Designing for The Met Gala

Some days are better than others. One Saturday, I had a text from a friend of the company asking me to have coffee the next day with a client of hers, Muni Fry. Ms Fry was heading to The Met Gala only two weeks away but didn't have an appropriate dress. She wanted her dress to reflect the theme given by the host, Anna Wintour.  Coffee lead to a same-day studio visit and then a few sketches. 

Muni Fry sketch for The Met Gala 2015

Monday I was buying fabric, a sueded 4-ply silk in cobalt blue. My first toile was in a sueded charmeuse. It took an all-nighter to complete the sewing for the first toile for a fitting to get the design worked out. 

My former classmate and colleague, Jungah Lee, stepped in to sew the final garment, which took three fittings and two sewn garments. The day before Ms Fry left for NY, the dress was completed and packed for the trip. She gathered beautiful bangles, a vintage purse, and perfect earrings. 

We were so pleased and honored to work on this dress. Thank you Kim, Muni, Jungah, and Giovanna for your help on this one. 

Muni Fry at The Met Gala 2015


Celebrating Women in the Arts

Have you heard about Camille Claudel, the talented sculptor who lived a tragic life?  Last year her life captivated not one but two authors. Betsy Franco penned the novel, Naked, and Heather Webb wrote the historical novel, Rodin's Lover. Last night both authors organized a celebration of Camille's life at the Hotel Monaco with the help of Jennifer Webb.

We presented an event where our models brought five of Camille's sculptures to life by posing like the figures in each piece. Have a look at the human sculpture in these photos.

 Hannah Rose wears Camilla Olson cage coat in silk faile as she poses in Camille Claudel's  The Implorer.

Hannah Rose wears Camilla Olson cage coat in silk faile as she poses in Camille Claudel's The Implorer.

 Shi-Lin wears Camilla Olson cage dress in 4-ply silk as she interprets Camille Claudel's  Clotho.    

Shi-Lin wears Camilla Olson cage dress in 4-ply silk as she interprets Camille Claudel's Clotho.

 

 Sade wears Camilla Olson's cage jacket in black jersey and Brittney wears Camilla's cage vest gray silk faile as they interpret Camille Claudel's    Sakuntala   .

Sade wears Camilla Olson's cage jacket in black jersey and Brittney wears Camilla's cage vest gray silk faile as they interpret Camille Claudel's Sakuntala.

 Haylee wears Camilla Olson's cage top, cropped, and Fall15 full skirt; Coral wears Camilla's square neck top, straight skirt and Fall 15 Polo dress; Kennedy wears Camilla's Modal sheath and Silk Hoodie.

Haylee wears Camilla Olson's cage top, cropped, and Fall15 full skirt; Coral wears Camilla's square neck top, straight skirt and Fall 15 Polo dress; Kennedy wears Camilla's Modal sheath and Silk Hoodie.

 Cayla wears Camilla Olson's Fall15 Cate dress/vest as she poses as Camille Caudel's Girl with a Sheaf.

Cayla wears Camilla Olson's Fall15 Cate dress/vest as she poses as Camille Caudel's Girl with a Sheaf.

For me, the story told through these poses starts with The Beginning, moves to Introspection, then the colorful Finding Love, followed by the Harmony of friends, and finally, Confidence. This was a most satisfying presentation and was honored to be a part of it.

Video Announcement: 440 Brannan Trunk Show in SF

Fun and beautiful announcement of our PopUP shop this weekend at 440 Brannan in SF. OUr wonderful film intern Preeya made this entirely on her own. So fortunate to have here with us.

Our New Versatile Tee Supports the Community

Not only is it versatile and beautiful, the story behind the Infinite Bandeau is what makes this top truly unique. It all began with the idea of repurposing the extra silk chiffon Camilla had in her studio. This idea sparked inspiration for a project that could be done among Camilla’s interns.

Using one of Camilla’s previous patterns, as well as adding the double layer around the bra line, the Infinite Bandeau top, and project, was brought to life. Together the interns brainstormed different marketing, positioning, and sales techniques. How could we use the extra chiffon and previous pattern in the most sustainable way possible? How could we, as interns, learn more about responsible business practices through this project? In addition to this, we decided to donate half of the profits received from the Infinite Bandeau top to a local non-profit organization.

Our marketing includes anti-bullying programs touching on the idea of society conveying an unattainable expectation of beauty. Camilla has been working to support this idea in other ways as well; for example, her This is What it Looks Like campaign, limiting and disclosing all uses of Photoshop. All clothing and models are portrayed exactly how they are; we only use Photoshop to resize, adjust lighting, and remove backgrounds.

