tunesday

when it comes to videos, having the right song can make all the difference in the world.  for me, that’s what really grabs my attention and sucks me in so that i can’t stop watching.  one of the reasons i love our videographer’s work so much is that she always picks the perfect song – i don’t know how she does it. the song in our february catalog video is no exception…”throwing hail marys” by gypsy death star.  i had never heard of them before and wanted to learn a little bit more about them…

based in ventura, california, gypsy death star is a collaboration between producer cesar augusto and singer/song writer wyatt hull.  they combine trance-like electronic beats and haunting lyrics to create a sound that will transport you to a different place in your mind. read on for a brief interview with the band and check out a video of them performing “throwing hail marys” below!

5349822990_3817ae14d3_b

when and how did gypsy death star come about?

i put an add out on craigslist for a beat maker and cesar responded, we started making tracks together through emails, & the rest is history..

how do you guys describe your music?

a cross between dark ambient techno & electronic indie rock

if your music was a color, what color would it be?

blood red

is there a certain song you’re most proud of?

some may be slower, some may be more full of wisdom, but were equally proud of all our children.

what’s your favorite venue you’ve played in, and what venue do you dream of someday performing in?

we recently played at the deer lodge in ojai, california & that had a magical ambiance. we both dream of someday playing the conan o’brien show, we’re big fans of his, or perhaps one of those sesame street episodes where they bring musicians on.

what’s your pre-show ritual?

cold high-quality brew.

who are some of your biggest musical influences?

cocorosie, t-rex, q lazzarus, tv on the radio, portishead, syd barrett, the pixies, and david bowie.

if you could see any band, past or present, perform live, who would it be?

kraftwerk’s performances when they used robots and any of the first ziggy stardust shows would have been rad to see.

all-time favorite record?

pink floyd’s “pipers at the gates of dawn” for wyatt. queen’s “game” for cesar.

what’s coming up for gypsy death star? any exciting plans in the works?

we’re looking at doing a small tour in mexico, we have a music video we just finished shooting in which we do some tag team wrestling, and are currently mixing a new full length record do for release soon this year.

GypsyDeathStarPressShot01

Gypsy Death Star – Throwing Hail Marys from Earth Delivery on Vimeo.

you can listen to more of their songs on their website here, and find them on facebook here.
thanks guys!

an interview with jason lee parry

shooting our february catalog

our february catalog was shot by another personal favorite of mine – jason lee parry. he has a talent for telling a story through his photography, making him the perfect choice for our february catalog and its love story theme. he lives in LA and his photographs evoke all the things i love about southern california – hazy sunshine, carefree days and wild nights, a cool edginess to the air and endless summer attitude.

here’s some of his amazing work, which you may recognize as its been posted all over the blogosphere :)

pc2

152

pc3

65

pc1

75

the one of the girl on the skateboard is one of my favorite photos ever. so you can imagine my excitement when jason was kind enough to answer some questions for the blog!

IMG_8178

shooting our february catalog

how was your experience working with free people?

it was a great experience. they gave me full creative freedom which is very important… the team was wonderful, super professional but fun at the same time. the kind of people you would go grab a drink with outside of the shoot. thank you free people for a great shoot!

is there a certain photo from the shoot that you’re particularly proud of?

i like the one of jessica (lou) walking on the beach with the sun coming through her legs, of noot (meadow) dancing in front of the window at night with the tambourine in hand, and the one of martha (ginger) twirling in the red shoes with the sun at her back. i like them all though. they have a real sense of summer, freedom and flirtatiousness which fit the love stories very well..

jlp

when did you know you wanted to be a photographer? what photographers have influenced you?

as a child i traveled a lot and was visually stimulated by the things i saw so i wanted to recreate images i had seen in my past. i was fifteen when i got hooked… i love how photography tells a story with one picture and everyone, including myself, can interpret it differently. the instant gratification of photography will always keep me interested. guy bourdin is one of my main influences.

do you have a routine when preparing for a shoot?

i am constantly visualizing and thinking up ideas. i take my shoots very seriously. the night before i can’t sleep usually, i’m up visualizing each shot, sometimes creating a full storyboard. i used to stay in my tent in my living room and drink whiskey for days on in, that’s when the ideas really start to flow for me.

