Poppin’ up in Memphis with Le Saispas Vintage

If you are in the Memphis area looking for something different and fun Slow Southern Style favorite Kristin Irene of Le Saispas is having a pop up shop December 14th-24th at Hoot + Louise in downtown Memphis.

The opening party is this  Wednesday from 4-8pm. Enjoy wine and hot cider while shopping a hand picked selection of season appropriate vintage clothing and accessories. Styles range from 1950s to early 1990s finds for men and women and there’s even vintage home decor and housewares. The prices will be “more than fair to boot”, just like Kristin’s Etsy shop. Pop up shops are great ways to not only promote  small businesses but to find really unique, unexpected holiday gifts that scream more “I thought of you when I bought this” vs. “They were having a sale at the mall”.

If you want to learn more about Kristin and Le Saispas check out the interview I did with her back in August 2010.

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The joke is on me thanks to the New Movement Theater

You know that old saying “We aren’t laughing at you, we’re laughing with you?” Well this Thursday night you can laugh at me all you want, yea, that’s right you don’t have to do it behind my back any longer! Tell it to my face! Okay, that might be pushing it but seriously my friends from The New Movement, who produce the funniest comedy shows in town, have asked me to be their guest monologist for the evening. I will be telling stories based on my life, observations around New Orleans, and I’ll probably share something pretty embarrassing just for your enjoyment. In turn the comedians will base their entire improv sketch on my musings, pretty neat idea right?

If you want to hear me share my favorite inside jokes and potentially make a fool of myself then come to the Shadowbox Theater at 9:30pm. If you want to attend a free improv comedy class show up at 7:00pm, followed by an open mike at 8:00pm then go early. Hopefully I’ll see y’all there, then come out to the Ogden for Haute & Handmade the following night to watch me model Alabama Chanin’s designs. I’d like to think the two events balance themselves out nicely. Can’t get too serious on y’all, now can I?

Come see me at 9:30!

From the Facebook event page:

Ever wanted to try improv? Well now is your chance!

On Thursday, December 8th The New Movement will be hosting a free intro to improv comedy class starting at 7pm at the Shadowbox Theater (2400 St. Claude Ave). This class will be offered as part of Megaphone Night, a monthly event designed to give people a taste of the cutting edge comedy classes and shows offered at the New Movement, a professional improv comedy theater and training center taking root New Orleans.

Come for the class at 7pm and stay for the Shootaround at 8pm, a free and open improv jam where anyone can participate. The night is capped off with The Megaphone Show at 9:30pm. As the New Movement’s trademark show, the Megaphone Show features a local celebrity who shares true stories from his or her life – stories that are then weaved into a show by an all-star cast of improvisers. This show is $5 (Free for any improv zero participants). Featuring our special guest monologist, the lovely Christy Lorio, founder of the Southern Fashion Bloggers and creator of Slow Southern Style. You deserve more style in your week, don’t you agree?

So grab a friend, throw your cares to the wind, and come see what makes the New Movement’s shows and classes so popular.

Find out more at: http://www.NOLAimprov.com/

The New Movement is offering has improv and sketch comedy classes starting all the time.
Interested? Contact them at: tami@newmovementtheater.com or (504) 302 8264.

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Guest Post: Wedding Cake and Custom Made Cavortress

Today I’m very pleased to share some space on Slow Southern Style with Katie Thompson, a furniture designer based in Charleston, South Carolina and newly wed with an eye for beautiful clothing designed below the Mason-Dixon line. Katie was sweet enough to share with y’all the story behind her custom made wedding gown, the designer who created it, and her beautiful wedding pictures. Enjoy!

Being fortunate enough to have lived in Charleston, SC for five years I was able to meet a lot of very talented people, and local designer Julie Wheat being one of my favorites.  Wheat’s eye for timeless style, amazing fabric and quality makes it hard to resist her designs.  Her aptly named brand Cavortress evokes a sense of strong feminine style with a sweet yet sharp vintage edge.  The Cavortress woman is the life of the party, and has a presence all her own.  Cavortress first caught my attention in Spring 2010 with a dynamic vintage collection, and I’ve been addicted ever since.

(Striking a pose in Cavortress vintage)

My husband and I were engaged last December, and in March I traveled with Wheat to the inaugural Style X at SXSW where Julie was showcasing the new Cavortress swimwear collection.  While driving across the country, our conversations naturally led to fashion, and to what I was going to wear for my impending nuptials.

I told her that I was really struggling to find “that” dress.  All of my life I’ve always done things just a little bit differently than most people – and Julie knew that about me.  And given my profession as a custom furniture designer, I felt that I was going to be hard pressed to find a gown off the rack that I truly loved.

I had previously had the thought of having Wheat make a custom dress for me, but never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be so lucky.  Needless to say I was speechless when Julie said “I could make your dress!”  Dream. Come. True!

Our travels brought us to New Orleans for the first night of our trip, and the next morning we walked around the city.  We discussed shapes, styles, and fabrics for the dress as we perused the flavors of the Big Easy.  I knew I wanted something form fitting with sleeves.  I also wanted to steer away from too much “frilly stuff,” as I liked the look of simple lace and clean silks – a vintage and classic feel, with notes of modern elegance.

One thing that really shows Julie’s natural talent as a designer – she knew my body, style, and look better than I knew myself.  She also truly listened to my ideas not only about the dress, but also about the wedding.  The location, season, and even the reception were all considered for the details of the dress.  Eventually a silk gown with capped sleeves, a bias-cut top, with a sweetheart neckline and a removable train was formed.

(A close up of the sleeves and neckline.)

