Camille Charrière’s Mango Collection Is Inspired by Her Party Girl Era
Combine Parisian pragmatism with a Londoner’s “cool” factor and you’ll get Camille Charrière (a.k.a. Camille Over the Rainbow, a.k.a. Tasmania—more to come on that later). Once a fashion outsider working in finance, Charrière broke into the world of style and celebrities the old-fashioned way, or shall we say the new old-fashioned way: by starting a blog. With her impeccable taste and enviable style, she’s somehow managed to chart a path for herself that has landed her at the most exclusive parties, sitting front row at fashion shows, on mastheads (at ELLE UK!), and, most recently, as Mango’s latest collaborator.
Her new collection, called Camille x Mango, pays tribute to Charrière’s most memorable nights out in the 2000s, and taps into the beauty of spontaneity (think: the OG BeReal). Sheer dresses, long coats, and crystal minis are just a few of the pieces featured in the line. Below, in her own words, she explains the inspiration behind the collection, her wildest memories out and about, and what makes party style so iconic. After all, who you meet, what you do, and where you go can all change the trajectory of a night out, but a great outfit will always be the life of the party.
What was your wildest night out?
Oh my gosh, I’m trying to think of something that would be appropriate! There was one night in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival—some of my friends told me they were going to the amfAR Gala, and I was not invited. So, I tried to crash. I’d never been before, so I didn’t really know how high-caliber it was. I put on a ballgown and showed up and managed to talk my way into the party—I think I pretended that I’d been smoking and that they hadn’t seen me come outside. Of course, it’s a very star-studded party, but it was actually winding down by the time I arrived. (I didn’t know then that these big galas typically end quite early.)
Then, someone I knew—but not very well—was like, “Hey, we’re all going to Leonardo’s house, why don’t you come with us?” I’m like, “Sure, great idea!” So he gives me the address and I’m thinking, there’s no way I’m getting in. But I went anyway. I mean, I’d already managed to get my way into one thing! So I climbed in a car with some friends and we arrived in front of this house that Leo rents, and there were literally hundreds of people trying to get in—famous people.
We saw Mark Ronson walking up the alleyway—he was actually DJing the party—and when the security guard saw him, he goes, “Mark, you can come in.” And Mark turned to me and my friend and he was like, “You’re coming in with me, right?” And we were like, “Yeah.” So we just walked through this massive crowd of people. The first person we saw inside was Adrien Brody, eating pasta. I was like, “Okay, this is going to be really, really fun.” And I have to say, it was probably one of the best nights of my life.
How would you describe your style back then? What was in your wardrobe rotation for parties and galas?
Before moving to London, I never dressed up when I went out. And even in my first couple of years living here, I had a boyfriend at Oxford and I would go and visit him on the weekend, and they would have actual balls where everyone was dressed in black tie and gowns. I didn’t understand why people were dolling themselves up so much. It took me a really long time to embrace that side of the culture—I almost took pride in being the most dressed-down person at the party. I always wanted to be the one who looked like she hadn’t made an effort. I guess they hadn’t drummed the Frenchness out of me yet! I wore jeans and a white T-shirt on most of my nights out.
I think I didn’t have the confidence then that I have now. It took me a really long time to grow into myself. Recently, a lot of people have been asking me how I dare wear a naked dress at age 35. What they don’t realize is, before the age of 35, I just didn’t have the balls. It has taken me this many years of building up my own confidence and appreciating my own body that I can actually decide what to wear, and not have it dictated to me by someone else. Now, I thoroughly enjoy the process of getting ready before a night out—picking a dress that makes me feel special, and not feeling ashamed of having put in all the effort, or wearing something that’s a little bit risqué. Come as you are, be the best version of yourself, and wear whatever makes you feel happy.
It’s almost as if the more you care about what other people think about your outfit, the more you want to look like you don’t care at all.
Exactly. That to me is exactly the paradox where I think people are always like, “Oh, French women, they don’t care.” I’m like, “No, they care.” They care a lot and they care so much— they’re terrified of standing out from each other. And there are good things to take from both approaches, because, with the French approach, you spend a lot less, consume a lot less, and re-wear things a lot more. I think that’s really something to strive for in this economy, where we’re all trying to be more mindful of the way we shop and the way we dress. That is something positive to take away from it. But, on the flip side, the real reason is not because they don’t want to—it’s because they don’t feel like they can.
I always used to say that I wasn’t sexy enough or I wasn’t curvy enough to wear certain types of clothing, because I didn’t have anything to show off. And it just took me so long to realize that’s not why you wear something. You wear it for yourself. It’s so interesting to flip that male gaze that we always worry about, what others are going to say. As soon as you stop seeing yourself via the male gaze and you start looking at yourself instead, then suddenly everything changes, and you do feel a lot more free.
Will there always be a classic party look to you?
