our featured jewelry designer for the month of may could not be a more perfect match for the aura and location of our may catalog. heather benjamin’s special pieces are handcrafted using fossils, minerals and gemstones reminiscent of the sea, and silver and gold worked into unexpected, organic shapes. inspired by coastal cultures, rituals and symbols, her one-of-a-kind rings are like pieces of treasure washed up on an island shore, carrying with them the beauty and mystery of the ocean and earth’s basic elements. the use of natural stones and gems ensures that no two pieces of jewelry are exactly alike.
here are some beautiful photos taken in bali where she has a design studio and hand-crafts all of her jewelry:
her inspiration photos, also from bali, beautifully illustrate what her jewelry is meant to symbolize.
a ceremony making offerings to and honoring the sea.
take a peek behind the scenes of our may catalog shoot in honolulu, hawaii…
the may catalog was shot by frédéric lagrange and features models tallulah morton and elsa hosk. these magical behind the scenes photos were taken by thomas northcut. shop the catalog online here, and stay tuned for much more behind the scenes to come!
in the time that i’ve been blogging here, i’ve posted a lot – and i mean a lot – of beautiful photography that i find around the web. one of the first photographers i “discovered” was maggie lochtenberg, and to this day she remains a personal favorite – one of her photos has been my computer desktop for months now. her photography seems to capture the elements of freedom, youth, dreaminess and magic that i always tend to love, and in a way i have never seen before. her work is so unique and recognizable, and also has such a nostalgic, vintage quality that leads me to think she must be wise beyond her years – an old soul that, without even knowing, i felt i could relate to. read on for an interview with maggie and to see some of her incredible work!
When and why did you first get into photography?
I had always drawn and painted, and for so long I never considered photography a fine art, but that was a long time ago and my existence was callow beyond my own understanding. I took photos to preserve memories, and to look cool on Myspace…you know how it was. It wasn’t until ancient photo albums belonging to my parents and grandparents resurfaced in the process of moving into a new home. The aesthetic of the vintage photos, and the time period they represented moved me to begin collecting vintage cameras and shooting on expired film. From then on I was hooked, and my photographic style continues to develop every day (pun intended).
Is your goal to be a professional photographer? If not, what is your dream job?
I do hope to be a professional photographer someday, but my happiness is not confined to a single art form, and I’m open to any career that allows me time to work on a personal portfolio of both paintings and photographs. As long as I can exercise my creativity and get my artistic “fix”, I will be content. My dream job is probably to be the director of photography for a magazine or company whose vision is parallel to my own.
Do you carry a camera with you at all times? What’s your favorite type of camera to shoot with?
My favorite camera to shoot with is my Mamiya RB67 with a Polaroid back. It weighs nearly 10lbs so I rarely carry it around with me, but I almost always have a disposable camera or a 35mm waiting to emerge from my purse in order to capture fun, beautiful, or just plain silly moments.
If you had a time machine, where would you go?
I would go to prehistoric times. I want to see the earth before it was diseased by buildings and freeways and businessmen, and I have a secret crush on long neck dinosaurs.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work? Who are some of your personal favorite photographers/artists?
I draw inspiration from all around me. My brain and body seem to be in constant motion… so it’s difficult to pinpoint any divine source of inspiration, but if I find a river, I drink from it. My personal favorite photographers are all females; I adore Sally Mann’s work, I worship Francesca Woodman. Amalia Chimera and Alison Scarpulla are amazing artists as well- they are so young and fresh, and their photographs, enchanting.
Tell me five music artists you love right now.
1) Iron & Wine
2) Avi Buffalo
3) Band of Horses
4) The Velvet Underground
5) The Tallest Man on Earth
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
So far, the best advice I’ve ever been given was to embrace human experience, good and bad, not just chase pleasures in life, and never accept numbness. Robert Frost told me that in a poem or two.
If your life was a movie what would the theme song be?
Over the Hills & Far Away by Led Zeppelin
Tell me something most people don’t know about you.
I never ever play any sports, in fact I’m hardly active, but I used to play on an all-boys rugby team. My father is a big Australian guy, he used to play, and he somehow managed to get me to join. I was a tough kid; I used to get in fights every so often and beat up all the boys before they passed through puberty. When adolescence rudely interrupted our innocent fun, I discovered that I wasn’t stronger than boys anymore, and my pre-pubescent tough-kid days were through. People who know me now may find that difficult to believe.
Do you have a personal favorite photo that you’ve taken?
It’s very difficult to chose a favorite photo, because they all have deep emotional attachments to me, but I think the one of my two friends and I, fully naked, and about to leap into a little lake we found, is quite lovely and magical for me. We were swimming, to our fearful delight, with large catfish and surrounded by huge redwood trees, spied on only by spiders and squirrels. Lining the modest lake was a marshy shore teeming with the most beautiful red and blue dragonflies, and there wasn’t a house or human to be seen around us. In the bottom right corner of the Polaroid (near the rightmost girl’s calves), you can make out a blurry red mark… little do most people know that it’s one of the dragonflies gracefully passing by just in time to become my most precious and miraculous accident. (view photo here).
go check out her flickr page and be prepared to be blown away! thank you so much maggie.
