erica pena and melissa joy manning are the final two jewelry designers to be featured on the blog, and it makes sense to put them together as they are both female artists who create very feminine, romantic pieces that any girl would be lucky to own, and both designers also make an effort to be socially and environmentally friendly.
the inspiration behind erica pena’s first collection came from her move from manhattan to puerto rico, as she conveys this experience through jewelry that is a mix of new york’s rough edginess and the caribbean’s light airiness. her travels to places like bali continue to influence her designs and stimulate her to create unique and spiritual pieces that are chic, girly and bohemian. her travels have also influenced her to incorporate social and environmental causes into her work, and she joined with yayasan membina api cinta kasih (YAMACK), a non-profit organization in bali. one of the projects she has worked on in conjunction with this organization is building a unit/school for disabled children financed by the sales of a necklace and bracelet designed specifically for the cause.
we are very excited to be working with melissa joy manning, a US jewelry designer who creates one-of-a-kind pieces that are feminine and girly but with an edge, often mixing modern and traditional elements. she says that her jewelry “is not an accessory, but an expression… [it’s] about finding a piece that speaks to the individual and echoes their personality. i believe that jewelry can influence the way you feel; it can say and mean something different to every wearer.” the one-of-a-kind aspect of her items enhances this idea, as each piece and takes on a meaning entirely exclusive to its owner. she also uses stones believed to hold healing energy, and places tiny holes in the design of her work to allow the stone’s energy to flow through the metal and into the wearer. each piece of her jewelry is handmade in her studio in oakland, ca by an in-house production staff and using materials from only domestic suppliers. this is something melissa joy manning feels strongly about, as she pays close attention to running an environmentally responsible business.
as i’m nearing the end of on the road i was inspired to take a look at the fashion of the beat generation. beatniks were characterized by their rebellious spirit and anti-establishment, anti-materialistic philosophy, and they expressed this through stark and simple fashion. jack kerouac and his crew wore old, ripped jeans and t-shirts because they didn’t care how they looked, while others wore head-to-toe black with berets or glasses.
what else about the beat generation’s style and culture is still resonant with you today?
share your thoughts in the comments section! also for those of you reading on the road, try and finish by january 4th if you can, and check the blog for a final post about the book!
dallas shaw is a delaware-based artist who’s work ranges from acrylic and watercolor paintings to notecards and tee-shirts. she also happens to be a big fan of free people! dallas was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me and picked out some illustrations that she feels are representative of free people.
when and why did you decide you wanted to be a professional artist?
oddly enough i knew i wanted to be in art in some way when i was very young. i wrote a letter to the head animator of walt disney world when i was in 6th grade and asked him for a job! i think i was a little too young, but i worked at it since grade school, kept drawing, majored in illustration… as i grew older i really began to love the fashion industry and wanted to work in fashion but the right opportunity hasn’t come up just yet so here i am!
i read that you’re inspired by fashion and music…what designers and musicians are your personal favorites?
i do listen to music when i paint but i am really heavily influenced by the fashion industry. my personal favorites change by season but i am currently crushing on collections by phillip lim, lanvin & peter som.
what do you like to do when you’re not drawing and painting?
i don’t have a lot of free time on my hands this year. if i do end up with a few extra hours during the week i try to make time to spend with my really supportive husband. if I’m not with him during those couple of hours you’ll find me shopping!
to see more of dallas’s awesome work, check out her website!
on wednesday i took a little field trip over to city hall to check out the philadelphia mural arts program’s winter art exhibition, which featured the work of their very talented big picture and mural corps students. big picture students designed and painted sneakers and large-scale mixed media “treasure maps” representing their ideas on how to “be the change you wish to see in the world” (based on the gandhi quote). mural corps students explored notions of identity through self portraits. i spoke with some of the students and they were so proud to show of their work, which was available for sale to raise funds for the program…and they have every right to be proud- they are seriously talented!
for more information about philadelphia’s mural arts program, visit their website.
last week i asked about our pretty floral tunics and it was a close vote but the winner was the burbank tunic, with 32% of the vote! this week, with the holidays upon us, i wanna know which of the following items you would splurge on…or would most want someone else to splurge on for you!
if you’re anything like me, the winter months can be a bit depressing…but did you know that wearing bright colors can actually improve your mood?
studies show that the brightness and purity of certain colors, and personal associations with them, can have specific effects on your mood. shades of red and purple are said to boost energy levels by causing your body to pump out more adrenaline. green and yellow are naturally associated with sunshine and the outdoors, and studies show that they can make you feel happy and upbeat. green also evokes feelings of hope and renewal, like the feeling you get on a sunny spring day. blue, which brings to mind the sky or the ocean, is a soothing, calming color that can make you feel less anxious. and if you really want to bring out your fun-loving spirit, wear attention-grabbing neon colors like hot pink and lime green, known for being flirty and fun.
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.