Sponsored: Anjolee Diamonds

At some point in a woman’s life, it’s important to have at least one or two serious pieces of jewelry. Whether it’s a Valentine’s Day present or a self bought sparkler, nothing makes you feel more like a grownup than leaving the plastic baubles behind.

Diamond necklaces and diamond tennis bracelets are great pieces to add to your bijoux wish list. Having been in the jewelry business for over 35 years, Anjolee Diamonds is a trusted name in the industry, and complies with the Kimberly Act, which means you’ll know that your diamonds have been sourced through legitimate channels. So whether you are celebrating a momentous occasion, or just because, Anjolee has a wide selection of all styles of jewelry to accommodate a wide variety of tastes.

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Sponsored: Vernon Trunk Show

Text and photos by Brooke Larsen

The people who make up the New Orleans fashion industry have to be some of the nicest on Earth. I’ve seen examples of this many times before, and it was clear to me once more at Vernon Clothing’s Happy Hour on Thursday night. As I entered the store I was unsure what to expect because I had never been to such an event before. Vernon’s Happy Hour showcases the work of local designers while also serving drinks and hours d’ouvres. Food and fashion under one roof? Yes, please! I was excited but still a little apprehensive. Surely this event was way too cool for me! However, any insecurities I had were soon dashed when I stepped inside.  

The first thing I noticed is how lovely the store itself is. I had never entered Vernon before, but as soon as I did I wanted to learn everything I could about the Magazine Street boutique. This is my kinda store, y’all. There are early James Bond movie posters hanging on the walls, a display of ties and bowties (just because I’m a lady doesn’t mean I don’t adore men’s fashion), and vintage cameras and typewriters as décor. I quickly met Laura Keith, Manager and Creative Director at Vernon, who was glad to dish about the store. She was very friendly, chatting with me like an old friend, and told me that the store’s name comes from the name of founder and owner Chris Galliano’s late grandfather. A photo of Vernon himself hangs in the back of the store presiding over it from beyond. Vernon is a store all about promoting all kinds of fashion -especially if it comes from the South – while making the buyer feel at home while shopping. Vernon carries both local and national designers, and Laura herself is in the process of designing Vernon’s own line of clothing. When she told me that the store has only been open for less than a year I was shocked. It’s hard to believe they’ve already accomplished so much!

The Happy Hour that I attended was Vernon’s first to feature designers whose work they do not carry (at least not yet). Stay by Mar is a jewelry line designed by Marianne Rodriguez right here in New Orleans. When I saw her work I was quite impressed and (as a girly girl) giddy. Not only is her jewelry gorgeous, but it’s practical as well. I’m not usually fond of bracelets because they can be difficult to close, but her’s had magnet closures! Sold! I didn’t think it was possible for me to be more obsessed after that, but then I met Mar herself and she described the design process to me. Mar designs the beads, they are handmade in Kenya, shipped here, and she assembles the jewelry herself. She described it as being a “group effort.” Mar was also selling some clutches, which she told me were made by hand by women who have AIDS in Kenya. I was impressed by her global approach and that she was employing women in need.

Velvet pants. Floral pants. Pant suits! These are a few of the things that made me excited as I glanced through the Iacono collection on display at Vernon. I wanted it all. Iacono is designed by Lisa Iacono and manufactured on the Westbank (making a case for it to be “Bestbank” perhaps!?). I quickly found out Lisa’s story – a designer who worked in New York for years, she only moved to New Orleans last May and began her own line shortly after. Realizing that it wasn’t easy to manufacture clothing here in the city, she partnered with Tam Huynh, who had worked in manufacturing and management for years in New Orleans, and created NOLA Sewn.  At first NOLA Sewn was located in a garage and created Lisa’s line of clothing; now they have around 20 clients and their own space and offices. “All this after only a year?!” I exclaimed. Lisa herself was very humble and seemed quite thrilled and shocked herself that she’s had so much success already. Is there a single fashion designer who hasn’t had their dreams realized in New Orleans? I have yet to meet someone who isn’t a success story.

