north star bar

last week my friend geron played a short set at the north star bar- it’s been a while since i’ve been to a show there, actually. i think it’s because of the location- it’s a little out of the way, over in the art museum area -but it’s such a great venue to see bands in before they get big.

upon entering the corner pub you’re met with the same bar that has been there since prohibition, mahogany bar top, wooden ceiling fans, tin roof and all.  walk towards the back and go through a door on your right to get to the stage area, a wide open room with wood floors.  the stage is covered with well worn oriental carpets and in front, a staircase leads down to a lounge area with bright green walls that could probably tell some great stories… i thought i’d share a few pics from the other night!

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image 1; image 2; all others by me.

geron’s first single will be available very soon on itunes!

from jemma: dear diary, i’m in london!

This week I’m fortunate enough to be in London, my old home town!!! I’m so excited that I get the opportunity to come and visit this vibrant, electric city full of character, old world charm and WOW fashion.

I wanted to give everyone a bit of insight into my trip oversees, so I’ll be updating on my shopping, eating, and general perusing of the city. Prior to my flight I stopped off in NYC to stay with my sister and her lovely cat poppy. She recently moved into an apartment in Williamsburg. It’s such an airy, inspiring place – a perfect stay before my long haul flight to heathrow.

my flight was a night flight from JFK, the most uncomfortable flight I have ever had, I could NOT sleep, so I indulged in the new release movies that were on offer.

After 6 hours we finally came close to touching down. I slid open the window shutter and was greeted with a thick cushion of clouds – typical British weather!

What excites me about London is the eccentric fashion. Oxford street comes alive with high street brands throwing must-have trends into a visionary display. With that in mind I headed straight there to get a little bit of a fashion fix. I must warn you though it’s pretty tiring, afterwards you will sure need a cup of coffee in Costa Coffee perhaps?!

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Stay turned for more of my guide through London!

reading terminal

i grew up in the city for the earlier part of my childhood, and i’ve always felt really fortunate to have that experience. we lived at the end of a quaint, tree-lined street where everyone knew each other, us kids all played together, and block parties were a common occurrence. i took art classes (and went sledding) at the museum of art, loved riding what i called “accordion buses” and playing at cherry street park, and regularly went shopping at reading terminal. i can’t say that i always loved going there, as it was typically a crowded weekend day, but it always seemed so full of activity and excitement, and of course, delicious food.

it was recently named one of the top ten public markets in all of the united states, so i thought i’d take a trip down memory lane and visit for the first time in years to take some photos.

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reading terminal is located on 12th street between market and arch in philadelphia – check out the website here.

fp corte madera

i may be biased by my love for san francisco and marin county, but our new store in corte madera, california is stunningly beautiful.  here are some gorgeous photos taken by our visual display manager on the west coast!

the view of san fran from marin county.

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our storefront at the village at corte madera.

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i love the stack of fabric covered suitcases!

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i love this photo :)

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display details.

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our fp girls created a beautiful “white shop” in the area of the store with this gorgeous tiled floor, keeping the theme of the white story currently on our website! looks lovely.

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and this…is just amazing.

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the colorful central display is illuminated by the sky light above it on sunny days.

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can you guess what day this photo was taken?

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one of our fp girls puts the finishing touches on a display…and the checklist is complete!

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and i had to include this photo… this is the superintendent dave who helped our team with the opening, standing next to a sign he made (that did not stay up long). love it :)

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one more shot of the beautiful bridge… congrats to our team for another awesome store, i can’t wait to visit next time i’m out there!

designer travels

some of our designers have just been traveling in asia, and today i wanted to share a few of the lovely photos from tokyo, taipei and hong kong.  our thoughts go out to the people of japan right now in the wake of last night’s earthquake… we have a great deal of love for the beautiful people and country.

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all photos via chau’s blog; check out her website here – and if you’re in philly, she’s having an art show tomorrow night at 10th st laundromat called “required reading.” stop by!

march catalog sneak peek!

it’s finally here… i have been dreaming of our march catalog for months now, ever since i first saw these images.  some of these are alternate versions of the catalog shots, and some aren’t in the book, so you wont see them anywhere else!

our march book was shot in old san juan, a small, narrow island that is the oldest settlement in puerto rico. we again worked with the amazing photographer guy aroch, who captures models aline weber and alina baikova in a haze of sun, sea-salt and sand that will leave you craving a beach getaway.

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all images by guy aroch. the catalog drops on tuesday!

studio visit: sullivan owen

earlier this week i had the wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of floral and event designer sullivan owen, which just opened in queens village in philadelphia. i love talking to people who are passionate about what they do…their love for their craft is infectious. i could have spent an entire day in her beautiful studio listening to her talk about the artistry behind floral arrangements and watching her work.

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when designing her studio space, sullivan wanted to use a soothing palette with shades of soft gray and white so that when entering the space, your attention goes straight to the flowers. indeed- when i walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the pops of color peppering the studio.

when she was younger, sullivan worked at one of the first urban outfitters stores. she recalls the president of the company visiting often to chat with employees and see how the store was doing, and it was a huge inspiration for her to see someone with a dream who was able to make such a successful career out of it.  her dream was to tie together her fine arts background with her love of flowers, which is exactly what she is doing today.

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in addition to floral arrangements, sullivan owen offers complete event design – from mood boards and color palettes to textiles like bouquet wraps and table linens. to her it is about creating an entire atmosphere- an idea that reminded me very much of our free people stores.

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bits of inspiration from around the studio: vintage knick knacks, beaded belts, books and handmade table linens from her own wedding.

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a beautiful wall of vases and jars that can be rented for events – with the exception of the shelf of vintage glass bottles, which are her private collection inherited from her grandfather and serve as inspiration.

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when i arrived, sullivan was in the back finishing up an arrangement, and i sat and watched while she talked excitedly about how the floral industry is starting to attract a younger audience of people who appreciate the fine arts.  with her own background in the arts, her approach to putting together an arrangement is very much like an artist painting a picture – paying special attention to color and texture, and layering in a way that is also almost like fashion.

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a mood board hangs over her work table and incorporates fashion, color and landscape – all things she thinks about when putting together a bouquet.

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the flowers sullivan works with are all very special – for example at top left, a ranunculus that comes from japan where these delicate flowers are designed to be perfect. the one at bottom right is a dutch variety of the ranunculus, with a really unique color gradation. at top right is the anemone, a beautiful black and white flower with hints of purple that is one of her favorites to work with.

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above and below are what she calls the “spare parts vase” – where the flowers go if they’re cut the wrong length, the stems break or they just don’t make it into a final design. she doesn’t like to throw them away, plus they’re quite beautiful!

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she gave me a quick little lesson in putting together the above bouquet, and then i tried my own:

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i think i could use some help… luckily sullivan is going to be holding classes at her studio so you can go learn all about how to put together the perfect bouquet, and then take it home with you :) i will definitely be attending! you can find more info on the classes here.

the studio is open by appointment only – i definitely recommend checking it out. go see the website for more info and to see more photos of her incredible work: sullivanowen.com.

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last image via sullivan owen website.