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Let's go inside some of the industry's greatest closets off the runway and off camera.  Everything on this site is handpainted by the author. Follow me on Instagram @theclosetinterview and @annthaden.

Rachel Ebelle

Rachel Ebelle

Today I’m meeting Rachel Ebelle in Caen, France. When Rachel isn't working as a dental assistant, she's promoting Instagram talent @rachel_dashboard, an exciting Instagram feed that focuses on emerging designers and diverse talent in the industry.

Hello, It’s Ann.  It’s great to see you.  Can I interview your closet?  

Hello Ann, thank you for your interest. Yes I am pleased to answer your questions.

What’s your favorite T-Shirt? Where and why did you buy it? One of my favorite t-shirt was offered to me by a good Italian boyfriend, who lives in Turin.  It's a slim fitting grey t-shirt with "We only live once"! written across the front.  He found it from this incredible street vendor during a holiday trip to New York. He knows that I love everything that moves out of the routine. I felt like I had a part of something special, here NYC.  :)

Are you a sweater person or a sweatshirt person? For the cozy, stylish and feminine side I am totally a sweater person.

What did you wear on your last date?  It was a dinner date. I chose a comfortable feminine and festive look.  A CAMAÏEU Brand Jeans, a famous French Brand. Leather boots GALERIE LAFAYETTE.  A SANDRO black sweater with two patterns, the front is embroidered with sequins., a ZARA coat from the new collection in store that I purchased with a giftcard I received for the New Year, earrings in white cultured pearls, a tote bag worn at the shoulder. Voilà! :)



How did the date go? What did you do?  Everything went well, Thank you. This was the second time I was there. The restaurant is named Le Bureau and is located in what was originally the Chamber of Commerce. It’s an empire style building. Contrary to the first experience, the service was fast and the waitresses was dynamic and a good listener. I ate L'Andouilette: a very French sausage composed of seasoned tripe with a not very glamorous mustard sauce that I still love it anyway :)  It was a beautiful after New Year’s party.  Originally, I had ordered the Tagliatelle. I quickly changed my mind afterwards and asked L'Andouilette! The chef and the team were brilliant. 

What do you like to drink while getting ready for a night out?  It depends on my mood, my desire at the time. It can be a small beer, a glass of French or South African red wine. Or a cocktail Cuba Libre (rum+ lime + Coca cola).

What music do you listen to while getting ready for a night out?  It depends of my mood and my playlist of the moment. I connect to the Spotify app to choose. This week, I listened: Tschaikowsky Ed Sheeran Aliocha, Maitre Gims, Richard Bona, Jane Constance.




What was the last place you traveled to? My last trip was to Netherlands. To visit my sister and her family. She lives in the quiet little town of Sittard. In the province of Limburg.

What was the most important thing you packed ?  Clothes and others masterpieces I found in private sales for my sister and her two children.

What was the most non-essential thing you shouldn’t have packed but packed anyway?  A bath towel.

What rules if any did you have about getting dressed when you were young? My mother always said "Your clothes speak for you" and “Always dress yourself like a family girl".

What is the first item of clothing you bought with your own money?  Spice Girl Platform sneakers.

What is the biggest splurge or investment piece you purchased?  A genuine limited edition Herve Leger dress in emerald green.

Do you feel the investment has been worthwhile?  Absolutely! I only made good meeting with this dress. It was a magical dress. I resold it to a charity auction to the benefit of The Youngest Mother. This is an association that cares for young mothers in rural areas to provide pre and postnatal care. The association is in Cameroon, country where my mother is from. 

What is your favorite fashion bargain? How much do you wear it?  The blue dress with gold sequins embroidered on the shoulders. It found it during a visit in Beirut (Lebanon). In a trade of Saida Old Souk. I've had it for three years and wear it always with the same pleasure. I also bought olive oil soaps! A must! The souk of Saida is really the place to known in Beirut.  It's far away from the ultra modern souk located in the city center. 

Who was your style icon as a youngster?  Victoria Beckham: her attitude and style.

Who is one of your style icons now?  Lupita Nyong'o and Ruth Negga! :)



What do you wear when you work out? Printed leggings from H&M, t-shirt + sweat-shirt + Asics sneakers. I always like to combine comfy and girly. For everything else, work, appointments etc. mood counts much in the choice my outfit of the day.

What do you wear to the grocery store?  A short dress with boots, sandals or sneakers for example, the sneakers Le Coq Sportif a well-known Brand in France. 

What shoes do you wear when the weather is bad?  I am a sweater person, but at the same time I like fluid and lightweight fabrics, minimalist style with no excessive overlap! Therefore, when the weather is bad, Jeans+ shirt or sweater + designer jacket from Italie for example. Unrated designers, whose creations and models are taken over by huge fashion brands. I particularly like Stella Jean, a Rome based fashion label.

What shoes do you wear when you want to show off?  There is also my Guess mule in faux leopard or my Manolo Blahnik faux crocodile pumps. Without hesitation, an item like the dress I purchased in Beirut is something I'd wear that gets more attention!

What do you wish you had in your closet but don’t have?  The Perù Shoes! A brand launched by young French friends who went backpacking in Peru.  The prints and patterns inspired by Incan textiles and geometry of 13th and 14 centuries and proceeds from their sales benefit children's schools in Cusco.  I would also like this backpack from a young designer accessories Bogolove (via Instagram)  that has an online store. His clutches and scarves are made with Bogolan which is a fabric dyed in a Malian (West African) technique.  It's majestic!

What do you have in your closet that you should throw away but still haven’t?  A few t-shirts and others basics clothes with paint spots that remind me renovation work and home deco of my house.

What’s in your closet that you inherited from another person and still like to wear?  Only cultured pearl earrings from my mother. 

What is the best piece of clothing or accessory that someone else bought for you?   6 yards of Netherlands Wax from Vlisco Factory. The Wax is a fabrics with multiple patterns and prints. There is for all style. More and more great creators use it in their collection. I particularly like those of African designers Like Kybonen NY who dressed Lupita Nyong'o or a Ghanaian luxury brand Christie Brown

What piece(s) of jewelry do you wear everyday? My earring in cultured pearls. 

Do you wear a fragrance?   Yes my dear! I like use two different fragrance. A fruity feminine fragrance and a fragrance for men. I use at the moment.  The little black dress of perfume is Agua Allegoria Mandarin Basillic of Guerlain, which I place behind the ears and the neck. Then  A Mont Blanc Legend Spirit fragrance that I put in the hand on the wrists and breasts. It make me feel mysterious, confident and this combination blurs the tracks. I like the fact that I can wear 2 fragrances that I love.



Thanks for letting me interview your closet Rachel.  I’m glad I got to know you better too.  Now would you mind if I borrowed the gold and navy blue dress from Beirut?

Chen Cong

Chen Cong

Micaela Lade

Micaela Lade