On my first day in San Francisco I met up with Micaela who writes the blog The Drifter and the Gypsy. We met for coffee at a cute little place in North Beach called Café Trieste. North Beach is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Fran – located in the northern part of the city, it is full of culture and history. This is the part of town where beat generation legends like Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady hung out, and home to their favorite haunts, the famous City Lights bookstore and Vesuvio Cafe (see photos in my previous post). When you climb to the top of some of its hilly streets, you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the bay.
I have been following Micaela’s blog for a while now, so it was great to finally put a face to the personality that comes across on her blog. She is wise beyond her young years and a talented writer and photographer –and we discovered that we both dream of one day writing a book :)
Whenever i think of “the sweet life” la dolce vita i think of Europe. I think of exquisite beauty that romances you and makes you feel rich inside with thoughts and emotions. It’s gives a feeling of wealth but not the kind of wealth involved in spending lots of money on luxury items, but the kind of wealth that involves evoking a feeling of fulfillment. Textures like velvet and fur that scream “I’m worth it” a whole silhouette that tells a story of love, of taste and great knowledge of the beautiful. European fashion definitely embodies la dolce vita.
This trend makes me want to get lost in a city just like the concept of our August book. It makes me want to fall in love and feel like a million bucks.
What does la dolce vita mean to you?
Images taken from weheartit.com
items in second image: swalesdale texture shrug vegan leather pleated skirt floral lace fit and flare dress large amulet pendant western moonstone ring malachite wrap ring
I felt it was appropriate to post this video today for a few reasons: one, Vetiver played at Outside Lands; two, it features some pretty San Fran scenery; and three, the video is by Yours Truly, who we had the pleasure of meeting at Outside Lands this weekend! They are some of the nicest guys I’ve met and I’m a huge fan of their videos. Check it out and let me know what you think!
San Francisco is the only other city I’ve lived in besides Philadelphia. A few years ago I drove across the country with a friend and when I got to San Fran I fell in love with it and decided I wasn’t leaving. The vibe of the city is unlike anywhere else – a unique blend of creativity, individuality and a bit of artistic madness. It always brings to mind the Jack Kerouac quote:
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
There’s a reason he, too, was drawn to the musical beat of San Fran.
The city is alive with music, all hours of the day and night – when I lived there it wasn’t, “what are we doing tonight?” it was “what show are we going to tonight?” It’s a place where you never feel lonely, because even if you are alone you’ll always meet someone on the street or in the park or on the barstool next to you with a smile and a friendly ear. And it’s a city where no matter how big it is, or even if you’re at a festival with thousands of people, you can still run into an old friend.
Philly is my home but I will always love the city by the bay.
Outside Lands 2011 has come to a close and what a magical weekend it was… Sunday was another gorgeous sunny day in Golden Gate Park and once again Free People was everywhere we looked. The girls in San Francisco definitely know how to do festival fashion right! Read more »
With this month’s catalog shot in Venice, I thought I’d give you all a recipe for one of my favorite Italian foods – gelato. This is a recipe that my grandma or aunt will whip up almost every time I visit them in Italy. I never really make it at home, so it’s earned a spot in my heart as one of those special treats I get whenever I visit my favorite place in the whole world. It’s made with hazelnuts and chocolate, like the Italian candy, Baci, from which it gets its name. More familiarly, it has a nutella-like flavoring, but whatever you relate it to, it’s a dream that melts in your mouth. Now that I have a vat of it in my fridge, it’s been really hard to stay away.
Try it out for yourself if you dare =P
1 1/3 Cups Whole Milk
100 Grams of Dark Chocolate
¾ (generous) Cup of sugar
¾ Cups of ground hazelnuts
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Beat egg, 1 cup of milk, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl.
Place sugar, chocolate, 1/3 cup of milk, ¼ cup of hazelnuts into a pot, and place over a low flame. Keep stirring until chocolate is fully melted and sugar is dissolved.
