Category Archives: georgia

What I Wore: Freret Market

I’ve always been a bad fashion blogger. I %#$*@! up this picture with the port-o-let in the background, and zero $%*@# are being given about my bra peeking through my tank top. My bad. What I do care about  is putting my money where my mouth is. With the exception of a necklace, everything I’m wearing was either bought from an independent fashion designer, secondhand, or made in the USA. I’ve always been an advocate of ethically sourced clothing, and after the atrocities that occurred in Bangladesh, it’s hard for me to buy clothing made in  factories that engage in surreptitious practices without feeling guilty about it. Read this article from this past July that explains the complexities of child labor for some particularly disturbing insight. How do we combat that? Spend your money at  local art markets, support independent fashion designers, buy secondhand, and give fast fashion a big FU. Sorry for being so crass, but it’s really a simple choice that could result in a great deal of change if enough people get behind the movement. 
Tank top: Everlane
Necklaces: Haus 131 (old) & Nelson & Little
Cuff bracelet: Satchel
Shoes J. Crew via Buffalo Exchange
Handbag: Lucky via Buffalo Exchange 
Sunglasses: Celine via Buffalo Exchange 
For more of the Freret Street Market, check out these Vine videos I took for Propaganda New Orleans
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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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Savannah Bee Company- Worth the Buzz

An in store hive- behind glass of course

The honey tasting bar

My obsession with Savannah Bee Company began when my sister sent sent me a box of their goodies for my birthday back in February. Ever since, I can’t get enough of their products- and I do mean all of them. From their limited edition and seasonal offerings, honey infused coffee, honey hand soap, honey hand creme, well you get the idea. I’m addicted to all of it. The honey isn’t your typical mass produced sticky stuff that’s sold in a bear shaped bottle. There’s wildflower honey from Georgia, Orange Blossom from Southern Florida, and varieties specifically made for grilling, enjoying with tea, or smearing on cheese. I was lucky enough to visit two of their three stores when I visited Savannah in May, and stocked up enough to last me until my mom went a few weeks ago and brought back more goodies, including a 20oz. bottle of black sage honey that’s only produced once every 4 years.

I never thought I’d use hand soap to wash my face, but the Tupelo Liquid Honey Hand Soap is gentler than most facial soaps I’ve used in the past. I’m prone to breakouts, and since I started using it on a daily basis I’ve only had a handful of blemishes. And the hand cream smells heavenly. Did you know that honey never goes bad? Not that mine sits around long enough to question if it’s still edible or not. I drizzle my ambrosia on ice cream, slather it on toast, or (dare I say it) eat it straight from the jar during a 2:00 am pantry raid.  Pick up their foodstuffs in your city, including Rouses Supermarkets here in New Orleans.

Founder Ted Dennard kept bees as early as high school, and went on to join the Peace Corps after college where he taught beekeeping to village farmers in South America. In 1998 he started selling his honey in found bottles as a hobby. His first expansion went from the kitchen to the garage, then later into an 800 square foot former classroom.  That’s humble beginnings considering production is now housed in a  40,000 square foot warehouse just outside of Savannah.

Southern hospitality- bee style

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What We Wore: A Night Out in Savannah

Savannah is definitely a laid back city, even more than New Orleans. For my last night in town, my sister and I had dinner at Jazz’d Tapas followed up with some truly decadent dessert at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. Even though we could have fit right in wearing jeans and a t-shirt, exerting a little extra effort always helps a night out feel a bit more special. Although there was nothing special about waking up at 4:30 am for my flight back home. What was I thinking when I booked that?

It’s all about that a little Frenchie named Porkchop

                     

Fuschia horses- what’s not to love?
Perpetually striking dumb poses

my favorite necklace
Christin
Sweater via Limited
Skirt via Francesca’s
Shoes via Steve Madden
Necklace via Ragdoll


Christy
 Dress, Cooperative via Buffalo Exchange
Belt, American Apparel via Buffalo Exchange
Shoes via Buffalo Exchange
Necklaces via Nelson + Little and Fairy (rabbit)
Cuff bracelet via Buffalo Exchange

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Tybee Island: Paradise in Georgia

Given how much I love the beach, I don’t go nearly as much as I should. The closest beaches to New Orleans aren’t crystalline waters and sugary white sand- you have to drive past Mississippi to get to the good stuff. When I went to Savannah last weekend, my sister and I loaded up the car with newly purchased beach chairs, a cooler, and plenty of SPF 45 sunblock and headed to Tybee Island. A quick 20 minutes from her apartment, it was just what I needed to really feel like I was on vacation. We even had a dolphin sighting, and managed not to lose our sunglasses in the surf when the waves rolled in.

