The beginning of the month. A fresh start, chance for renewal, rejuvenation. A reckoning of the month that's passed; new plots and schemes and dreams for the one just beginning. There are few things I do with total consistency, but every month I try to let little social cues remind me to take time for reflection.
One of those cues is the monthly release of the new Free People catalog. Words fail me at how I look forward to their release. These aren't catalogs; they're stories. They are insights into people's lives. They are tributes to great icons or acts or cities or feelings. Think music in Austin, cycling in Amsterdam, dancing in Rio, sailing with the Hemingways. The thrill of a new relationship. The struggle to let someone go. Ah, and the styles. Mmmmmmm, oh those styles. They are stylin', no doubt about that. Billows and bangles and folklore and lace. Brilliant colors meet the creamiest of whites. Gypsy flirts with biker. Cowboy chases rock n' roll legend. Tomboy cuddles up to femme fatale. 'Tis marvelous. Thus I sit, eagerly refreshing, blissfully anticipating, until I have the whole spread laid out before me.
This month I was particularly eager. The January catalog features Sasha Pivovarova, a Russian model and artist married to the photographer Igor Vishnyakov. The images are bursting with Sasha's stunning artwork, stunning features and stunning home life. The paintings were inspired by childhood trips to museums with her mother, dreams of girls turning into butterflies or the simple acts of everyday life: girl gets on bus, girl catches train. Igor photographed her, giving touching insight into the warmth of their relationship and the milieu of lenses he uses to view her: siren, partner, lover, muse, mother, artist, friend.
Over the past year, the campaigns have moved to another level as FP began regularly featuring short films or interviews to accompany their images, notably Roshambo (watch it now!!) and its sequels (here and here) beginning last February, and more recently with The Neighbor and The Cabin. This month they've offered a bit of insight into the inspiring mind and creative hands of Sasha and how she's artistically inspired by the everyday. Her art is her diary, and I hope this beautiful experience has become part of her tale.
To check out behind-the-scenes photos from the catalog shoot and photos of Sasha's incredible artwork, head over to Free People's blog, BLDG 25!