Vernon’s Happy Hour takes place weekly and they always provide drinks, food, and shoe shining courtesy of Patina Parlor, Not only was my experience aesthetically satisfying, but I got to meet incredibly creative people who are trying to make a difference by helping out those around them. It was certainly a rewarding experience. I will definitely be at Vernon’s next Happy Hour, this time with some money in my wallet. Join me!

Check out more photos on the Slow Southern Style Facebook page.

Slow Southern Style was compensated for this post.

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Sponsored: Jess Leigh Jewels

Longtime readers of Slow Southern Style know that I’m a big fan of jewelry, especially when the handmade, one of a kind variety. So it gives me great pleasure to introduce y’all to Jess Leigh Jewels, a New Orleans jewelry designer with a penchant for custom pieces. I e-sat down with Jess to find out what motivates her, where to buy her handiwork, and most importantly what her favorite local beer is.


How did you get your start making jewelry?
This is actually a great question. A friend of mine saw some very beautiful stone bead stretch bracelets that a local boutique was carrying for about $300-$500 a piece. I was able to make exactly the same thing (minus the diamond encrusted charms) for about $40 for her. She started wearing them and another local store started carrying them. I sold so many that I wondered what else I could make. It kind of ballooned from there! Everything I make now comes from within. I have taught myself how do everything from the simple earrings to complex hand wrapped wire and custom pieces.

 Describe the Jess Leigh Jewels gal.
In a word, eclectic. This is a girl that will wear a t-shirt and jeans with layers of bracelets up her arms and rings on most of her fingers or the girl that loves a pretty dress with a necklace made of found objects, sparkles and jewels. I know I like different things from one day to the next!

 What’s your favorite local beer? 
Definately would be Abita Purple Haze.

And where are you drinking it?
Finn McCool’s is a favorite, but so is Mick’s. Anywhere I can hang out with my friends and enjoy the beer and company 🙂

 If money were no object, what direction would you take your jewelry line in?
I would love to start casting my own charms and settings. I have so many ideas. Right now my line is one of a kind pieces only and I struggle with wanting to keep it that way. It does make it hard to have a catalog. I adore the fact that when someone wears something I make there is only one in the whole world. Everyone deserves that special feeling. That is my goal.

Describe your ideal Saturday night. 
With my constant running around during the week, my ideal Saturday night usually involves something low key. I love grilling at home with my boyfriend, Stephen, and a few friends. Some yummy food (usually fresh seafood), a few bottles of wine, and laughing with our friends feeds my soul.

Where can we buy your jewelry, both online and in stores?
Here in New Orleans you will find my line at Lola Boutique on Carrollton Avenue and also at Fairy on Magazine Street. 
Earthly Concerns in Baton Rouge also carries my line. 
I’m always looking for new stores and I work a lot from Facebook.
 I do also have an Etsy shop that is always improving.

If you’d like to see your sponsored post on Slow Southern Style check out our advertising page or contact Dominique Ellis at Copy That Services.

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Sponsored: Anjolee Diamonds

If there is one thing I love, it is jewelry. Which is funny, since my mom and maw maw (that’s grandma for you Yankees) don’t even wear their wedding bands, much less a bracelet. Somehow I’m making up for the rest of the family. I never leave the house without earrings, a ring, a bracelet, necklace, or any combination of those.  If you are like me, then this month’s Slow Southern Style sponsor, Anjolee Diamonds, has plenty of gems just for you. 

beautiful diamond tennis bracelet
Anjolee sells ethical diamonds by complying with the Kimberly Act. Passed in 2003, the law requires all diamond retailers to only purchase from legitimate sources. So you can sparkle and shine without questioning where your diamond tennis bracelet  came from. They also tout themselves as eco-friendly, since their process involves recycling and cleaning the products used during manufacturing.

diamond hoop earrings

Whether you are looking for a custom made diamond bracelet, an engagement ring, or a                               
tennis bracelet to celebrate a milestone anniversary,  you can make your purchase with a reputable business that has been around for  over 35 years.                                        

Thanks to Anjolee for sponsoring Slow Southern Style.

