Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Style File: Sweet Caroline

Since I was fifteen I've been sharing fun adventures with young local artist Caroline Schiller, or as our friends call her "Skrilla". I have memories of her talent displayed in the hallways of Episcopal High, specifically, one of my favorites, a self portrait on canvas she completed junior year. 
Always admiring her unique style, I was shocked one afternoon when she confessed to never following trends or mainstream fashion magazines. Caroline's look has always been cutting edge, she can pretty much pull off anything because she knows exactly how to distinguish her beautiful silhouette. 
Her creativity is not only evident in her ensembles, but  is  brought to life in her paintings.  
Displayed across the best eateries in the city (RDG, The Grove, The Lakehouse), Caroline's creations depict worlds that I want to step into.  As she works on her latest project, a mural on the terrace at RDG, I gather from this old friend her inspirations, style, and favorite local hangouts. 

 Gig: "I work at RDG/Bar Annie part-time and then I paint as much and often as possible. At RDG, I hostess and also do any creative projects that need to be done for the restaurant like making signs and advertisements. The biggest thing I do at the moment though is art work for the Schiller-Del Grande restaurants. I have large paintings in RDG and The Grove, a mural in The Lakehouse restaurant and I just got commissioned to do some for the new restaurant opening in October. Besides the commissions I have for the restaurants, I am also just trying to do as many of my own personal pieces as possible so that I can show them in a gallery asap. "

RDG Brunch
Mural in The Lake House
Artist at work, RDG Terrace

Look: "90%  mood, 10% occasion. To be honest, I really never cared very much about fashion until recently. I’ve done 2 Outward Bound programs in my past. As amazing as they were, those experiences pretty much squashed any sense of fashion or style I ever had because I was hanging around these awesome (yet super intense) wilderness fanatics who wear the same Underarmor shirt and pair of Patagonia shorts for days at a time and could probably not comprehend spending more than 20 bucks on anything (except for outdoors gear). However, then I lived in France for 4 months. That experience changed everything and completely opened my eyes to the idea of three things: 1. Caring about good quality clothes 2. The importance of looking good and presenting yourself well. And 3. The idea that what you wear everyday can be just like painting, it’s a very pure form of self-expression."

Inspiration: "I’m an intensely emotional and passionate person, sometimes to a fault, so a lot of my paintings are expressions of the strong emotions I feel which fortunately also provide an outlet for them. I also get very inspired by words, specifically quotes by famous people I admire.
The human language can be so poetic and beautiful and I love to illustrate the beauty and power of words through my art."

"Love is Real"
"Were all Mad Here"

I'm a huge fan of your mom's design, how has growing up around her work inspired you?

             "she is literally my best friend but as similar and inseparable as we are, we actually have very different styles and ways in which we go about creating our work. She is very methodical and pensive and extremely detail-oriented. She can work for a year designing a restaurant, picking out literally every detail until she is completely satisfied. I am the opposite- impulsive, messy and impatient.
When I have a vision in mind I have to literally start it that day and cannot rest until I am finished. Otherwise, if I work on it for too long, I get distracted by another idea and start that one without ever finishing the previous one. Its ironic, though because even though my mom is an artist as well, she was never one of the reasons I started doing art I just found myself having the natural desire to do it, like she did. Well I guess I got the genes from her.... one thing she has always taught me is to follow what you are truly passionate about and that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you always strive for excellence in that one thing."

Painting for her Mama
Snag her style:  "I’ve always cared more about the quality of my jewelry than my clothes. I LOVE good jewelry but am very picky. I know its super uncool of me to be like this but I absolutely hate wearing bracelets... just because I don’t like having things on my arms. But I love rings, necklaces and earrings, especially really good pieces that signify a special occasion in my life. That being said I’m a huge bargain clothes shopper. I would describe my style as bold, random, mis-matched and very feminine. I love floral prints, lace and eye catching high heels. But I also love vintage tee-shirts and a great pair of perfectly-fitting jeans. I’m not very good with paying attention to trends but if I notice a look I love, I go straight for it with my very next outfit."

Showing off Parisian dress
Fiesta with old friends
Go-To Shops: "I've been shopping at Tootsies my whole life. Since I’m a bargain shopper I love obviously love Forever 21, Zara and Loehmans. But besides those, I love any random boutique in Paris- you can always duck into a tiny little no-name boutique off the street and find something beautiful, elegant, unique and timeless. Also since my boyfriend lived in Charleston, South Carolina , I got to explore that amazing town and have to say, they have a lot of great little jewelry stores with incredible pieces that are unique and one of a kind. "

The lovely couple as Brangelina for Halloween
Fav Spots:  "Probably the place I go the most to grab food and some drinks is Taco Milagro. I love Mexican food and margaritas! However I also gotta have my Texas BBQ and Good Co. has the absolute best in my opinion. For a nice romantic dinner, I think Indika is one of the best restaurants in Houston. As for having a little fun, my boyfriend and I love playing pool so if there's a pool table, we’re there and will be stuck playing for hours."

(Images per Annina Stefanelli & Caroline Schiller)