At home with… Camille Charrière

Maria Joudina

Usually never in one place for too long, Camille Charrière is the multi talented Parisienne in London, combining the best of both cities with her cool style and sharp wit. While we are all spending a lot more time at home we have spoken to her about what spontaneously gets her dancing in the kitchen, the perfect Sunday roast and appreciating a slower world.

MJ: Where have you been spending lockdown?
CC: My boyfriend and I moved in together right before this all happened, so we are currently in lockdown in the new flat in Notting Hill. It’s far from ideal going from never having lived with someone to sharing a small space 24/7 especially since we don’t have a balcony or a garden (a small price to pay for the privilege of living in central London so I guess we can’t complain). It’s not all bad though: we would never have spent so much time getting to know each other without this, so as wishy washy as this may sound, am trying to enjoy this time and feel grateful for all the small things that make each day special: the companionship (new for me as was single for 7 years before this), our great conversations, cooking for each other and yes, even the chores feel a little easier with someone to share and rant about with.
MJ: Have you managed to get a lockdown routine going? If so, what does it look like?
It’s not a routine per se (mainly because am abysmal at sticking to things), but I have set some ground rules for myself that are keeping me sane and noticed that I have new home habits that (*gasp*) I look forward to every day now. I try get up at the same time (just before 9am — I don’t need an alarm); I start the day with a delicious oatmilk latte (its getting better everyday) to which I add some a drop of Hi Stevie CBD (my friend Courtney sent it from LA). I am a very anxious person and am always late or stressed so hoping this is going to help. If my day is not crazy, I’ll go for a long walk in the morning, without my phone; this really helps to start the day with my brain feeling fresh. I don’t 100% know whether these things actually work, but am finding that having little rituals amongst all the chaos is really reassuring and am hoping to carry them into the ‘new normal’ (the morning walk especially). I then have a shower, get dressed (no sweats allowed on weekdays!) and start working. In the evening, I have been allowing myself a glass of wine to unwind before dinner, which is more of a treat than a routine (I hope!) but something I never really did before as only ever had wine at dinner parties or the pub.

Click to listen to
Camille’s playlist

MJ: What’s your fave meal you’ve cooked so far during this lockdown?
CC: We have been perfecting our Sunday roast, mixing mine and his traditional family recipes, complete with stuffing, gravy, and fondant roast potatoes. It is so homey to have a big roast every weekend. I then boil the carcass with whatever vegetables we have left in the fridge and make a big batch of soup that we then have on Monday to start the week off healthy. I make it slightly differently every week so it’s never boring, and means we avoid food waste which is a small thing that has been giving me much joy during this quarantine.
MJ: How have you been looking after your body and mind?
CC: Long walks, warm baths, the headspace app, keeping a diary, online pilates booty with @JuliePujolsbenoit, a good argument with the boy, dancing about like a mad thing with @Ryan.Heffington, setting the table every day, reading, Barbara Strum masks.
MJ: What does self care mean for you?
CC: Not worrying about productivity. Accepting extreme mood swings. Being kind to myself. Allowing for downtime when I can’t concentrate. I read somewhere that:  “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.”. I think it’s an important distinction worth emphasising. You can’t expect to be as creative, as efficient, as motivated as you normally would. Berating yourself is not going to help.
MJ: Beauty products, or au natural?
CC: I use Biologique Recherche and Barbara Strum on my face and have been much better about being consistent with my morning and evening beauty routines. Since I normally travel way too much (meaning my potions often get forgotten at home or confiscated at customs) now is the time to really allow for those good habits to settle in. Been also using the time to start that supplements course and stick to it. Other than that, not been doing makeup unless I’m doing one of my quaranteenies interviews (and even then I feel like I look like a ghost).
MJ: You are normally never in one place for very long, how does it feel to stay put?
CC: Soothing. I love that there is no need to pack or rush to the airport. I am not pining for my fast-paced lifestyle at all. What I really miss is my friends and social interactions. I have been thinking for a while about trying to slow down but there is always an excuse not too (all I can say after all this is F*** FOMO!). Truth is we all need to be much more mindful about how much we travel, and that goes for both work and play. This time at home has been a blessing in disguise. I fully realize that this makes me sound very privileged, but I have decided to be grateful for the stillness.
MJ: What do you miss the most from the pre-Covid19 world? And what do you not miss at all?
CC: The thing I miss the most is going out dancing, getting sweaty, forgetting about real-life altogether, and really letting loose. The thing I don’t miss at all is public transport and constantly worrying about being on time.
MJ: Are there any habits you picked up or changes you made to your life that you intend to keep even when the lockdown is over?
CC: Walking! Every day I’m getting up a little earlier and walking a little further. It has been like reconnecting with an old friend (all Parisians are walkers but when I moved to London I slowly lost this habit. There was always an excuse to use transportation: the pouring rain, the size of the city, the lack of pretty pedestrian pavements, my love for impractical shoes…). I go walking early in the morning before the crowds come out, and chose either empty streets or the beautiful parks. I talk to myself, I listen to podcasts, I hum along to my music without worrying that someone could hear me. I come home feeling thankful for blue skies and beautiful blooms, my brain ready for the day ahead and my step count satisfyingly high (nothing quite like a competition with yourself to stay motivated). I have suddenly remembered why I once did it every day and hope I can carry this into post-Corona times. Taking time to enjoy the world at this pace, one step ahead but never in a hurry.
MJ: Describe your perfect post lockdown weekend? What’s the first thing you’ll do or place you’ll go to?
CC: Assuming we won’t be able to travel for a while, I am just really really looking forward to spending time with friends and family, preferably outdoors, ideally with the sun out, and lots of food and alcohol involved. Staying up, dancing, laughing, people coming and going as they please, and waking up really hungover the next day without feeling guilty. Who knows if / when we will next have a weekend like that, but boy do I miss those carefree days.
MJ: What’s one item of clothing you can’t live without right now?
CC: My Tortware 90s crocodile clip (perfect for effortless pre-zoom glam).
MJ: I hear you’re not a big fan of a bra—I, for one, can relate! What about braless life do you prefer? CC: It’s not that am not a fan. I just don’t have boobs. I don’t see the point in wearing something if you don’t need it. I wish I had a superb collection of sexy lingerie to show off but the truth is I don’t think my boobs look better with a bra (because they don’t fill most bras) so would rather just go without. And when I want a little extra vavavoom, I slip into a lace bodysuit (La Perla is my guilty pleasure) and use it as a top. Et voila!
MJ: Which artists would you feature in a soundtrack to the movie of your life ATM?
CC: Dolly Parton, Serge Gainsbourg, Bon Entendeur, Abba, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Hans Zimmer, Billie Eilish, Cher, Puccini. Lots of happy music. A little dramatic. Cheesy even (maybe its a musical??) We need it at the mo. Songs to make you break out into spontaneous dance in your kitchen? 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton.
MJ: You’ve been very vocal about giving back during this very difficult time, how can everyone do their bit?
CC: I have not meant to be vocal. I think there is nothing worse than making people feel guilty that they are not helping enough. I think looking after yourself and your family and re-adjusting to this crazy time should be everyone’s number one priority. That said, once you have settled a little, and feel like you are able to give back, there are so many places you can turn to help. I have been particularly involved with Solace London a charity helping women who suffer from domestic abuse as this lockdown has been particularly cruel for them. I launched a DEPOP they will be selling bits from my wardrobe to raise funds for this cause so feel free to have a browse. 100% proceeds to SolaceLondon (Camille’s Depop).