“Are You There, Chelsea” and “Wilfred” set costumer Carlie Tracey has started her own line of fashion accessories for women. Ch*Armz are part shrug and part sleeves that total up to one cute creation.
“The idea came to me out of frustration one morning as I tried to get dressed. I had just bought a cute new top from Anthropologie, but it was from the sale rack, so it was a l’il out of season and it was a bit chilly out to wear my new short-sleeved top. I tried layering a long-sleeve tee under, but it ruined the neckline & I HATE wearing layers (as a curvy girl, I hated feeling bulkier/thicker with an extra layer on). I didn’t have a cardigan that worked with the top either, since it was a bit flowy. I plopped down and wished out loud “if only I had some sleeves” and a lightbulb went off! At this time I was a shopper on “CSI:NY” and was out in the shops daily, so I didn’t think I had seen a product like this. I started doing some research and sure enough there weren’t sleeves like I was envisioning out in the marketplace, so Ch*Armz was born. Figuring if I had this need, other women out there just might too, so began my journey. It’s been a fun and challenging learning process and we’re continuing to grow each month. Its very exciting!
What’s more important—color or accessories?
I’m going to have to go with color. I adore color, especially when put together in unique combinations. That’s where our Ch*Armz sleeves come in handy, by adding pops of color to an outfit. I’ve personally been working on adding more accessories to my wardrobe and when I do its always a colorful item. I’m a big fan of long lightweight scarves, I wear them with everything and have a rainbow of them.
Who’s the most fun person you’ve worked with?
Wow, that’s a tough question! There’s been so many fun people. I really enjoyed working with Ann-Margret. She was such a gracious lady. She showed me around her endless closet and even pulled out the gowns that Bob Mackie had created for her stage shows, they were amazing! (Weighed a ton with that beading!) She never forgets a fan’s name and if they’ve sent her items, she remembers exactly from who and where they met – she’s a rare treasure! The most laughs I’ve had on set was with Robin Williams, he just keeps you in stitches, very nice gentleman.
When did you get your start as a costume designer?
I got my start as a costume designer 15 years ago on a small, low-budget indie film called “Minimum Wage”. It was a fun, quirky feature that had a great mix of characters, so I definitely got to let my creativity go. It can be challenging on tight budgets, but I’ve found thats when you get the most creative.
Where do you find your inspiration as a costumer?
I was drawn to costuming instead of styling because I enjoy creating the character. Clothes can tell so much about a person and it’s the first clue to other’s about who you are. I get my inspiration from reading novels. I’ve loved to read since I was a child and the word start to dance around in my head creating a vision of just who that character is. Classic movies also give me inspiration, I love how women used to dress like ladies, I mean they dressed to the nines, just amazing!
Get your Ch*Armz here