Monthly Archives: March 2011

A long skirt for short legs

When you are a measly 5’1 like me hemlines are a headache. What’s going to look right on? Is this going to make me look too short? With all this worrying it is really easy to talk yourself out of trying things on, much less buying them. I’ve been fearful of long skirts because I always assumed they’d make me look even more petite than I already am.  However a friend of mine with similar sizing woes pulls off long skirts with ease, so I thought it was about time that I try it too.

I kind of feel like I’ve been missing out on wearing a long skirt due to my own silly insecurities. I got a lot of compliments on this outfit, which made me feel great all day. To stay clear of sister wife territory with this length keep things in balance by pairing your skirt with something more fitted on top. You don’t want to get lost in folds of fabric, especially if you are short like I am. 
I never thought I was big on floral patterns but I’ve decided that I really dig ’em. Good thing I guess, since I’ve got magnolia tattoos on each foot.
Tank- H&M
Skirt- Funky Monkey
Ring and belt- Armoire Boutique
Earrings- Buffalo Exchange
Flats- Melissa
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Henk Brinkman- Horseshoe talismans

I haven’t done an Etsy interview in well over a month and quite honestly I miss doing them. A few months ago I discovered Henk Brinkman, an interesting guy who creates even more interesting jewelry in Decatur, Georgia.  I asked him to tell me about the origins of his horseshoe nail necklaces and was entranced with his serendipitous story. Here is his tale in his own words. 

For the origin of horseshoe nail jewelry you have to go back to Medieval Eastern Europe and the wandering gypsies. Blacksmithing was one of their renowned skills. If your horse needed new shoes gypsies were most likely to provide that service. Gypsies also believed that anything forged in fire had magical powers and could ward off evil. They would make a talisman out of horseshoe nails and hang it around their children’s necks to protect them. Thus the first horseshoe nail necklaces were created.

Horseshoe 7-Nail Pendant, gun blued (HNP002B)
In 1970 I had been traveling with my best friend from Holland through Europe & Asia and after a few months we ended up in Matala on Crete. One day I changed my routine and took a walk into the mountains. A decision that would literally change my life. I crossed paths with  a guy wearing a horseshoe nail pendant. I was fascinated and he was willing to teach me. I used most of my remaining cash to buy nails and tools and started to make horseshoe nail jewelry.

A week later while selling my jewelry in Syntagma Square in Athens I met an American girl who was looking for a ride to Florence. My friend and I were about to leave for Dubrovnik in Yugoslavia, so I could not help her. I gave her a horseshoe nail pendant instead and told her it was magical and would bring her luck in her travels and happiness.
The odds are astronomical, but I ran into her again two weeks later in Venice, Italy and this time magic happened.  A year later I left Holland, moved to Boston and married her, all because of a few horseshoe nails.
Even though I am very skeptical when it comes to “magic”, it is very hard to ignore the many amazing stories people who bought my jewelry, have shared with me over the years.
What intrigued you about this particular style?
What intrigued me most was the history of this craft. But I was also intrigued by the seemingly endless possibilities of designs I came up with using horseshoe nails. My designs are all original; I never copied anyone else. After I moved to the United States, I sold my jewelry in Holyoke Center in Harvard Square. A  Harvard professor was fascinated in my jewelry and did extensive research in its history. In 1973 we moved to Atlanta and I started to attend craft shows all over the country.
Horseshoe 3-Nail Pendant (HNP035S)
You mention on your Etsy shop that you only design in primary numbers. Can you further explain?
You must understand that I never “designed in prime numbers” It just happened to be the case.
I never set out to use prime numbers. It never entered my mind. I knew most of my pendants were made of an odd numbers of nails, since most have one nail in the middle. But it was that same Harvard professor (mathematics) who discovered that all my pendants turned out to be prime numbers. I don’t know if this is significant, it just happened. In 1976 I was doing a lot of craft shows and I had designed a pendant, using 76 nails. At least I thought I had. I even had a sign that stated that fact. It was the largest thing I ever created out of nails  and it was not for sale.  One day a very observant customer told me that I was wrong about the number of horseshoe nails. It turned out that he was correct. There were only 73 nails in that pendant; which oddly enough is another prime number. Go figure.

Horseshoe 11-Nail Pendant (HNP005B)
Besides creating your jewelry what other hobbies do you have?
I actually gave up making horseshoe nail jewelry 25 years ago when I started to develop arthritis in my hand.  I just picked it up again two months ago. My other “love” is architectural pen & ink drawings, which has been my “other job” for the last 30 years.
I also love doing ceramics and carpentry. Photography has been a hobby since I was 12 years old.

