A conversation with Carrie Humphreys
What do Prince Charles, Ronald Reagan, Sammy Davis Jr., Patrick Swayze, Brooke Shields and Elizabeth Taylor all have in common? The answer is that Carrie Humphreys has interviewed them all—sat down with them at their homes, chatted with them and even attended some of their birthday parties. The list is long, varied and fabulous. Many of these sat with her like she sat with me as we discussed her love of golf, fashion, Newport Beach and her precocious chihuahua,Taco.
Humphreys believes in all things divine—which manifests itself magically in her life's work. She grew up in Illinois and attended Miami University in Ohio. Post-college, her natural desire was to help others as a social worker, but that only lasted a year before she had to stop from how sad it was making her. With her ice blue eyes and white blonde hair she moved to Newport Beach, California, and began modeling for Bullock’s department store, eventually becoming Bullocks’ regional fashion director. She managed four stores, had 12 house models and had an entire staff of assistants and secretaries throughout each location. This was during the ’70s, when fashion shows were productions with huge budgets.
After throwing a champagne reception for famed fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, Carrie felt she had a knack for something different, so she approached the local newspaper about writing a fashion column. The Orange County Register hired her as its fashion writer and society editor. She even landed her own television show. Residing now in Pawleys Island, she has her kids, husband, grandkids and Taco. She writes for the Coastal Observer and has more famous people on her wall to keep her company in a life that's been fully lived.
What historical fashion muse do you most identify with?
I really feel I was born in the wrong era. I love the Gatsby style from the 1930s. The fur boas, beading and pearls.
What does style mean to you?
Style means everything to me, but meeting with real fashion designers and speaking with them and learning and knowing the quality of real couture is different. Fashion has become so eclectic. There are no real trends. You can style yourself how you feel.
How do you stay illuminated in fashion?
I like to wear billowy flowing dresses or leotards, nothing tailored, and just go with the flow and and be full of energy. I love throwing parties and having friends over. Whether I am playing golf, swimming, going to church, spending time with my family or traveling, being with people keeps me going.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
My favorite fashion designer is Bob Mackie and if I had the opportunity to collaborate with him I would put together a Gatsby-type collection, but with less fuss and flash. I would use his sense of stylized fabrics because he was amazing at that. We met several times. We could still use some of his edge and flash to make it more daring.
What is your most coveted item of clothing or accessory?
I don't typically covet clothes. I have my Louis Vuitton bags I love. But I do covet my grandmother’s pearls, a ring she gave me and my vintage handbags. So I guess you can say I covet accessories. But traditional ones.