This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Kris Chau, Assistant Knit Designer!
Aside from being a very talented designer, she is also a talented illustrator.
And a very charming and fun woman! I’ll let the video speak for itself,
and below find just a few of her illustrations. You can see many more of them
at her website.
Also, as promised, a few pictures of her exciting show in Los Angeles!
Floating around the office of late has been an extraordinary old book filled with
even older postcards and snippets, some dating as far back as the 1870′s.
The lucky owner of this beautiful book is our Senior Knits Designer, Gianna.
The book had been passed from friend to friend for many years, with each of its
possessors adding to its pages while keeping with the general theme, until it
reached Gianna’s uncle. After a time, he gifted the book, now full, to her, seeing
her inclination to art, drawing and the like. At this point, Gianna has had the book
for ten years, and has no plans to give it up! (Who can blame her?) I wanted to
share this wonderful book with you, since we have all enjoyed it so much,
and even gotten some scrapbooking inspiration from its pages!
Observe these wonderful flower girls created by Elsa Mora!
I have been perusing her blog and there is a lot of wonderful and interesting stuff!
You should check it out! She also has an Etsy shop for your pleasure.
You might have already discovered these, since I’ve talked about Love Forever so many times, I’m sure you have the blog bookmarked. But seriously, how amazing are these garlands? I’m in love. I want to go home right now and cut up little shapes paper and string them all over my ceiling. Sophie Cuvelier is a French artist, from what I can tell because her site is all in French. But click on Diaporama and browse through all of her photos; I think there are a million of them. She also sells some garlands and Selvedge, and it looks like through her site too.
Enough with all the suspense. The May catalog drops today, so check yer mailboxes, or check it out online.
A little about this month’s book…
Our May 08 catalog was based on a “by the seashore” concept… We’d been hitting up a lot of beautiful sandy beaches lately, so we wanted to explore something a little different.
Our senior stylist pointed us to the rocky beaches of central/northern California, especially the Big Sur area.
Anyone I’ve ever talked to about Big Sur has said nothing short of amazingly beautiful things about the place…so we packed up and headed west.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very cooperative – it was quite cold and rainy a lot of the time.
And to boot, our brunette model got sick during the first day of shooting, so we brought in a 2nd girl at the last minute.
But it was great using 2 different faces…
We took a 12-passenger van out on 17-mile drive, starting off each morning near our hotel in Monterey and then driving through pebble beach (we ate lunch each day at a deli in the middle of the golf course), then onto Big Sur.
Spent a lot of time looking over cliffs at what we thought were sea lions, only to realize quite late in the game that they were really giant pieces of seaweed.
We were a little bummed…
This was our first all-girl outing, by the way…photographer, assistants, stylists, etc. very exciting!!!
A friend of one of the fp girls made the May catalog video (see the previous entry) and it turned out so amazing, we wanted to share a little about his process and inspiration. Here is what Ram had to say about his work on the project.
“Carrie (fp creative director) first sent me a 3-4 minute cut done there with music and everything. I used that footage and grabbed stills from it I liked compositionally and took them into Photoshop to create color boards. The whole idea was to create a dreamy feel for the video. This is something I like to incorporate into a lot of what I do.
My background is illustration, specifically in concept art and matte painting, which is basically just creating images which don’t actually exist, but could in a potential fantasy world. The boards showed how far I’d like to push the piece. From there, David Bokser and I requested more footage. I scrubbed through it and found everything I liked and then we started on the final edit. I also knew I wanted it to end with “Free People” written in the clouds. I also spent a good bit of time going through the footage to find frames of the behind the scenes people and even some other interesting shots and treated them with texture and color for the “flicker” shots through the whole piece. I’ll post some of the favorites on my website once the video is released.
