Blog posts tagged with 'costume jewelry'

Jewelry, shoes and hair are my favorite accessories. Yes, I consider hair an accessory! Big hair, sleek hair, red hair, blonde hair-- I've had it all and changed things up frequently. What I didn't change was my hairdresser. But life has a way of nudging us along even when we aren't ready to move and in January of this year, Mikel left to create heavenly hair up with the hair gods.... To say I've been lost without him is an understatement. My short hair grew long and then positioned itself in its perpetual French roll.

Fortunately, I had a trip to Paris planned and decided that it might be the perfect moment to experiment with my hair. As luck would have it, I sat next to a beautiful Australian ballerina one day in a café who had the best haircut. After talking about Paris and dance, I asked her who did her hair--she leaned in and whispered, David Mallett, and tell him Gemma sent you. The appointment was made and the day finally came to embrace change.

Walking into the building-- a 17th century Hotel Particulier, was in itself a treat. The winding staircase leading to the salon created more anticipation but nothing had prepared me for the beauty I was about to experience. The herringbone floors, the taxidermy ostrich, the tall gold-gilded mirrors and the Louis XVI chairs with their stuffing spilling out of their shredded upholstery made me gasp. I'm sure my eyes opened wider and my heart beat faster! What a backdrop for this new adventure...

David brought me my requested green tea and sat with me-- easing me into revealing my hair dreams. He admitted with a sideways smile that he had already been studying me while I was waiting in the foyer and had some ideas of his own. He analyzed me out loud and I was stunned that someone could be so clear about who I am and what I was thinking without knowing me at all. He commented on my jewelry-- I was wearing my Lucky pearl ring and bangle-- he was obsessed with the ring and said that it was his sign to let his creativity loose! Well, the next several hours spent cutting, coloring and styling my hair were joyful, exciting and downright fun. Everyone was friendly and I had some of the most wonderful conversations with people from all over the world and all walks of life. David, himself, is smart, humble, and talented. At the end of the afternoon, I left with the perfect cut and color. When I stepped out in the street, I looked up to the sky and smiled knowing that hair gods approved!


xx Carla


David Mallett was recently interviewed in New York Magazine's, The Cut. Here is the article! Enjoy!


Lucky Ring:

Lucky Bangle:


On a very rainy day in Paris recenty, I decided to tuck myself into one of the plush velvet seats at the cinema on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The harder it rained, the faster I walked to get there thus arriving too early to be seated. With fifteen minutes to spare, I walked the cobblestone streets near the rue Saint André des Arts and stumbled upon a jewelry store window filled with treasures. With both my umbrella and my nose pressing against the window, I was astonished to see a portait ring that bore an incredible resemblance to my husband. The shop owner poked his head out the door and smiled at me. I told him I only had a few minutes but that I would love to see this ring a bit closer. I knew I had to come back after the film to "study" this portrait a bit more! I walked to the cinema to see the film and while I should have been completely distracted by the handsome actor Jean Dujardin, I couldn't stop thinking about the ring and its uncanny resemblance to my husband.. As you might imagine, this ring became mine after a lovely visit with the jeweler and the promise to return to show him a photograph of my Frenchman. I love designing costume jewelry but am intrigued by antique fine jewelry and the history that belongs to it. In fact, what compelled me to start my jewelry brand over 20 years ago was the desire to share the antique treasures that I found in the Paris flea markets and translate them in a modern way for my clients. Many of my current pieces reference jewelry from the 60's and 70's and some of my first Couture jewelry was made from 18th century French trims and buckles. Portrait jewelry was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries so it makes sense that I am drawn to it. Before photography, portraits were hand-painted on ivory, porcelain, paper, or mother of pearl. They were given as a love token and in some cases as a way of introduction by a young man to a young lady. Some portraits were painted on ornate boxes or given in small jeweled frames. When they were given as jewelry, a more intimate message was implied. Many times, a portrait ring was offered as an engagement ring and was framed in small jewels. Wouldn't that be a great idea still today as a wedding gift or an anniversary gift? Antique portrait jewelry is a kind of poetry for a romantic heart. Who says you shouldn't wear your heart where everyone can see it?

xx Carla

Last April, we realized a long time dream to buy a Paris apartment.  We closed escrow on my birthday and we floated on champagne bubbles for days and days after.  The process of purchasing real estate in France is not for the faint of heart  but I will spare you those stories for now.  There is a 16th century expression in French  Chercher Midi à quatorze heures which translates to  something like Looking for noon at two o'clock. It basically implies that you are making things more difficult than need be-- that you are attempting to accomplish the impossible.  I think that this expression speaks perfectly to the French real estate buying experience!  Let's just say we knew we were in for an adventure when, ironically,  the apartment that we loved was located on the rue du Cherche-Midi!  

So... off I go! I've packed my carry-on with few clothes and all of my favorite Camille K jewelry pieces!   I'll have 10 hours from San Francisco to Paris to enjoy  a good book -- The Swans of Fifth Avenue-- and to dream of all the things I want to do once there.  Watch your mailbox for my Letters from Paris-- I can't wait to share it all with you!  À bientôt! 

xx Carla 



My love affair with the City of Lights began early in my childhood when someone gave me a book called: France, Country of Delight: Paris and the Provinces. It came with color slides that I viewed on my Panorama illuminated viewer! It also came with a 33 record featuring Charles Boyer as tour guide. Between his French accent and a view of the City, I fell madly in love. 

I believe, that if we wish for something from a young age, and we continue to nourish it, we get closer to living it later on. My dream of Paris began with this book and was nourished by travelling to Paris in college and then marrying a Frenchman later on.  To live a dream is to live a life fulfilled!   After all this time, I can now call Paris my home...

As I gather my belongings together for this upcoming trip, it should come as no surprise that I start first with my jewelry.  You know that I love every piece of jewelry I make but sometimes I do play favorites!  I always take pieces from the Biltmore and Lucky Collections ( Click on your favorite piece for detailed information )-- Simply said, they just speak to me!  
Watch for the rest of jewelry I'm taking with me to be featured on next week's blog.  Then it's off to Paris where I'll be sending you Letters from Paris -- my insider view of this amazing City!


xx Carla