I mix it up, because I tend to dress depending on my mood. I’m not very colorful person. I really love going out, dressed all in black. I think it’s really sexy when you have a really beautiful outfit where you’re playing with the textures or the layers, or something is sheer and something is velvet. You can really work with black in a way that you can’t with other colors. Maybe this will change when I have kids, but I hope not. I hope I still feel like I can be whoever I feel like being on a night out. For the time being, I really am enjoying exploring different sides of my personality and having fun really not worrying about what someone else has to say, and instead how the outfit makes me feel, and the fun that I can get into.
What do you love the most about party dressing?
It’s a confidence boost. A good outfit is like a shot of tequila. It gives you that extra boost of Dutch courage that you need to be in a room with loads of people you don’t know, like an armor. Something that helps you get through it. A lot of us got social anxiety with COVID, and I just always think that when you’ve put a lot of care and effort into what you are wearing, you actually feel like you can get through it. I certainly feel that way, and I also notice that, when I’m wearing something that I feel uncomfortable in, I start acting weird and don’t enjoy myself.
I always say that a good outfit is a conversation starter. When you’re wearing something amazing, people come up to you and they say, “Wow, I love that. Where did you get it?” That’s one of the things that I missed the most during the pandemic: those random off-the- cuff conversations that you have with total strangers at a bus stop or in the queue of the bar, or in the bathroom as you’re redoing your makeup, a girl comes up to you. Those moments are really important.
People say an outfit is the first thing that others see. It’s the first glimpse of your personality that people get before you even open your mouth. I think that rings so true, which is why I enjoy dressing up and down and mixing it up and being all these different things, because I’m a complicated person with many moods and many aspects to me—and same for a lot of women out there. It’s important that we can play with that and not be predictable.
Which pieces in particular make you want to party? How are you achieving that vibe with your collection for Mango?
Anything short is ideal for a night out. I’m always one of the last people on the dance floor, and I find that when you’re on the dance floor, you don’t want people treading on whatever you’re wearing. Something short that’s super comfortable and stretchy is a win in my book. In the collection, we’ve got the white sequin mini, which is just an incredible piece, because you stand out automatically. But also, it’s super comfortable, it’s stretchy, you can move around in it, you can drop to the floor in it, you can do whatever you need to do in it. It’s important to be able to move around when you’re on a night out, for me anyway.
I also think that having a great coat is part of the package, because when you live in a big city like we do, there’s a lot of waiting around for cars, for buses, for the tube. There’s a lot of waiting around before you get into the club. There’s a lot of intermediate moments where you need to be wrapped up in something warm. I also think that a beautiful coat adds an air of mystery. You never really know what the person is going to be wearing underneath. I always love the element of surprise, and I think that a woman in a really long tailored coat is so elegant. I like that tension between the two.
A good pair of heels you can dance in is important, too. Being comfortable in heels is, in fact, possible. But I think we also all have different things that we are comfortable in. I was testing the shoes from the collection, and I can confirm that they are comfortable, because I was literally running around in them all day. I didn’t have to change out of them once, which I’m super proud of, because when you’re designing a collection, you can never be sure about these things. So I’m really proud that that’s the case, because, to be honest, what is the point of having a pair of nice shoes if you have to leave the party after an hour, because you can only waddle around?
What would be your go-to outfit from the collab?
I’m really obsessed with the white sequin mini, paired with the fur coat and the little crystal heels, and maybe the mega crystal hoops to go with it. It’s got that old-school Parisian style—back when Yves Saint Laurent was still designing—and also the ’90s supermodels, when the girls wore very short, extremely simple outfits and totted around London just looking so hot. You’d see them in the same outfit several times in a row. I think that’s really what I was aiming for—that combo—and I think it really works.
What are some of the different party personalities that you’ve developed with your outfits? Do you have an alter ego when you go out?
I don’t know if it’s an alter ego, because she’s there every time I go out. It’s definitely part of me. When I first started going out with my boyfriend, he used to call me Tasmania—the little monster that runs around the room. I have ADHD, and I’m already quite excitable. But on a night out when the music’s good and there are so many people that I love in the same room, I’m unstoppable. I really get my energy from people. I’m obsessed with people! I love talking, I love dancing, I love good music, and I really enjoy that element of going out. I mean, the outfit obviously is important to me, but once I’m out, I barely remember to take pictures. I’m never on my phone, which is never the case during the day.
Where and when are you most looking forward to wearing pieces from the collection?
Holiday season is coming up, and in London, we take that very seriously. There are a lot of Christmas parties, and I’m really looking forward to show off the collection then. But in truth, what I’m really excited about is seeing how others style the collection: people around me, my friends, and also strangers. And my ultimate dream is running into someone somewhere who’s wearing something from the collection and I get to experience that full-circle moment of seeing the collection having its own life on a night out.
Camille x Mango is available online at shop.mango.com. Shop some of our favorite pieces here:
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.