It goes without saying that there is always something to do in New Orleans. Even if you are just in town for the weekend it is easy to trawl through the myriad of NOLA websites and find recommendations to answer the eternal question “What’s going on this weekend?” However some of the best events aren’t always in the most obvious places.
On May 14th I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Freret Street art crawl. I’m a big supporter of this burgeoning corridor and in addition to the galleries and studios it features a slew of established and soon to be open restaurants, a bike shop, skate shop, and even has two yoga studios and two distinctly different gyms. There is also the Freret Market in addition to a bigger annual festival.
The art crawl was hosted at three venues, Du Mois, Nelson + Little, and Brottworks. We hit up each one with a stop at Dat Dog for my favorite alligator sausage and a quick drink to go at the Box Office before heading over to hear a live band performing at a benefit.
I’ve been to Du Mois a number of times and I love that they feature artists on both a local and national level. Nelson + Little and Brottworks studios aren’t typically open to the public so it was a treat getting to meet the artists and chat with them about their work. To check out the Nelson + Little jewelry that was on display click here. Sis and I picked up some great pieces at really affordable prices that will be featured in a future post for sure.
On to the pictures!
I need to get my hair in check ASAP. Humidity does weird things, no matter how hard I try my hair looks about as lifeless as my front yard does with this lack of rain.
Isn’t my little sister cute? Emphasis on little, she is under 5’0. Don’t kill me for saying that! Love ya!
On big sis:
necklace via Buffalo Exchange but Little Miss Muffin carries them too
dress Vava by Joy Haan via Abeille NOLA*
shoes via Feet First
On lil sis:
Betsey Johnson sunglasses and BeBop dress via TJ Maxx in Hammond
* I did receive a discount on this dress for featuring Abeille in this post.
To borrow a phrase from Bill Cunningham the real fashion show is in the streets. I have had numerous requests for street style photos but I’m a one woman show holding down a full time job in addition to my freelance writing and this site. There is only so much one person can do! That said I’m pleased to announce a new segment here, Southern Street Style. Liz Beeson has joined the team to bring y’all interesting, stylish southerners that she snaps on the streets of New Orleans.
We are going to do our best to showcase the best of what the south has to offer and please let us know what you think of our new venture! You might even see us on a street corner near you.
I have a habit of finding a silhouette that I like then running it into the ground. Last summer all I wanted to wear were short skirts and fitted tops, to the point that this year I’m done with them. I’ve kept my favorites and will wear them again but my main shopping objective is filling in the gaps and attempting to make what I wear less boring, at least to me.
I went thrifting for the first time in ages and happily stumbled upon this tank top and skirt. Animal prints are a big trend this season, probably thanks to Miu Miu’s spring 2010 collection of swallow printed shoes and cat print dresses. Local favorite Lia Molly also did capuchin monkeys for her spring 2011 sweaters.
So the new animal print is less zebra and leopard spots, more the animals themselves. Considering I basically have a mini zoo (and I volunteered at the zoo years ago!) I have no qualms with embracing this trend.
The funny thing about purchasing items at a thrift store is that it opens your mind to wearing brands from stores that you’d never shop at. When it comes down to it finding a great fitting piece of clothing is the ultimate goal, labels aside. Just wear what you like, don’t worry about what that little tag says, no one is going to see it anyway.
Most of you have heard of pop up shops, those fun temporary stores that spring up, sell some wares for a day or even a few weeks then seemingly vanish into thin air. Most have you have heard of Express, the popular mall brand that stocks basics as well as current trends.
Express took the pop up concept one step further and did a pop up fashion show in the French Quarter last Friday and I was one of the lucky people to get the memo. If you didn’t get to go you are in luck! The Express fall ad campaign was shot during the runway show so footage will be displayed all across the country.
The streets of the Quarter are narrow, with not much wiggle room for a car and a bike to pass through. In the case of Rock the Sidewalk this made for the perfect space for a catwalk and enough room for spectators to get up close and observe every detail of every look.
Even on this steamy New Orleans day with high heat and humidity I was craving the fall looks for next season. The two overall themes were layering neutrals and color blocking. Different entities, I know but it makes sense to balance out a wardrobe of bright colors with more somber shades to suit every mood.
I really appreciated the chunky, short sleeved sweaters layered over a long sleeve t-shirt with well cut slim jeans. Sequins and fur added lux embellishment for a very rich, textural interest to pep up the monochrome looks.
On the opposite spectrum there were light, bright frocks paired with equally bold accessories such as a fuchsia dress cinched at the waist with an equally vivid belt. All too often fall and winter dressing turns into boring, fight the elements survivalism mode. Color blocking is a big trend for summer and carrying this look over to fall will help inject a bit more fun into even the dreariest of winter days.
BIG thanks to my friend Joseph Miner for letting me use these shots he took from his Blackberry. I brought my camera to the event but since I’m a diminutive 5’1 all I snapped where backs of heads. Joey is a whole foot taller than me. Don’t believe me? I’ve got the evidence to prove it.
I’m not a movie critic but I want to tell you about a beautiful film. If you didn’t get a chance to see Bill Cunningham New York in New Orleans on Saturday you still have time to catch it today at the Prytania Theater at 5:30pm as part of the Film-o-rama Festival.