As you’re most probably aware, we are pretty smitten with Australia lately (our guest blog series), and what’s more, we are pretty smitten with its fashion week that kicked off monday for Spring/Summer 2012.
There’s something about Australian fashion that brings sunshine to mind. One of the most exciting Fashion/Beach cities of the world ‘Sydney’ showcased it’s talented designers and yep… they didn’t disappoint.
I have always been a huge fan of Zimmermann. Their swimwear rocks, and now their clothing is taking another step up the ladder to greatness. Water coloured poppy field prints, laser cut art work, and contrasting fabrication – all make for clothes that contribute to that “perfect summer” outfit for day, night and the beach.
Gotta love Australia!!
Photos taken from Style bubble read her reviews on Australia Fashion Week here.
good morning! start your day on a little tropical getaway with our may catalog video, shot in hawaii by frédéric lagrange featuring models tallulah morton and elsa hosk. music is by the percentie brothers. enjoy :)
Is Caribbean Coastal – I never wear blazers but this linen blazer was a nice alternative to a cardigan or denim jacket and this outfit and was kind of tropical and 90’s all at once. I like clothes that can come out of a backpack all swooshed and still works all together. Vintage Levi’s Denim cut offs and the vintage Indian embroidered leather belt kind of offset the cleanness of the blouse and the linen jacket. It’s the same when the fringe suede back pack off set the French leather ballet flats.
Oh and of a course a smile makes every outfit work.
There’s nothing better than finding the perfect vintage dress, something you don’t have to cut, crop, cinch or mess with in any way… this is one of those rare finds… it’s a perfect day-to-night… dining, dancing, strolling in the park, easy 60’s style mini dress.. a little too mini for me so I added the crochet bloomers for safety, the bowler is my favorite outfit completer for spring.
(Our creative director)
My dress is an old Jessica McClintock that I have had forever. I always almost get rid of it but then decide not to. The Jean jacket is from the 70’s I cut the sleeves off and the bottom hem. I just bought this little leather bag in Austin from the lovercraft. The bird necklace is a favorite keepsake. I bought it on the way to Joshua tree. The square turquoise necklace is my boyfriend’s grandmothers. And the airplane I made with my friend Carrie we like to dabble in metal sometimes.
we have a cool new page on our website right now where you can shop by girl! so if you’re a ginger, meadow, sandy, candy or lou you can click on them and go to a selection of items just your style. i thought it would be fun for today’s poll to pick an outfit from each shop and see which one you like best, without telling you which girl it is :) so vote for your favorite below and then you can click on each image to go to that girl’s shop!
our may catalog was inspired by the paintings of henri rousseau, in which bright pops of color jump out of lush tropical landscapes painted with rich layers of green. models tallulah morton and elsa hosk dance across the pages as best friends on vacation, glowing from the sun and losing themselves in long summer days spent surfing and exploring. the images capture the elusive feeling of freedom that hangs in the air in summertime, when you just want to let your hair down, kick off your shoes and run through fields or lay in the sand as the waves wash over your body.
shot in hawaii by fashion and travel photographer frédéric lagrange, our may book is a celebration of both the raw beauty of the landscape and the high summer fashion. look for the catalog in the mail and online on tuesday!
New York City is a place that excites me. Here’s some quick inspiration from my recent weekend in New York. I always get so inspired when I go there; everything is so visually pleasing and the energies are sky high.
I visited Brooklyn flea market, which had some great vintage stalls and beautiful terrariums. This idea is a perfect little hobby to do on summer days and to bring the outdoors/indoors.
I always love the fashion in NYC and how people always hit it right when it comes to looking “cool”
Check out this girl that was hanging outside a bar.
A little kitten that was adopted looking proud under a British flag
An afternoon snack, Nothing beats a New York bagel – tomato, mozzarella and pesto
And a quick stop into these lovely stores made my inspiration rise to another level.
Darr Williamsburg and creatures of comfort Mulberry St.
It’s always refreshing going to New York, don’t you think?
have you guys seen our new accessories page on our website? our team put together bags for the lou, ginger, sandy and meadow girls and they are so cute! they inspired me to do another edition of the “what’s in your bag” post – here’s a peek inside the bags of some home office gals – and guy :)
retail operations coordinator:
new store openings/store coordinator:
she actually really did have a free people bathing suit in her bag :)
web marketing analyst:
direct operations coordinator:
direct operations manager:
i love seeing how different they all are!
you can view what’s in lou, ginger, sandy and meadow’s bags here.
With the Free People swim shop re-launching with some amazing new items this week, it got me thinking about the mysteries of water. Mermaids, octopi, treasure … who knows what’s really out there? We may never know. Yet, however mysterious or scary it may seem, people have always been drawn to the water. We spend our summers gathering at its shores… we run through sprinklers…and we drink it down as the elixir of life. Here’s to the beauty and mystery of water:
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein
We’re intrigued by fashion everyday – it stimulates, inspires, and influences everything we do. We’re always looking for the freshest trends and the newest movements in street style and boho fashion, and we constantly fuel our ideas with the best from fashion culture.