Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara

Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
Apiece Apart Travels: Oaxaca with Laura Ferrara
 

Earlier this season, stylist Laura Ferrara took a solo trip to Oaxaca — amid a year of transition, she left New York without an agenda or any set plans, letting senses lead. As a happy accident, our friend and frequent Apiece Apart collaborator Andrea Gentl happened to be in Oaxaca at the same time, and the two met to document Laura amid her journeys. Captured here is Laura enveloped in the texture, palette, and tone of a place — and below, a few of her thoughts on the evolving role of travel; finding yourself in new ways; and how connection is the most powerful souvenir. 
 

Laura Ferrara Apiece Apart

The role of travel to honor spaciousness, transition, and letting go:
"This trip was a little bit of new territory for me because I went on my own, without my family, without a photoshoot, without an entourage of people that I’m working with. I hadn't done that in a really long time. I've wanted to go to Oaxaca for over 20 years: this time, the opportunity presented itself unexpectedly, and I answered. I arrived without a plan, with the intention to wander and discover.
 
I’ve also realized that it’s representative of something bigger that’s going on for me right now — my son left for college this year, which was a really big transition. You live 18 years with this person by your side, who you see every day. It’s all you know. And then when they leave, although it’s beautiful and positive, it just hit me that things are different. There is a space that didn’t exist before. [When you experience a transition like this], there is a part of the self that is empty — and not that I was seeking to refill it with travel, but rather I think I wanted to just honor it. I wanted to allow room for introspection, to be able to absorb what I was feeling while I was surrounded by air, light, and language that belonged to a different place."

Laura Ferrara Apiece Apart

A sensorial witness:
"Oaxaca is for the senses: the colors, the vibrancy, the people. The smoke in the streets coming from the markets, flowers, herbs, spices, the patina on the walls, the texture of a handwoven basket, the smell of burning copal incense to purify energy and space. Anywhere I go I also want to see how they make bread. There are so many forms and techniques and traditions, and to me: bread is life.
 
When I travel I love to bring back things from the earth: herbs, incense, dried hibiscus flowers. Bringing things back from the land opens something up for me back home. In the case of the incense, you have a sense memory that you carried with you in your hand, your suitcase. It’s a connection that roots you in where you’ve been and where you are. It reminds you of conversation, of experience." 
 

Laura Ferrara Apiece Apart

What you bring back is connection:
"I met a family of artisans who made handwoven rugs — I wanted to bring one back but it wasn’t ready when I arrived, so I stayed and waited and watched. The whole family, three brothers and their mother, all weavers. Growing up in Italy, my whole family made things — from working on farmland to crafts and weaving. All the women who have been in my life were makers; my mother still makes her own clothes, and sews and knits, and is really resourceful with everything she does. I think that’s why I gravitate toward craft as a way of experiencing and discovering a place. It’s what excites me and grounds me, it’s a part of my childhood and part of my memories. 
It is such a gift to be able to watch someone do something that's been passed down from generation to generation. And that won't always be. I am a grateful witness."