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Revive Your Closet at Revival Outpost

If you are looking for a new place to buy cool, old clothes Revival Outpost on Magazine Street should be your next stop. Located inside a charming old house, you instantly feel welcome in this spacious boutique. There’s lots of vintage pieces, from funky 70s flair to retro 90s with a lot of quirky, locally owned indie labels mixed in as well. Love & Penguins (10% of proceeds benefit Autism), Rearrange Us, Le Fox Rouge, Matilda B, I’m Your Present,and Eklektik Ekhos are just a few of the handmade goodies they carry.

Starting December 1st Revival Outpost is teaming up with Blue Dream Vintage to offer shoppers even more more vintage and men’s items as well. 

Can’t wait that long? On Saturday, November 19th the two will be hosting a trunk show/sweater themed event with some fun DIY projects. There will be free wine and a few new jewelry lines will be featured that evening. The crafting starts at 7:00pm and runs until 10:00pm. For more information and to RSVP head over to their Facebook event page.

Revival Outpost
3512 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115

Mon – Wed:11:00 am-6:00 pmThu – Sat:11:00 am-7:00 pmSun:12:00 pm-5:00 pm

Follow them on Facebook and Tumblr.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Live the good life

Sometimes it is really easy to talk myself out of doing something good for me, like doing a yoga class or going to the gym. Okay I’m not gonna lie, I do it all the time actually. Suzy Rivera, owner of Life, a yoga studio and boutique in New Orleans really understands my dilemma and tries to make it easier for people to effortlessly incorporate “something good” into their daily routine. One way to do this is by creating a wardrobe that takes you from the yoga mat to the grocery store or to class without having to lug around a bulky gym bag or sacrificing your style.  Life carries its own private label clothing, which are supremely comfortable, stylish and affordable. All of the outfits featured here retail for under $100!

Great leggings are a must during winter and the ones featured throughout this post can carry you through your day, no matter what your planned activities are. This striped henley tunic is great paired with the charcoal bottoms and both can be worn in a variety of ways. Grey leggings are a softer, more interesting alternative to basic black and can be easily matched to a variety of colors.

Since I’m 5’1 I don’t wear a lot of long dresses. Okay I never wear long dresses since they tend to overwhelm my frame but I liked this maxi dress from the Life lifestyle line. Pair it with a low slung belt, or layer it with a sweater on chillier days. This one is so easy that I ended up purchasing it for myself!

All too often I see women schlepping around town in workout clothes or worse yet, pajamas.  Don’t let the quest for comfort cloud your good judgement. Put down the running shorts and put on something equally as comfortable but way more stylish. Everything I’m wearing here would be perfect in the yoga studio or out running errands. Just throw on a great necklace, add a bracelet and you are dressed for the day. 
So how what do you wear when you want to strike a yoga pose but look great doing it?
5422 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 267-0380

I was compensated for this post.

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Fashion’s Night Out in New Orleans

Fashion’s Night Out was this Thursday at Saks Fifth Avenue and I was thrilled that Slow Southern Style was featured in the blogger lounge. The night was filled with DJs on all three floors, a fun fashion scavenger hunt, running into familiar faces, drooling over beautiful clothes, and lots of champagne.

Can I be honest with y’all here? I definitely pulled this outfit together in haste. The only reason I wore these loafers is because I didn’t have time to paint my toenails, one of the downfalls of only possessing open toe heels.
 Blazer- vintage via Revival Outpost
Tank top- Funky Monkey
Scarf- Zac Posen via Buffalo Exchange
Skirt- Forever 21 via Buffalo Exchange
Loafers- Salvatore Ferragamo via Bloomin’Deals

 Liz of NOLA Tidbits and Slow Southern Style street style photographer

 Chanel of Chanel Craves is without a doubt one of my favorite Southern Fashion Bloggers. She’s always so perfectly put together, pretty, and she laughs at my dumb jokes. Her boyfriend looked equally well put together as well!

 Speaking of Chanel….

 Samantha from Feet First! Samantha did a guest post on Slow Southern Style so it was a real pleasure to finally meet her in person. This picture is a hoot, note that she is squatting and I’m standing on tip toes and she is still taller than me.

I finally met cutie pie Dalton of the Warehouse District and his mom. They were so nice!