Fish and crab sandwiches with sweet potato fries at North Beach Bar & Grill
Throwing shade with our sweet beach set up

Blue Moon in a can- perfect for a day spent in the sand
Our chosen beach reads
Pastiest white person at the beach

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Smitten With Savannah

I just got back from my first trip to Savannah, Georgia and I’m downright smitten with the place. In many ways it reminded me a bit of New Orleans- the history, architecture, and the friendliness that the locals exuded felt familiar and comforting. I swooned for the trees dripping in Spanish moss, the downtown area lent a cool yet quaint vibe, and having the beach just a short twenty minute drive really made me feel like I was on vacation.

My sister moved to Savannah this past January for her first big girl job and while I miss our occasional lunches at Restaurant August and late night ice cream runs, I was thrilled she was moving somewhere I always wanted to visit.Here are some quick shots of some of my favorite places downtown, but there is more to come!

Coolest shop – Arc

Love the old fashioned feel in the men’s section

Mansion on Forsyth Park

Frilly and feminine looks at Terra Cotta Boutique

One of my favorites- Villa

Have you ever been to Savannah? What are your can’t miss destinations?

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STORYLAND DRESSING! An Interview with Threadbeat




Hey there Slow Southern Style readers! The weather in New Orleans has been crazy… “Hey, it’s nice outside.”
“OMG! When did it get so cold?”  
“It’s raining now?”
“What? It’s only 3PM!”
I’m wishing for those sunny Saturday trips to City Park to run around like a kid again. So what if I’m a grown up without any kids. I’ll borrow my nieces for the day and play dress up! Don’t you remember the feelings of freedom and carefree joy when walking into the Storyland Village in City Park? 
Threadbeat brings back those memories of a time where peter pan collars and ruffled slips where for every girl. She recreates the idea of Storyland dressing for the modern wardrobe. Great fitting garments and girlie charm in all the pieces she creates.
If you have a chance today go outside and smell the crisp fresh air, the nice breeze. Hey, why not go ahead and climb a tree or enjoy a picnic. If you’re stuck to a computer like “moi”self, read this interview with Rebecca from Threadbeat and check out her Etsy store for some Storyland dressing inspiration!
QnA with Rebecca at Threadbeat
What does Threadbeat do?
Threadbeat is a line of custom clothing that is made specific to an individual’s measurements. I try to take into consideration what areas of the body they feel most confident about, adjusting the design slightly to highlight that area, or to downplay another.
What’s your fashion/design philosophy? 
Keep things simple, and wear something that fits you.  If you dress the body that you have right now appropriately, versus dressing for the body that you would prefer or that you covet, you will ultimately feel the most confident, and project that confidence. 
How did you develop your design skills and personal style? 
I am basically self-taught as far as skills go, I grew up with my mom sewing quite a bit, but I don’t remember being taught. I must have just absorbed it somehow.  Growing up, I was raised on a really tight budget- every year we were allotted 2 pairs of pants and maybe a few shirts. I started thrift shopping when I was in 6th grade at ‘Keenagers’, an elderly run volunteer thrift shop on my walk home from school- this blew my mind right open- I was able to have things that nobody else had, for next to nothing- when I really liked something, I would make it fit.
 After I graduated college, I worked at a huge costume shop for a couple of years that mainly catered to theatrical productions, initially I worked the make up counter- then I moved on to costume rentals, alterations, and finally to pulling costumes for theater companies. This is where I really learned what sizes looked like- I became really adept at looking at a garment and generating the measurements within an inch- same goes with looking at a person.
When I moved to Savannah a little over 2 years ago, my friend taught me how to construct the basic pattern set, from there- I made it a point to make one thing per day- so I practiced a lot, now I can work really fast, without having to think about what I am doing- which helps.
What’s your go to outfit when you don’t know what else to wear?
I pretty much have 2 seasonal uniforms- this winter it has been straight cut jeans, red gingham cowboy shirt, with a light-weight wool Pendalton work shirt for warmth. I have worn a version of this all winter. As far as the lovely warm months, I have about 60 dresses all of a very similar cut that I will wear everyday. That is the beauty of having clothes that fit you; I never am at a loss for something to wear.
I read you live on a farm in Savannah, GA? Your sundresses seem perfect for the steamy summer days we have in the south. How does your style and clothing line reflect your life or your clients’ life?
I live on a small hobby farm about 10 minutes outside of downtown Savannah. My clothing is directly related to the steamy weather- I use a lot of classic cuts and styles that promote airflow, and breath-ability within garments. Natural fibers like cotton and linen help to wick away the sweat. I don’t think my clothing is weather specific, though- I am from Wisconsin originally, so if I have a client asking about a fall or winter dress, and they are from Maine- I will know to adjust things accordingly with a flannel lining and so forth.
Who or what do you draw your inspiration from when creating new patterns, picking fabrics, etc.?
I am still really inspired by my intensely beautiful, feminine surroundings; the wonder has not worn off yet.
What’s your hands down favorite thing you’ve ever made?
A really good sturdy beautiful wool backpack. 
What’s your favorite dress cut or design features?
Well, as you can probably tell by my shop- I really like a scoop neck and a fitted waistline- pockets on a dress are always good, too.
What do customers love most about your garments?
Probably my willingness to heed requests and listen to the customers input, after all they are the one who will wear the clothes.
I see a bunch of vintage fabrics, eco-friendly cottons and floral prints. Can you describe your ideal client or whom you design for? 
My ideal business situation would be a client base of 30 regular or bi-monthly customers that I am able to get to know, work with and exchange ideas with- if I have the confidence that I understand someone’s taste, my job and their shopping experience is so much easier. Right now I have a small group of regulars that I am getting to know, and if I see a fabric that one of my clients would love, I will buy it- usually my instinct is right, and they are happy to know that someone in the world that they only know through a computer was thinking about them.
These are just for fun…
What’s one item you owned as a kid you wish you could have now?
A yellow goggle flipper and snorkel set, just because I am not sure if I had dreamed that I owned it when I was little, or that I actually did. I just want to know the truth.
What movie would your wardrobe fit in best?
I immediately thought the ‘Sound of Music’, which is funny because I am positive that I have never seen it. I must have heard people say that somewhere down the line. I am going to put that on my Netflix queue right now.
Thanks Rebecca for showing us your inner workings and inspiration for your line Threadbeat! Hope you enjoy the Sound of Music!
All photos courtesy of Threadbeat. Words by Amber Guidry.

