We’re looking for a particular clothing store. We think it’s within the first three blocks on Mission Street, west of Fair Oaks. Several drive-bys prove fruitless. Then, oh, this one looks familiar. We park; we lock; we step inside. Okay, now not so familiar. But, hmmm, look at this…
A multi-colored dress attracts our eye. Hand stitching on the skirt, a velvet waist band, ornate trim. There are also hats with broad rims; simple, stylish. Racks of enticing scarves, some hand painted. A variety of handbags. Cases of jewelry. And the shoes! We know a woman or two who would have to be pried away from these fanciful treasures.
Camille is named for the proprietress, buyer, and designer Camille Frances DePedrini. She has been in business for eleven years, and at this location for three. Prior to shop owner, she designed wedding dresses. Even now, if you give her a six-month lead time, you could walk down the aisle in a one-of-a-kind creation—though if the examples are indicative of her style, if you’re into big and poofy, then Camille’s not the designer for you. Her styles are flowing and delicate, almost simple at first glance, but there are unexpected gathers, pleats, layers, and a use of buttons and beading that produce alluring effects.
Although the store’s inventory of Camille’s designs, as well as local and European designers, is rather high end (a sale rack dress runs for over $200), the store has a welcoming, relaxed air and the saleswomen are respectful, attentive, and friendly. The design of the store itself is a work of art with curved iron bars from the clothing racks to the ceiling; a muted but colorful panel is installed behind a golden ottoman; the ottoman holds a dressmaker’s mannequin donning an elaborate tulle and appliqué evening dress; and pencil and charcoal drawing’s by Camille’s husband, artist Michael Provart adorn the walls, hung with clear plastic thumbtacks (and it works).
Presently Camille and the two adjoining stores Rue de Mimo and Marz are having their winter sale, which shall last another three weeks or more. If you have a special occasion in your future, and are enticed by scrumptious fabrics and fine detail, head on over to South Pas. Camille will take care of you—from head to toe.
1516 Mission St., South Pasadena
Store hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 12-5 p.m.; Mondays, closed
For more info, call 626.403.6735 or visit camilledepedrini.com