i am very excited to welcome our guest bloggers for the month of march, erica and lauren of the amazing blog honestly…wtf! these ladies are a constant source of inspiration for DIY projects, art, fashion and more, and i’m thrilled they will be sharing some of their projects and inspiration, as well as an exclusive DIY for free people this month – and keep an eye out on our website for some items from erica’s awesome line the 2 bandits!
Lauren and I, a fashion stylist and designer respectively, started Honestly…WTF several months ago as a way for us to document a shared love of art, DIYs, travel, and most importantly, fashion. We were beyond thrilled when Free People asked us to contribute to their guest blogger series with a few things that inspire us. Honestly, we can trace our love of Free People as far back as we can remember (circa 1990s)! And so in true FP spirit, we are sharing a handful of images from a DIY Tepee Sewing Workshop we hosted on my family’s ranch in California last Fall. After 3 days of handling 400 yards of heavy canvas, sewing 160 button holes, carving 40 willow pins, attaching 36 stress patches and ripping through 20 spools of thread, we successfully made a beautiful 20 foot tepee. Stay tuned this Spring when we paint the outside of the canvas and decorate the inside!
if you haven’t already, check out erica and lauren’s blog here.
We caught up with our New Romantics designer to give a little insight into this new label we have launched.
What was the initial inspiration behind New Romantics?
Just after this opportunity was presented to me, I was leaving for a girlie vacation to Sardinia. I was really taken with the passion of the Italians and the rustic beauty I found there. The beaches are stone and are overshadowed by steep cliffs and rocky coves….the surface of the sea, reflecting the pebble bottom, looked like prisms.
How would you describe New Romantics as a line?
Intimates dressing has been really appealing to me and how it’s a bit naughty but delicate, I wanted New Romantics to feel more grown up. It’s beautiful, kinda sexy or as we call in FP sensual…I like that the sensual girl doesn’t look like she’s trying too hard. They are items that you can take on vacation with you, they are light and delicate. You can roll them up into your suitcase and they will still look great… all crunched up.
The fabrics that you use for this line are quite unique, how would you describe them?
I spend a lot of time researching or pulling ideas from anywhere and everywhere, a curtain, vintage blouse, and antique tank linens, scarves and develop from scratch. My eye is hungry for the next beautiful texture and I enjoy building texture on top of texture. In general I am attracted to sheer Rochelle’s that mimic crochet but they drape more beautifully and in turn are sexier because they are less perky and demure. They are hard to find! There’s lots of raised texture contrasting with see-through fabrics so you get a lot of dimension. I find this mix of elements makes for expensive looking clothes that need very little embellishment to sing.
What’s to come for New Romantics, I hear there are some beautiful items coming in April?
Looking forward, each collection story will be told by the fabrications I curate, I feel like New Romantics will always have a touch of delicate hand. But it’s a new generation of romanticism…extreme hem lines are going to get weird and sweep are going to get big and I’m not sure how bra friendly it’s going to be ;)
today’s tunesday post is from our office coordinator! enjoy :)
I consider myself rock and roll. I convey a rock and roll attitude and enjoy rock and roll music. I have been described by my closest friend as “likes to look like she rides motorcycles” and “I think her favorite color is black.” I know it may be a little too early to be divulging secrets, but I’m going to anyway; I do love me some pop music.
Florrie’s “Give Me Your Love” is, in a word, awesomlycatchygetupanddancefun.
After doing a little digging on this soon-to-be pop sensation, all I could think was “GINGER! GINGER! GINGER!” I mean c’monnn look at the two pictures. Not only is she a hot, fun, POP singer, but they rock the same shades!
Florrie is the quintessential FP girl. She believes that her music should be spread as much as possible, so all her music is free to download. She also wants to be able to create music her way, without any constraints that a label might have. Right now she is staying an independent artist even though she has been offered contracts with numerous record companies. She writes and sings her own music and plays her own guitar and drum parts in some songs too! There are many remixes of her songs out there and some she has remixed herself!
I don’t consider myself a Ginger all of the time, but I do think the perfect time to play Ginger is a Friday night. Florrie’s music is definitely a party must-play; or a pre-party-putting-on-your-FP Animal Knit Bodycon-dress must-play!
I recommend her four “Introduction” tracks as well as “You Wanna Start Something” and “Call 911 (Florrie Remix).” Listen to a few of her songs below, including “Give Me Your Love,” which is on our new store playlist!
one of our readers emailed me that she had taken some photos at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and the bride wore a free people maxi dress… i eagerly clicked on the link and found these sweet photos of newelyweds mark and cate. cate wore the love birds maxi dress– i love that she chose something unique and unexpected but still beautiful – and she layered it with the point d’esprit maxi!
monday’s can be a little rough so i thought i’d try to make it a little better by giving you the march calendar a day early :)
i love march…those first few days when you realize a light jacket is enough, the trees begin to come alive again and the air isn’t quite so bitter, you leave work and it’s still light outside…it’s the best feeling. i am very much anti-winter but it’s worth suffering through just for the sweet feeling when spring thaws the earth.
i think our graphic designers captured that feeling perfectly with the march calendar… click here to go to our flickr page, where you have the choice of downloading either the regular or widescreen version.
Whoever knew the hem line could be this adventurous. The spring 2011 big trend is the hi-low silhouette, and we are huge fans!
We love the peek-a-boo factor that this look gives, a great way to show off your lovely shoes and a little bit of your leg when spring hits. It’s a look that’s making a romantic comeback from the 70’s in a new modern way. Play around with the look and add a little petticoat or slip to make it slightly more dramatic.
Recently Natalie, one of our favorite bloggers rocked the look on her blog and made us 100% sure that this trend is the one for spring.
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.”
free people topanga is throwing the first ever “puppy pow wow” at our store tomorrow, saturday february 26th from 3-6pm! during these hours, come in with your furry friend and shop all our new spring product. your pup won’t go home empty handed either – every pup who comes receives a special “doggy bag” filled with treats, and everyone will get a special fp frame mailed to them with a picture of them and their pup at our event! what a cute and fun idea, i wish i could go :)
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.