The right shoes can take you places!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm Camille Co, a 24-year old girl living in Manila, Philippines. I'm almost full Chinese but I've lived my entire life in sunny Manila so I'm every bit a Filipino as I am Chinese. Right before graduating from college, I started my own then-RTW line, Coexist. What was supposed to be just a little sideline grew to a legitimate business. I guess I got lucky, or maybe, cheesy as it may sound, it was written in the stars. LOL. Fast forward to now, aside from RTW pieces, I also design custom-made gowns and dresses. It's been a wonderful few years in the fashion industry. I started my blog, itscamilleco.com just a little over a year ago and I've been styling every now and then too.
What are your passions?
There are so many things that I'm passionate about! I mean it's our passion for things that keep us alive, right? But if I were to choose one, it's definitely my work. I'm at a point in my life where I want to explore, learn and grow as much as I can. My work allows me to do that. I get to travel, meet new people, explore different cultures, learn new things, hone my skills, release my creativity and so on and so forth. I'm blessed to be doing something that I love. And being passionate about what I do only pushes me to work harder and to never do things half-baked.
How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?
I've always been interested in fashion ever since I can remember! As a kid, I remember sneaking into my mom's room whenever she's not around and locking the doors while I rummaged through her closet and played with her chunky gold belts, scarfs and gowns. When we'd go out, my mom would always be the one to pick out clothes for my older sister and brother but not for me. I already had a mind of my own as a kid and I enjoyed dressing myself up. Even in school, I'd design gowns for Disney princesses and draw them at the back of my notebooks while I listen to lectures. Who knew that that little girl who used to do all these during playtime would actually grow up to do them for a living?
Fashion is important because it's a part of all of us. No matter what you do or where you come from, it's innate in everyone. We just differ in ways we choose to interpret and embrace it. This is what makes fashion so relevant and exciting. In choosing how to express ourselves with fashion, we are able to show the world a part of who we are and our culture. In a way, fashion allows us to transcend all types of barriers and communicate in a way that no other art form can.
How do you describe the fashion scene in Manila compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?
The fashion scene in Manila is at a very exciting time. There is so much growth! I think we're coming to realize our true fashion identity and we're slowly showing the world just how fashionably aware we are. History shows how our country as a whole have been influenced by various cultures. Some people may think that this is a disadvantage but I think otherwise. It's a nice position to be in. We're able to take all these cultures in, adapt it to our own and the result? A fashion scene that's so vibrant and full of life! Even if we're not a fashion capital, we're definitely one to watch out for.
What do you love about living in Manila?
I get to have my urban lifestyle and escape it once in a while if I want to. Manila has such a nice metropolitan scene. We've got so many nice malls, restaurants and clubs. Then when you get tired of it all and you need a breather, you can just drive up to Tagaytay or Batangas or Subic to relax and enjoy yourself at the beach or explore nature.
What are your top 3 places to visit in the Philippines?
You have to know that we have 7,107 islands. Having to choose only 3 places is so so hard! If you like quiet beaches, you should try visiting Palawan. A lot of divers like to go there. Boracay is a nice destination for beach-goers too, although it's really different from Palawan. It has a vibrant party scene and it's the beach that never sleeps, while Palawan is more for the eat-pray-love kind. Lastly, you should visit Metro Manila too of course! Shop 'til you drop and go on food trips!
Describe your personal style and its influences/inspiration.
I'd like to think that my style is versatile but put-together. I like trying out different styles and mixing and matching all sorts of things but I always make sure to balance it all off at the end of the day. I guess it's how I make them my own.
I get influenced/inspired by so many things. The internet, for one, is a great place to start! Runway shows, streetwear (hello, Lookbook!) and many more. Traveling is a great source of inspiration too! There are so many crazy talented and creative individuals out there, my inspiration lightbulb is always on!
Favorite designers and places to shop?
