Camilla Dressing and Body Image
“You must wear a Camilla darling!” Those words were ringing loud and clear in my ears and here I was 24 hours before attending my first ever Camilla Lovers Lunch at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast feeling like Cinderella with nothing to wear. The one and only Camilla top I own was now hanging forlornly at the back of the wardrobe, unwearable after I finally managed to shift an unwanted 20 kilos. To be perfectly honest, ‘one size fits all’ caftans were not the type of garment which motivated me to say no to a second helping or skip looking at the dessert menu for the past twelve months.
In the lead up to the event, I had tried on various Camilla outfits, both new and pre-loved, and while I could appreciate the delicate fabrics and eye-catching designs as wearable art, the large flowing style of the caftans just wasn’t making me feel confident wearing them because I usually stay within my comfort zone of classic clothes that are quite structured and tailored.
At the eleventh hour, a Fairy Godmother Friend saved the day by kindly letting me borrow one of her Camilla caftans and so here was Camilla Cinderella ready to go to the Camilla Lovers Who Love to Lunch event, organised by Liz Murrihy. Truly a modern version of THE ball, sadly without Prince Charming. After consulting Google on how to tie knots in Camilla caftans and the various ways of wearing them, I decided to accessorise with bling and go for a glamorous look. My newly gained confidence in embracing this Bohemian Goddess look was quickly cut down with a few unkind comments as I was leaving home dressed in a style my family had never seen me in before. The Camilla style of dressing seems to divide people’s opinion into two camps. There’s those who love it and those who hate it. There’s also the self appointed Fashion Police who forget the old adage that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I even brought a change of clothes with me, thinking I’ll just be ‘dressed up’ for the lunch and then quickly change back into something more within my comfort zone but as I entered the magnificently opulent foyer of the Palazzo Versace, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful colours and more so by the beautiful personalities of the ladies attending, all dressed in the Camilla label and I decided not to waste this moment in time worrying if this outfit made me look bigger than what I am.
Each and every one gathered there was a standout, personalising their outfits with accessories which ranged from feathers to flower headpieces, chandelier earrings, sparkly bracelets and handbags of different sizes and colours. These ladies owned it. They had embraced their inner Goddess, their gorgeous femininity and created an atmosphere of positive happy energy where size tags were not a consideration.
The highlights of the day were making new friends and catching up with those I’d met before. There was no shortage of photo opportunities, set against the 6 star luxury backdrop, the Selfie Queens were in full swing and Professional Photographer Erika Myer captured special moments as well as group photos which even the tourists couldn’t resist photo bombing.
Looking at the photos you can appreciate the individual beauty of each woman shining through and even though there were more than one of the same outfit in the same room at the same time, it wasn’t a matter of judging who wore it better. Each wore it their own way. I was made to feel very special when I was nominated for the category of ‘Most Glamorous’. There was also ‘Most Camilla’ and ‘Most Stylish’ awards and we had to take turns to sashay down the catwalk under the scrutiny of the judges and other guests. Every woman in that room was a winner already. It really was all so much fun.
As I was contemplating going for a second helping of dessert, it occurred to me what a genius Camilla Franks is, designing the perfect outfit for buffet dining which is so much more comfortable and stylish than elastic waisted pants. The seafood buffet was generous with lots of healthy choice offerings, and there was even a Paleo Chocolate Brownie if your willpower didn’t cave in to the Creme Brulee or the chocolates, or the mousse, or the lollies.
Who are you dressing for? Yourself, your significant other, or your friends? The day you choose to dress for yourself and like what you see in the mirror is the day you will experience the freedom to express your true self. Fashion styles come and go. Self confidence is ultimately the best accessory you can wear with any look on any occasion. Embrace your body and live with an attitude of gratitude because life is for living!
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