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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A Change of Plans

A couple months ago we were at a photo shoot for the recently-launched Spring catalog.   Our designers had the rugs for the photo shoot laid out and a precise set of plans ready to execute. But after arriving and heading upstairs, they stumbled upon this amazing couch, and it completely changed their course.

They were so inspired by the couch they decided to create a plaid rug instead of the neutral one that was planned. They took the compelling geometric pattern from the couch and used it as inspiration to create this beautiful rug below.  And as simple as that,  this “Plaid was born, a combination of Toy Poodle tiles (Black, Java and Persimmon) that is both inviting and a real design statement.

In our designer’s case, it was a plaid sofa, but accessories of all kinds can inspire a rug. Here we originally had a more neutral rug but when the styling was complete, it seemed only right to pull some color from the pillow and place it in the rug. This enhanced not only the rug but the whole room. FLOR’s sophisticated color palette can match or complement just about any of your existing décor.

So go ahead, look around the room, find that subtle tone or color in your favorite chair, now create a rug that will fit “just-so” lying next to it. Then share your story with us here – pictures@flor.com.

Design Assistance

If you would like help creating this rug,  call 866-952-4093 for complimentary design assistance. We have design consultants on call who can help you customize your own version of  Plaid. Or see it in person and work with a  Store design consultant at one of our Store locations.

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Behind the Scenes: 2012 Spring Catalog Shoot

With our Spring Catalog arriving in your mailboxes in a few days, we thought it was time to give you a sneak peek at what’s to come with this behind-the-scenes look at one of our Spring Catalog photo shoots.

It all starts with a unique space, and we’ve been fortunate enough to find our fair share of them. FLOR shoots all our catalog photography in real homes, often-times going so far as to use the homeowners as our models. Autheticity is at the forefront of our photography, and a quick tour of some of this home’s items will give you a sense of why we found it so intriguing.

This wall began with a single antique photo, which led to another, and so on, until it was draped with pictures dating back to the late 1800′s.

This next item is one of many interesting paintings found throughout the home. Mostly of people or faces, the paintings gave the feeling that there were a few extra residents living there and added life to the space.

This unique lamp embedded itself perfectly into its surroundings.

Upstairs was an intimate loft that, combined with a small skylight bringing natural light to the space, provided the perfect setting for this shot. This space has also been featured in Chicago Home & Garden magazine, the Chicago Spaces Inspiring Interiors book and the UK edition of Elle Decor.

And here is our team hard at work making sure we get the best shots for our pages, which often involves some debate and on-site tweaking to get it just right.

Final Catalog shot:

When we stumble upon an amazing home like this one, we find ourselves shooting more than just one shot in the home.  On this day, we ended up shooting five catalog shots. It may not seem like a lot, but believe it or not, five shots will fill up our team’s entire day.

The four other shots that took place in this home:

Style: Heirloom

Style: Look Both Ways

Style: Roadside Attraction

A patchwork rug of the following styles: Rake Me Over, Feelin Groovy and Toy Poodle

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the additions we have coming to the FLOR line this Spring, that we’re super excited about.

Style: Hey Jack

Style: Mod Cow

To see more behind the scene posts like this one click here and here.

Be sure to stop and see the full spring line at FLOR.com on January 17th!

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Behind the Scenes: FLOR’s 2011 Summer Catalog Photo Shoot

We receive numerous inquires about the photos in our catalog.  So many, in fact, that I decided to tag along for a day at our summer catalog photo shoot to see how these beautiful rooms and images are created.

First off, I have to confess that I had a blast.  I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like I’m getting exclusive information before anyone else or if it’s because being able to say, “I’m sorry, can I call you back?  I’m at a photo shoot” sounds so cool or if it’s because I get to see some of the most beautiful homes and peek around at jaw-dropping interior design.  Whatever it is, it was a great experience.

In case you haven’t already heard, unlike most companies, FLOR shoots all of its catalog photography in real people’s homes – not staged studios.  Our creative team will scout these spaces weeks in advance of the actual shoot date and meticulously plot out which  styles should go where.

The furniture and fixtures you see in each room all belong to the owner of that particular home.  We choose homes that have unique architectural elements such as intricate arches or angles, or large open spaces or vast windows.

The FLOR team does add a few styling elements like pillows, shoes …

Or,  accessories like a vase or a ceramic to add a bit of personality.

Once everything is set, the photographer snaps his lens and the FLOR team scrutinizes each photo on a computer to make sure the product and lighting are perfect.

It is a fascinating and meticulous process.  The day I was there, five new FLOR rug designs were scheduled to be shot.  You would think that one full day is plenty of time to take a few photos; but I quickly realized the amount of time, care and attention required to make these gorgeous images cannot (and should not) be rushed.

Because in the end, patience paid off .  The end result was used as one of  FLOR’s beautiful catalog covers – this one featuring Feelin’ Groovy in various hues of purple.

For more Behind the Scenes photos visit FLOR’s facebook page/photo album – Behind the Scenes

 

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