Blog posts tagged with 'beauty'

Vermeer's painting of A Girl With A Pearl Earring has captivated many an admirer -- its name and subject seem simple enough, but inside her stare lies a deep level of complexity for a young woman. And then there is that pearl earring.... Several years ago, we had some fun inserting my daughter Camille into the painting with her sideways glance. It made me think that just by virtue of insertion, she might be able to better interpret the original painting-- wouldn't that be an interesting basis for a film or a novel!

More recently, I came across the black and white photo of a woman and her son-- she gazing lovingly at him and he at us. And then of course, there is the pearl ring she is wearing... I was instantly enraptured! I have always been drawn to the clever, classical woman who dresses simply so that her jewelry can make a statement. People ask me where the ideas for my jewelry come from and I can tell you that they are inspired by a glance at a passerby, a character description in a novel, or a photograph of an unknown woman wearing jewelry like this one. Up to this point, I had only been designing and manufacturing costume jewelry, but this pearl ring started a conversation in my head about creating a capsule collection of fine jewelry.

It's funny how an image can ignite the creative mind-- this one led me to venture into the world of fine jewelry and design my own version of this pearl ring. I wanted the simplicity of a solitaire design with big impact. I designed a shank that was substantial enough to support a large pearl yet simple enough to let the pearl shine on its own. I sourced South Sea pearls in San Francisco and found a spectacular few of the large size I was seeking. Pearls in and of themselves are worthy of an entire essay-- It all starts with grit, the grit that irritates the oyster that makes the pearl. Pearls are many things if not metaphors for life itself. We all know that life requires a great deal of grit!

You can't go wrong being a girl with a pearl! xx Carla

Summer's gifts of gentle breezes, brilliant sunshine, and time off-schedule are enough to make our minds wander to beautiful places and times well spent. For every summer story that is told, we can be sure that there is a whisper and a nod to sea shells. They are the jewels in the stories of our childhood memories at the beach. They become precious keepsakes for first loves, long walks on the beach, and times spent watching our children splash about in the sea.

When I was a girl, my mom had a beautiful pale pink shell (shown above) sitting in the soap cove of her bath. I would soak in her bath, hold the shell to my ear, and listen to the gentle breeze that played inside. It was like a modern-day playlist of all my memories growing up at the beach. It is one of my greatest treasures and eventually influenced my jewelry designs.

Shells have been symbols in architectural design, furniture design, jewelry, and paintings for centuries. They are the symbols of sensuality seen in works by Botticelli, in the designs of Leonardo da Vinci who often drew upon nature for his inspiration, and in the Rococo shell chairs Matisse painted in the 18th century. More recently, Tony Duquette's use of shells was reflected in his opulent design style, Thomas Boog continues to create over-the-top objects in his Paris design studio, and iconic jeweler, Verdura, is known for using the shell motif in many of their designs.

When I began imagining and developing my first collection of upscale jewelry in New York, I referenced my youth growing up near Santa Barbara and time spent at Miramar Beach. The Camille K Miramar cuff and earrings make strong statements, ones that are very personal to me. Of course, I would be remiss in not acknowledging the Couture shell cuff (shown above) that started it all! It features real turban shells sewn on 18th century French gold and silver bullion trims. We continue to sell these as limited pieces upon request.

Many years ago after a visit with my Mother, she handed me a small wrapped package along with her hug goodbye. Inside was the shell from her bath... and in her soft voice, she advised me to listen in whenever I felt too far from home.

May you enjoy your last days of summer and savor all the memories you make.

xx Carla

She is known as the oldest working model- so aging and how to do it gracefully is something she knows about. Of course none of us are getting older, but let's talk about it anyway!

Last night's intimate setting for the interview with the iconic model Carmen Dell'Orefice, was perfect for her soft-spoken story-telling. Ken Fulk ( , the event's host,  is a master at creating ambience and Carmen's presence can easily fill a room. I went in search of inspiration and as you might imagine, did not leave empty-handed! What is age when you sit in front of someone who exudes grace, humility and vibrancy like she does? Wearing all black with a carmel-colored silk jacket, 4 inch Manolo heels and the perfect statement jewelry, she was ageless. She used a matching wood-handled umbrella as a support ( she just had double knee replacement surgery) which I thought was such a great idea and so chic!

Did I mention she is 85? Carmen's modeling career at Vogue began at age 15 and at 85, she has more magazine covers over the past 15 years than ever before.  I'm sure there is much to do to maintain her striking looks but when she  shares her secrets, she makes it seem effortless.  There is a simplicity to her-- a kind of youthful naivety that makes it all seem quite possible for anyone to attain.  As she says, "Nothing on the outside is going to make a blind bit of difference unless you take care of the inside."  

Here are some of the thoughts she shared:

Start the day with water and lemon juice.
Eat a lot of probiotic yogurt
Don't drink and smoke
Buy lots of ice-cream. It stays frozen and ready for when you might need it.  It is a kind of savings account at the ready!
And my favorite-- If you must be addicted to something, be addicted to love!

I'm sure she would agree with Ben Franklin who once said, "Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young." 

My thought is that we need to focus less on looking young, and more on staying young--young at heart, young in spirit, alive with inspiration and full of enthusiasm that we generously spread around.  Let the quiet indulgence of happiness be your best beauty secret! 

Carmen wore the perfect accessories-- my eyes went directly to the bold gold cross necklace she wore, her pinky ring on her graceful hand and the dangling earrings that kept me focused on that interesting face of hers. Here are the CAMILLE K jewels that I can imagine she might wear....

xx Carla