Slow Southern News

It seems there are a few fun and fashionable events happening this weekend. Be sure to check them out!

  • Shop 2728 is having a fashion show October 24th at Republic. Model casting calls are being held tomorrow, October 1st at Le Phare.
  • The Gem & Jewelry Show is this weekend, October 2nd-4th at the Alario Center in Westwego. Free admission and parking for all guests.
  • The Green Project is offering  a “reverse” tie dye class on October 3rd. Bring your old, dark colored clothing and get ready for a funky new wardrobe!
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Decidely Downtown

I love Uptown New Orleans. I’ve lived in several neighborhoods and each have had a certain charm about them. However I’ve always held the French Quarter as the place to throw down be it enjoying a meal or imbibing in one too many cocktails. When I think downtown instead of the typical tourist trap bars like Pat O’ Brian’s I think of the gritty, seedy feel of Lower Decatur St. I spent many of late nights and early mornings in some of the best dive bars the city has to offer. There are a guaranteed cast of characters and I’d urge everyone to get off Bourbon St. and hang out where the locals go.

This post is dedicated to the unique style that only the French Quarter can call its own.

Rock&Republic has a reputation for rocker chic vibe and they never disappoint.

My favorite brand of jeans of all time is Citizens of Humanity. If you want  to look hot you have to feel hot and Citizens have a great cut that flatters every time. The black skinny Invaders with zipper detailing are about as bad ass as it gets.

I love the toughness of this McQ by Alexander McQueen topper.

This little Betsey Johnson clutch injects punchy color and a dash of girlie into any outfit.

Going out downtown requires appropriate footwear as the streets of the Vieux Carre can be hazardous (pot holes! cracked sidewalks! what sidewalk?), especially when one has indulged in a few too many. These Loeffler Randall heels are substantial enough to keep you upright.

Make sure you are staying out waaay past your bedtime with this pink and gold watch from La Mer.

All merchandise available from

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Everyone needs some vaudeville in their lives

OlgaItaly creates fantastical, glamorous hats and hair accessories in an old fashioned New Orleans frame of mind. Inspired by vintage images Olga uses feathers, flowers, and netting to create a Moulin Rouge charm with her creations.

Your pieces have a real vaudevillian vibe. Where do you draw inspiration from when designing each piece?

I have always loved costumes from the 19th and early 20th century. The Burlesque period is so fascinating to me and really playful and that’s what I try to recreate. I also grew up going to Las Vegas shows and watching the Folies Bergere girls on stage, which also bring that playful burlesque vibe.

White Magnolia Flower Wedding Fascinator hairclip with Gorgeous Burlesque FeathersWhite Magnolia Flower Wedding Fascinator Hairclip

 I love your corsets and find the prices extremely reasonable. Describe how you go about creating them for us. 
I fell in love with the costumes in the Moulin Rouge movie and wanted to make one for myself last year for Halloween, but everything I found online was so expensive so I decided to do research and make one myself. I purchased a couple of corsets in different colors and then I went walking around the French Quarter to see what would inspire me. We luckily live in a city that is perfect for recreating these costumes. I purchased boas and bought hand-beaded fringe and hand-beaded appliques. I usually have an idea of what color I want the costume to be and then take it from there. First I sew on the appliques and then the fringe on the bottom and lastly the feathers (because they make a mess). I really enjoy making the mini top hats, they’re small enough where you can really get creative with the colors and style and materials you choose to use. 

 Do you have a particular customer or a wide range of people interested in your items?

I have had a few people order the mini top hats from me that are going to use them in their weddings. And I was happy to do a few top hats for women that are in Burlesque shows themselves. I’m happy that they’re being used to try and recreate that time period. Regarding the corsets, I think women just want to feel beautiful and sexy and the costumes help them do that.

Burlesque steampunk mini feather top hat - Black w/ veil fascinator
Burlesque steam punk mini feather top hat

With so much competition online how do keep an edge?
I try not to overprice the items. I take into consideration the materials I’ve used and how long each piece took me to make and I price them accordingly. I look at what is being offered out there and then just try to do something a little different. I think that’s the only way to separate yourself from the rest.

 Define southern style.
When I think of Southern style, I envision sassy women who still want to be classy but ooze sex appeal. You don’t need to show your entire body to be sexy 
and sensual. I see a very feminine woman who wants to be wrapped up in luxurious fabrics and wants to feel like a true woman.

Make sure you check out Olga’s Etsy store some glamorous  finishing touches on your Halloween costume.

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Stormin’ of the Sazerac

The newly reopened Roosevelt Hotel is having a “Stormin’ of the Sazerac” tomorrow at 2:00pm. Prior to the original event women were only allowed to drink in the bar on Mardi Gras. Revelers are encouraged to wear 1940s attire or a glamorous vintage getup. If I wasn’t doing the unglamorous task of having my tail lights fixed I’d be dressed to the nines and fashionably late.

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Slow Southern News

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When the #?%! is it getting cool?

So y’all know that fall doesn’t really exist in Southeastern Louisiana. These past few weeks have been a tease with nights dipping into the upper 70s only followed by a week of 85 degrees and high humidity.  Everyone eagerly anticipates the crispness of cool weather in September but it always remains hot around these parts until Halloween or later.  That said I’m still pining for some new fall clothes as I’m tired of wearing summer dresses and I long for an entirely new winter wardrobe.

