FP One is a specialty line at Free People that is extremely near and dear to our hearts.
The designer for FP One has lived in India for 20 years, drawing inspiration from the people, places, traditional fabrics and techniques. Her hands on approach to design comes from spending time with Indian workers, learning their processes and working with them to create unique designs that blend traditional old world aesthetics with modern fashion and design. Many of the design elements found in fp one pieces are also used in our free people stores – rich, colorful patterns, prints, colors and embellishments that have come to be a large part of the free people identity. Our April catalog features some fresh new FP One styles that are perfect for spring, summer and festival season! Read on for an interview with our FP One designer and learn more about what she does in India and her latest designs!
Where do you spend most of your time in India?
We have an apartment in Gurgaon and our office is in Delhi.
Describe a typical day for you there.
I leave our serene apartment and dive right into the craziness that is Delhi…insane traffic with no rules, cows on the road, etc. …stopping on the way and feed all my favorite stray dogs. I do all my most tedious technical things first thing in the morning when I am sharpest. Then I either work on fp one prototypes with my tailors and pattern-maker, or go to the markets looking for fabrics and trims. The late afternoon is usually for working with the wood carvers and other artisans on new store decor or display ideas. We skype with the Philly office every evening and that can carry on into the night when we finally turn off our phones and go to sleep.
Where do you draw inspiration for the pieces you design?
I love anything with a history. So finding vintage fabrics with sun fading, fraying, bleaching, or puckering is what I am always looking for.
Where do you find all the amazing fabrics and materials used in fp one pieces?
Indian culture is FULL of handmade “decoration”…lots of glitter, sequins, pattern and LOTS of color!!! I scour the markets every trip and grab what catches my eye. Sometimes it’s a roadside stand selling truck decorations, sometimes a market selling sari borders, or a holiday market selling rakhi bracelets! There is so much creativity at every turn, it is mind boggling!
We always get questions on the blog about the quilted fabric used in a lot of our store displays and around the office – where do you find that?
The dowery quilts are from the tribal areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were made of many layers of old clothes sewn together by hand with tiny stitches. These quilts were bought by gypsy traders we know and brought to India where we looked through thousands of them to choose the most beautiful ones for our stores.
What type of girl wears fp one?
Meadow, mostly, with some Candy
What are some of your favorite spots in India?
My newest love is Goa – we rent a house in a fishing village with roosters as our next door neighbor, and play “carrom” with the locals…the Portuguese influence mixes with the Indian culture, it is exotic and beautiful…
Do you have a personal favorite of the fp one items currently on the line?
The Shine Mini Skirt, because it is everything I love about India but it in a modern silhouette.
The Shine Mini Skirts being dip dyed and embellished with sequins.
Shop FP One
Shop Mini Skirts