.

Camila offers kids the chance to use their energy and imagination in constructive ways, through art projects and creative endeavours. Everyone seems to love her - and I bet she receives tons of Mothers’ Day cards. With all her amazing work, I’m curious to know how she still manages to find the time to make her own clothes…

Are you?


Miss Peelpants said...

She's like Molly Parkin's style sister....I love women like this!

janettaylor said...

I love her!

Make Do Style said...

She is an amazing woman.

Style Porn said...

Wow, she sounds (and looks) like a very inspiring woman! Why they would send GOOP spokesperson Gwyneth Paltrow to interview her is beyond me. That woman is about as interesting as boiled chicken.

Susan said...

Yes, it's a shame the press require a 'celebrity' angle for almost everything in print these days. Though I think Paltrow has helped Camila with some valuable fund raising work.