We are working to redefine beauty to match any identity. With the new versatile Infinite Bandeau top, this is made effortless. Be 100% you! Come see it in person at Camilla’s redesigned studio Friday or Saturday 12-5pm, and meet some of the interns 12-1pm on Friday. RSVP for lunch!

 

Samantha Jensen 

How do you dress a movie director? part 1

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Anne Hamilton is a special kind of woman. Enthusiastic, talented, and kind. We met at a party* last August where we dressed two wonderful managers from the Four Seasons in our Cages. Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley & Bentley Motors know how to host a party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We learned that Anne was a lawyer finishing her Clerkship in the 9th Circuit Federal Court in San Francisco. Her first film, a short, was accepted into Cannes. She was also accepted into the prestigious women's director program of the American Film Institute. During the AFI, she made another short film, The Inheritance. It is being Showcased next week at the Directors Guild of America theatre in LA, along with the other 7 women directors. The Inheritance was also screened at the Beverly Hills Film Festival yesterday.

We offered to dress Anne for both events, but what does a director wear to show her own films? Knowing she loves our cages, it narrowed the selection a lot.  Then came the interesting part. Anne is the most deliberate person I know. Each part of her films is deliberate and she carefully peels an onion of ethics and judgement, separating the values like a fine sushi chef. She couldn't wear a simple party dress to show her film.

For the AFI Showcase she chose our cream draped cage but we made some changes too it and she will wear it over a different under dress, thus a new combination. The end result is a futuristic samurai dress. You'll be amazed, and I'll post it after the April 29 event.

The other dilemma was what to wear yesterday for the screening of The Inheritance at the BHFF.  The initial thought was a party dress, but I resisted. How could Anne, this deliberate woman, wear a party dress at a screening? I suggested that she go with a look that was almost work, but several steps up. Below you'll see the result. She wore her leggings and booties, our walnut cami and black horizontal cage that took me 120 solid hours just to hand sew.

Anne Hamilton wears Camilla Olson Cage jacket over her work wear to her screening at Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Finally, there was the opening party of the Beverly Hills Film Festival. There she could wear a party dress. And she did wear our black cage dress, that we nick named the "Skater Dress." I heard she did  a fair bit of dancing in this.

Anne Hamilton wears Camilla Olson at Beverly Hills Film Festival Opening

Anne, thank you for working with us. You are a gift to the world. Thank you for your work.

xo

Camilla

* Thanks to the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley and Bentley Motors Ltd for hosting an amazing champagne & caviar party. Carissa Ashman was the matchmaker.

Calendar

  • Please join us at one or more of these events.
  • VIsualize Success:  Giving You the Inspiration and Tools to get You Where You Want to Be.

-   April 24, 7 pm - 9 pm Deborah's Palm;  555 Lytton ave http://www.eventbrite.com/e/visualize-success-getting-where-you-want-to-go-tickets-11310005531?aff=efbbt

- April 30 University Club

- May 1 Connect Work Thrive Conference http://connectworkthrive.com/

  • Trunk Shows: 

May 21 WSDM Conference; Stanford, Ca

June 5 Close the Gap Fashion show.

June 13 - 15; 11 am to 7 pm each day. @ the store 440 Brannan, San Francisco

VS logo

Thanks for Making our Trunk Show Fun & Successful

Our shirts come in many colors. Our shirts come in many colors. Thanks to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel for co-hosting our trunk show.

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Camilla talks with a client.

Carissa and Chara join Camilla afterwards for smiles.

Our mannequins welcomed everyone in the main lobby of the Four Seasons Silicon Valley

Many of us stayed afterward to a delicious lunch in Quattro.

Holiday Intern

Today I had my first day working with Camilla Olson. We began the day by talking about the design process and how she comes up with her pieces and lines. She is a very visual person, so images were a key element of this process, and a few piles of small pictures populated the back of the Laramie Project binder she showed me as an example of her process. We looked at how these images, particularly of fences, influenced her thoughts on potential designs, and then looked at colors she had explored for the line, using paint swatches. The first thing she did after reading the play was she wrote down all of the key words and images that stuck with her. This is how she identified key themes that would come up later in the design process. She chose to use a light teal-blue and a grey, pointing out that some people did not feel the use of such a bright blue was appropriate given the sad nature of the play. But she felt the blue was important, because the beauty of the blue in the sky was so important to him in the story and the good coming from the evil was what she wanted to prevail in the story of her line. Next we looked at various fabrics and manipulations she had made to them to display a fence-like structure since the fence was so important to the story. I liked learning about her design process, particularly coming from my perspective on the design process, which is more fine-arts and furniture-oriented. I am looking forward to learning more about her process and working toward understanding her line so I can help to brand it and provide helpful input on her work moving forward.

