Category Archives: festivals

Festival season is here

 

Cha Wa Band

Cha Wa BandTank and the Bangas

festival season

 

Festival season is finally here in Southern Louisiana. Springtime hits that sweet spot of (relatively) low humidity, pleasantly warm days and breezy, balmy nights. It’s downright criminal to not take advantage of the weather, especially since summer is going to slap us in the face with a wet wool blanket faster than we can order another round of frozen daiquiris.

I like festivals but sometimes large crowds, long lines at the food booths and dirty port-a-potties just aren’t my jam. I live on Freret Street, so the Freret Street Festival is the one fest that comes to me.  All I have to do is walk out my door and I’m there. When the crowds get to be too much I can just head back home and sit on my own front porch.

 

Photos:

J’wan Boudreaux, vocalist for the Cha Wa Band and Spy Boy for the Golden Eagles, is accompanied by bassist Bill Richards.

Irving “Honey” Banister of the Cha Wa Band and Flag Boy of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians kept the crowds dancing at the Dat Dog Stage.

Tank of Tank and the Bangas entertained the crowds with her infectious energy at the Ochsner Baptist Stage.

Freret Street Festival took over its namesake thoroughfare between Napoleon Avenue and Soniat Street on April 4. Three stages hosted local bands and 150 vendors selling food as well as locally made arts and crafts lined the street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

festival season festival season festival season

French Quarter Fest

 
I’ve been in a festin’ mood thanks to the balmy, seventy degree weather (finally!) so I decided to head out to French Quarter Fest with a friend to indulge in alligator sausage, po-boys and a frozen daiquiri to wash it all down with. The main music stages and food booths can bring out the claustrophobia in most anyone, so if you’re not the crowd lovin’ type I’d suggest hanging out at the equally entertaining yet relatively more intimate stages away from Woldenberg Park and Jackson Square.  It was also the perfect day to play around with my camera (no iPhone snapshots here!) and get some practice in. We’ve had the most beautiful, picturesque skies that just beg to have their photo taken. How could I not comply?
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Cavortress at Bonnaroo

Charleston designer, stylist, and vintage clothing aficionado Julie Wheat designs and slings  clothes under her eponymous brand name Cavortress.  She’s dressed Zoe Saldana, shown at NOLA Fashion Week, and sold vintage gems at various festivals, including Voodoo, SXSW, and Bonnaroo. With all this, it’s no wonder why she’s received mentions in Women’s Wear Daily, and was tapped to design for Reckless, a new show airing on CBS this Fall.

No stranger to festival style, Julie was kind enough to share her recap what ‘down on the farm’ festival goers wore, Tennessee style from this year’s Bonnaroo. 

Instagram:  Cavortress
Facebook:  Cavortress


Hulahooping is essential to any festival. This girl brings it to another level with her quasi butterfly costume:  check out the detail on the ripped tee she did herself, looks like butterfly wings!


This fella has it down:  home made galaxy print (not quite tiedye) paired with dress pant cutoff shorts, vintage charm necklace, Havana Raybans, and Tretorns he almost looks dressed up.
Of course Bonnaroo wouldn’t be equipped without Grateful Dead garb, this guy’s bringing it to another level. Check out these dead bears Jeremy Scott for Adidas shoes paired with the vee style tie dye Grateful Dead t-shirt.  Garanamals done right!
Punkrockabilly princess with studs, Urban Outfitters shades, Cocacola bandana, cutoffs, Doc Martens, choice piercings, and a teensie piece of turquoise to top it off!

No festival is equipped with out a festicouple.  These two were our favorite! Note the nice silver Grateful Dead pieces.
Tutus are something often worn at festivals. This one is rather unique and goes great with the swimsuit.
We think San Francisco guys are hot, costumed but not!
Wire wrap jewelry is a staple at festival events. This guy is the artist himself and has some heavy duty work to show off. He is also donning a nice Grateful Dead ring. 

This gal looks adorable and didn’t have to try. Here’s to keeping it simple!

Julie Wheat- Miss Cavortress herself!