FP February 2010 Cat Shoot 051

shooting our february catalog

what is the most important thing you’ve ever learned about being a successful photographer?

it is very important for me to take jobs that reflect my personal style. bringing everything to the table every time no matter what it pays. i think its extremely important to make the client and models feel very comfortable, playing music during the shoot, having a glass of wine with the crew if need be. also going over every last detail with the client so we are both on the same page, leaving only good surprises with the end result…

what do you like to do when you’re not working?

make my own beer, read about conspiracy theories, road trips…in particular back roads, poetry, go camping,  surround myself with interesting people.

la

what are some of your favorite spots in LA?

my home in silver lake, driving in topanga canyon, drinking in the hills by the griffith observatory, cafe stella, footsies, the roost, ye rustic inn,  el prado, good luck bar,  tiki ti…the less people the better. but my favorite thing is drinking in my parked car before i go into my favorite bars. i hate walking in to a bar completely sober!

IMG_8971

shooting our february catalog

mr. parry, i like your style… go see more of his awesome work here. thank you jason!!!

photos from our catalog shoot taken by our videographer and creative design assistant :)

just kids, part three

i just got through the part of just kids in which patti smith recalls her encounters with janis joplin and jimi hendrix, shortly before both of their deaths. to have lived in that time, and experienced first hand how extraordinary they both were, i can only imagine the profound sense of loss she and others back then must have felt.  i wasn’t even alive yet but i am still incredibly saddened just thinking about it…i grew up listening to music from the sixties and seventies, and janis joplin was one of the first female artists i identified with. her and jimi’s performances at monterey pop are probably some of the best concert footage of all time, in my opinion.

i love the poem patti wrote about janis:

i was working real hard
to show the world what i could do
oh i guess i never dreamed
i’d have to
world spins some photographs
how i love to laugh when the crowd laughs
while love slips through
a theatre that is full
but oh baby
when the crowd goes home
and i turn in and i realize i’m alone
i can’t believe
i had to sacrifice you

her encounter with jimi hendrix took place at the opening of his electric lady studios in new york, when he found her sitting outside, nervous to go in.

“he spent a little time with me on the stairs and told me his vision of what he wanted to do with the studio.  he dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play. it didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language. eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his new studio. “the language of peace. you dig?” i did.”

this reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of all time, which comes from jimi hendrix:

quote

following their deaths patti describes a feeling of uncertainty about her artistic direction.

“i was both scattered and stymied, surrounded by unfinished songs and abandoned poems. i would go as far as i could and hit a wall, my own imagined limitations. and then i met a fellow who gave me his secret, and it was pretty simple. when you hit a wall, just kick it in.”

tumblr_l9bhl7u2wm1qa7bilo1_500

tumblr_l8gknwOcsz1qzmsw1o1_500

as i was reading i felt like i identified most strongly with patti at this point…full of ideas and creativity but uncertain how to express it. a few years ago i reached a point in my life where i felt trapped and my way of kicking down the wall was driving across the country, finding myself in san francisco.

sf2

much like patti’s time spent within new york’s rock and roll circle helped her realize her dreams, the creative energy of san francisco helped me realize mine.

model off duty

our creative design assistant snapped a couple pics of model sasha pivovarova when she arrived for our catalog shoot on thursday… she looks effortlessly cool in leather pants, black shoes, tank and messy braid – and the tiger on her shirt was definitely appropriate!

i snapped this photo of her bracelets and rings on the makeup table – i love that she just wears a couple of friendship bracelets!

IMG_2535

and jemma took this photo when she arrived on day two, looking nice and cozy for the cold day in nyc!

photo

i know you guys want to see more of the april catalog but you’re going to have to wait a little bit! don’t worry though because i’ll have a sneak peek of our february book soon (maybe next week!) and it is amazing :)

a day in the life: michele ouellet

you may recognize this girl from some free people catalogs! she modeled in our december ’09 and january ’10 books, and i interviewed her back then for the blog. michele often works in paris – and hung out with our team while they were shooting there – so i asked her for a little rundown of her ideal day off in paris!

paris! such a fun, beautiful city. i love working there and no matter how many times i visit there is always something fabulous to discover! the city is set up in such a way that nearly every corner you turn, a gorgeous monument or bridge or statue or building is right in front of you. there is so much to take in! whenever i have some time to kill between castings i explore st. germain and le marais or pop into one of the many museums. my perfect day off would look something like this…

read more for the full post!

