Camille Charrière grew up in Paris before moving to London, where she launched Camille Over the Rainbow in 2010 as a platform for sharing her personal styling and wardrobe insights, travel tips, and generally witty point of view. She quickly developed a devoted following, catching the eye of chic women and editors around the world who appreciated her brand of understated glamour, which tends to be more sporty than flashy with a penchant for monochromatic looks. Her personal style showcases her international perspective combining a pared-down Parisian aesthetic with edgy London flair—plus a focus on emerging international brands. Lucky for you, her gifting skills reflect her sharp taste, and she’s revealed her entire holiday shopping list, from the best beauty products to the most coveted fashion splurges.
But it’s not just Charrière’s eclectic personal style that suggests her unique perspective. Her holiday traditions are a mash up too. “Growing up in Paris with a British mom, it was important to partake in English traditions and give us a real bi-cultural experience,” Charrière tells The Window. “That’s why Christmas has always meant bringing mince pies to the neighbors and caroling, which French people just don’t do. Our French friends love getting the English experience.” Below, she tells us about the special traditions that shape her holiday season.
The Window: What do ‘the holidays’ mean to you?
Camille Charrière: Holiday means family to me—always has. Back when we live in France, we used to all travel to England to see the family out there. I’m the youngest of four, and now that we’ve all grown up and are scattered around the world we all make it a point to go back home to Paris and spend a week all together. We stay at home with our parents and have a full week of activities like board games, long walks, and singing Christmas carols. We have a tradition of going to the ballet or opera after opening presents and eating a big meal on December 25.
Tells us about one of your favorite traditions.
My mom is very British and eccentric, so from the 1st of December onward, she’ll have holiday music blaring at the house, from traditional Cambridge singers to All I Want For Christmas Is You. My siblings and I get rowdy and jump around the kitchen singing and dancing, acting ridiculous. It drives my dad mad!
What song would be your soundtrack to your festive season?
White Christmas is my favorite song of all time—not even just in December! I have a problem because I listen to it all year round.
What’s the most unexpected place or situation you’ve found yourself in for the holidays?
One year, we all went to New York and got totally snowed in because of a blizzard. All six of us ended up trapped in the airport together for 24 hours unable to get flights out. Of course, they also ended up losing all our luggage when we finally did leave. I have awful traveler’s luck, so the whole family was blaming me! I have to say, though, we laugh about it so much! It was so bad it became fun, because we were in it together.
Are you big into holiday parties?
I’m getting into them more in England. French companies and friends don’t host holiday parties—it’s more about family there. In the U.S. and England, you celebrate with your friends, colleagues, and family—lots of parties! I get more and more excited about attending all these festivities, and now I’m planning to host my first!
What sort of party vibe are you hoping to create?
It’ll be super-English: eating mince pie, drinking mulled wine, singing Christmas carols at midnight! I want to capture a real holiday spirit and cheer.
What’s your perfect holiday party outfit?
I’m never one to overdress. I prefer staying true to my style even when I’m being festive. Certainly, I feel like Santa hats and red glitter will be appropriate, even if I’m wearing a white shirt and jeans.
What about gifting—what’s your style?
I’m very good at it! I love surprises, so I love to surprise other people too. I tend to keep an eye out for things throughout the year instead of doing my shopping right before the holidays. People may say it’s too early in October or November, but to get a thoughtful gift you have to be thinking more than two weeks out! To do something properly, you have to give it thought.
What item do you wish you could put on your holiday wishlist this year?
Tickets to go somewhere exotic would never go amiss! Especially if it was a surprise and someone told me to pack my bags and leave the next day. I’m dying to go to Mexico, maybe Tulum! In terms of more material things, I think jewelry is such a personal gift. The jewelry I get as gifts means so much to me. I love pieces that become a second skin and are worn every day, becoming a part of you.