the days are heating up and summer is just around the corner…time for long days of lounging in the sun followed by wild summer nights. our current summer nights trend is all about the items you can rock all day long and then dress up with accessories to wear straight out at night. i love our selection of body con dresses that are perfect for this trend. which one do you like best??
bonnaroo is here! the festival officially starts today and i can barely sit still i’m so excited. the four of us will get there tomorrow so if you’re going to bonnaroo look for us with our free people carrier bags! if you spot us we’ll take your photo and add it to our bonnaroo album on facebook and you also could be featured right here on the blog :)
fp jemma has been talking about making a chandelier out of tree branches for her apartment and i think its an awesome idea! another fp girl was telling me they used to make them for our store displays as well. it doesn’t seem too difficult – you can collect fallen tree branches and sticks in your own backyard or at a park, and bind them together with twine , arranging them however you want them to look. this is definitely something you can play around with and experiment with several branches or just a few. it would look amazing with some christmas tree lights woven in!
here’s some inspiration i found to get your creative juices flowing…
our very own kris chau has an art show opening over in gallery 543 at the navy yard today! the show, titled “work to work” will be up until july 9th and you definitely don’t want to miss it, her work is awesome. here’s a little peek :)
we’re heading down to bonnaroo in a few days and i’m hoping we have some time to make a quick stop in nashville to do some exploring! if we do, there are a couple of vintage shops that i would love to check out…
first is imogene and willie, a store that’s one-of-a-kind in itself, located in a retrofitted gas station on 12th avenue south in nashville. while they specialize in premium, customized denim that they make right there on the spot, they have a selection of vintage cowboy boots, bags and accessories that i’d love to dig through. not to mention it is owned and run by a husband and wife team who’s adorable dog you’ll likely find lounging on the couch, and in the evenings they’ll often have live music and happy hour :)
the other shop i’d love to check out, called venus and mars, is partly owned by karen elson – singer and wife of jack white. driving by the simple house on belmont ave (not far from imogene and willie) you might not even notice it but step inside and a fantasy world of vintage lies before you – while imogene and willie might appeal more to our tomboyish lou customer, venus and mars would defnitely intrigue the candys out there. the store carries high end, rare vintage garments as well as less expensive, colorful and girly vintage dresses and jewelry. says elson, “vintage isn’t just an old hand-me-down but a one-of-a-kind garment with a wonderful story.”
above image of karen elson from recent feature in nylon magazine.
i really love the store’s website, too – it’s set up like an old book that you flip through.
bonnaroo is almost here! three days…it is time to start thinking about packing and luckily i’ve been a couple of times so i know exactly what to expect. here’s a look at what will be in my suitcase!
bonnaroo takes place on a farm in manchester tennessee, and at this time of year it gets brutally HOT – you are in a wide open space with very few trees, and people actually fight over the shade. but even if the forecast is for sunshine all weekend, there is still a very good chance that at some point it will rain. i would not go to bonnaroo without a good pair of waterproof boots and a raincoat!
during the hot days i tend to wear a bathing suit under cutoff shorts and a lightweight top. the chiffon slip would be perfect. throughout festival grounds there are mist tents set up for people too cool off, and believe me they are the BEST. i would bring a reusable water bottle too, because they have water stations throughout the grounds and buying bottled water is pricey (not to mention bad for the environment). sunglasses and sunblock are a must, and i’ll probably wear my straw fedora the whole weekend – i’m obsessed. a blanket is good to have for shows, especially the mellow shows where you just want to lie down, close your eyes, listen to the music and drift away…
karlee bloomfield is a talented gal- she plays keyboard and sings backup for the quincy mumford band, who make music they describe as “earnest pop with a touch of funk and a saltwater twang.” in addition to being the house band at jersey’s historic stone pony they’re on the lineup for a couple of big festivals this year, including gathering of the vibes (in connecticut) and musikfest (in bethlehem, PA). karlee happens to be a big fan of free people and in interviewing her for the blog i learned she’s also pretty rad :)
how long have you been playing keyboards?
i have been playing keyboards since i was old enough to sit on a piano bench all by myself. my parents bought a digital grand piano, about a year before i was born – my mom said she had a feeling that she should put a piano in the house. the fact that she thought that is still kind of wild to me. as a toddler, i was fascinated by all the controls on the piano, and eventually i knew just how to work it so that i would get the sounds i wanted. it was pretty much my favorite toy growing up. i started taking formal lessons at the age of 5, and have been playing and taking lessons ever since, so that makes it about twelve years now.
when i was seven years old, i met andy letke, who became my piano teacher and later my most important mentor…he is still my teacher today. i study classical Piano, and attend an after school program where i study bass guitar, drums and vocals.