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Mamie Ruth: Music Fest Fashion Designer

Music festivals are so much more than just the music that’s being performed. They embody a free spirited vibe, where you can literally let your hair down, become completely absorbed in the music, and just let loose. It’s this same care free spirit that 28 year old designer Emily Bargeron achieves with her clothing line, Mamie Ruth. Describing her customer as a free spirited “chill kind of chick” that doesn’t shy away from bright colors and bold prints; she’s a hippie at heart.

Bargeron started making jewelry when she was 13, selling it at craft fairs. Shortly after college, boutiques started picking up her clothes. The basis of her clothing line started in large part from her desire to wear something unique at music festivals, and grew out of necessity. “People would stop and ask if they could buy the clothes off my back”, she explains.  Named after her grandmother, a florist, the Mamie Ruth line “started 6 years ago as something I did on the side. I slept on the couch and ate nothing but tuna for a week. I definitely suffered for it but it was worth it.”
While her inaugural pieces consisted of remade vintage clothing and African wax prints, she began manufacturing when she started selling wholesale to boutiques. “When stores wanted 6 of something, they wanted 6 of something,” Bargeron explains. In 2009, she was an emerging designer at Charleston Fashion Week, and employed the help of seamstresses to showcase there.  S/S 2013 was her first Atlanta Apparel Mart, and went from being carried in 5 stores to 26, from Florida to Tennessee, in just 8 months. These are impressive figures for someone who did graphic design half the week, and made jewelry the rest of the week when she first started out.
Originally from the” one red light town” of Louisville, Georgia, Bargeron now calls Savannah home. “What I love about Savannah is the slow, southern charm but it’s so eclectic. SCAD brings a lot of that hipster vibe, but we have that sweet Liliy Pulitzer lady as well.  Georgia weather definitely affects the collection. No super big outerwear, because the Savannah weather is so warm. I’ll put in some pieces for other places, but I always think of the weather here.”

 

Like any true artist, Bargeron is an embodiment of her work. “Everything I do kind of revolves around Mamie Ruth. I don’t know how to turn it off. Every time I go out I constantly feel like I’m working, constantly promoting my brand. It’s what I love to do so I never feel like I’m working.”
Focusing on comfort, she likes to keep the line artsy and hip. Bamboo fabrics and baggier silhouettes keep the clothes wearable during the warm months of festival season.  Her spring line embraces  a few current trends such as dresses with side cut outs, high low hemlines, and tribal prints, but it’s all done with the quintessential Mamie Ruth Style. There’s the trademark ease to the collection, with drapy  cuts, boxy, breezy blouses, and bold patterns. Leather bustiers are sexy yet sweet, Mexican dress style embroidery adorns a pair of high waisted shorts. Now that she has a bigger audience, Bargeron is revisiting the African wax print motif that she experimented with earlier in her career.  Expect a “galactic, gypsy from Arizona feel” and lots of metallic, hologram, and custom prints from Mamie Ruth in the near future.To purchase Mamie Ruth online, or for store locations visit the website. You can also keep up with her latest creations on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

All photos c/o Mamie Ruth

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Cavortress at Bonnaroo

If you’re headed out to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, be sure to say hi to my fashion designer/stylist friend Julie Wheat (aka Cavortress) and her pink, black, and silver booth. She’ll be slinging vintage clothes, jewelry, handmade items, even some costumes. Y’all know how I feel about costumes. Julie’s also snapping some street style photos, so check back for some of her favorite Bonnaroo fashion in an upcoming post!

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Made & Made by Tiia Maria

 I discovered Finland native Tiia Maria’s line of handmade hats Made & Made at the Frenchman Art Market just a few weeks ago and was instantly smitten with her perfect toppers. What drew me in was the quality and detail in her designs- teeny fascinators are adorned with kitty ears and a birdcage veil. Slightly cheeky and not too precious these are the perfect toppers to add a glamorous touch without being too over the top. Learn more about Made & Made on their Facebook page after finding out about the brand in the interview below.



Why hats? How did you get started as a milliner?

