My love of books was instilled in me at a young age. Read More
There are only two occasions where waking up before dawn is really exciting – if I’m getting on a plane to a far away tropical oasis… or…driving to a flea market to fight with the best of them (the other hunters) for things I probably don’t need. Read More
Africa, how can I repay what you have given me? Your people who radiate with such astounding beauty and light, no matter what their personal life has served on their plate. Sights of deep perseverance and hope give 24 hour goosbumps. Strangers become family in an instant. Human connection is the deepest, most simple ingredient. Forget language barriers, politics, haves and have nots… connecting with an elder of 110 years old, holding hands and smiling souls: that’s it.
This past weekend was one of the best I’ve had…ever. My boyfriend and I drove up to Woodstock, NY on Friday evening, where we spent two nights in a charming bed and breakfast. Read More
An outtake from the iconic shoot with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which took place hours before he was killed.
When it comes to role models, one of mine has always been Annie Leibovitz. She inspired me from a young age to study photography, and to this day her work sets a standard that few others can live up to. From her role as chief photographer for Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s, to touring photographer with the Rolling Stones, to her more recent fashion editorials, she has a gift for capturing people and history through her lens – some of the most iconic moments in music have been brought before our eyes because of her talent.
Pilgrimage is a book of photos that are unlike her other work – they contain no people. It began with a trip to Niagara falls with her daughters, and plans she had made with partner Susan Sontag, who has since passed. They had talked about making a book of all the places they wanted to go, and years later Leibovitz returned to the idea, and thus came Pilgrimage. The photos are of spaces, places, things – heavy with the ghosts of the legends who lived in and used them, like Virginia Woolf, Thoreau, Elvis, Georgia O’Keefe, and so on.
“I NEEDED to save myself,” she says of the work contained in the book. “I needed to remind myself of what I like to do, what I can do.”
Emily Dickinson’s only surviving dress
Virginia Woolf’s Bedroom
Elvis’s Television, in storage at Graceland (he shot it).
Georgia O’Keefe’s handmade pastels
Annie Oakley’s heart target.
You can also see the photos on exhibit right now at the Smithsonian Museum in DC!
Molly has that classic retro look – it’s preppy and sophisticated but in a cool modern way. She takes signature styles and makes them fresh again; her clothes have details such as tipping and pleating and she loves the Peter Pan collar like no other. She’s reserved but her personality exudes confidence… you’ll see her walking elegantly in a city, perched in an old library or quietly sitting in a coffee shop soaking in her thoughts.
Molly is our new style girl who was inspired by the retro things in life; she gives vintage a modern twist! To celebrate Molly’s debut online and in our catalog, we did a special photo shoot featuring FP Jemma, who embodied Molly perfectly – we want to thank the lovely people at One Shot coffee shop in Philly for letting us take photos, be sure to check out their place it’s pretty great – a wonderful atmosphere and delicious food and coffee!
Check out our Molly Shop for more retro styles!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on our newest girl! Are you a Molly?
Psst… there are some April catalog sneak peeks in there! Can you guess the location??
Decade Diary is an illustrated diary chronicling past, present interests and future perspectives of a decade lived in New York City, by Illustrator Bernadette Pascua. The second I discovered her site, I knew I had to feature her on the blog. She has a wonderful creative eye, and is a very talented illustrator and collage artist. Her creations convey not only a sophisticated style but a unique take on fashion and the world around her as viewed through New York eyes.
Bernadette was kind enough to create this amazing New York themed collage just for us! Read on to learn more about her and see more of her lovely work.
Collage by Bernadette Pascua for Free People
City lights photo and all watercolor by Decade Diary.
Film still from Andy Warhol’s “Empire”
Press photo of the Neue Galerie
Patti Smith on the Bowery, photograph by Godlis
Press photo of Saturdays Coffee Shop
Press photo of Diner in Brooklyn
Where in New York do you live?
I live in Brooklyn, in the Southside of Williamsburg, right along side the bridge. It’s such a great location – the city is just a ride across the bridge and most of the buildings on our street are turn of the century cast iron, dating back to the 1800’s. The street is quiet but with a little liveliness that comes from having a row of favorite restaurants like Diner and Marlow and Sons (plus their amazing grocery store Marlow and Daughters).
What do you love most about New York?
I love the constant flux that the city is in. It keeps a great balance of feeling like you are in your own world yet it brings people together in the most odd ways. There’s something magical about the way New York serendipitously brings people into your life. I love those moments of camaraderie New Yorkers can have, all of those chance encounters. Everyday is a big surprise.
Describe a typical day in NYC:
Each day is never the same for me, but I think the most typical day in NYC has to be the Sunday Brunch Day! It’s like an unspoken holiday of sorts that every New Yorker celebrates on the weekend. Waking up later, reading the paper and then going to a brunch with your boyfriend or friends. Then taking a walk around wherever you find yourself going.
What is your favorite coffee shop in the city?
Right now my favorite coffee shop is Saturdays Surf in Soho. It’s on the way to my subway station going back into Brooklyn. It’s a surf shop that has a small counter in the front where coffee can be ordered, there is usually only one attractive guy working the coffee who spends a really long time making your drink, so it always turns out good. They have a casual backyard with simple benches for hanging out which is great in the summer. In the winter looking at all the Surf memorabilia sort of keeps your hopes up for some sun.
Describe New York City fashion in three words:
Of the moment.
Where do you go in New York to get away from the crowds?
I love going to a museum or a gallery for some quiet time. The rows of galleries around 9th Avenue in Chelsea are along some very calm streets. My most favorite museum ever is the Neue Galerie by Central Park. It’s a small and uncrowded museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design, housed in a beautiful townhouse. So it feels like you are looking at art in someones home. Downstairs it has a Café inspired by turn of the century Vienna, its like being transported out of New York for an afternoon.
How long have you been doing Decade Diary, and how did it come about?
Wow I’ve been doing Decade Diary now since 2009, so four years now! It seems like a really long time but I’ve actually been doing projects similar to Decade since my teenage years. In High School I used to make a lot of xerox copied zines with my Illustrations and stories, and would send or trade them via snail mail. So blogging only seemed like the natural thing to do!
Thank you so much Bernadette! xx
It is crazy quiet in our office today, and I just got completely lost in daydream world looking through photos of this beautiful river, the Caristales, located near the town of La Macarena in Colombia, South America. Each year, during a brief period of time between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, the multiple varieties of algae and moss that live in the river bloom in a dazzling display of colors. The photos are so beautiful, I can only imagine what a breathtaking experience it would be to see it in person.
We’re shooting at a temple in Hue today… and it’s pouring rain! Martha and Michele were fully prepared:) Another flight tonight, back to Hanoi!
This weekend was my favorite kind of weekend. Sleep in Saturday morning, wake up bleary eyed and warm under my blankets, throw on some clothes and head to my nearby bar for a leisurely brunch. The fire is crackling and the burning wood is a welcome scent in the morning. Then we’re off on a mission to find a vintage camera strap for my new camera. I tried some of the local Old City boutiques but no luck at any of those (although I did walk out of one with a cozy new sweater with suede elbow patches). We stopped at a couple thrift and antique stores in the South Street/Bella Vista area before making our way back to Old City for the night – the photos below are from Anastacia’s Antiques, a pretty cool spot on Bainbridge between 6th and 7th, and we also stopped at Retrospect on South Street, which usually has some great vintage finds. The holidays have really taken over the city and I find myself craving a heavy snow fall… I love it when the streets are blanketed in white drifts of silence.
If any of you have any tips on where to find that elusive vintage camera strap… holler!