it’s no surprise that the woman who lives in the geodesic dome where we shot part of our february catalog is also an artist. melanie rothschild is a self-taught artist who studied ethnic art and anthropology. she creates both functional (frames, tables, boxes) and non-functional art that she describes as “intuitive. rather than starting out with a single concept, the work reveals its meaning as the process unfolds. it is never intended to have a single interpretation.”
her work is full of colors, shapes and patterns very reminiscent of her home itself…my favorite are the tables, which she calls “paintings with legs.”
we are currently carrying some awesome jewelry by dream collective, a line by kathryn bentley that is inspired by a more primitive era and indigenous cultures. she creates her pieces using rudimentary elements such as oxidized brass and bone, wood and antique african beads resulting in jewelry that has a very raw, earthy feel. the pieces we are carrying are from her braille collection, featuring a raised pattern that gives them a rich texture perfect for layering with each other or other accessories.
they also lend themselves well to photography :) i took some photos of the pieces around the office today, and mixed in are some images from the dream collective lookbook and tumblr. i definitely recommend checking out the tumblr, full of images from the designer’s travels and things that inspire her.
earlier this week i had the wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of floral and event designer sullivan owen, which just opened in queens village in philadelphia. i love talking to people who are passionate about what they do…their love for their craft is infectious. i could have spent an entire day in her beautiful studio listening to her talk about the artistry behind floral arrangements and watching her work.
when designing her studio space, sullivan wanted to use a soothing palette with shades of soft gray and white so that when entering the space, your attention goes straight to the flowers. indeed- when i walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the pops of color peppering the studio.
when she was younger, sullivan worked at one of the first urban outfitters stores. she recalls the president of the company visiting often to chat with employees and see how the store was doing, and it was a huge inspiration for her to see someone with a dream who was able to make such a successful career out of it. her dream was to tie together her fine arts background with her love of flowers, which is exactly what she is doing today.
in addition to floral arrangements, sullivan owen offers complete event design – from mood boards and color palettes to textiles like bouquet wraps and table linens. to her it is about creating an entire atmosphere- an idea that reminded me very much of our free people stores.
bits of inspiration from around the studio: vintage knick knacks, beaded belts, books and handmade table linens from her own wedding.
a beautiful wall of vases and jars that can be rented for events – with the exception of the shelf of vintage glass bottles, which are her private collection inherited from her grandfather and serve as inspiration.
when i arrived, sullivan was in the back finishing up an arrangement, and i sat and watched while she talked excitedly about how the floral industry is starting to attract a younger audience of people who appreciate the fine arts. with her own background in the arts, her approach to putting together an arrangement is very much like an artist painting a picture – paying special attention to color and texture, and layering in a way that is also almost like fashion.
a mood board hangs over her work table and incorporates fashion, color and landscape – all things she thinks about when putting together a bouquet.
the flowers sullivan works with are all very special – for example at top left, a ranunculus that comes from japan where these delicate flowers are designed to be perfect. the one at bottom right is a dutch variety of the ranunculus, with a really unique color gradation. at top right is the anemone, a beautiful black and white flower with hints of purple that is one of her favorites to work with.
above and below are what she calls the “spare parts vase” – where the flowers go if they’re cut the wrong length, the stems break or they just don’t make it into a final design. she doesn’t like to throw them away, plus they’re quite beautiful!
she gave me a quick little lesson in putting together the above bouquet, and then i tried my own:
i think i could use some help… luckily sullivan is going to be holding classes at her studio so you can go learn all about how to put together the perfect bouquet, and then take it home with you :) i will definitely be attending! you can find more info on the classes here.
the studio is open by appointment only – i definitely recommend checking it out. go see the website for more info and to see more photos of her incredible work: sullivanowen.com.
hey san antonio girls! stop by our store this sunday, february 27th, between 12 & 6pm and receive a free feather hair extension with any $20+ purchase! plus you can meet some of our lovely san antonio fp girls!
The Free People Wholesale team is at Coterie in NYC, it’s a massive trade show filled with exciting labels. Department stores such as Saks, Harvey Nicholas and many other cute little boutiques and department stores from around the world visit to see what labels they would like to buy and showcase.
The wholesale team set up a beautiful booth accessorized with ipads so customers can view our digital Fp lifestyle and beautiful fashion forward lookbooks. Whilst I was there, I snapped the style of our girls. Don’t they look adorable!?
Our Creative Director made the necklace to the right!
if there was one article of vintage women’s clothing i was going to collect, it would be vintage tshirts. i love them and can never get enough… each one is a little piece of history. the ones i own each have a story behind them that makes them incredibly special… a bar in somer’s point NJ where my parents used to hang out, a tom petty shirt from his “last dance with mary jane” tour that a boyfriend gave to me and is full of holes , a pink floyd tee i found in brooklyn, and my favorite- and perhaps the most random – a tshirt my uncle picked up in wyoming years ago that ended up in my mom’s possession, and now mine.
so when i found out we’d be selling vintage t-shirts as part of our vintage loves collection, you can imagine how excited i was. our vintage buyer did an amazing job hand picking these rare and perfectly broken in tshirts… i’ll admit it, i bought two the moment they went on sale… check them all out here!
you should also check out our homepage right now, it’s pretty neat :)
i could spend hours wandering around our building checking out peoples’ desks… each one is like a window into who that person is – what they love and choose to surround themselves with and the things that inspire them when they’re creating. here are just a few of the amazing desk spaces from around the office…
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.