Pick up your own good luck piece at Henk Brinkman’s Etsy shop
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Mannequin Monday- Abeille NOLA sneak peek!

This week’s Mannequin Monday is a total tease. That’s right I’m showing  all of you Slow Southern Style readers here in New Orleans merchandise that isn’t even for sale yet. No fair right? Well no worries because Abeille on Oak Street  is slated to open this spring.

Wonder where the cute bee logo comes from?  L’Abeille was a French language newspaper in Louisiana that ran from 1827-1925.  Even thought the paper is no longer in publication it has still served as influence on this Oak Street boutique sharing the same name.  With brands such as Va Va by Joy Han, Genetic Denim, Sold Design Lab denim, Mavi, David Kahn, there is sure to be something for every queen bee at 8438 Oak Street.  Are parking concerns on your mind? Pffft! There’s a free parking lot behind the building which makes coming here even easier.

Glam geometric print ruffle tube top-$56 paired w/Genetic Denim Shane in white-$143
Sweetpea pantsuit in black-$124 
Bobi knit t-shirt-$30 paired with Aryn K ruffle shorts-$63

Glam Multi color dress- $66,  C Luce Off white and black faux wrap dress-$68

Keep up with Abeille to stay tuned for their grand opening on Facebook and Twitter

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NOLA Fashion Week Schedule


With one fashion week already in full swing everyone is now gearing up for the next run of events with NOLA Fashion Week March 21st-26th. What makes this week (err next week) different from this week (as in the one happening now) are the educational workshops for budding designers, networking events, and invite only runway shows.

Many of the events held during the week will have a daytime event followed by meetups in the evenings so if you can’t make the workshops there are other networking events you can attend.

Design by Coco Bourgeoisie

I’m happy to report that I’ve teamed up with Rebekah of 504 Stitches to help bring four days of coverage to Slow Southern Style. I will be attending the Wednesday and Thursday night parties and she will be covering the runway shows on Friday and Saturday on behalf of Slow Southern Style. Which events are you planning on attending?

Monday, March 21st

Evening: Paris Parker presents The Art of Style- Artist Sarah Ashley Longshore will have her Anna Wintour Collection on display to view with other fashionable attendees.

At: LePhare, 523 Gravier St.
7pm-11pm / Benefiting Friends of City Park through JT AWEAR


Day: Kids Fashion Day-  Children centered dress up day

At: Louisiana Children’s Museum, 420 Julia St.
10:30am-2:30pm / Benefiting Louisiana Children’s Museum

Evening: NOLAFW’s Night on the Town- New Orleans’ boutiques and shops open their doors to the fashion industry

At: Various Venues
5pm-9pm / Benefiting the sp[OIL]ed Campaign

Design by Coco Bourgeoisie


Day: Production, Marketing and Styling Workshops

At: LePhare, 523 Gravier St.

Evening: Industry Engaged Cocktails- happy hour event brings tenured individuals and up and comers alike  with Seema Sudan of liaMolly playing host.

At: Capdeville, 520 Capdeville St.
5pm-8pm / Benefiting Covenant House through JT AWEAR

Design by Coco Bourgeoisie


Day: Production, Marketing and Styling Workshops
At: LePhare, 523 Gravier St.

Evening: NOLA Tidbits presents Digital Media and Local Fashion

At:  Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp St.


Day: 4 Runway Shows | 2 Accessory Presentations

At:  Ogden Museum, 925 Camp St.

Evening: Amelie G Magazine presentsTri-Coastal Fashion-

 Enjoy cocktails and small plates,  hosted by Madeline Von Froomer & Chrissie Miller of the East Coast, Leah Bauer of the West Coast, and Elsa Brodmann of the Gulf Coast.

At: Ste. Marie, 930 Poydras St.
8pm-1am / Benefiting Coastal Restoration through JT AWEAR


Day: 6 Runway Shows

At: Ogden Museum, 925 Camp St.

Evening: Scene Magazine presents NOLAFW Wrap Party.

