Adapting her Art to Phangan Style is Costume Maker Carelle

21 Jan 2016

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What is your Koh Phangan story?

I came here two years ago and began to work a bit at Jungle Experience dancing but went back to Bangkok for a while where I was working as model.

I then came back to Koh Phangan with the purpose of trying to work more as an artist, painting, dancing and all the creative things but suddenly I felt like I needed to retire, so for more than a year I stopped everything entirely, I completely retired. I began to study tarot cards and chinese ‘I Ching’. I wrote a book about it and I really want to create my own tarot card game but then I felt the need to get back to life and start to do costumes and dancing again, to stop retiring somehow.

What is it about Koh Phangan that has kept you?
It’s this feeling that the island is changing all of us, to help us find ourselves. I see people changing here, it’s a very special island and if you stay a long time then you can feel this effect on you.

Many people have told me that here is a healing place, it has crystal quartz in the ground which gives energy to the place, it heals you and helps get rid of the conditioning from Europe etc, it helps you find peace.

I promote the experience here as I really believe it, people here have so many interesting lives.

What got you started in making costumes?

From being very young I have always been fascinated by costumes in movies, the dresses in them. I began to create costumes with friends, we did our own costumes in France and all enjoyed it so much.

You create something for the ideal of a dancer, for someone to incarnate something for one night or one show. It is a really beautiful job to imagine it being worn then to see it being worn, it’s a really nice feeling.

Where do you source your inspiration?
From the material I find or have, I just gather a lot of material and then I let my imagination go. What I can do with this also depends on what person it is for, it has to fit her personality and her feeling, to get something that corresponds to her.

If it’s an order then it is something very personal, some people have different decisions like some don’t want to show too much of their body etc. I do a lot of research on the internet to get a lot of ideas.

What kind of costumes have you been making on Koh Phangan?

On Phangan I try to make something that is adapted to this place, tribal fusion style for dancers in Sri Thanu and also recently I have been making more costumes for parties.

I am making samba inspired costumes, using these types of colours and going back to these things as they are more adapted to the place. Here the traditional costumes don’t work so much, it needs to be more creative and eccentric as the artists here are so creative themselves, they are very much more free so you have to follow this feeling.

What projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am still going back to creating costumes and also painting projects. I am keeping the tarot project for later, I’m just having a break, doing something I enjoy for fun and working for other dancers. Later maybe I will retire again to create the tarot card game.

I have an order for something a bit ‘samba style’ for someone dancing at Jungle Experience and also I have a customer for a more traditional costume, I like to do this style also but am not sure if people are interested here but I sell these on etsy.

Why do you think kp attracts so many creative people?

It’s really something very special here, maybe because there’s so many parties and dance lessons with different influences and ideas.

People are together trying to be creative together and here there are less rules, in Europe I have to write what style something is etc, whereas here I don’t have to worry so much. Things are more spontaneous here, everything comes with relationships and friends, there’s a community feeling, it is more natural, it’s about this feeling.

Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
Definitely I hope I will have done my tarot card game, I also hope to work more on my painting and getting inspired by the tarot. I hope this will be going.

The place, well I have no idea if I will stay here or be somewhere else, I just hope I can still be creative and find people interested in what I do, to do things I enjoy, painting, costumes and tarot, I hope I can keep on doing this everyday.

What do you do in your free time on Phangan?

Most of the time I like to go on small roads in the jungle, going in the nature. I go to small parties, Baan Sabaii I really like, or just hang out with friends, the simple things.

What is your life philosophy?
Sometimes from a little madness can come good. When things go a bit crazy, sometimes this is when you can get ideas and inspiration, I just let life guide me, not thinking too much, I learnt to do this here.