Girl-band singer turns trav­els to new ca­reer

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Sa­man­tha Critchell

NEW YORK — “Home­goods de­signer” was never a par­tic­u­lar as­pi­ra­tion for Belinda Carlisle, the singer best known as part of the GoGo’s. But, she says, she was spend­ing so much time trav­el­ling, and es­pe­cially trav­el­ling to In­dia, where she was sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful tex­tiles and glo­ri­ous colours, that she had to fig­ure out how to put all of it to use.

“I guess I sort of had a knack for it,” Carlisle says.

Her new col­lec­tion, called Belin­dia (yes, that’s a slight tweak of the spell­ing of her name), is be­ing sold at Bergdorf Good­man. On a re­cent trip to New York, she made sure to pass the re­tailer’s fa­mous Mid­town win­dows to see her blan­kets and table­top items on dis­play.

She wouldn’t have imag­ined it a few years ago.

“It re­ally started with three or four of us not know­ing any­thing about how to start this sort of busi­ness, and one year and nine months later, we’re in store,” Carlisle says in an in­ter­view.

“I was spend­ing six months a year in In­dia, and I thought, ‘I have to jus­tify it.’ ”

Orig­i­nally, she was drawn to In­dia more as part of a spir­i­tual jour­ney that in­cluded yoga and char­i­ta­ble work, but as she “peeled away the lay­ers of In­dia,” she be­came more and more en­chanted.

For the col­lec­tion, she al­lowed her eclec­tic, un­con­ven­tional tastes to take the lead, she ex­plains. In her own home, it’s some­thing la­dy­like here, some­thing left over from her punk days over there. Noth­ing matches, she says, and that’s the way she likes it.

Carlisle is in the process of mov­ing back to Los Angeles af­ter mak­ing her home in France for many years. Her fur­ni­ture and beloved col­lectibles and sou­venirs will go back to the United States with her, but she’s sad that her favourite ride, a 1973 Citroën DS 23, prob­a­bly will not. There’s a prac­ti­cal side to Carlisle, and, she says, she’s con­cerned that if any­thing were to go wrong with the car or it needed a new part, there’d be no help avail­able.

Carlisle con­sid­ers her bed­room the most im­por­tant room in the house be­cause she does much of her work, as well as her re­lax­ing, on her bed, which she cov­ers in throws and pil­lows.

She plans to put one of the orig­i­nal blan­kets from Belin­dia’s de­but on the bed.

She’ll also put one of the table­cloths on her din­ing ta­ble, Carlisle says, but al­though she is mak­ing a ta­ble run­ner, too, she doesn’t see much use for one.

It must be one of those things that peo­ple who throw elab­o­rate din­ner par­ties need, she says, but she’s def­i­nitely not one of those.

“I don’t spend money on din­ner par­ties. I’d much rather have a good loaf of bread and save my money for travel,” she says.

Her next planned big trip — af­ter that U.S. move — is again to In­dia, where she wants to go to even more re­mote places by train, car­ry­ing just a back­pack.

“It’s go­ing to be a no-jew­elry, no­makeup kind of trip.”

Some textile items from the Belin­dia la­bel raise money for the Shuk­tara Project, an or­ga­ni­za­tion based in Cal­cutta, In­dia, that cares for aban­doned chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties.

Belinda Carlisle of Go-Go’s fame is now fo­cused on blan­kets and table­top items.

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