 Plenty of Marc Jacobs to ogle

 Sweet Slow Southern Style reader Kasimu came out to Saks after hearing me talk about it on Twitter AND he was the best dressed gentleman of the night. I just love a guy that can sport a bow tie and a pocket square!

Big thanks to all of my friends that came to hang out, I had a blast chatting with y’all and hope to see each and every one of you again soon. For additional pictures from the evening be sure to check out the Facebook page.

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Join me at Saks for Fashion’s Night Out

Looking for something fun to do this Thursday? Want to hang out?
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been chosen as one of the select handful of New Orleans bloggers that will be in the blogger’s lounge for the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion’s Night Out in New Orleans. Come say hi on the 2nd floor next to women’s shoes.
Saks will essentially be hosting a triple threat party that evening with a different themed stylish soiree on every floor quipped with DJs,  specialty cocktails, and fun interactive media events all night long. In conjunction all guests will be eligible to win a $2,000 shopping spree via StyleList. Participants just need to pull together outfits based on the weekly challenge and the participant that receives the most viewer votes wins. You can also check out the contest here: http://www.stylelist.com/designerchallenge/  It should be a fun filled night, so come stop by, browse around the store and be sure to introduce yourself! 
@Saks For Fashion’s Night Out
Thursday, September 8th 4-7pm
301 Canal St.
for more information call 504-524-2200 ext. 5228
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Giveaway from Rahya Jewelry Designs

I’m not sure why I love jewelry so much since my mom and grandma don’t even wear their wedding rings much less any other objects of adornment. I guess I’m compensating for the three of us since I’m always seeking out new interesting pieces. Rahya is a New Orleans jewelry designer with two lines, one in sterling silver and Olive by Rahya which is all laser cut acrylic. Her pieces are intricate and come in fun colors such as apple red, neon green, and cobalt blue. While the silver pieces are modestly priced (rings from $60-$150) the Olive line is a steal with nothing over $30!

One lucky Slow Southern Style reader will win this pair of small vine earrings in red. In order to win this giveaway all you have to do is check out www.rahya.com then come back here and tell me what your favorite piece of jewelry is.  The contest ends on August 15th so get those entries in and good luck!

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Back to School With Blink Boutiques

I wasn’t your typical college student, at least when it came to getting dressed for school. While a good chunk of the co-ed set likes to wear flip flops and running shorts to class my wardrobe was dominated by dresses, skirts, and dress pants. While I don’t suggest schlepping those heavy books around campus while teetering on 6 inch stiletto shoes there is something satisfying about looking smart while getting smart.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been a student but I was still delighted when Blink asked me to style some looks that are not only great for Fall but back to school as well.  If you’ve never been to Blink it is worth checking out. Prices hover around $25-$80 for most items and there is always a sizable sale rack for those serious bargain hunters.

The above look is easy enough to wear on the first day of class and make that important first impression. The great thing about these pieces are how stand out they are on their own. The necklace could be easily paired with a plain t-shirt to take it from boring to fun and the crochet vest can be paired with a dress to make it more casual. Usually you’ll find me in flats but I do like to wear heels every once in a while.
See all of the looks, including what to wear for study time, weekend fun, and a look styled by Blink’s in house stylist Andre Harris click below to see the rest.

Andre Harris, the in house stylist at Blink styled the above look. I love the two tone blazer and that chunky chain necklace really helps frame Arlene’s pretty face.
This slouchy, ultra comfy sweater is a great alternative to donning sweatpants in public for those late night study sessions. Hit up the library or your favorite coffee shop sporting flat sandals, leggings and an oversize knit top for a fresh approach to comfort clothes.

Tired of hitting the books? Take a break and enjoy your weekend. The simple, flowy top is punched up with a zig zag pattern and flyaway trapeze shape which balances out the fitted skirt. Throw on a coordinating necklace and a studded leather cuff to toughen up the look.

Big thanks to the Blink team, I had a lot of fun and extra thanks to Andre for helping with this casual photo shoot! For more photos of the shop check out my Facebook page and check out Blink’s corresponding photo shoot.

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