Up until a couple of years ago, I spent most of my time studying, writing and reading. I have a Masters in Adult Education, but I felt like the career path it was taking me on wasn’t creative enough. I also wanted to do something with my hands. I love the process of shaping felt hats. Millinery is like sculpting but only with felt and other materials. I also want hats to make a come back because it makes dressing much more interesting.
I’m interested in vintage clothing and hats are a big part of that. I admire old hats and I have been collecting vintage hats for many years. Two years ago I did a few millinery courses in Finland and after that I wanted to learn more.
Flora Turban Hat

You’re from Finland originally. How long have you been in New Orleans, and what sparked the move?

I moved here in December 2011 after falling in love with the city on an earlier visit. New Orleans is a very creative environment and new ideas and faces are welcome. Moving to New Orleans gave me a chance to do something completely different and really focus on my craft. I also enjoy the warm weather and sun!

Your hats have a decidedly vintage feel to them. How do you keep them feeling modern and wearable for everyday life vs. feeling like a costume?

My hats have a vintage feel because I use real vintage materials: laces from the 1920s, feathers from the 1940s, fur felt from the 1960s and much more. Even the wooden molds I shape the hats on are authentic hat blocks, many over 60 years old. I love using these antique materials because they are absolutely unique and very good quality too. There’s nothing quite like a piece of 1930s black veiling and you only get to use it once. Using these kinds of tools and materials makes each piece incredibly special.
I try to keep the trimming and decoration simple to avoid the costume look, the result is that each hat is modern and refined but shows its vintage roots. The materials – fur felt, silk, veiling, grosgrain ribbon – are quite beautiful, so rather than embellish each piece with lots of decoration, these special materials are given their own space. I make headpieces for special occasions but also have hats that are wearable every day. I want to keep my hats modern to show that you don’t need a vintage hairdo or classic outfit to wear a great hat.

Besides your site and the Frenchman Art Market, where are you selling your hats?

Visit www.madeandmade.com for the complete collection, and in New Orleans you can find Made & Made pieces at Bon Castor and Trashy Diva too.

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French Quarter Festival

Sunglasses & dress, Buffalo Exchange
Melissa shoes, Nordstrom Rack
It’s fest season y’all! What the hell does that mean? Eating your weight in fried food, humidity, throngs of people, bike rides, live music, slathering on sunscreen, day drinking, running into old friends, and having lots of fun. We went to French Quarter Festival this weekend, what did you do?
My friend Kasimu Harris of Parish Chic

How we roll. Not my bike but I wish it was.
My sweet friends Corey and Hattie Collins.
Fish tacos from G. W. Fins

A lush French Quarter balcony 
Life imitates art imitates life- painter creating art via her marionette puppet

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On the edge at Fringe Fest

How many festivals are there in Louisiana? We’ve got a festival for just about everything because well, we love to have a good time, simple as that. Besides the big ones like Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest we also have Mirliton Fest, Satchmo Fest, Hell Yes Fest, and the list goes on.  In New Orleans alone I think the exact number of fests is 2,546,767.

This past weekend we not only had Po-Boy Festival on Oak Street but Fringe Fest as well in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods. While I love nothing more than stuffing my face full of fried shrimp I couldn’t make it down to Oak Street on Sunday due to work so I opted to head downtown to catch a few theatrical performances instead. All of the fun, none of the calories. Despite being it’s fourth year running this was my first time at Fringe Fest and honestly I’m not sure what took me so long to catch on. Fringe Fest is all about bringing out the most fearless, thought provoking, and sometimes downright weird performances to the Crescent City within a five day span via multiple venues. We have so many talented creative types in our city and I love seeing people coming out to celebrate the arts, the more underground the better.
marigny opera house
weather worn old church, now a performance space
incredible space, the altar area is now a stage
quirky take on tennessee william’s original play
inside the allways lounge

I wish I could have captured some images from the actual performances I attended but taking pictures during a show is generally frowned upon. Did you get a chance to catch Fringe Fest this year? What did you think about it?

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