If life in isolation is starting to get you down, then take advice from the eternally upbeat iconic Australian designer, Camilla Franks.
“Shift things up a bit,” she says. “Do something you don’t usually do. At the moment, I collected all these old bones from the countryside ages ago and I’m going to paint them. Or I’m gonna play the tambourine. Or I’m gonna play the harmonica really badly. For me, being playful has been my saviour in this time. Have a bit of fun.”
Sound advice from someone who knows a thing or two about tapping into her creativity to deal with life’s unexpected blows. The charismatic fashion designer has weathered her own storms and has emerged victorious time and time again, as she openly discusses in the latest episode of Finding Fearless with marie claire podcast.
From the highs of travelling the globe to fuel her creative spirit designing for her eponymous label Camilla and attracting an enviable tribe of loyal A-lister fans along the way (we’re talking names like Oprah, Beyonce and JLo, natch.)
To the lows of discovering she had Stage-3 breast cancer, only weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter Luna. Since then she has undergone a mastectomy, has taken a new path of self-discovery post-recovery, has pivoted her company to cope with the Covid-19 crisis and is now on the verge of facing her most difficult decision yet.
“We don’t know what our limits are until we’re forced to explore,” she tells editor Nicky Briger in the podcast. “I learnt I wasn’t Superwoman or Wonder Woman. I lost my cape many, many times. I used to think if you are not doing it perfectly then you’re failing – but that’s not the case.
“If cancer taught me anything it is that we actually have zero control over anything. So for me, instead of freaking out about the current state of the world, I’m just taking every chapter as it comes.”
Camilla’s next chapter includes making an appointment to undergo the next step in her treatment – the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes – effectively shutting down her chances of having another child.
“I knew after having the mastectomy that we would have to have a conversation in the future about the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes, and that time is coming,’’ she says in the podcast.
“I’m desperate to have another baby, so for me I haven’t quite come to a healthy thing in my head to let go of that part of my future. So we’re just working through that now.
Camilla said she and her fiancé, Welsh musician JP Jones, are on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to having another child but jokingly adds “JP if you are listening we are doing this!”
In typically Camilla-style, she gets deeply upfront and personal and manages to lift everyone with her. It is her signature move, which is why her life lessons from a tumultuous ride, are always worth hearing. Listen up here, now, or on your preferred podcast platform of choice.