On a recent Dancing with the Stars, celebrity judge Olivia Newton-John was wearing a pair of red earrings in the shape of fans. I quickly recognized they were a signature design of Corinna Gordon, a Santa Barbara resident with a most amazing artistic career.
Hailing from England, Corinna studied art and became a successful watercolor painter. After a bout with cancer, she evolved into an incredibly acclaimed interior designer with a long list of celebrity clients, including Kirk Douglas and the project that eventually became Oprah Winfrey’s $50 million Montecito home.
Along the way, Corinna studied goldsmithing at SBCC, where she began creating extraordinary pieces of jewelry that have since been featured in magazines like Vogue and worn by many Hollywood stars. You can see a lot of her work on her website spenderella.com.
I love to be called “darling” by the posh sound of Corinna’s voice. She’s a great conversationalist, and has a hilariously bawdy sense of humor.
Here, she answers the Proust Questionnaire.
What do you like most about your job?
The pure gratification of seeing a piece of my jewelry literally transform a customer, and witnessing an interior design client delight in the home I have helped create for them.
What is the most difficult or exciting project you’ve ever had?
Probably working for three-plus years on the Veloz project, now known as Oprah’s Montecito mansion.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Traveling with a favorite companion in Europe in the spring — unlimited budget, unlimited time!
What is your greatest fear?
Public speaking, or singing in front of an audience, though I did record at Abbey Road Studios when aged 16.
Who do you most admire and why?
My brother Mark, who suffers excruciating pain every day (rheumatoid arthritis) yet never complains.
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your current state of mind?
Bliss! Blue skies, sunshine, a walk on the beach in the early morning.
What is the quality you most like in people?
Sincerity, kindness, sense of humor.
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Narcissism, arrogance, a mean spirit.
What do you most value in friends?
Loyalty and a sense of humor.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Creative. Funny. Supportive. (According to my friends!)
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Sorry. (So English!)
Which talent would you most like to have?
Predict lottery numbers!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My aversion to exercise and addiction to sugar.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Surviving my childhood.
Where would you most like to live?
Right here, right now.
What is your most treasured possession?
What and who makes you laugh the most?
Wit, wordplay, naughty jokes. Robin Williams, Rowan Atkinson, my friends.
What is your motto?
On what occasion do you lie?
To avoid hurting someone’s feelings.