We met with Mary Hughes to begin planning a fashion show luncheon sometime in the spring to help bring together women in Silicon Valley for an event that raises interest, support, membership, etc. for Close the Gap and Camilla Olson. Today, I reflected on my notes from the meeting and began focusing in on the venue options as I compiled a list with the contact information for all the potential locations. We created the goals of having a fun, content-based event that offers the opportunity for networking. But we also want to make the event meaningful for the guests. The event needs to showcase Camilla’s clothes and talk about women’s representation in our state. We have to question how this event should look, and how we can make it elegant, but also outlandishly fun. As part of this goal, we are going for the unexpected and would like the event location to be a key piece of the puzzle that draws guests to the event. We thought places normally associated with men would be good for it The event will consist of a few key elements: runway, lunch, and a panel on politics and women in it. The event should have no less than 250 people, but it would be great if we could expand it past this number. Towards this goal of outreach, and making the content interesting and informative, creating a steering committee of women will be an important element leading to our success. So how can we make it a hot ticket event? We need to have current and compelling speakers, a venue of interest, and an engaging show. In the process of creating this event, we will also make sure we focus on creating the social media backup and other promotion, a payment platform, and a menu of options for the event including a short list of potential venues, sponsors, and sponsoring organizations to present to the host committee. This is the first step of getting ready for the upcoming event. Evan Cranston photo ~ Evan Cranston

Spring 2012 Fashion Show Luncheon

Spring 2012 Photo shoot Spring Ready-to-Wear Collections of Camilla Olson and Gleim the Jeweler. Saturday, March 3

11 am Champagne Reception & Trunk Show

1130 am - 12 pm Lunch Seatings Noon - Informal Modelling

Quattro Restaurant

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley

2050 University Avenue, East Palo Alto

 

$32 per person - Three Course Menu

650 566 1200 Reserve your Table Now!

The afternoon will highlight classic design with modern style, playful interpretations of contrasts, and day-to-night looks with chic confidence. 15% of Camilla Olson trunk  show sales will be donated to Womens  Health Stanford. Photography by Collette.

Saturdays at Quattro, Where Fashion Meets Indulgence

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Spring Ready-to-Wear Collection  

Dress, Camilla Olson; Jewelry, Gleim the Jeweler; Location, Four Seasons Silicon Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 3

11 am Champagne Reception & Trunk Show

1130 am - 12 pm Lunch Seatings

Noon - Informal Modeling

 

 

Quattro Restaurant

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley

2050 University Avenue, East Palo Alto

 

$32 per person  - Three Course Menu

650 566 1200  Reserve your Table Now!

The afternoon will highlight classic design with modern style, playful interpretations of contrasts, and day-to-night looks with chic confidence. 15%

of Camilla Olson trunk show  sales will be donated to Womens Health  Stanford

 

Save the Date – March 3, Luncheon

 

Dress, Camilla Olson; Jewelry, Gleim the Jeweler; Location, Four Seasons Silicon Valley

Save the Date – Saturday March 3, 2012

Luncheon and Camilla Olson Fashion Accessorized by Gleim the Jeweler Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley

 

 

 

Last Sunday, our team gathered for a photo shoot. Here is the image for our invitation. Does it encourage you to come to the luncheon on March 3? Aaron, Look Model Agency. Collette McGruder, Photographer, assisted by Wayne Harrison Victor Cembellin, MAC, Make-Up Karen Ellison,

Opulent, Hair

Images from Our Fall 2011 Fashion Show Luncheon 10-19-11 at Four Seasons Hotel

On October 29, we held a luncheon fashion show at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley. This event raised funds for Womens Health Stanford. It was lots of fun seeing girlfriends together enjoying themselves. Here are some of my favorite images. Thank you Jessica at Jessica Shirley- Donnelly for such good photos. Alanna enjoying Katie's walk.Cage Top and Skirt. Meg Waite Clayton's The Four Ms Bradwells.

Nancy, Lisa, and Holly at a very fun table.

Katie and Victoria are wearing our cage tops and trousers.

Camilla and Betsy Franco after the luncheon. Betsy is wearing Camilla's draped top that she wore for the interview aired during the Red Carpet segment of the Awards last year. Chef Marco engaged our guests as well.