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Guest Post: Simply Chic

Slow Southern Style is going to be featuring a few guest bloggers each Monday to liven the place up and get some fresh voices on a variety of subjects. This week Elle from Elle Sees is filling in . Interested in guest blogging? Contact me at nolagurl at gmail dot com.

Simply Chic

Simply Chic by ellesees featuring glass shades

Hi y’all. I’m Elle, from Elle Sees, a lifestyle blog dedicated to style, beauty, and life. I’m so excited to be guest posting today! I’m a Southern blogger in Atlanta, but easily consider NOLA one of my favorite cities in the US (see my trip here). This week on my blog I’m having a mini Back to School Week, and thought I’d give a little sneak peak today. This outfit is perfect for that first day of school (I always got so excited! Did you?), Picture Day, or maybe a day at work. I love this Simply Chic outfit–it’s effortless and stylish. Dress up every now and then to class! It’s a great way to make an excellent first impression. How would you modify it to your style? (Click the pic for more info.)

* This boyfriend blazer is one of my must-have basics. It can dressed up/down in so many ways. Plus, it keeps you warm in those freezing classrooms!
* To keep it casual, I paired it with a simple white tank, but a white tee or a printed tee would work as well. Dress it to your style.
* These khakis are super cute. You can wear the military cargo, if that’s your style, or chinos, cargos, or khaki capris. Add a brown belt!
* This Betsey Johnson necklace has such detail to dress up my plain white tank.
* I like my hair straight, like in the picture. This Garnier Sleek & Shine will keep hair glossy and sleek during those long lectures.
* My eyeshadow palette is soft, girly, and neutral. These classic sunnies hide my eyes when strolling on campus.
* A girly, soft pink gloss and toes round out my perfect back-to-school outfit!

What’s YOUR back to school/work outfit?

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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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