 The Black to Basics Skirt is a great base for a myriad of NOLA winter options. At $34 you can certainly purchase a handful of accessories to wear with it. Available at Francesca’s.

I’m kind of loving these Sanita hot pink clogs available at Feet First. They would be cute with jeans or cords when comfort is a necessity.

I’m in love with this feather and rhinestone headband available from LF. This is a great piece to wear with just jeans and a tee or the topper on a fanciful look.

If Owls are your thing Fossil has a sweet little coin purse available at Dillard’s. I like the teal and dusty rose combination with the silver studs they used for the eyes.

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Costume Season

My year revolves around two holidays- Halloween and Mardi Gras. Any reason to don a costume in NOLA is a good one as evidenced by the myriad of events we have such as the red dress run, running of the bulls, Krewe of Cork, and the list goes on. Sadly during my 3.5 year stint in Arizona I was left out of the Mardi Gras loop but I still made my mark for Halloween. Prior to Katrina I had only missed one Mardi Gras. That said a New Orleanian will always do it right, no matter where y’at.
I present to y’all the costumes that I have photographically documented.
My first Halloween away from home was October 2005. I had previously worn this Mardi Gras of 2004 if I remember correctly. This was a quasi goth southern belle.
Wig: Buffalo Exchange Blouse: Urban Outfitters Gloves: remnants from high school prom
Corset: custom made Skirt: Bloomin’Deals vintage dress that I chopped the top off
Thomas, my husband,  as a rhinestone cowboy. Note the red glitter belt and silver spray painted shoes and hat. I should note that he actually has a really short haircut. In every picture he is wearing a wig.
Shirt, belt, and pants: Buffalo Exchange
Picture020.jpg picture by nolagurl
Admittedly this wasn’t for Halloween or Mardi Gras. When I lived in Arizona we had a hair metal dress up day at work. It was always my personal challenge to usurp everyone else.
Picture009.jpg picture by nolagurl
This is part of a his & her matching square dancing ensemble. The tights came w/ strawberry bows which I lopped off and made into barrettes.
Dress & matching apron, striped tights: Buffalo Exchange Wig: Easley’s
A saloon girl costume that I’ve worn many times. I purchased the dress at a Las Vegas thrift store and added gold trim to the bodice. I also pinned up the skirt so a petticoat would stick out the bottom.
Mardi Gras ’05
I was a dark fairy or something like that. I hand beaded an inexpensive corset and made the skirt out of a vintage evening gown. Thomas wore a Legolas costume.
banana.jpg picture by nolagurl

envie.jpg picture by nolagurl

And we come to the grand daddy of Mardi Gras 2009. All I can say is that our first Mardi Gras back home was nothing short of magical. I actually bought the dress, which included the cape and gloves, in Arizona! The hat and wig were purchased here in New Orleans. The dress was waaaay too long and I didn’t have time to hem it. To compensate I made a “hoop skirt” out of a garter belt, fun noodle pool toy, rope and duct tape. We must have had our picture taken a 100 times that day. I even had one woman get mad at me because she thought that I was a part of the Rex parade and I failed to throw her anything!

My wig: Fifi Mahony’s Entire costume: Buffalo Exchange 
His costume: Funky Monkey

So, what are you going to be for Halloween?

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bike in style

It is often easier to get around New Orleans on a bike vs. hopping in your car. Finding a parking spot is problematic in the French Quarter and it is so much quicker to chain your two wheels to a light post than parallel park and hoof it to your destination. I found myself in a bit of a dilemma one Saturday night. I wanted to bike to the Quarter but needed a dressy enough outfit to nosh at a mid priced eatery.  The problem lay in my clothing options. All I had were impractical handbags or my functional, yet not very fashionable, Timbuk2 messenger bag. My husband and I opted to take a slightly sleeker Tumi backpack to carry our necessities since we wanted to imbibe at Muriel’s later in the evening and didn’t want to look like tourists. I opted to wear a just below the knee, voluminous cotton skirt so I could maintain modesty en route and not feel under dressed upon arrival to our destination. I know lots of gals that use bikes as their main transportation and functionality is a must.

A lot of hiking brands have been offering more casual pieces that are designed for an active lifestyle. The cut is crucial for comfort, the length important unless you don’t mind flashing unsuspecting pedestrians. For everyone’s sake keep the cut loose and the length around the knee.

Isis Lily SkirtIsis Lily skirt from REI

If  want something dressier  branch out with different fabrics.

DKNY printed full skirt from Dillard’s

 I’m a big fan of how functional and sturdy Lucky Handbags are. The Abbey Road from Zappos marries form and function with a cross body strap and top handles, perfect for when you need something dressier than a messenger bag . 

This B. Makowsky, available from Nordstrom’s is also a great option when you need your hands free. 

B. Makowsky Buckle Detail Crossbody Bag

Unless you want to tote a second pair of shoes I’d suggest wearing something cute yet sporty. 

Lacoste Sollie Flats at Zappos

 Diesel Water Lily also at Zappos

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