Fast forward a few weeks, Julie is Los Angeles and sends me some photos of fabrics and trims she had found.  Julie is a connoisseur of deadstock fabrics, and found a “almost-white-but-not-quite” heavy silk that was a pure delight to touch.

Now being a designer specializing in the bespoke, I thought I was very familiar with the amount of time and the meticulous process of building something custom, but I really had no clue when it came to dress making.  With the wedding date set at October 22nd, I must admit that in mid-June I was really beginning to stress out about the wedding, and freaked about the dress not being ready in time.  Thankfully Julie was very understanding and explained how the dress was to be built, and that it was actually better if we waited a little longer.  Most brides tend to lose weight before their wedding, whether from stress or just getting in shape, and the closer to the big day the better, as there would be less of a need for last-minute alterations.

Once we began fittings in the beginning of August, the process flew by.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I spent several long days with Julie as she fitted, measured, sewed, ironed, and built my dress piece by piece.  It was amazing to watch it come together, and to watch Wheat’s incredible abilities.  In a world of mass manufacturing, it is refreshing to see a designer who has fine-tuned the fundamentals of hand-crafting fabulous clothing.

Julie was very open and thoughtful in including me in every detail and decision during the construction of the dress.  This was fantastic as I was able to not only see but feel how the details of the dress fit me.  From the hem to the sleeves, to even the placement of the trim, I was able to be very involved and that took a lot of the stress out of the process.

The dress was completed towards the end of September, and a few weeks later, the door swings open in the church and there is Joseph at the altar.  I’m wearing the most beautiful dress I’ve ever owned, and it’s truly MY dress.  My husband tells me he loves the fact that I’m not “common,” and the dress truly fit my personality, as no one had ever seen a dress quite like that before.  

I was incredibly comfortable and confident in the dress – I danced my ass off and hugged and kissed friends and family all night with ease.  I was also thrilled that Julie was able to watch the dress go down the aisle.

I am truly grateful to have had this experience, and especially to Julie for making it possible.  Her professionalism and knowledge pushed me to consider things about the dress I never would of thought of.  It was perfect.  It was truly one-of-a-kind, fit for a Cavortress, and I couldn’t of been happier with it.

Cavortress will be showcasing at Style X at SXSW again in March 2012, and can be found at Cavortress.com.

Photo Credit: Ben Williams
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Fun at Freret Market

If you are a long time reader of Slow Southern Style then it’s probably no surprise that I’m not a frequent big box store shopper. I think I go to Target maybe six times a year max and I haven’t shopped at a Wal-Mart in about eight years. I prefer to shop close to home thanks to equal parts sheer laziness and wanting to give my money to small businesses.

One fun way to shop for unique gifts and make a day of it is attending any of the numerous markets in town. I’ve written about Freret Market several times in the past but I feel like every year it keeps getting better and better. With two markets in December, one on the 3rd and the 10th it’s a great excuse to go have fun on a Saturday and stock up on handmade, one of a kind holiday gifts. That certainly beats circling the mall parking lot waiting for a spot to open up right?

grilled cheese sandwich from Big Cheesy NOLA
hands down my favorite soap from Bayou Soap Company. The bars last forever!
look it’s Slow Southern Style sponsor Shultzilla!
Miss Malaprop’s fun and funky offerings
the parking lot gets transformed once a month
first Saturdays, noon to five

Freret Market is held from noon-5pm on the corner of Freret and Napoleon. No cash? No worries, there is a system that allows you to purchase vendor tokens with your debit or credit card. With plenty of live music, food, and vendors you are guaranteed to have a good time!

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Haute and Homemade: A Showcase of Southern Contemporary Couture

Words can’t even begin to express how excited I am not only to attend Haute and Homemade at the Ogden Museum on Friday, December 9th but also be a part of of the show.  I was positively giddy when I first found out about this event a few months ago and was beyond thrilled when I received an e-mail asking me to model. Well maybe I wasn’t thrilled that I gorged myself all Thanksgiving week before sashaying down a runway but hey that’s my own fault.

Alabama Chanin is the epitome of a damn good Southern fashion label, the type that made me start Slow Southern Style in the first place.  Grown out of love of handiwork with a strong eye for high quality craftsmanship I’m lucky enough to own two pieces designed by Natalie Chanin, my favorite being my black sleeveless dress. The stitching is done entirely by local artisans in Florence, Alabama. In addition to the exquisite work I love the whole company concept and culture and how it promotes the slow fashion movement and proves that you don’t have to subscribe to this fast paced, cutting edge trend driven fashion culture to look stylish. It’s all very galvanizing if you ask me. 

 As if I’m not excited enough there will be six local designers presenting the same night for a little lagniappe, including Slow Southern Style favorites Amanda Deleon and Kerry Fitts along with Grayson Gold, Lorna Leedy, Andrea Loest and Rebecca Rebouche.

my own Alabama Chanin dress, worn here in early fall 2010

In addition to the runway shows there will be a two hour sewing workshop on Saturday, December 10th, something that Alabama Chanin does on a regular basis both in Florence and in other cities. I’m committed to a graduation that morning (congrats to sis getting her master’s degree!) but believe me I’d be there if I could. I’m hoping to see a few of y’all at the Ogden next weekend to see one of my favorite designers up close and cheer me on if I nosedive down the runway.

Haute and Homemade: A Showcase of Southern Contemporary Couture
Fri. Dec. 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., New Orleans, La.
$10 for museum members; $12 non-museum members; $5 for children under 17

Information and tickets: 504.539.9650, or go order: hauteandhomemade2011.eventbrite.com

Alabama Chanin Workshop
Sat. Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-Noon
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., New Orleans, La.
To register: alabamachanin.com/workshop/two-hour-workshops.

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