When you think of famous fashion street style photographers the names Scott Schumann of The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton of Jak and Jill, Yvan Rodic of Face Hunter, and Liisa Jokinen of Hel-Looks might come to mind. However before most of these people were even born there was Bill Cunningham.
Mr. Cunningham, now in his 80s, got his start by photographing New Yorkers where the real fashion shows take place, the streets of New York. He worked at a handful of publications before landing at the New York Times. He has certainly led an interesting life, having worked as a milliner in the 1950s and leading a humble and elusive existence as one of the last artist residents of Carnegie Hall.
This poignant tale makes the fashion almost a backdrop to Bill Cunningham’s rather reclusive personal life and the secondary cast of characters in the film. The film has a sense of joy but at times feels melancholic as well. While Bill attends high profile society events and photographs runway shows he never allows himself to become completely submerged in the jet set lifestyle. Instead he silently snaps away as a spectator, often patiently waiting in line to get into a fashion show with everyone else. It is amazing how level headed he remains as he gets up close and personal with venerable fashion icons and socialites such as Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel, Brooke Astor, and Anna Piaggi among others.
One of my favorite parts of the film is Bill getting turned down at Paris Fashion Week by a doorman that doesn’t recognize the plainly dressed older gentleman as a well known photographer. “He is the most important person in the world” corrects an in the know Parisian, which literally brought a tear to my eye. Here is a man who simply wants to take pictures of clothes and is so dedicated to his work that he has eschewed romantic relationships and even modern conveniences such as a kitchen in his apartment in order to perfect his craft. His penchant for photos of the dramatically dressed is a startling contrast to his drab dress and modest means.
My friend Zachary Wilson, who I watched the film with me, said it best:
“Today, our generation worries so much about status, living a “good” life, making money, what we’re worth, but back then it was all about the work. Sometimes I wish we could get back to that basic level, but at the same time, I don’t want to be 88 and living alone in a closet with no bathroom, no family, no “life,” just work. Maybe we’ll be able to find the balance between living life and living our work.”
The biggest thing I took away from this film is just do what you love. Don’t worry about the recognition, chasing the almighty dollar, or rubbing shoulders with the right people. At the end of the day all you have is your integrity to push you through this life and Bill Cunningham is a true testament to that.
The past three Saturdays in a row have been great fun for me. From a stroll in historical gardens, to a day in the French Quarter followed by a trek down Freret Street I’ve been making it a point to get out and enjoy some sunshine before the heat and humidity become unbearable which will be any minute now.
A few of the ladies from the Southern Fashion Bloggers got together three weeks ago for a Fashionable Frolic through Longue Vue, a historical home and gardens located in Old Metairie. The weather was perfect and it was really a good excuse for an all girls get together with gorgeous weather.
This was a much more laid back outing than our first get together at the Windsor Court so I didn’t want to come across as overdressed this go ’round. A coral colored t-shirt with a spring worthy skirt was the perfect outfit for a most perfect day.
Look y’all Leslie of UNMADE, NOLA Eats, Eatventful (you get the picture) showed up. For more pictures check out the Southern Fashion Bloggers site. We are planning our next meet up in June and I hope to meet some of you lovely ladies for our (indoor) event.
Lets face it, in the world of fashion men are typically relegated to either the same predictable yawn fest or designs that are so over the top that it scares off even the dandiest of dressers. Camrich Mann is a fresh, new menswear label from New Orleans fashion designer Brennan Manuel that has already received accolades by being a top designer contest finalist at this years’ Fashion Week New Orleans. Not only did Brennan study Menswear Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York but he recently graduated from Tulane Law School as well.
He really sets apart his designs from the rest by creating interesting pieces that aren’t blatantly bland or freakishly flamboyant. His work is heavy on excellent, simple design with sharp tailoring and interesting details. Brennan understands that clothing makes the man but the focus should be on the man himself; the garments are merely an accent to the personality that is already there.
Brennan’s main objective with Camrich Mann “is to produce a clothing line that serves my target market, the Urban Graduate.” He defines the “Urban Grad” as a student of his own urban environment that appreciates trends but wants to be “individually innovative”. Camrich Mann serves as a way for younger men to understand how to present themselves in a more mature manner without looking stodgy.
In Brennan’s own words:
“The Urban Grad is a cosmopolite that believes you can judge a book by its cover and understands that presentation is 80% of what you bring to the table, in any encounter. Therefore this man strives to develop his own style and taste by allowing his mind to be inspired by other things, other people and himself. He realizes that every well-dressed man’s closet must have its staples but recognizes that building upon this foundation to showcase masculinity through more unconventional pieces is key; therefore he is adaptable. Unlike other well-dressed men, the Urban Grad has the innate ability to be a tastemaker. I create clothes that represent a young man in his transition to and after he has reached adulthood. I see these clothes as reinventing consumer conscious staples with a luxurious, innovative twist. I envision a brand that becomes the symbol of a lifestyle and a generation.”
Buyers interested in purchasing a Camrich Mann piece can do so by commission. Shirts start at $190 and include details such as back darts and stretch poplin fabric to ensure fit and a hidden placket. The cropped trouser pant retails for $290 and jackets start at $590. You can keep up with Camrich Mann via the Facebook page.
Jean Therapy is having a shorts styling contest and guess who is a finalist? Me! The prize is a pair of True Religion shorts and let me tell you, I love a good pair of shorts. I mean who doesn’t want to be blinded by the site of my pasty white legs?