Read More

xoxo

as if having one genius photographer in a household wasn’t enough – guy aroch’s wife, anna palma, is also an incredibly talented photographer. our senior stylist told me about her, and sent along some photos and a video that she shot. what struck me about her work was somewhat similar to why i love her husband’s work- it feels very natural and un-posed. she has a talent for capturing the essence of childhood- imagination, playfullness and fun. this video is amazing- i love the song choice (yeasayer’s ambling alp)!

“XOXO” directed by Anna Palma from SWELL on Vimeo.

and here are some of the gorgeous photos that accompany the video:

2
3
4

see more at her website!

january catalog photographer, guy aroch

5119124589_5f179ab073_b

5119721950_b64ee058f3_b

5119122237_577589bbb2_b

when i heard that our january catalog was being shot in paris by guy aroch, i knew before even seeing it that it was going to be amazing. i’ve been a fan of his work for some time now and have a lot of his photos saved in my inspiration folder.  in addition to his knack for beautiful lighting and rich colors, he has a magical way of capturing a fleeting moment.  looking through our paris book i don’t see a catalog, i see a photo diary of two girls’ adventure through paris as if they were being followed around and photographed without knowing. here’s some more of guy’s inspiring work (some featuring model elsa hosk, one of our january catalog models!).

1

2

3

4

go see more of his beautiful work here. the images of guy shooting our paris catalog were taken by thomas northcut.

office style

our makeup artist wearing a vintage dress she found at a sidewalk sale outside someones stoop – i love how she paired it with striped socks and boots! she looks awesome.

and i stumbled upon our senior stylist packing for paris- she and another stylist are heading back to shoot our january lookbook, which i’ll tell you guys more about soon! that suitcase is stuffed to the brim with lookbook outfits :)

IMG_2337

IMG_2340

and here they are on their way out, traveling in style!

IMG_2343

à bientôt!

new year, new book!

i am very excited to announce our next book club read – just kids by patti smith! a couple of you recommended this book but it was literally yesterday during a conversation with our videographer that we chose it.   here is what she had to say about it…

i’d heard friends talking about patti’s book and how powerful/inspiring/mesmerizing it was…
coincidentally i got tickets to see her play in new york for the new year.
i’m not much of a reader anymore, but…
i started the book on sunday – after seeing her perform which was downright amazing – and stayed up til 1am tuesday to finish it.
i don’t even feel like i can conjure up words to say what she’s already said – though when i read the last page, i texted my good friend,
feeling compelled to say “good lord, there’s good work to be done.”
i haven’t been so moved by a book in maybe…ever.
you’ll want to throw away all of your fears and reservations and excuses and go for it –
it being whatever the heck you want your life to be.

ok sign me up! i can’t wait to start reading it.  i’ll give you all a week or so to get started and then i’ll start posting about it. in the meantime, here are some images of the impossibly cool patti smith.

patismith2

withsam2

patti4

Patti+Smith2

getting to know you

one of the coolest things about my job as free people blogger is that i get to interact with so many of our customers and fans.  whether it’s through the emails i get every day from blog readers, the comments people leave on blog posts, or photos and artwork people upload to facebook, i am constantly inspired by our fans.

but i want to get to know you even better, and share your stories on the blog so everyone can see them. tell me your story about free people – how you first discovered us, why you love free people, where you like to wear your free people, artwork and photography inspired by free people – you name it, i want to see it and hear it.

you can send your stories, photos, drawings, paintings, DIY projects, and more to blog@freepeople.com

i want to compile as many as possible for a little project we’d like to do as an ongoing tribute to you, our readers and fans.

can’t wait to hear from you! xoxo