Take It From a Big Mouth: Fashion designer Katie Wells meets Marcel Proust

Fresh City Life asked fashion designer Katie Wells to answer our questionnaire and she told us about fabric, fried food and the joys of lying.

In the weeks leading up to our fashion spectacle Frock Out, each of our eleven designers will be featured here with their responses to the infamous Proust Questionnaire. Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist, critic and essayist, believed that people must know and understand themselves before they can know or understand others. His clever and insightful answers to a list of subjective questions (a popular social entertainment at the time) illustrate how the questionnaire helps reveal to people their true selves and the inner personalities of those around them.

Katie Wells is the brains and beauty behind GIDDYUP!, a quirky little company that loves doing one-of-a-kind designs.  This includes bags, jewelry, clothing and costumes. The true inspiration for GIDDYUP! is New Orleans, where Katie spent many a day surrounded by music, parades and characters. See these fun designs at giddyupkatie.etsy.com.

Katie took the Proust Questionnaire and taught it a thing or two:

What is your greatest fear?

Losing touch with reality.

What is your current state of mind?

Eat, sleep, breathe: crafting/sewing/creating.

What is your favorite occupation?

Reading. There is no vacation like a good book.

What historical figure do you most identify with?

Elsa Needleheimer-Schmitz. She was so misunderstood.

Which living person do you most admire?

Carlton Pearson.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

At the moment, Christopher John Francis Boone.

Who are your real-life heroes?

Teachers, nurses, librarians.

What is your most treasured possession?

My old library card catalog, from the days before robots. I carry pictures of it in my wallet.

When and where were you happiest?

In my childhood, lying in my mother's lap.

What is your most obvious characteristic?

Opinionated and loud. Loudly opinionated.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Too loudly opinionated.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Do I have to choose just one?

What is your greatest extravagance?

Fabric, food and booze.

What is your favorite journey?

Life so far.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My webbed toes.

What do you consider the most over-rated virtue?


On what occasion do you lie?

Whenever it makes a good story great.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

"And we're off...like a herd of turtles."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would wish to be calmer.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Not being miserable in a life I did not choose.

Where would you like to live?

New Orleans. 'Tis a magical land of music, art and fried deliciousness.

What is the quality you most admire in a man?

Manliness. In the most old school sense of the word. Secure, strong, witty (not obnoxious), even tempered. I guess kinda like a Hugh Beaumont/ Humphrey Bogart hybrid. He's capable of telling me to shut my trap in the most sincere way.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?


What is it you most dislike?


What do you value most in your friends?

Strength enough to tell me when I am wrong.

How would you like to die?

Quietly in the woods, under a tree.

If you were to die and come back as a person or an animal, what do you think it would be?

Something cute, yet obnoxious -- like a squirrel.

If you could choose an object to come back as, what would you choose?

A sewing machine.

What is your motto?

Get to the chopper.

Katie Wells and ten other talented designers turn it out for Frock Out on November 18. Tickets and Info.


Written by Chris on November 10, 2010

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