Camillus creates fragrance bottle-inspired purse called Perfumo
Artist, fashion illustrator and now accessories designer Camillus McLaughlin has successfully turned his fascination with the dreamy properties of perfume bottles into a piece of art that’s worth taking with you on your next trek on the red carpet.
Talking about his latest project dubbed Perfumo, Camillus tells La Moda why the sculpture slash fashion accessory is worth spending AED 5,000 on. Using unique materials (when did you last see a handbag made of acrylic?), the designer has crafted an accessory that is able to last, with proper care, at least 70 years.
What made you draw inspiration from a perfume bottle?
I love how a glass perfume bottle can reflect and refract the light. So I wanted to recreate this property with a bag. I couldn’t use glass because it wouldn’t be practical, so I decided to use acrylic, which has all the characteristics of glass, but stronger.
Also, I wanted to add a bracelet to the bag so as to act as a charm, which adorn some perfume bottles. I wanted the silver bracelet to be detachable so the owner can wear it as a bracelet.
What message would you like to communicate through this handbag?
The “Perfumo” bag stands for luxury, haute couture, vintage glamour and craftmanship. Materials I use are sterling silver, leather, nickel silver, stainless steel and some aluminium. It combines a minaudiere with jewellery.
Can you tell us more about your background? How long have you been in the business and what did you do prior to designing the Perfumo?
I studied art and design in university. I have been involved in art and design for at least 10 years. I completed an internship in Florence, Italy and studied there. This is where I really got my passion for fashion, design, art and sculpture. I have been concentrating on my art prior to making the “Perfumo” bag.
How practical is it? Can one wear the bag for their day-to-day activities (because, you know, Anna dello Russo might want to wear one everyday)?
The “Perfumo” bag is not for everyday use. It is more for red carpet events and special occasions. There is a leather compartment for a mobile phone and another one for a compact/vanity mirror (the bag comes with a free Camillus Compact). There’s also a leather compartment for keys and another for lipstick/lipgloss.
On the other side there is a beautiful zipped leather compartment with a black leather tassel, which can be used for loose change, notes and credit cards. It has two detachable chains made of intertwined black leather and silver. It isn’t heavy so it can be used as a handbag or worn on the shoulder.
When you said limited edition, just how limited is this design?
I hope to make 50-100 pieces. Everything is done by hand so it takes 14-21 days to make each bag. I do not want to produce too many, as I want the bag been seen as a piece of art and a sculpture, rather than a trendy accessory.
For information on how to get your hands on one of these works of art, check out the website www.camilluscouture.com.