The trend we are featuring on our website this week is very close to my heart: Grunge. As someone who grew up mostly in the 90’s, I know the importance of that perfectly beat up pair of jeans, soft over-sized flannel and ripped, worn-through t-shirt that you just can’t seem to part with. I watched My So Called Lifereligiously, had a crush on Jordan Catalano and wanted to be Rayanne Graff. I listened to Nirvana and Pearl Jam on cassette tape and wore Doc Martens. Grunge will always be that one trend for me that I never tire of, and will always wear, because to me its more than a trend – it’s part of who I am.
I gasped when I first saw these paintings (yes, paintings!) by Pakayla Biehn, based on double exposure photography. I definitely recognize some of the images she uses as well…a couple are by the amazing Tamara Lichtenstein.
“I bent down the page who’s triangle still marks that instant. Touching that triangle of yellowed paper today is like sliding my hand into the glove of my seventeen-year-old hand.”
“The sentence that had so addled me suddenly made sense (in the paperback…I still own, the phrase has rockets and fireworks scribbled alongside it).”
– Lit by Mary Karr
I’ve been reading Lit, the second book in a series of memoirs by author Mary Karr. Just last month I read her first, The Liars Club, and she’s quickly become a favorite. Her stories – the way in which she weaves them and presents them – have staying power. They linger in my thoughts and keep my brain from rest. Just in the opening chapters of this second installment, she’s gotten me to thinking about my physical presence now, and how it will creep into my life down the road.
It’s beautiful – the way opening an old book, the pages dog-eared and the notes scribbled, puts her right back in the very place she was when she first read it. It goes to prove that sometimes it takes a physical mark or action to remember.
We forget. How can we not? With 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year, and around 100 years of lifetime – a lot happens. You’re not always thinking of one instant long ago, but sometimes you come across proof of your former self. The marks you make have a way of burning themselves in an instant, and upon their discovery you’re immediately transported back to that time and place – the thoughts and feelings that ran through your head become crystal clear.
So, I’ve decided that I won’t hold back. If I want to make a note in my book, rip a page out of a magazine, or draw in my sketchbook, I’ll do it. It’s not ruining something precious; it’s making something mine, and giving me a connection to a certain moment. Of course, it’s already happened some, but I look forward to the day when these little bits of evidence will pop up and remind me of who I was when I would otherwise forget.
Our makeup artist told me about this lovely book shop called Atlantis Books, located in Oia, Santorini. I love the story behind it and would love to spend a day browsing its many shelves! She brought me back the postcards above, and a sweet little short story called “Feuille d’Album” by Katherine Mansfield. Published by Paravion Press, which was founded out of Atlantis Books, it is one of several different stories they print in small booklets that you can mail to a friend or loved one.
“In the spring of 2002, Oliver and Craig spent a week on the island of Santorini. The land inspired them and there was no bookshop, so they drank some wine and decided to open one. Oliver named it Atlantis Books and the two laughed about how their children would run it someday.
We found an empty building facing the sunset, drank some whiskey and signed a lease. We found a dog and cat, opened a bank account, applied for a business license, found some friends, built the shelves, landed a boat on the terrace and filled the place with books. Jenny came in April and painted everything blue.
Atlantis Books opened in the spring of 2004 and lived below the castle for one year. In the winter of 2005 we moved into the center of town and settled nicely into the community. We’ve had food festivals and film festivals, writers reading on the terrace, and a host of cats and dogs.
The bookshop feels like home now and we’re still laughing about how our children will run it someday. As Will says, it’s as easy as that. As you. As that.”
“Paravion Press was born in a bookshop on the cliffs of an island in the south of Greece. The shop swarms with people who love stories and who are far away from loved ones. And it occurred to us that by sending a story in the mail there might, as John Donne put it, be a moment to ‘mingle souls: for thus, friends absent speak.’”
Last week we featured the beautiful island of Santorini, Greece, where our catalog team shot the December book. This book has me longing for a winter vacation, and Santorini seems like an ideal place for just that. Here’s a look at where our team stayed and one of their favorite restaurants!
Our team stayed at the gorgeous Villa Fabrica, a renovated factory space formerly used to produce and store wine, located just below the ruins of the historic Castle of Pyrgos. The villa is sleek and spacious with minimal design and lots of outdoor space, doubling as the location for our catalog shoot. And the views… out of this world!
While in Santorini, our team had dinner at a restaurant called Selene – located near the Villa, in the village of Pyrgos. The restuarant prides itself on serving authentic Greek cuisine made with local produce and wine made from grapes grown right there on the island. In addition to what sounds like an amazing menu, can you imagine dining on a balcony overlooking this?!:
At the Free People home offices we have so many amazing things available to us. One that I’m sure many employees will tell you that they’re grateful for, is the amazing food. You can either head over to our dining hall called 543 or stop at the café Jharoka – both of which offer menus that are stocked with gourmet ingredients and creative pairings. The offering includes some of the freshest ideas in the culinary world today: smoked tofu and pear chicken salad with blackberry jam and arugula on a brioche, or, for the non-vegetarians, how about a grilled flank with balsamic mushrooms, horseradish mayonnaise and spring mix on semolina hero?The people behind these masterpieces are talented chefs, baristas, sauciers – they each have a reputable background and an artistry to share.
Meet Corbin – our 543 drink specialist who’s prepping up his magical Hangover Smoothie. FP Jemma will tell you that he steams the best cappuccino, and he’ll humbly profess that it’s what he loves to do. We talked to him while he got to work at the blender, learning all about his love of drinks and how he uses vitamin B12 to cure our post party pains.
Where did you work before this? Before this I worked at various coffee shops, always making drinks.
And how long have you been with the company? About a year now
How did you develop this hangover recipe – was it out of necessity? Ha – not so much…I mainly just researched ingredients. It’s about trial and error – getting to know ingredients and what they’re good for. I then combine things with similar benefits to make a power house recipe with a specific benefit, like weight loss or energy.
How does this smoothie help to cure a hangover? Bananas, spinach, and B12 have a lot of potassium which will give you a big kick and make you feel good. The B12 also has great added energy benefits. The Kale is just good for everything – it’s so nutrient-rich.
Where do you get inspiration?Are there any sources you often use for research? I mainly just talk to people, I visit other juice bars, and the internet – I look a lot of things up on the internet…
What’s next? I’m going to be adding supplements to the cleanses more. So far I’ve just been making combinations with the juicer like carrot, ginger, and lemon – no water or anything added. I’m going to start putting in supplements like Spirulina and Echinacea. For the New Year there will be a whole cleansing regiment offered. Employees can pick up a package of 6 juices each day to either use as a liquid diet or to add on top of a healthy eating regimen.
Here’s how to make the hangover smoothie:
Ingredients (Serves 2)
One handful (approx 1 cup) of Washed Spinach
4 Leaves of Washed Dinosaur Kale
1 Cup of Soy Milk
4-5 Drops of Liquid B12
¾ Cup of Chopped Ice
Put it all in the blender & drink!
He left us with a bottle of the first batch. It was full of banana-y flavor, and although not hungover, it definitely put some pep in our step.
Hello again from Hanoi! It’s 6 am, and we’ve just arrived back on the night train from Sa Pa, and just enjoyed a delicious breakfast of Pho and watermelon juice. We’re about to hop on a flight to Hoi An, a beach town on the south central coast of Vietnam, on the south China Sea. We’re literally doing hair and make-up on the street outside of a cafe…