Monthly Archives: January 2010

true colors

With Mardi Gras only weeks away it is time to get into the spirit by wearing our favorite color combination of purple, green, and gold. Mardi Gras is steeped in tradition and this seasonal color way is no exception.  Purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power.

 For a sophisticated look this beautiful silk scarf from Inspiring Color is more of a silent shout than an in your face proclamation.

 It doesn’t get more provocative than this purple burlesque costume from OlgaItaly.

Even if it’s cold outside you can still sport these short shorts from Perlis.

RSAC306 If you are looking for something really eye catching these gold lame leggings from American Apparel are sure to turn heads.

 Locals and tourists alike love NOLA t-shirts. Get this king cake t-shirt at Storyville.

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Fat Tuesday Preview

Typically I have my Mardi Gras costume planned, sewed, and done by now. The home buying process has eaten up all of my free time but rest assured our costumes are going to be good. Somehow we miraculously acquired a few key items today turning ho hum to holy shit!

And that’s all y’all get for now.


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Slow Southern News

  • Hemline’s Magazine St. location has reduced the prices of many of their formal gowns just in time for Mardi Gras ball season.
  • If artisan jewelry and crafts is your style check out the art market on January 30th presented by Arts Council of New Orleans.
  • Watch up and coming fashion designers compete for $4,000 and round trip airfare to the Project Runway auditions in Los Angeles Alegria fashion show Sunday, Feb. 28th from 2pm-5pm. at the in the Great Room at the W hotel. All proceeds will go to the LA/SPCA. 
  • Perlis is having 20%-50% off their winter clothing for women, men, and boys. 
  • On a budget? Thrift City USAis offering 50% off all clothing and shoes Thursday, January 21st. 
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Wigging Out

I just bought two new wigs, which can only mean one thing. It’s officially carnival season!
I have a serious, serious addiction to wigs and fortunately I live in the best city for costuming so there are many opportunities to wear them.  Words can’t really describe the deep affinity I have for my hometown and everything associated with Mardi Gras. Even during my extended evacuation 3.5 year stint in Arizona I always took time off work for the most special day of the year.
Ya can’t really do Mardi Gras justice without a costume and ya can’t do a costume justice without a wig.
 I take my costumes and my fun seriously so listen up for how to do it right.
Wig buying:
A cheap wig will always look cheap but don’t be fooled by a high price tag either. Pick wigs that have a skin top (flesh colored plastic at the crown) and that are full, not thin to the point where your real hair shows through. Most synthetic wigs are made from  kanekalon which has a realistic look. Unless your hair piece is of the human variety don’t attempt to heat style it! Anything besides a blow dryer on a low setting will melt the plastic fibers.
For idiot proof shopping Fifi Mahony’s in the French Quarter can’t be beat. Uptown Costume & Dancewear on Magazine St. and Napoleon has a wide variety but their quality varies. Never buy a wig from a drugstore, especially if we are blood related.
Style It:
A hairpiece is much more presentable when it is styled. You probably aren’t going for a realistic look for a costume but little additions to your noggin will make the look more believable. Headbands, barrettes, scarves, and a strategically placed bobby pin can make a big difference. Even just two simple pigtails can really transform the piece.


Nurture it:
A good wig will last you a long time with proper care. Gently brush your wig before and after use to maintain its shape and don’t just wad it up and throw it in the closet when you are done!  I always store my wigs in a wig cap and/or the box they came in. If they get soiled or stinky you can wash them in warm water with a mild soap and let it air dry.
Make an outfit:
I typically think of a costume and then add the wig but you can certainly gain influence from the wig. If you have an outfit already picked out think about the style. Playing the part of a mermaid? Curly blue or green locks makes more sense than a fire engine red bob.
You don’t have don an entire costume but don’t just wear jeans and a t-shirt either. Make it a point to dress up a bit.
When you are trying on party wigs keep in mind that you can’t just throw one on and go! In order for it to really look good makeup is essential. Keep in mind you’ll want to wear more makeup than usual. Have a crazy colored eyeshadow? Now is a great time to test it out.  I typically wear faux lashes for added oomph.
 

You can also get more wig and costume ideas by checking out the costumes tag in the sidebar.

