September 7, 2013

Fashionable FLOR: An inside look

Who would think of pairing carpet and high-fashion?  FLOR would.

To us, it’s a natural combination.  We’re constantly scouring the globe and runways for trends and inspiration so, we thought, what better way to highlight the au courant nature of our new fall styles than to pair them with couture fashions?

While we may be fond of fashion, we’re not experts. We needed a little help to pull this off, so we enlisted the aid of a friend and former colleague, Sarah Faust.  Sarah is an accomplished graphic designer and photographer in her own right and an adjunct faculty member at Chicago’s Columbia College.  She made a few inquiries and helped us connect with Agnes Hamerlik (below), a local artist, designer and recent alumna of the school’s Fine & Performing Arts program.

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This native of Poland shares a passion for design and a philosophy that parallels ours in many ways:  an appreciation for refined elegance, timelessness and even an earth-aware consciousness (Hamerlik likes to use unconventional materials in her designs such as the re-purposed garbage bags seen in one of her dresses).

Next – where to shoot?

We wanted something raw and edgy, a contrast to the couture fashion, and a place that would allow our bold new optical graphic styles to really stand out.  Our photographer found an old furniture factory on the near South Side of Chicago.  We worked with Barron Custom Furniture to construct the platforms and sets and used their warehouse space for the photo shoot.

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We fancy ourselves humorists here at FLOR, so maintaining a bit of tongue-in-cheek was important as we set out to do our version of a fashion shoot.  We wanted to strike a balance between quirky and sophisticated …

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Using our carpet design squares in unconventional ways – like platform covers and vertical backdrops – was one way to not take ourselves too seriously.  (FLOR style shown below: Lasting Grateness in red, black and titanium)

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You might be surprised to learn that it takes nearly as long to coif carpet as it does a runway model. It’s true, there’s styling to be done, figuring out the perfect placement, trimming of errant “hairs” aka fibers, vacuuming. It’s a production, but hey doesn’t she, we mean “it” look fabulous? (FLOR styles shown below:  Lasting Grateness in red, Jimdandy in black)

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Admittedly, the model was pretty striking too. Her are a few behind-the-scenes moments as her team styles away.

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Maybe not the most glamorous changing room but a good place to strike a pose nonetheless…

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Here Hamerlik transforms common garbage bags into a stunning work of wearable art. Our model, Ellie, seems to like it “this much”!

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Below, designs from Hamerlik’s collection “Dark Flower” (which were inspired by the Mexican artist, Frido Kahlo) brilliantly juxtapose femininity with an edgy toughness – pairing delicate, hand embroidery details with unexpected accessories like leather belts or Kahlo-esque braids. (FLOR style shown below:  Positive Slant in lavender)

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The craftsmanship of Hamerlik’s designs is breathtaking – like this dress (below).  Intricate rope and knot details lend a masculine air to a decidedly feminine silhouette.

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Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on-the-wall for this conversation? Our esteemed company president, Greg Colando talks couture carpet with up-and-coming couture fashion designer, Agnes Hamerlik. They seem to be in agreement, don’t you think?

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As with any photo shoot, there is plenty of down time.  Here, our photo assistant sits in for a lighting test.  She seems a bit nervous that we might do something with these photos … oh, wait … we are!

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Agnes takes a look at the progress with our Creative Director, Marcus Wiedenhoeft.

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The critical eye that comes from many years of photo shoots and beautiful catalog production. Granted, there’s not usually fashion models involved, but he seems pretty nonplussed by that.

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In the end, we think high-fashion carpet and high-fashion make a quite nice pair, don’t you? (FLOR style shown:  Made You Look in emerald and black)

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We were delighted to work with such a bright talent for this season’s catalog and wish to thank Sarah Faust for all of her consult, assistance and introduction; Model, Ellie for her beauty, patience and professionalism; and, Agnes Hamerlik for sharing her inspired designs.

See more of FLOR’s fall 2013 collection.

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Credits: all photography, courtesy of Sarah Faust and Bruce Quist.
 
About the Designer:  
Agnes Hamerlik, is an interdisciplinary artist and designer, born in Poland. With a Master’s Degree in European Literature, BFA in Fashion Studies from Columbia College, and a number of apprenticeships with master-craftsmen, she brings variety of skills and life experiences into her work. Open to technological advances and multidisciplinary collaborations Hamerlik is interested in forging new design synthesis, safeguarded by traditions.
 
Hamerlik is defined by edgy, avant couture design and unique aesthetics brought to life by her sharp craftsmanship. Her designs are comparable to the likes of Alexander McQueen. Hamerlik is currently working and preparing to launch her own label under Chicago Fashion Incubator.  Visit agneshamerlik.com for more.
 
Intelligent design, luxury fabrics, impeccable craft and unusual detailing, define her stunning collections, which have been acknowledged by the President of Columbia College, Richard Driehaus, and Stanley Paul, among others. 

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4 Responses to “Fashionable FLOR: An inside look”

  1. Alexa Drubay Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Very nice shoot and designs . Love the carpet, the model and the fashions! Great concept, BRAVO!

  2. Lisa Moore Says:
    September 15th, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Who makes the shoes in the LASTING GRATENESS photo? I want those, bad.

  3. When Inspiration Strikes Says:
    September 15th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    [...] especially stunning, and uses fashion to showcase their new products.  You can read more about it on their blog, and see some of the gorgeous photographs, [...]

  4. Teresa Says:
    September 16th, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Hi Lisa, Unfortunately, we don’t know who made the shoes. They were the model’s personal pair. We agree, though – they look awesome!