Benefit for St Francis High School

Mark your calendar ... Fundraiser for St Francis High School. Trunk Show in our studio (15 pct sales donation to the school)  805 Melville Ave, Palo Alto. Tuesday Nov 15, 10 am to 2 pm. Modeling will be from 10 am to 12 pm. My daughter went to Palo Alto High School and was on their track team. She was a good sprinter and hurdler. I fondly remember track events at the ever-talented St Francis High School and respecting their sportsmanship.  I love reliving these experiences as we plan for our upcoming track trunk show to benefit this good school. Do plan to join us- and let me know you are coming.

SF1

Open Studio for Fall 2011

Fall is underway around the country, and we are ready. Our Fall 2011 collection is ready in a range of samples: 2-16 in most garments, S – M – L in others. There are a few ways to look at our collection.

  • Our favorite is a fashion show luncheon scheduled at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley on Saturday Oct 29.  Reservations need to be made and bookings begin at 1130; informal modeling at 12:10. http://siliconvalley.fourseasons.com/2011/09/fall-into-fashion-with-informal-modeling-luncheon-at-quattro/

    Silk Crepe dress with Cage sleeves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • We hold Open Studio most days from 10 am – 2 pm and by appointment. Drop ins are welcome. You can always email to be sure we will be here. camilla@CamillaOlson.com
  • You can look at our video and images for Fall here on this site.
  • You can shop online on this website too!

How could it be easier? We’d love to meet you. Camilla

Fashion’s Night Out at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley

It started with a quick email from Nicole … “What if we did something for Fashion Night out on September 8 – but it was late, after people had whirled thru Stanford Mall?  My thought …” The next thing I know is we’re are official participants. Let’s see that logo one more time. FNO1

 

 

 

 

Nicole and her team did a great job putting together a lovely setting, drinks, sweets and glee. We brought in some models, our new fall collection, and our team. Once again, 20% goes to Women’s Health Stanford. You can get a sense from the following photos we took.

The setting with our scarves on display.

Third Door

Inna, WANDA mom and winner of a custom dress by Camilla Olson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little while ago we had a trunk show at the Third Door in Palo Alto. www.the3rddoor.com/     This is a social club that is a non-profit, supporting WANDA http://www.the3rddoor.com/wanda.php/ We had a great group of women that evening, lots of interest and soul turning ideas. In addition to donating 20% of profits to WANDA, wine for all, and two scarves for a raffle, we donated a CUSTOM dress for a WANDA mom. here is a photo of Inna wearing her new on-of-a-kind hand printed silk dress. She looked radiant and her daughter loved seeing her so happy. Hats off to all the great women supporting WANDA, and the courage of women like Inna to make a great change. xo

3rd Door

Last Thursday we were honored to do a benefit trunk show for the Third Door and WANDA. http://www.the3rdoor.com/wanda.php It is a terrific organization helping single moms become financially independent. Several of the moms were there and we auctioned off two scarves and a silk dress. All went to the happy moms. Looking forward to handing over the check for our donation too. Thank you Third Door for all the good work that you do.

The Oscar Dress

Betsy Franco's gown, illustrated by Jungah Lee

We got a glimpse of her on the red carpet, then several in her third row, center seat.

Camilla Olson

mannequin Walking into a store and seeing my dress on a window display! Wow! Thrilling moment. The Academy of Art University, where I earned an MFA, selected only a few designers to be shown and sold in their new retail store at 79 New Montgomery in San Francisco. This window is across the street from the entrance to the Palace Hotel. They were my first retailer and helped me get through the first steps of selling, develop the Line Sheet, have the Order Form ready, define the sizing ranges, grade those patterns, design labels, and scale-up production. Easy words to say, but so very hard to complete. We’ve made some mistakes and we’ve made a lot of right decisions.

 

scarves

Later I was invited to a Girlfriend Valentine  party at a friend’s shop in Palo Alto. We brought some scarves to show and sold a few. Anh, the owner suggested that we leave the remaining scarves. You can see the scarves at 415 University Avenue. The name of the store is Les Petits Cadeaux. She carries some lovely gifts for your friends or hostess. Joslin of EcoCitizen is also taking our line of dresses, tops and scarves into her store in April. She has a lovely store at 1488 Vallejo St. in San Francisco. She carries great lines of clothing by Sara Shepherd and Linda Loudermilk among others. I interned with Sara Shepherd early in my master’s program. We’ve been blessed with great PR opportunities. Wide coverage of the New York show was complementary of our design. The Palo Alto Weekly published a two-page feature on Christmas Eve. Gentry magazine is publishing a feature on the line in April. I’ve heard they are printing a photo “spread” plus two pages of text and photos.  It was so fun to work with such fun people. I think their work is excellent and the photography will be good. I can’t wait to show you.