That is the idea of the store. I mean I know it is probably smarter, or more marketable, to say “We sell California mid-century modern; Come here for that.” But I am looking to see where this goes and I like change, I really do.... I like feeling things. So physical things are there for a moment, but they could go away at any time." - Coryander Friend, set designer
Earlier this summer, I worked on a story for Berlin-based magazine, Freunde von Freunden. I'm honored to have worked with Daniel Trese the photographer on this story. Daniel and I spent the early morning up in Laurel Canyon with Coryander Friend, while the intense summer sun slowly came to full force. Thank you to Coryander for welcoming us into your home.
The full interview and photographs can be seen here.
With a background in poetry and art from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University, Coryander Friend has a natural ability to sense and feel her surroundings, and then translate them into the physical world. The day we sat in her Laurel Canyon home, she told me “It’s energy, it’s just energy and we are hit with so much information, that to me, the space around me, the space that I can control, is important to me psychologically, it keeps me sane.”
In addition to working as a set/production designer with film directors Mike Mills (Beginners) and Errol Morris, Coryander has recently opened Storefront LA, a gallery and vintage store in a warehouse district in Los Angeles, while she also just launched her line of jumpsuits called Parachute. Storefront will allow her to offer her flea market finds and the works from the community of furniture designers, artists, potters and storytellers she surrounds herself with.
- David John
read entire interview here on FvF
Do objects allow you to feel?
Coryander: Yeah, (big exhale) big time. That’s really how I feel. I mean it’s weird, but how something is placed in a room is really how I communicate with the room. It’s hard for me to be in places that there is a bad spatial scenario happening. It’s energy, it’s just energy. We are hit with so much information, that to me, the space around me, the space that I can control, is important to me psychologically. It keeps me sane.
(excerpt from the FVF interview)
Did you collaborate with the set design on Beginners, or were those your visions?
It was very much a collaboration between Shane, Mike, and myself. Because the story was so personal, we ended up going to his sister’s house and his house, picking Mike’s parent’s actual furniture that they had collected, including art, books. Really the whole thing. Then we pulled a lot from my house, because we really didn’t have a lot of money. So we were like let’s take this from real life. Mike and I were neighbors at the time in Silver Lake, so we were shooting all in our neighborhood. I would literally just walk to the set. and we were shooting in a house right between our two houses. I would have to run back to my house and think, what would Hal have in his house that I have in my house (laughing). And so it was really organic.
Did he rent the home for the shoot?
The one that he shot that was Oliver’s house was a neighbor’s house that he rented for the location. The house we shot for two weeks in, which was the house where Hal grew up, that was a Neutra house in Griffith Park. It’s where they shot L.A. Confidential and lots of other films. It’s an amazing place.
It was really an incredible film, I was surprised by how much I felt it.
Yeah, it was really heartfelt and Mike put a lot into it. He had lots of references for us to watch different movies, of course Woody Allen’s Manhattan. He is so well thought out, he had a book put together of visuals that he had been working on for two years that we all poured through, with colors, everything. Everything in that movie was so thought out and I was so pleased that people really got it. I wasn’t sure that they would actually understand it, because the aesthetic was so personal. It flowed together in our minds, but I really did not know if people would get it. I had no idea that it would be so successful.