It's no secret that here at Clos-ette, we're crazy about accessories. But for Coralie Charriol, fine jewels and leather goods aren’t just a sartorial necessity – they’re a way of life. The French beauty has been enthralled by the high-end goodies ever since her father founded the Swiss luxury brand Charriol when she was a child, and went on to join the family business right after college. Now, after ten years as Vice President and Creative Director, Charriol has applied her design savvy to her own collection of chic but practical handbags. The line, called C.LILI, features four styles that are as sophisticated and stylish as the woman behind them.
We stole a few moments with the accessories maven to get the 411 on her style and closet.
How would you describe your personal style?
I am a little bit unpredictable, but overall I go for a sort of European, laidback, sexy but polished look. I’m not very consistent –some days I won’t make an effort whatsoever, and then the next day I make a major effort.
What are your tricks for keeping your closet neat and organized?
It’s a battle every day to stay organized. In my closet, each section is organized from old to new and by summer and winter. My shirts and tops are all on the same hangers [Try clos-ette too's Signature Shirt Hangers for a streamlined look]. I also have these hangers that hold four pants on one hanger [like clos-ette too's Signature Pant/Skirt Hanger]. Underwear and bras are color-coordinated, and so are t-shirts.
The Aurelia bag in chestnut, $425
We can only imagine your accessories collection. How do you store it all?
I always stuff bags with tissue. I find as long as the bag is not squashed, it retains its shape pretty well. Hanging bags is even better, but that definitely takes up space. For jewelry, I have a huge jewelry box where I keep the things that I wear every day, and then in a drawer I have these trays where I dump my more fun stuff, like fun bracelets and fun earrings. The pieces I don’t wear so much are wrapped in tissue paper and stored in little satin pouches. [Try our Travel Jewelry Case for the best way to store your bling on the road].
What's your philosophy on editing your closet?
My good friend Nina Garcia said you use five percent of your closet –and I’m a big believer in that. That’s why I give away a lot. I am a very good filterer, and usually do a big go-through once a year. My mom’s rule was, however many pieces you gave away, you would get new. So I sort of stuck to that. I don’t think there’s anything you need to collect. Like the only thing I got from my mom were these unbelievable thigh-high boots, but my foot doesn’t fit in them. I think the great thing to pass down and collect is jewelry.
Do you think jewelry makes the best investment pieces?
I wear, obviously, a lot of my family brand’s jewelry, and I’ve been given a lot of jewelry from my husband and my father, so I I’ve been lucky. There are pieces, like these necklace my father gave me years ago, that I now wear 20 years later. I think jewelry always comes back and those are always great investment pieces. I’m not a big believer in clothes as investment pieces. Even fur coats –you get a fur coat and then two years later it’s out of style. I got a beautiful Carolina Herrera and now it looks too long, but if I get it cut, two years later, long coats will be back again. So that’s annoying. But I do invest in a couple key pieces from designers each season.
Coralie with her father Charriol President & CEO Philippe Charriol
What are your favorite wardrobe basics?
I have to have new underwear and bras. I always find that nice, pretty, new underwear makes me feel good. Also, every year I need a spanking new pair of Tod’s shoes. I also think you always need to get the latest pair of jeans. What I always end up loving to buy is outerwear. I think the real reason is because I hate getting undressed at stores, so I always find that the jacket is the easiest thing to buy!
What would we be surprised to find in your closet?
Wigs. I don’t wear them as much as before, but I love them.
Whose closet would you raid if you could?
It’s more like whose jewelry box would I raid –I would rather go to somebody’s safe and pull out some mega-rocks. It would love to raid Liz Taylor’s jewelry box, or any wealthy Indian woman's, or James de Givenchy's. I just think jewelry is so exciting.