This is a guest post from Katherine Ormerod, editorial director at Lyst. Her interview with Camille Carriere of Camille Over the Rainbow first appeared here on the Lyst blog, and we’re excited to share it again here at Eat Sleep Denim. We had no idea that Camille is such a denim aficionado—read and learn from her expertise!
I was born in the French Pyrenees and then moved to Paris where I grew up. As a teenager I really wasn’t into fashion at all. I was actually super dorky and very focused on my studies—I definitely didn’t hang out with the cool kids. I come from a pretty conservative, intellectual family and began my career in the very traditional law world so it was about as far away from chic as you could get.
My love affair with fashion began with denim. I spent a summer in England during my degree program and came back wearing skinny jeans. Back then when social media didn’t exist, French fashion was always a step behind London—no matter what Parisians may have you believe.
When I got home no one understood my skinnies at all. People would comment (always negatively—Paris is a pretty judgmental city) on the street. Of course,two years later skinny jeans became part of the French girl uniform. That experience made me realize the power of fashion to make you feel like an individual and how what you can wear can make you step outside the norm. It also made me realize that London was where I wanted to make my life.
Denim As a Uniform
Denim is my failsafe. It’s what I wear when I don’t know what to wear. It’s what I wear when I want to look hot for a night out, but also what I wear when I really want to stand out by dressing down and not playing up to the fashion scene. A girl that knows how to wear denim in an interesting way will always be in style. At the moment my favorite pair of jeans is by Vetements. They have a really provocative construction with a patchwork bum and are made from contrasting denim colors. While they might not be the sexiest style in my closet, ever since my skinny jean summer, I’ve always looked for jeans that stand aside from the crowd.
I like to play up to my French genes even though I’ve been living in London for four years and I’d never move back to Paris. But ultimately I think that I’ve got more of a Scandinavian vibe going on style-wise as I’m far more experimental with my fashion than the average Parisian.
I always think that I look better in jeans. During fashion week you have to play up your style and pay homage to the incredible designers but personally I wouldn’t dress like that all the time—I’m much more casual.
How To Find The Perfect Jeans
- Finding the perfect fit isn’t an exact science, but there are a few key things to consider. I have a lot of denim at home, but if I’m not wearing a pair of jeans at least once a month I either sell or give them away. If jeans aren’t your best friend style-wise, they’re probably not right for you or your closet.
- Spend time and effort looking for your jeans. You can’t expect to find the perfect pair of vintage Levi’s immediately. If I buy jeans online I always buy two sizes because you can never tell how they might fit. Sometimes I’ll decide I actually like the baggier fit and I always try jean with both sneakers and heels—they have to work with both. The message is: try, try, try.
- Just because a pair of jeans looks good on a friend or someone you see on Instagram really doesn’t mean they will look good on you. With jeans you really have to learn your own shape and be guided by what flatters your frame.
- I know that boyfriend jeans look good on me because I’m tall and slim-hipped, so they pretty much always work. Not that I haven’t tried on styles that look atrocious—everyone, no matter what their shape goes through that experience.
- Skinny jeans are the easiest for me. They go with everything—but you do have to be careful. I hate styles that fit like socks and are so painfully tight you feel like your legs are sausages. Or the ones that are made from such thin material you look like you’re wearing leggings—I don’t think that is chic. You have to find a style which is made from thick material which has enough elastic to stop them from going baggy at the knees.
- When you buy jeans online, wear them around the house for a little while to get a sense of how they will hold their shape. If after 5 minutes they’ve already gaped at the knee or bottom, send them back.
How To Wear Jeans
- I love double denim or denim with navy. Head-to-toe blue is always incredibly chic and I have a good selection of blue bags (one in pale blue denim by Chanel is a standout) because they always look great with blue denim of all shades.
- I also love gray skinny jeans. They have to be a deep charcoal (my favorites are by Calvin Klein) rather than anything too pale, but I always think they look cooler than plain black skinnies.
- I don’t believe that you should only wear high-end denim. While I’ve spent a huge amount on expensive jeans over the years I would never write-off high street styles. While they might not last forever, if you find a great fit, they can look just as good as designer jeans. My go-to affordable brands are H&M and Monki—they are both great for inexpensive denim.
- Right now I wouldn’t wear destroyed jeans or ripped styles. For me that look reads too teenage and a little outdated. I don’t like anything too straight as it really doesn’t suit my body shape—personally it’s all about boyfriend jeans and skinnies. I also don’t like anything with a yellow tone to the wash or anything too faded.
- On the other hand I’m really into frayed hems that look mis-cut and fringes at the bottom of the jeans. I like a lot of detailing with interesting stitching— basically anything that make your jeans look more couture.
- For me there are endless ways to wear denim. The easiest way is with a simple, casual white T-shirt, but anything from a gray turtleneck to a classic tank top is great. I also wear a lot of cotton shirts and silk blouses with my denim—it’s a no-brainer look which works for dinner with heels but also for business meetings with flats.
- I would also wear denim with ‘proper fashion’ pieces—sculptural tops, designed knits and silk evening tops. For me it’s the versatility and untouchable cool factor that denim offers—that’s why I’ll always, always be a jeans girl.