I swear, I was just thinking the other day about how it had been a while since I posted about a wedding and lo and behold, one of our lovely readers named Sascha sent me an email.
“I just recently got married to my special sweetheart. I have been so inspired by Free People whether its your blog, stores, catalogs, and of course the clothes that I have been rockin’ for the past twelve years. My inspiration definitely shined through while preparing for one of the biggest days of my life. I just wanted to share my special day with you and say thank you for empowering us ladies and our creative minds.”
She included a link to her wedding photos and they completely melted my heart. The enchanted-forest-like setting, vintage decor and casual touches, plus the love that simply radiates from the photos. I had to share with you guys!
Sascha’s now sister-in-law and close friend found her dress at a vintage store, La Rosa, in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco – how cool is that?
Meet this week’s style file girl – the visual merchandising assistant at the Free People home offices. She is one of the sweetest most humble people, and when you visit her desk you’re sure to get licked up and down by her friendly (canine) partner in crime, Dill. I was drawn to her style because of the perfect blend of classic elements and rocker edge that she seems to have mastered. You can almost bet she’ll have on at least one piece that you want to rip off of her for yourself – namely, the abundance of statement necklaces, hair pieces, and perfect tees that she has collected over the years. Another thing I love about her style is the hair. She has mastered the art of hair pinning for awesome intricate up-dos, and has tons of neat head bands, scarves, turbans, and hats that she works in. Maybe it’s her easy personality that makes it all look so effortless, but she sure knows how to top off a look achieving great results.
Her styling skills don’t just keep her looking like perfection each day, but they also keep our stores looking like perfection. In her job as a visual merchandiser, she styles mannequins with outfit ideas and comes up with merchandising concepts and color stories for our stores. Another cool part of her job involves selecting all of the music to be played in Free People stores. Every other Friday she and the visual team go through their new selections and choose their favorites. After all the ideas have been developed she maintains communication with store contacts, so they are well aware of the big ideas and everything going on.
Our talented producer has put together a beautiful Guide to Venice to share with you all, with tips on where to eat, where to stay and things to do while in Venice – with some Free People fun thrown in for good measure :) Read on for Part One of Free People’s Guide to Venice!
The Free People team has just returned from a trip to Italy, Venice to be exact, and what an amazing trip it was! It was my 3rd time to the beautiful country known for its pasta, wine and enthusiastic, fun-loving people and the 3rd time was certainly a charm.
Venice. Despite the fact that I was there for work and our hours were long, I feel like I really got to see the best of the best. We ate the most amazing food, found some magical local drinking spots, and spent many late nights lost in Venice’s streets – as every good traveler should.
Here are some of my favorites … some places and things that I hope everyone can enjoy at some point in their lives.
It’s never a quick exit for our catalog team when embarking on a new shoot. There are months of prep that go into one catalog at a time and since we shoot 12 catalogs every year there are often 3 to 5 shoots in the making at one time! We never stop emailing, calling and texting about work until we are finally on the plane! Here is a quick peek at our morning before a flight … packing samples, making last minute calls, and finally at the airport and checked in we take a seat and talk about the week to come. Here is our art director, stylist and me on our way to Venice!
Venice appears to have hotels on every canal corner, but finding one that is reasonably priced, with large rooms is far less obvious. We found exactly what we were looking for at Ca Pisani. With a friendly staff, large clean rooms, and an amazing full breakfast included we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Located in the Dorsoduro section of the island, we were close to the Grand Canal, the Academia Art Gallery and at a perfect distance from the bustle of Piazza Margarita, The Rialto and the heart of Venice.
Oh… and they leave the best candies on your pillow at night!
The Hotel Danieli is known to be one of the most decadent hotels in the world. Its guest book includes a plethora of royalty and Hollywood icons from the past and present, and it has graced many films such as “The Tourist” and the classic James Bond film “Moonraker”.
On our scout day we were lucky enough to peek inside. They even gave us a tour of the Master Suite! … What I would give to be able to call that home for the night.
Dating back to the 14th century, the interior is breathtaking and intriguing … it tells a story of the decadent golden years of the floating city, of doges and Italian royalty. simply standing in its hallways made me want to put on heels, do my hair, put on some red lipstick and sip cocktails on the rooftop patio that overlooks the grand canal and San Marco square. Alas … it’s back to work for the fp crew!
The first time I visited Venice was with my family when I was young. Sadly, a huge part of what I remember is feeding the pigeons in Piazza San Marco! This time I took a moment to notice the magnitude of the architecture. Parts of this square date back to the 800’s! So, so incredible.
Just a heads up: you can no longer feed the pigeons :(
We got a handy tip from a local Venetian today and i wanted to share it with you all! As you learn quickly in Venice, getting from point A to point B may not be as easy as it looks on a map. Often times, right when you think you have finally maneuvered your way over bridges and through piazza’s there is a beautiful deep blue canal standing between you and your final destination.