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Slow Southern News

  • Swap Boutique is getting their inventory ready for Mardi Gras with a selection of gowns to choose from. Swap also buys items so bring in last years gown to help pay for a new one.
  • Looking for handmade jewelry, vintage items and crafts? Check out Elysian Fleas Sunday, January 17th from 11:00am-5:00pm on the corner of Elysian Fields and Chartres Street.
  • Shoefty is having their winter sale right now. Stop in for some great deals on items you’ll love to wear now and next winter.
  • Ruby in Hammond, LA just got a new batch of Saints tees in just in time for the big game on Sunday. Buy $50 worth of Saints gear and get a free “Who Dat” yard sign with your purchase.

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Slow Southern News

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Polish up your look

Call me a bad southern belle but I rarely, if ever, wear makeup. Aside from the scary chemicals that go into most makeup  I never want to be that person who people see as “only pretty” with a face full of makeup.

That said something that I always love but rarely do is lacquer up my nails. I usually chip my polish fairly fast taking my nails from chic to trashy in an instant. Fresh, fun nails are a great pick me up which is what I need as it is windy and cold in the dirty south.

I popped into American Apparel and discovered they now carry nail polish so I snatched up 3 colors for $15. Every color in the collection is matte, which is a big trend at the moment. They even had white which takes me back to my high school years. What’s that saying only do a trend the first time around?

These are the colors I selected.

L-R Office, Berry, Factory Grey

This weather calls for some hot chocolate and an at home manicure. Guess what I’ll be doing tonight?

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Trouser Trophies


Shae Freeman is a sculptor that uses her talents to also create beautiful belt buckles that are pure art. Read on to find out what inspires her and where you can purchase her work.

Belt buckles as art is an interesting idea. How did you get into designing them?

One day I literally decided to make belt buckles! The “long” story: I have this really bad habit of picking up any piece of metal I find on the ground. Shiny, rusty, broken, mystery part- whatever. I also have this really bad habit of taking anything laying on the street apart- TVs, typewriters, clocks, speakers, etc. (This actually started when I was young; except then I was taking apart things in the house, radios, telephones- I never put them back together and always got in trouble!) So, after years of accumulating “treasures” I decided to make belt buckles out of them.

Disco rodeo steel belt buckle

I noticed your buckles have a predominately industrial feel.. What inspires this?

The individual components themselves often dictate what the finished piece will look like. My childhood toys were, in large part, my dad’s tools which I think has had an enormous influence on my predilection for the mechanical. I have been a metal sculptor for nearly 13 years, which involves a great deal of industrial processes.  I also grew up in Minnesota and my childhood memories are littered with images of rusty farm equipment, truck farms (that’s not just a southern thing!), and weird county fairs with threshing contests. Last, but not least, I am one of those artists who are cursed (blessed?) with having to appease both sides of my brain- so the very rigid symmetry and “industrialness” of my buckles act as a foil to my very organic sculptural work.

Cephalopod- cast iron sculpture Cephalopod cast iron sculpture

 You have sculptures for sale in your Etsy shop as well. How does your artwork translate into your accessories?

My sculptural work (as I just mentioned) is in formal contrast to the “utilitarian” objects I make, but I think the treatment of the material remains the same throughout my work, i.e. my particular style is evident in both. The aesthetic that informs both modes of expression is usually concerned with underlying structure, which I think applies, to say, machine gears equally well as the skeletal structure of a coral reef- both reference how stuff works.

Steel ladybug belt buckle


 Simple steel square nail belt buckle

 Where else can we purchase your items?

I used to sell at local boutiques in New Orleans, but because 50% commission went to the retailer, I stopped doing it. However, I do have buckles for sale at Gerken’s bike shop and my sculptures are represented by D.O.C.S. Gallery in New Orleans.  Other than that my Etsy shop is the only place I sell online right now. A personal website keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list….

 Insignia steel and brass belt buckle

 Define southern style.

I guess my view of ‘southern style’ has been skewed by New Orleans, where people can walk around in slippers and pajamas or full Victorian regalia and nobody thinks twice about it. Another definition of style  refers to the manner in which something is performed or executed. This is what separates the south; the manner in which people do things. It sounds cliche, but people never rush about, are usually friendly, talkative and don’t really panic or stress out about anything. Nothing is too important that it can’t wait, and while this is sometimes frustrating, it also gives one supreme patience. Not slow, but leisurely perhaps is the operative word for southern style.

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Slow Southern News

  • If your idea of couture involves large rodents than check out the Righteous Fur Nutria Design Challenge Fashion Show Friday, January 8th at 8:00pm. Held at the Allways Lounge this event is designed to create awareness of how much damage these critters do to our coastline. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation’s coastal restoration efforts.
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