At: Eiffel Society, 2040 St. Charles Ave.
9pm-1am / Benefiting NOLAFW Fall 2011

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Alicia Zenobia- Right at home in New Orleans

The fact that New Orleans has three fashion weeks in 2011 is testament to the untapped talent this city has to offer. When you think of southern based designers proper pearls often come to mind but Alicia Zenobia has a different aesthetic that remains out of the ordinary yet fits right in. Having won this year’s Alegria Fashion Show she has already proven herself here in the Big Easy. I asked Alicia to describe her background and how she keeps one step ahead of the pack.
Designer: Alicia Zenobia
I came to New Orleans on a whim, to work on a collection for my line, Autonomous Clothing, for four months. When I realized I was in an artist’s paradise, I never went back to New York, where I had been living and working in the fashion industry for 5 years. I come from a sculptural background, having studied sculpture at RISD (I got my fashion chops at FIT afterwards). I wanted to make art three dimensionally, because I felt that it was more tangible to viewers. I got into fashion to be even more accessible to viewers both as participants and spectators. Just about everyone wears clothes…or as I like to say, everyone wears a costume every day.
Designer: Alicia Zenobia
There’s a certain satisfaction out of making the wearer feel exquisitely stunning, while entertaining onlookers with a visual spectacular. That being said, most of my work is loud, geared for the outgoing, and brings the underground to the forground. Ironically, I think I try to make the people who wear my clothes look as naked as they possibly can, without feeling self conscious…in fact actively making them feel empowered by their sassiness. I’ve had so many models who were initially nervous to wear anything too risque, come back after a show or a shoot feeling like the finest thing that ever walked the earth. And everyone around them is in agreeance.
Grecian Goddess Maxi Gown, one size fits all
I come a little from the left with my look and stylings, but it’s just because I’m constantly seeking to create something that isn’t just rehashed shit. I want to stun people, at least a little. I want to entertain! I want people to want to look at the infinite possibility of creativity. I want people to realize that they’ve got something to offer, that everyone’s got sexy in them, that they can be whatever character they want in the play that is their lives.

Also, in a more practical way, I don’t see the point in making a garment similar to one you could pick up at Forever21 for 20 bucks. Let them buy the thing for 20 bux, not the $150+ that I’d have to charge to make a one of a kind piece that, for all practical purposes, could be from Forever21. I want to make something that makes the wearer stand out, not blend in.

Exquisite Feather Hat/Headpiece, one size fits most
Catch Alicia competing for the top designer award at Fashion Week New Orleans tonight at the Sugar Mill. Her clothes are available for purchase via  Autonomous Clothing.
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Fashion Week New Orleans Schedule

For those of you living in New Orleans you may have heard about the three fashion weeks taking place  over the course of four weeks. While one has already passed I’d like to share the schedule for Fashion Week New Orleans, which is taking place this week. Over the course of four days there will be one kick off party followed by three nights filled with looks  from local designers and boutiques and each night will benefit a different local charity. The crown jewel of the week is the top designer competition in which the winner will receive trunk shows and a 90 day stint for their line at Hemline Boutique. It’s all taking place at The Sugar Mill, located at 1101 Convention Center Blvd.

Follow Fashion Week New Orleans on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all of the events.

Tuesday, March 15th

Complimentary admission for all VIP pass holders Mixer at Twist

Wednesday, March 16th

Angellic Wedding Dress with handmade fabric feathers, Size 4 to 6
Top Design Contestant Alicia Zenobia of Autonomous Clothing

Top Designer Competition featuring Alicia Zenobia, Anthony Ryan Auld, Ashley Gunkel, Brennan Manuel, Carolina Gallop, Emily Riche, Esther Rose, Michelle Beatty, Molly Stackhouse, The Transportation Revolution

Boutique Runway Shows:

Buffalo Exchange
Lili Vintage Boutique
Frederick’s of Hollywood Swimsuit Collection – Limited Edition

Thursday, March 17th

Righteous Fur
Spring Boutique
Dirty Coast
Prima Donna’s Closet
Voluptuous Vixen
Loretta Jane By Kelli Cooper
Belle Couture
Branch Out
Baby Bump
Red Carpet
Style Lab worn by NOLA Firefighters
Greene Serene
Total Woman
House of Lounge
Cutting Edge Diva by John Joseph Delgadillo

Friday, March 18th

Top Design Finalists

Fairy Fashions
All About Me
Langford Market
Attitude by Design by Lisa Bourgeois
Xiomara del Carmen
Fleur de Paris
Banana Republic
Brooks Brothers
BCBG MaxAzria
Jean Therapy
SELVAGGIOdesigns by Meghann Harney
Mixon by Anna Mixon of Miami
Kano Branon
Saks Fifth Avenue

And next up… Fashion Week NOLA schedule from #LAisthenewLA will be announced later on this week.

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Mannequin Monday- How New Orleans does St. Patrick’s Day

Even if you aren’t Irish, or just have a great uncle three times removed that did a semester abroad in Ireland back in the 70’s doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate St. Patty’s Day in New Orleans.  Not only are there big parades that roll throughout the city the weekend before but the parties on the actual day is as big a deal as the patron saint himself.