I like mixing high low brands so the choices are endless! But if I had all the money in the world, my favorites are Alexander Mcqueen, Balenciaga and Givenchy. For more accessible brands that won't burn holes through our wallets, they are Mango, Topshop, Zara, Miss Selfridge and River Island. My favorite place to shop is definitely in Hong Kong. It's very convenient to get there, only an hour and a half away by plane. In my opinion, Hong Kong has one of the best mix of luxury, mid and low brands. Even random shops on the street are treasure havens!
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
I've never really given this much thought. I mean fashion is so visual. You tend to look at the whole package first and get wowed by it all. If I were to dissect it, it's probably the shoes. You know what they say, the right shoes can take you places!
What do you skimp on?
Healthy food. Haha! Kidding aside, probably watches. I mean I do have a few but I don't like splurging insane amounts for so many pieces!
What do you splurge on?
Food and travel--my two great loves aside from fashion. When it comes to fashion, I splurge on shoes and bags the most.
A fashion rule you never break:
What rules? :) We are fashion and not the other way around so there shouldn't be any rules. If it works, it works!
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
Toe caps, especially metal ones. They are so eye-catching and sexy! I seriously can't get enough of them!
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
For menswear, the socks. I really tend to look at their socks. The wrong socks can break your look. For womenswear, I don't think there's any item that's underrated. Case in point: our overflowing closets!
Your favorite colour(s) of the moment are:
White and gold.
What is your next "must have" purchase?
A silver bag. I'm still lusting over Givenchy's Antigona in metallic silver. It's so pretty!
What is the ultimate showpiece in your closet?
This fully beaded jacket by Adrianna Papell. It's a work of art! Another one is this vintage Escada black and gold belt my aunt passed down to me. It's present in practically all my favorite shoots. To say that it's overused is an understatement!
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
Diane Kruger, Kate Moss, Carine Roitfeld--all brave women when it comes to fashion and their personal style.
What's on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?
On my bookshelf, it's 1000 Places To See Before You Die. I really like traveling and I look forward to the day that I retire and I'll just be traveling around the world. On my DVD player, I'm currently watching Modern Family Season 1. It's a great way to de-stress after long days. On my iPod, The Killers are on full blast. I missed them all of a sudden.
What can't you live without?
Aside from the obvious 3Fs: friends, family and food, I just realized I can't live without my iPhone. I used to think I didn't depend on it that much but apparently I do. It was stolen a few weeks ago and I had to go phone-less for a day, I suffered quite a bit haha! 21st century problems!
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?
By another member, it's Nicole Warne's Constellations With Just Cavalli. It's not just the fashion but the overall photo composition. She can do no wrong! By myself, it changes all the time but probably Gypsy or Mega Woman.
Next place you want to travel to (and why):
London and Korea. I've never been to either. I've heard so many great things about their fashion and culture, they're on top of my list!
In the year 2017 you will be:
That's 5 years from now, so I hope I'm an established and really successful fashion designer by then. I hope Coexist has expanded by a whole lot already too. And lastly, I hope I'm happily married already. Lord, I hope you're reading this.
What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?
Don't let anything or anyone hold you back. Fashion is for you.
Peter Adrian wants to know: If you lived long enough to be in a zombie apocalypse, what is your survival plan?
Act like a zombie! I'm not really familiar with zombies (apologies to zombie fans), but I don't think they rely on their brains too much by the time they become one. They're a bunch of dead men walking and probably rely on animal instincts instead. I hope they can't smell out humans though! (If they do, let's not shatter my hopes and dreams. Please allow me to assume they don't. Come on, I'm in a zombie apocalypse! Cut me some slack!) If it's all just visual, then all my make-up will come in handy don't you think? I should probably start researching on prosthetic makeup too haha! So the game plan: look and act like a zombie and lie low. I'd probably just look for a really hidden place and stock up on food with a companion or 2. No man is an island after all!
What should we ask the next interviewee?
If you can create your dream country, what would it be? Like for example, the stores of Paris + the food of Japan + the beaches of California + the weather of...and so and so forth.