A tip to remember is if all you need to do is go from one side of a canal to the other, it is common for gondoliers to take you for mere pennies opposed to the hundreds of dollars that a gondola ride usually costs you… the catch is that it is standing room only! But considering that the ride is only about a minute and it could possibly save you an hour of walking, it is a tip totally worth remembering.
Look for a line of locals at gondola stops … they are most likely hitching a ride as well!
Masks are everywhere in Venice, and are a very important part of the Venetian culture. Carnival is a festival that was originally intended to be a time of expression and celebration throughout all social classes of the time. What a beautiful idea! I love that anyone and everyone become equal when behind one of the many intricate and delicate masks. We stumbled across Ca’del Sol while shooting one day behind San Marco. The women that ran it were so kind and let us shoot in their store. We all fell in love with their masks that covered every inch of every wall … even the ceiling! It’s a breathtaking sight! And the perfect gift to bring home from Venice.
The many faces of Free People! While working on location on the 3rd day I decided to document the Free People crew Venetian style! What a good looking group! And what an amazing team <3
Part Two of Free People’s Guide to Venice will be posted next week!
*Photos in pages “Arrivederci,” “Welcome to Venice,” “Ca Pisani,” “Hotel Danieli” and “italian lovers” are by Thomas Northcut.
Wearing prints can take a certain amount of confidence and skill. Knowing what to pair them with and how to place them on your body takes a good eye. I love getting inspiration from the other ladies around the office who have gotten the trick down. So whether it’s floral, plaid, paisley, or cheetah and whether it’s all over or a strategic print pop, these ladies can show you how it’s done.
One of our favorite trends here at Free People are high waisted pants. They’re great for mixing up those proportions, and can be worn with a variety of looks. Maybe you’re going for super polished, or perhaps you’d rather look like you stepped right out of Woodstock ’69. However you wear them, high waisted pants are extremely comfortable and flattering. We love them so much that we’ve have them in all different materials now at Free People. So which will you be wearing?
I always love the behind the scenes photos from our catalog shoots… they allow us to see what was going on behind the lens and around the lens when the catalog photos were being taken. Here’s a little taste of the atmosphere on the Venice shoot with Guy Aroch and models Marloes Horst and Darla Baker!
I’m all over the turban accessory trend that was so endearing during the 40’s and 70’s. Its now making a huge come back – on the streets, on the runways and in editorials. I cannot get enough of this accessory that’s reminiscent of an Arabian night. The look is now surprisingly wearable given the vast interpretations that are being created.
The turban adds a touch of quirky-ness to your every day look; it can be dressed down with a tee and jeans of worn for a lovely night out with your favorite dress. It’s a cool accessory for a wear now and also to carry into Fall.
One day I was on Vogue.com when I saw when of their editors wearing this really cool beaded necklace. It almost looked like it was constructed using safety pins, so I tried them out to see if I could pull off the look by making the necklace myself. The end result is really cool. The seed beads give it a tribal look, and the safety pins no longer look like safety pins, but rather a cool silver skeleton. I finished it off, with a beaded “chain” to make a long necklace that you can throw on with any basic shirt for a neat funky addition of color.
Scissors, strong beading thread, safety pins, nail polish, and seed beads
Open the safety pin, and feed on seed beads.
I decided to us lime green and black with the black beads jumping around, but you can come up with any pattern you want.Notice the pattern changes.
As you finish safety pins, line them up on the table, so that you don’t lose the order you want them to go in.
Once you’ve finished. Begin feeding the safety pins into the beading thread.
Make sure they are all facing in the same direction.
Thread a needle with the thread
Thread seed beads on until you have reached the desired length for you necklace.
I decided to do mine in a contrasting color – white.
Once you’re done, loop the thread around the last bead on each side of the “chain.”
Feed the needle through the last few beads on the opposite side to close the circle.
Loop the thread around individual beads a few more times, and then thread it back to where the loose thread is hanging out & tie a knot.
Cut thread ends.
Paint the knot and last few beads with nail polish to secure
I probably should have discovered The Head and the Heart last year when they first came out with their album, but it wasn’t until this year when they remastered a couple of the tracks, added some new ones, and re-released their self-titled album, that I discovered their music. Read more »
Venice has always been a city that intrigued me. I have never been there, but having studied a lot of Art History in college, it was always a place that signified fine art, gothic architecture, romantic music and exquisite fashion. The city’s layout, with ribbons of canals running through it, and iconic imagery like the masks of carnival, made the city seem almost other-wordly in my mind… a decadent gem floating mysteriously off of Italy’s coast, its own unique entity. Guy Aroch’s photography heightens these sensations and confirms in my mind that I will visit this city one day.
Stay tuned because our team put together a beautiful guide to Venice – I will share it with you soon!