In order to help spur the festivities many New Orleans retail stores deck out their mannequins in green getups to lure in customers looking for a little luck o’ the Irish. My personal favorite this week is Style Lab For Men on Magazine Street. Sporting a good haul of beads, this guy really represents the typical parade goer. 

And what did the crowd look like this year? Check it out for yourself. Somewhere in the middle of those telephone poles lies Magazine Street, I swear.

Traditionally the St. Patty’s float riders throw cabbage and other food items. What did you catch this year? And more importantly when are you coming over to cook for me?

Style Lab For Men

3326 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 
(504) 304-5072

Mon – Fri: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

If you have some great displays you want to share send them to

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Mardi Gras Day the Slow Southern Style Way

I live, sleep, and breathe for Mardi Gras. Nowhere in the world can you have so much fun with so many other people for no other reason than celebrating life and love for New Orleans. The traditions of carnival time run deep here, from king cakes, parades, Mardi Gras Indians, carnival balls, walking groups and the list goes on.  If you don’t understand Mardi Gras or just straight up don’t like it then we probably can’t be friends anymore and yes I’m being serious. Fat Tuesday is basically my Christmas and Halloween is my Thanksgiving.

I often plan my husband and I’s costumes months in advance and this year was no exception. He was Poseidon and I was a nondescript sea goddess thingamajig. I never really set out with a theme in mind, instead I let the theme choose itself from pieces that I find throughout the course of the year. When I see a good piece of fabric or a choice accessory in July I’m going to buy it. I have a serious  obsession and have costumes backlogged that haven’t seen the light of day yet.
His beaded and sequined shirt and cape were actually a woman’s matching blouse and skirt. In order for the top to look more king of the sea, less drag queen I took out the shoulder pads and lopped off the sleeves. Then I ripped the seam out of the taffeta skirt and voila! instant cape. He purchased the white pants and I hemmed them and added the gold netting on the bottom.
Yes that is my camera nestled atop my bosom. When you don’t have pockets you have to improvise sometimes. I decided my sequined dance costume was a little boring so I added the shells to tie in the sea theme. Yes, I really did just call a sequined body suit boring.
My cape was a thrifted scarf that I added that same gold netting to. Hubby bought sea shells and tied them in using fishing wire. I procured the crown probably about a year ago and have been waiting for a chance to wear it ever since.
Hubby was a hunchback? Nope, that’s just a backpack underneath the cape that we stuffed with the essentials. Toilet paper (the bars and porta-potties always run out), camera, phones, liquid courage, and I think a pb&j made it in there as well. 
Lugging around an actual trident would have been difficult, especially when you factor in biking downtown. This Trident Splash was much more portable. You always need two hands free for the Marigny since you never know when an impromptu dance party will break out in the middle of the street.
A silly moment- I serendipitously found this picture of a guy with a Burmese Python, who I’m assuming is a wrestler. Since the photo had a safety pin attached it was practically asking me to wear it so I did just that.
Phew! And that my friends was Mardi Gras 2011. 
To see all the photos taken that day, including street shots and images of friends go to my Flickr account.
So how was your Mardi Gras? 
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Where Mardi Gras Happens

Mardi Gras is almost here y’all! Today is Lundi Gras, and to help celebrate a few of the Southern Fashion Bloggers are doing our March blog posts on my favorite holiday of the year. No matter if you live in New Orleans or not you can  celebrate in your own way by wearing the traditional purple, green, and gold colors or just wear something extra fanciful tomorrow.

I wore this outfit to work this past Saturday. I wanted to dress up but not get stuck working all day long in a costume so this was a pretty good compromise. Even if you don’t want to don a fully themed outfit having a few festive pieces is important at this time of year. 
Feathered t-shirt- Forever 21
Iridescent skirt- Tara Jarmon via Buffalo Exchange
Peep toe flats- Feet First

Now I had every intention of showing y’all a slew of costumes but between putting the finishing touches on my Fat Tuesday costume, catching parades and working I’ve had no free time to speak of. Instead I’ll share some of the pictures I took at Endymion, one of the best parades and certainly one of my favorites this season. 

As usual check out the rest of the Southern Fashion Bloggers posts to see how they’re livin’ it up!
Stylish3- The Blonde
Prototyle Mama-
Style Cakes-
NO(LA) More Chains-
Seams That Way-
Miss Malaprop-
Odelma Vintage-
Wanna participate in our April round of guest posts? Keep up with the Southern Fashion Bloggers on our new Twitter account at @southfashblogs.
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