my true love is playing and jamming with my band. i absolutely love the music we play. we like to call it, “FEEL GOOD MUSIC”. it is the kind of music that makes you feel happy when you listen to it. it is like a really great beach day!
who are some of your personal musical influences?
page mcconnell from phish, john paul jones from led zeppelin, herbie hancock, jeff paris from keb mo’s band, and a local artist named matt wade. oh, and grace potter from grace potter and the nocturals, that girl can rock the hammond organ like no other female musician i know! i actually played a show with her last year, which was a really cool experience. VH1 filmed the show for a documentary about the influence of woodstock on today’s up and coming musicians – definitely an experience for the memory book!
if you could see any band (past or present) live in concert, who would it be?
i’d definitely have to say led zeppelin. their musicianship was amazing, plus robert plant was a hunk back in the day.
(i am totally with you on that one karlee!!)
what is your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
there are so many places, but i would have to say florida, because we traveled there as a band. we’re like one big family on the road, we have so much fun together. we have played down there a couple of times now, and the weather has always been perfect! it is so nice to leave NJ when it is chilly, and in 20 hours be back in t-shirts and flip flops. and i can honestly say that every time we play in florida or anywhere on the coast, i am always wearing my free people dresses :)
if you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
first and foremost my keyboard, second, an endless supply of fruit, and third would definitely be my diary! i am a girl who loves to write, draw, eat fruit and play music – keeping it simple!
how would you describe your personal style? what are some of your favorite free people items?
i am a hippie chick through and through. i love wearing little dresses, and as a matter of fact one of my favorite dresses is a floral free people dress with gold trim on it (the ends in sequins dress). it’s so cute, and looks great on stage! in fact, i just wore it to a show we played at.
winter, spring, summer or fall?
i really don’t enjoy the cold weather too much. i love playing out on a warm, breezy summer night – that is the best feeling in the entire world to me.
what is your motto?
whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
what inspires you on a daily basis?
the desire to improve my art, to bring as many people into my life as possible, and to be happy and to make others happy!
what’s coming up for the quincy mumford band?
this summer, the quincy mumford band is up to some great things. we are looking forward to playing the main stage at the gathering of the vibes festival in connecticut july 29th -aug 1st. at the festival we will be playing with some of the biggest names such as: furthur, robert randolph, damian marley and so many others. we are counting down the days to this festival! i am sure there will be lots of people in free people clothing there. in addition, we are already scheduled to play the summer stage in asbury park opening for umphrey’s mcgee and donavon frankenreiter. we are also the house band for the legendary stone pony in asbury park (home of bruce springsteen), where we host “feel good thursday”, every other thursday -we’re creating a little mini-festival vibe there.
wake up to the sun rising over the mountaintops, shedding light over the nature and beauty of squaw valley, california. breathe in the crisp, refreshing air and stretch your limbs with an energizing yoga class. take a cable car with astonishing views to the mountaintop to explore meadows and streams and lose yourself in nature. come back down to the village where music, bongo drums and laughter fill the air. wander among the booths and shops and indulge in delicious locally grown food as the sun goes down. the stars twinkle above and the village heats up with fire dancers, acrobats and late night music sets by renowned djs like moby, bassnectar and pretty lights.
this is wanderlust, and free people wants to take you there.
we have teamed up with wanderlust festival to bring you the ultimate yoga and music festival experience! now through july 2nd you can enter to win 2 seeker tickets to wanderlust (3 days access to a carefully curated schedule of yoga classes, 3 days and nights of music, 2 nights of lodging, and travel stipend) AND a $200 free people gift card!
two runners up will receive pilgrim and daytripper passes, and a $100 gift card. the pilgrim passes are good for one day of music and yoga and the daytripper passes are good for one day of music only.
our creative director has just returned from a trip to montezuma, costa rica, and was kind enough to share these beautiful photos and story from her trip…
“montezuma is a small town on the pacific side of costa rica. i stayed in a bungalow at a place called los mangos that was a little ways from the beach and surrounded by mango trees where many howler monkeys lived! our first night there we were awakened early in the morning by strange howls and we assumed it was wild dogs but it was the howler monkeys. they love to eat mangos and it was most entertaining watching them feel each one trying to find the ripe one.
the food was great – we ate lots of ceviche which is fish cooked with fruit acids and served cold with saltines. it is so delicious and refreshing! in the mornings we drank the costa rican organic coffee which is so chocolatey and rich, and we ate cosados which is rice and beans with eggs, guacamole and sour cream. my boyfriend loved the local beer called imperial which you can drink everywhere and at all times! at the airport all the taxi drivers offer you beer and water :)
we took a 4 hour horseback riding journey to many gorgeous beaches and to one beautiful water fall. i loved just being submerged in nature everyday, swimming in the ocean and riding horses. it was all great fun and mind clearing!!!”