Modern Designer Proust: Carlee Santarelli

October 27, 2009

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In honor of the new CAYSF Proust tradition, allow me to introduce Ms. Carlee Santarelli. A Virginia native, FIDM grad and all around fab gal (inside and out), Carlee has been hobnobbing and experimenting with jewels at an upscale LA boutique for years. But since her light and creativity shine so brightly, she inevitably couldn’t be a slave to someone else’s passion forever. As you can see from the photos above (the fabric used in the rings is all vintage–do you die?), it was simply a disservice to society that she hasn’t launched sooner! And for the record boys, she is the steamy model in these pics and they are self-portraits…


CAYSF: Who is your greatest muse?


CS: My mom. She has strength I’ve never seen before. If she hadn’t raised me around photography and the arts, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. She’s the one and only person in my life that I know will always be there for me no matter what.  


CAYSF: What is your chief characteristic?


CS: I’m not sure I have one.  I just do what my heart wants, even if it leads me to a dead end.  It’s still a learning experience.  There are times I’m confident.  I’m fearful.  I doubt myself. I believe in myself.  I make the right and wrong choices.  I’m creative. I’m shy. I’m determined. It’s all part of life.  


CAYSF: What are your top three stores to shop?


CS: Shareen Vintage, the Vintage Fashion Expo in Santa Monica and Goodwill.


CAYSF: What is your idea of happiness?  


CS: Happiness to me is being creative, inspired, having the best family, enjoying life, living in the moment, laughing, dancing, dinners at the Wallersteins, being in love, helping others, warm weather, a nice fall day, jam sessions, letting a few tears fall thinking of something from my past…


CAYSF: What is your idea of misery?


CS: Misery is a powerful thing if you don’t drown in it.  Misery can be the tests in life that you think will break you, but end up making you stronger. Misery is being numb.  Misery is not realizing that you are in control and letting others control your emotions.


CAYSF: What is your fave piece of clothing and a story behind it of why?


CS: My bloomers. I wear bloomers all year round–with flats, tights, under mini dresses…they are just so comfy! I never see anyone else wearing them and I always get compliments.  


CAYSF: What are your top 3 fave foods?


CS: Ralph’s Red Velvet Cake, ravioli and sushi.


CAYSF: What is your favorite travel destination?  


CS: Anywhere, because it puts me in the sky. I love being in the sky. It’s always peaceful. I forget about my worries and think about the people I love, a lot of times my brother. It makes me wonder where he is.  When I travel, the final destination doesn’t matter to me. There’s always something to learn or to discover in places you’ve never been. My favorite place so far is the Dominican Republic, but I would love to go to Romania, Cuba, Argentina, Russia, Egypt, Africa….


CAYSF: Where could we find you on a random Sunday?


CS: In my studio, the farmer’s market, or a friends house hanging out.


CAYSF: What is your favorite motto?


CS: “Be the change in the world you wish to see.” (Gandhi)


CAYSF: What were some of your most treasured toys when young and why?


CS: I didn’t really have a lot of toys; we were always playing games like army tag and hide-and-seek. I loved to climb the big oak tree in our front yard and sit up there. I also adored my pogo stick and the board game Mall Madness–what little girl doesn’t like to pretend she has a credit card and go shopping all day?!?!?


CAYSF: Who is your favorite band?


CS: Anything and everything Daniel Lanois puts out. His new band, Black Dub, is amazing. I love Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. Also, Stein Have Sung–the whole world will soon love them as much as me! 


CAYSF: Where can we find your goods?


CS: ARCADE, Mesh and Lace, Browns in London.


One Response to “Modern Designer Proust: Carlee Santarelli”

  1. Loving the Proust series!

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