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.