Pour melted chocolate mixture into milk/egg mixture, add remaining hazelnuts, and stir vigorously until fully blended together.
Pour into a bread pan, and let cool for a bit. Once it has reached room temperature, stick the whole thing in the fridge over night.
After a night in the fridge to freeze, it should be ready to serve nde
The weather could not have been better today at Outside Lands! Uncharacteristically, the sun was shining all day and burned through the San Francisco fog. Also? Free People was everywhere! We ran into so many girls wearing FP duds and carrying our tote bags. Here’s a look at the fashion on day two shot by Erin of calivintage.com!
The striped lace inset top from last year!
Love this combo of leopard, fringe and our seed bead necklace.
I used to always hate pigeon pose – the hip opening exercise which you are supposed to relax into for several minutes at the end of a yoga practice. It hurt me, and having to sit through it for so long just made it worse. I’m already horrible at sitting still, and I would fidget with my arms and upper body – trying to get comfortable. This is usually the point where the yoga teacher will include a thoughtful lesson, but the distraction of my discomfort always took away from my attentiveness. Then one class my teacher began talking about the ying and the yang. It spoke to how I was feeling right then and there, and I couldn’t help but pay deep attention.
She explained how the first half of the practice is all about moving fast and getting the heart racing: the ying. This is the part that people usually focus on. They try to keep up and push themselves – moving fast to burn those calories and strengthen those muscles. Then you get to the second half of the practice which involves slow, deep poses: the yang. People tend to think this should be the easy part, but my teacher surprised me in saying that it’s not. The yang portion of a yoga practice has its own challenges like keeping yourself still and maintaining your breathing through uncomfortable positions. I was so relieved to hear that this was supposed to be a challenge, and it was difficult for other people besides me.
I took an important lesson away that day. Challenges don’t always present themselves as so, and sometimes being calm and still is tougher than anything else in the world. Next time something easy turns out to be hard – realize that you set out to do it for a reason and there is something to gain from pushing through. Use your mental power to strengthen your yang, take a deep breath, and push through it with a smile.
Outside Lands kicked off today in Golden Gate Park and attendees were definitely rocking their bestfestival fashion! Everywhere we looked there was amazing style, with lots of maxis, boots, braids, funky accessories and of course Free People! Read more »
I first met this week’s style file girl when she was still an intern. We had one of those classic intern moments with a broken copy machine, ten different types of toner, and too many blinking arrows. We ended up figuring it out while chatting back and forth a bit.
She has now been promoted from intern, to merchandise assistant for knits. She loves her job, but admits that she didn’t always know that she wanted to work in fashion. Her career began as an international business major in college from where she went to teach English in Japan for three years. She traveled all around Southeast Asia and fell in love with Japan and fashion while she was there.
In talking with her, she gave me interesting perspective on what it is about the fashion there that interested her so much – no matter how funny or different it is, the people really dress however they want. They stick out as an individual, which is an interesting thing to see expressed in a society that is so strongly community based. To further explain, she shared two of her favorite Japanese street fashion blogs with me: style-arena and Japanese streets. I’ve added the blogs to the list of blogs that I follow I found them so interesting. The style is far out, but totally cool and inspirational.
As is her own fashion! She’s a bohemian queen, but mixes in quirky vintage pieces that at times give her outfits a sense of humor. Check out her personal style and what she wore this week ;)
This week at work she was scrambling a bit because her buyer was out on vacation which left her to cover duties she’d never dealt with before. Her department (buying) serves as a central coordinator for planning, design, wholesale, and production, which means there can be a lot to do. On the day that I caught up with her to hear about it she was entering in orders with an archaic looking system (although it’s not) to be sent to our producers. This is a highly detailed process involving lots of codes. When placing an order everything is considered from cost, color, and fabric to delivery method, ship date, and unit count. It’s amazing how fast she can do it at this point. Any one of the components can get messed up at anytime, anywhere in the supply chain, and a lot of her job also involves cleaning up the mistakes to make sure that the customer gets what she wants when she wants it.
