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.


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.


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 …


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)


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)




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




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


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


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)



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.


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?


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!


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


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.


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)


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.


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 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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Design For Kids


I recently learned of a great design series for kids. Book producer Pamela Pease has released Design Dossier. A book for each topic, the reader learns about graphic design, interior design, the world of design, architecture, and fashion. (Paintbox Press, $24).  The series is geared for ages 10 to 15, but I feel that it’s never to early to get imagery, and tactile tools in the hands of children. These new books have both; lots of opportunity to explore and learn experientially and visually, as well as strong color and graphic storytelling, which is engaging at any age. This set is perfect for the budding designer or artist, as it ‘explores the elements of design, including shape, color, and typography; discovers milestones of 20th century design, as well as top contemporary designers who shape our world today.’ It does seem like there are resources available for very young children that describe an artists work, or challenge creative thinking. But, for the student of life ready to dig a little deeper experientially, great tools  of inspiration, seem harder to find.



These books are packed with information and projects, not to mention famous designers, their philosophies and examples of their work. What a great resource, for kids, parents and teachers. It is packaged in such a transportable size, I can imagine it would be a favorite collaborative resource to take to a friends house, or dare I say, even a party.





Images and excerpts


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Paper Dolls

So, you thought paper dolls were just for kids? Think again, my fashion forward friends. Meet Paloma and Ryder, creations of illustrator Judith van den Hoek for the new Trendland Shop, Shopping online has never been this much fun. These stylish models create a framework to mix and match frocks and smocks for your creative contemplation. What combination will you don for that party next weekend? Poloma and Ryder will soon have friends, as the available models expand with the ever growing fashion line. Go ahead. Play a little. It’s good for the psyche.

Credit : Paloma wears Marni Sunglasses $93, M Missoni Color Blocked Jacket $610, M Missoni Wool Skirt $275, Damir Doma Leather Bangle$220, Martin Margiela Pointed Brass Ring $400, Proenza Schouler Tote$725, and Givenchy Rider Rainboots $295.

Credit :  Ryder wears Ksubi Glasses $210, Rag & Bone Kennington Jacket$185, Wool Cropped Drop-Crouch Trousers $65, Rag & Bone Weekender Bag $195, and Grenson Archie Wedge-Sole Brogues $365.

Images and product links found here.


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Channeling Vermeer…

Looks familiar? If you guessed Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, then you are absolutely correct! When I found out Vermeer’s Woman with a Lute is on loan from the MET at the Norton Simon Museum, I immediately scheduled a museum day. And with Vermeer still fresh on my mind, I couldn’t help but to stare a little when I saw this fashion editorial the other day. Channeling the “Golden Age” painting style of Vermeer, these photographs by Riccardo Bernardi are quietly beautiful. Shot in Amsterdam (never been!), I wonder if the light there really does have this deep serene to it…  that dramatic blend of blues, aubergine, and greys is both moody and theatrical, don’t you think? Leaves me picturing the 1600s, life in Delft, colors that they saw day in and day out, their inspirations, their daily lives, and just how significant a pearl earring could be in a painting…

{ photography by Riccardo Bernardi for Schön! Magazine issue 13 }


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The Art of Fashion

VIRGINE. A brand new innovative high fashion, art and music platform set to revolutionize the way people interact with the fashion industry. Ahead of current styles and trends, a first glance at this opening spread makes it apparent they aren’t afraid to push the envelope. Artful sculptures made of coke cans, m&m’s, tide boxes and ipads. Visibly, there are some powerful creative forces at play.

I applaud the magazines positioning as well. “VIRGINE is seeking ways to increase societies’ devotion to charity contribution, so every issue our magazine’s first page will be dedicated to charity oriented advertisements.

In addition, we want to create a fashion platform that serves as a bridge between top industry professionals and up-and-coming artists to be showcased side by side under the esthetic and standards of VIRGINE.


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