One of the first things I wanted to do with this blog was showcase people in my life who’ve been a massive style influence on me personally, and who I think should be influencing everyone!
Then I forgot. But then, I remembered! First up, Camilla Pia:
Image courtesy of Nicolas Murray
Camilla is an ex-coworker of mine and one of the coolest people I’ve ever seen and then been lucky enough to know. She writes for various music magazines and DJ’s as a hobby, and her style is a cohesion of day-glo geek chic mixed in with an absolute riot of pop art-esque accessories. Sometimes I feel like she belongs in a nerdy yet hipstery comic book rather than real life. Whenever I see her I’m always totally mesmerised by her gigantic brooches and jewellery – Camilla is someone who totally knows how to work a statement necklace!
But enough of my waffle. She kindly answered some questions about her personal style for me and answered really candidly and thoughtfully. Here’s what she had to say…
How would you describe your style and what/who are your biggest style influences?
Hmm… Geeky, glitzy, eccentric: lots of black, bold colours and classic prints finished off with huge (generally very sparkly) accessories. Biggest style influences are Karen O, Lady Gaga, Iris Apfel, Edith Piaf, Ghost World, Beth Ditto, Vivienne Westwood, my mum, my gran (Kika) and my friends John William, Ruth and Tamsin (Unskinny Bop) and Kirsteen Connor.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
I shop mostly online (farfetch.com, net-a-porter.com) but also at Tatty Devine, Evans, Beyond The Valley, Libertys – when I can afford it – and this amazing jewellery shop off Portobello Road for most of my mad old lady bling. I have been going there for almost five years and still don’t know the name of it which is a bit silly really.
What is your number one favourite item of clothing/accessory and why?
Oh this is really hard, because it changes all the time. Right now it would have to be a tie between my big black gold and crystal turtle necklace and my gold Vivienne Westwood armour ring.
Have you found it more difficult to develop your style because of being a larger size than most stores cater for?
When I was growing up definitely. As a tween and teen I felt like I had no fashion role models and as a result felt completely like that world and looking good was totally shut off to me. I always wanted to buy vintage but could never find anything in my size and I refused to wear the bland high street stuff that was available at that time for larger sizes. It was sad because I really hated my body as a result and wanted to express myself in clothes but couldn’t. After years of slouching in band t-shirts I started to develop an obsession with quirky statement accessories. I really started to grow in confidence in my mid-twenties and focused on expressing my personality through jewellery and scarves and huge bright handbags which eventually became a kind of signature look for me. Things have improved for larger sizes in the past few years definitely and I find increasingly that I have more options on the high street and this has allowed me to pick out more interesting prints and colours but much more still needs to be done.
What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice?
Not fashion advice as such but a line from a song: “I want your ugly/I want your disease” from Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’. It feels very personal to me. I don’t think of larger sizes as ugly in general, but I’ve always had issues with my body and its imperfections because of various reasons and I find it really freeing and empowering when people like Beth Ditto and Lady Gaga talk about celebrating and loving your freakishness. It just makes me want to be freakier.
Check out the blog she keeps with the equally fantastic Alex and John here: http://www.creepclub.co.uk