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She's the renowned Australian designer whose relaxed designs and statement prints are favourited by the masses. Here, Camilla Franks talks about the mood behind her AW17 collection, body positivity and her thoughts on CAMILLA copycats.

She's the renowned Australian designer whose relaxed designs and statement prints are favourited by the masses. Here, Camilla Franks talks about the mood behind her AW17 collection, body positivity and her thoughts on CAMILLA copycats.

What is the mood behind the winter collection?

CF: The AW17 collection was inspired by the traditional artisans of China and Tibet. We travelled far beyond the city lights, off-the-beaten track to nearly 20 destinations, including Lhasa, Khali and Hani. We spent time with these communities and learned about their respective arts. We didn’t speak the same language but we shared a common understanding through textiles, food, sometimes rice wine, and we learned how they kept their art alive through being courageous. While traveling on the road in China can be challenging at times, I truly believe this is one of our strongest collections to date and I’m so proud and excited to share this very special collection with the world.

A CAMILLA kaftan is the epitome of effortless glamour. But kaftans are often associated as a summer piece. Can you wear a kaftan during winter? If so, why and how?

CF: Absolutely. Layering is the key. In the Chinese Whispers collection, you’ll find kitschy embroidered bomber jackets with fun slogans across the shoulders, knitted jacquards and big chunky scarves with embellishments in rich opulent hues.

We love the versatility a kaftan can bring to our wardrobes. How can we style our CAMILLA kaftans so they are shapely?

CF: When I design a garment, I imagine something both beautiful and versatile. I want my designs to adapt to their wearer and to always look and feel amazing. CAMILLA kaftans can be styled in up to 12 different ways enabling every woman to embrace their uniqueness.

Your CAMILLA designs are works of art. Would you consider yourself an artist?

CF: I consider myself a storyteller. Each CAMILLA piece is infused with a story: the destination and adventure are yours to fill with vibrant colour, bohemian detailing and intricate craftsmanship. All pieces are luxurious, individualistic and timeless. Crafted by hand, made with heart.

She's the renowned Australian designer whose relaxed designs and statement prints are favourited by the masses. Here, Camilla Franks talks about the mood behind her AW17 collection, body positivity and her thoughts on CAMILLA copycats.

You’ve blessed women worldwide with styles that celebrate all figures. You’ve openly said that you don’t follow trends. Would you say CAMILLA is a trend of its own?

CF: We're growing up and expanding our range, so each collection my design team and I branch out of the CAMILLA offering inspired by silhouettes we find on our travels. I try to steer clear of the mainstream trends as it’s important that my collections stay true to my inspirations and creative direction.

Does it bother you that there are copycats out there?

CF: Of course. And it’s a bit hurtful when I see them – but on the flip side it’s also a compliment.However, in saying that, my team and I are true originals! In addition to the artisan quality of the CAMILLA offering, we put our name, soul and love into each and every one of the designs we produce – which is something the others don’t have. And when these copies make their way into the market, we’re always two or three ideas down the line and they are sitting well and truly behind the eight ball.

Did you ever think that you would be standing here today with this level of success?

CF: I still pinch myself when I think back to my early days at the Bondi Beach House… it will always have a special place in my heart. Whenever I visit, it's a solid reminder of how important hard work, crazy ideas and the love of craft is. It will always be my baby! 14 years on, we're sitting pretty at 18 stores in Australia plus a booming online business and have plans to open up shop in New York and LA in the coming year.

What’s one piece of fashion advice you would give women about body positivity?

CF: Everyone has the right to feel beautiful. At CAMILLA, our vision is to awaken the adventurous heart that resides within all of us (no matter who we are), because we believe that everyone has the right to experience freedom and joy. I hope a CAMILLA piece brings that to anyone who wears one.

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