our graphic designers recently purchased a few books to use as inspiration – kevin and lizzy are both very talented artists and i love seeing artwork that they’re inspired by. one of the books is called the exquisite book and upon opening it, a fascinating visual experience literally unfolds before your eyes.
the concept of the book is based around a modified version of the surrealist game “the exquisite corpse,” invented back in the 1920s. using a single sheet of paper, one artist would start at the top by drawing a head, and would fold the paper over leaving only the neckline. the next artist would draw the midsection, not knowing what the head looked like, and the third would complete the body by adding legs and feet. then they would unfold the paper to reveal the character.
the book takes this concept and turns it into an entire book. the first artist fills the first page, and the next artist draws their page having only seen the page prior to theirs. the book is divided into ten chapters that are each made up of ten pages, or ten artists. the first artist of each chapter was given a phrase to start out with, such as “in the clouds…” or “in the mountains…” the results are fascinating! i love seeing how the artists feed off of each other.
here are some of my favorites:
i love this one.
for more info about the book check out the website.
Turquoise and western jewelry always catches my eye, I think it adds a certain special touch to your outfit, and I love to wear it with denim. I was very excited to hear that Ana Saldana from Rejoice the Hands was going to be featured in our December catalog a couple of months back and her pieces look great in the book; they complete the western adventurer we were trying to capture.
Her jewelry is handmade in Orange County California inspired by nature and the diversity of cultures around the world. We love her natural aesthetic and materials like turquoise, brass, silver and found porcupine quills.
We’re very excited to hold her pieces. They are the essence of true America!!!
You should check out Ana Saldana tumblr (link below) after seeing a picture of Devendra Banhart I was hooked :)
i may be a little late to the game but i just discovered the site craftgawker and spent a little too much time perusing page after page of crafty ideas – if you have not already heard of this site you have to check it out! these little felted acorns by lisa of lil fish studios caught my eye and i haven’t stopped thinking about them since. easy to make and just so adorable…i love projects where you can play around with color combinations and create different arrangements (a la andy goldsworthy). take a look at these and tell me you don’t feel inspired!
so cute! love the idea of using them on gifts this holiday season.
making the acorns is very simple, requiring just a few steps:
collect a bunch of acorns and remove the caps.
get wool for felting in various colors at your local craft store
roll the wool into small balls, wet with hot water and add a little bit of soap. continue rolling the ball in your hands for about ten minutes, occasionally adding soap, until it is firm. mold into the shape of an acorn and glue into the cap using fabric glue or even krazy glue or guerilla glue.
for the holidays add a little glitter for some extra sparkle :)
i explored lisa’s site a little bit and was also very inspired by her experimentation with natural dye:
pieces of felted wool, from left to right: nothing/undyed, dyed with carrots, dyed with parsley and dyed with pomegranate.
left – parsley dyed wool and thread; right – pomegranate dyed wool and thread
left – red cabbage dyed wool and thread; right – onion skin dyed wool and thread
our december lookbook is my favorite one yet… for the first time i really don’t think i can pick a favorite! the photography, the styling, the model – it’s all flawless. which outfit do you guys like best?
while shooting our december catalog in utah, photographer chrissy piper also took some behind the scenes photos that are almost as beautiful as the ones in the catalog! these photos are moody and magical and i want to be there. right now.
candy dreams all year long of a white christmas and counts down the days until its time to decorate for the holidays. tradition is important to her and even hanging ornaments on the tree is special to her as each ornament holds sentimental value, reminding her of her childhood and years passed. on the weekend she’ll put on christmas carols and fill her home with the scents of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg as she bakes cookies and then walks from door to door offering them to her neighbors.
she loves nothing more than giving gifts to her loved ones, and when it comes to receiving, her favorite gifts are the ones that are the most thoughtful and meaningful.
get to know our amazing december catalog photographer, chrissy piper!
How did you first get involved with free people?
I had a friend who worked on the team that did in-store installations for Anthropologie. She mentioned that my work seemed perfect for Free People. Soon after that, I brought my book in to meet with Carrie (our videographer). At the time I shot mostly music (my book had portraits of Cat Power, Evan Dando, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul Westerberg, etc.) so we sat there nerding out on music for a long time. Not long after they booked me for my first shoot :)
When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I’d say pretty early on. As a kid my Mom would give me her camera (without film in it) to walk around taking pictures. One day the camera stopped winding. When I went in to ask my Mom about it, she realized that there had been a roll of film in the camera. When the film came back from the lab, there were lots of photos of one trash can, shot from all different angles. She asked me what I was taking a photo of and my response– “I was waiting for Oscar to pop out.” So, I think wanting to be a photographer has always been inside of me.
What kind of camera do you use? Do you always have a camera on you?
The camera I use more than anything is my Leica M4. I love it and for me, nothing really compares. When shooting something that needs a quick turnaround or digital, I use a Canon Mark II or 5D Mark II.
Yep, I always have a Yashica T4 in my little bag!
Who are some of your personal favorite photographers?
There are so many! Always inspired by others– Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, David Bailey, John Heartfield, Sylvia Plachy, Tim Walker.
the photographer at work, shooting our december book.
How was your experience shooting the Free People catalog?
I love shooting with the Free People crew. I feel like Doub (our creative director) and I share a really similar vision of the shoot and it’s just really great (and inspiring) to bounce ideas off of one another. We all worked really hard but had a great time doing it! I also love the girls that were casted for this shoot. They were both very confident as well as (naturally) beautiful.
Is there a particular shot in the catalog that you love most?
I love the center photo of Martha standing in the road. She just looks so bad ass to me!
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a favorite item from our December catalog?
My “style” is pretty much Tom Boy with a few “girly” essentials! There were so many clothes (and boots) on this shoot that I wanted!!!
I can’t tell you how many times my assistant Autumn and I were like “I WANT THAT!” The red leather jacket Martha is wearing on the motorcycle is amazing as well as the black crotchet dress. Oh and I’ll take all of the boots in the catalog!!!
I loved your three records show and thought the whole concept was awesome! What are the three records that changed and/or inspired your life?
Thank you! The Three Records Zine has been like my baby for years so it means the world when people really get it.
Here are my records from the first issue:
Where do you live? What are your favorite things to do there?
I currently live in Los Angeles. Most of my time is spent in bookstores (Skylight and Family books) or the Pacific Ocean (surfing).
here’s some more of chrissy’s work:
tomboy photographer into music, bookstores and surfing? a girl after my own heart :) check out her website here, and view our december catalog here.
Ever since I was young I’ve always been intrigued by crafty items and intricate detail. I remember the sensation of watching my Grandma and Mam knit… when the dark wintery nights drew in they used to set up in front of the fireplace with me cuddled under their arms, It was a relaxing, soft feeling watching them at work.
I used to stare at their hands moving so fast, fascinated with the pattern that was rolling from underneath the needles. Ever since, crochet has continued to excite me.
Can you believe the earliest evidence of crochet goes back no further than the 1800’s when it became popular in Europe. During this period crochet was used as a less costly substitute to create the similar effect that lace has, and if you ask me… I would say the outcome is a little more endearing!
Crochet remained popular through the mid 1970, and then declined a little, but now it has made its way back into 21th century with a huge bang — now the technique is being used on runway shows and in new, fresh fashion forward ways that continue to impress!
Working at Free People is like heaven for me as the knit team here is so crafty, I often find myself drifting upstairs to investigate their new creations – they never disappoint!!
I am over the moon right now… we have just launched a BIG crochet story that was strongly promoted in our December catalog. It’s a great look to invest in as it one of those old world charms that will never die!