The choice of music was difficult at first. When Carrie initially brought up the possibility of doing this I had some music in mind that reminded me of the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (where Big Sur is). I really wanted to use a certain track, but I didn’t want that to dictate the mood. I wanted the clothing and the models to be first. When Dave played me the piano track, I was hesitant at first to let go of what I originally wanted but after a few listens and some changes I enjoyed it more and more and felt it was fitting.
I really love Free People. Is that weird for a guy to say? :) I think maybe the cute models have something to do with it. Ha, no really, what I love most about FP is the use of textures, patterns, and color. I am one to always incorporate texture and rich color into what I do. I think the clothing just looks great, it has a vintage flare to it but very modern and stylish. Another quality I really love is how the inspirations for the trend come from around the world. I’d love to do a photoshoot for Free People on location and create a catalog and video.
The creative inspiration question… always a tough one. A while back, Kara (from fp) introduced me to a photographer, Tim Walker, whose work I’d seen before but now that I knew the name I fell in love with the work when I saw an entire gallery of it altogether. His work, alongside a slew of fashion photographers, have been really inspirational. I’ve actually come up with some photo shoots of my own that I hope to start working on soon. A huge director inspiration for me these days has been Bruno Aveillan. His video for Louis Vuitton is incredible and his cinematography is practically flawless. In the future I’d love to come on set and shoot the videos for Free People as a more narrative piece that incorporates the clothing as the showcase.”
The music is by an artist named Michael David Crawford. Ram said “We basically wanted something dreamy and devoid of words so we could focus on the visuals. I do love piano and want desperately to learn to play. :) Originally the piece was going to incorporate an E.E. Cummings poem I really liked, but after the edit and visual effects were done, we were really happy with it and didn’t want to detract from what we already had.”
Ram’s web site: www.rambhat.com
David Bokser’s site: www.davidbokser.com
Almost the moment I posted pictures of the Big Sur catalog shoot for you all
to look at, I was informed that the catalog video had been put up on the
Free People Youtube! So I wanted to be sure and post it for you to see!
You can also find it (and all our other videos) here.
This catalog drops next week and we are all so excited! Enjoy!
Free People’s new catalog will be dropping next week!
It was shot in the stunningly gorgeous Big Sur region of California,
and one of our stylists was kind enough to share a few pictures
from the shoot! Please enjoy!
Posing pensively for us at her desk (and in a Spartan helmet no less) is Erica. Erica is the Assistant Visual Display Designer, which means she gets to help design
the displays that go in all the Free People stores.
It also means that her desk has many interesting objects to look at,
both related to her display work as well as personal items.
This is Erica’s favorite area of her desk.
The two young ladies pictured are her best friends hamming it up
on vacation in Daytona Beach. Happy times.
This is my favorite area of Erica’s desk.
When asked of the shoes she tells us:
“a wealthy older woman was giving away piles of clothes and such and
apparently didn’t realize what a great find these shoes were!”
The shoes are sadly too fragile to be worn. But great to look at!
And the radio? Made of PAPER! It was picked up in Hong Kong.
Paper objects like these are made for funerals, to be burnt up as a means of
allowing the dead to take the objects with them to the afterlife.
Tune in next time for another fun look at an employee desk!
I don’t mean to overwhelm you with videos, but I really wanted to share this. This Saturday, you can join the world to celebrate Pangea Day. The concept is really amazing. Here is some info from the Pangea Day web site…
Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.
Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.
More than 1,000 Pangea Day events worldwide will transmit photos, video, and text messages, to be incorporated in the live broadcast and the pangeaday.org web site.
The 4-hour Pangea Day program will include visionary speakers and live music in addition to the featured films. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among the presenters taking part.
So get some buddies together or check out this map to find put where people will be celebrating near you.
Meet our intern Pruitt! She is doing an awesome job helping out with the blog to bring you more nuggets from the FP home office. Check out these videos while Pruitt interviews people on the streets and asks, “Do you know what Free People is?” And check out her shopping trip.
We’ve updated our youtube page with a few new videos you haven’t seen before, so go there to see them all…