I know you’re already intrigued by how interesting this girl is, but to further interest you – here is her survey. (How cute are her doodles? They made me smile (= )
Here is part two of the Free People Guide to Venice, put together by our producer! Read on for our tips on where to eat and more of our favorite things about Venice, and if you missed it be sure to check out part one of the guide featuring where to stay, landmarks, gondola riding tips and more fun stuff!
It’s always my goal when arriving in a new city to find the best local joints. Venice is a hard city to get to know due to its “tourist-y” nature, but all it takes is a little wander away from San Marco and the Rialto (make sure you see those too!) to get to know the real Venice.
It was recommended by a friend of a friend to eat at Alle Vedova – we didn’t end up finding it until our last night, but I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we wish we had made it there sooner! After a week of sub-par and expensive Italian food we found just what we were craving at Alle Vedova.
I think that it was more the experience than the food itself, though tables of fresh squid, local veggies and homemade pasta weren’t so bad! Alle Vedova is settled in at the end of a small dark alley, but the rumble of local chatter makes it clear when you are headed in the right direction! Once you put your name in they give you small glasses of red or white wine for while you wait and homemade meatballs to tide you over until your table is ready. One of my favorite touches was the napkin lampshades! What a sweet idea!
Its spritz o’clock!
It seems to be a Venetian tradition to take a break in the middle of the day for a Spritz. I think it’s the most beautifully colored cocktail I’ve ever seen and it is the perfect drink for a hot summers day.
Here is how to make it for yourself …
1/3 white wine (ideally prosecco)
1/3 aperol or bitters or select (pick your favorite!)
1/3 seltzer water
Throw in an olive; find some sunshine and lounge by a canal… you’ll blend right in with the locals!
I’m not sure even where to begin talking about gelato! I think that a few of us ate it breakfast lunch and dinner during our long shoot days. Our local producer claimed that Gelati Nico was her favorite in Venice, and though I agree that it was delicious I believe that gelato is heaven anywhere you eat it in Italy, it may just be a matter of price … more expensive does not equal better in this case!
I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what the difference is between gelato and ice cream and I am here to tell you that they are not at all the same thing. The ingredients are similar but the process of making it, the ratio of ingredients in it and the temperature at which it is served are completely different. It is smoother, tastes creamier and I am happy to tell you has less fat then ice cream.
… it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it now!
Oh boy… every little detail makes me smile… and the color combinations are inspiring to say the least <3
Venice kills me with its rich color combinations and patterns … for a city that is known for its decay, it has the richest detail elements! Look at these samples from the home that we shot in… All of these patterns were found in the living room alone! Just thinking about it makes my heart melt a little.
These shoes aren’t mine but I sure do wish they were! They are the perfect flat shoe… casual and dressy and oh so comfortable. I can’t wait for them to come out in the catalog so I can snatch up a pair for myself!
Venice comes alive at night, and I recommend to everyone that you go out and enjoy it! We often worked late which meant that we didn’t eat until around 10 or so which seemed to be the norm at most of the places we ate. After our meal we often opted to wander back to the hotel instead of taking a water taxi and we saw the most beautiful things along the way!
Our last night in Venice was my favorite. We combined all of my favorite things into one last hurrah! We ate great food at Alle Vedova, had fun drinks at Bar Paradiso Perduto (Cannaregio 2540, Venice), played dice along the canal, met up with old friends, made some new ones, wandered endlessly and laughed even more so… certainly a night to remember and how I recommend ending every trip! Well, think of it this way… a late night before the flight home helps you sleep on the plane :)
We hope you enjoyed our guide to Venice! If you’d like, visit our flickr page and download the whole thing. Ciao, Venice!
*All photos by Thomas Northcut except for pages: “All about the details,” “Patterns” and “Shoes I Love”.