Category Archives: interviews

It’s New Orleans Happy Hour: Days of Wine and Meatballs

Last week I was asked to be a guest on It’s New Orleans, an online radio station with a slew of interesting programs. Every week they do a show called Happy Hour that highlights intriguing people in the city.  I had a lot of fun talking about Marrero (ahh suburbia), Slow Southern Style, and my long standing love for fashion.  I also played flute in front of an audience for the first time in about 9 years- that’s what I get for listing it as a hobby in my bio. I’ve already picked apart my 1.5 minute performance and noted every single flaw, but you be the judge. Listen to the show online by clicking here.

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Thread & Crescent: An Interview With Mitzi Guidry

by JeLlyn Morvant

“Our eyes see beauty in simplicity and modesty and we highly value quality over quantity in every aspect of our lives. All our products share the common thread of craft.”

the summer uniform

‘Thread & Crescent is a New Orleans based lifestyle brand created by brother & sister, Donovan & Mitzi Guidry.’ Just a few clicks around their online boutique and their passion for quality and craftsmanship becomes evident. Mitzi’s favorite quote sums up her vision quite well:

 “Because there is complexity in purity, Elegance in plainness, Intricacy in streamlining, Richness in reduction, Depth in minimalism, Surprise in uniformity, Innovation in re-use, Cool in the avoidance of cool, And there is true sophistication in simplicity”  -MUJI brand philosophy



Mitzi currently resides in Los Angeles, where she’s stayed since studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She now co-owns and operates Los Angeles Leather Craft, a private label leather manufacturer “offering a complete product development service from raw material sourcing & sampling to production & quality management‘.”  Having worked alongside skilled and experienced professionals before their previous employer closed its doors leaving all of them unemployed. Mitzi and her team put forth the effort to source their raw supplies from the USA, while keeping the manufacturing talent known to L.A. alive and well. Using this misfortune as an opportunity, the workers come together to create Los Angeles Leather Craft. Goodness happens with vision, heart, passion and bravery. This is Mitzi Guidry ya’ll, born and bred in Louisiana and half of the whole of Thread & Crescent.
you can find this picture and a full article on LAL here
What is your earliest memory of having an interest in fashion?
Growing up in a small town in South Louisiana, we didn’t have a lot of shopping options so my mom would commission an elderly woman in our neighborhood, Mrs. Costen, who was an amazing seamstress to make a lot of our special occasion outfits. Everything from my First Communion dress to my high school dance dresses were made by Mrs. Costen. My mom always let me choose fabrics and as I got older I actually designed these dresses and Mrs Costen would put them together. I was always fascinated by her sewing room tools and the whole process i.e. taking measurements, having fittings and then the idea materializes into something that you wear and feel special in.

Tell us a little something unexpected about yourself in one sentence.
My dream is to be an elementary school Home Ec teacher.

What inspired the idea for Thread & Crescent? When and how did it all begin?
Thread & Crescent has been a dream for my brother and I for maybe 10 years. We’re both obsessed with curation, design, art and home life. We’ve spent hundreds of hours talking about perfect rooms and perfect scenarios. Thread & Crescent is that perfect world where we get to package a lifestyle with finds and creations we love and are inspired to share.

What’s one of your favorite things to do and places to visit when you are back home in New Orleans?
I love music on the patio at Bacchanal in the Bywater. Its a great spot I like to take my west coast friends to and the food is remarkable!http://www.bacchanalwine.com/

How about sharing a little advice with our southern readers, maybe something beneficial you’ve learned along your way that has helped you get where you are today.
Building a network is probably one of the most important things I’ve learned. More than half of the work I get or products I sell come from a personal connection. In exchange I share my resources with friends and colleagues. Now with the internet the playing field is even and everyone has access to the same resources so that part has become easier. Using these tools to foster relationships is what takes effort but that’s where the real payoff can be.
Now available at threadandcrescent.com with The Summer Uniform and The Perfect Belt you can find the Bayou Bohemian indigo dyed hemp tent tank and dress, along with many beautiful items inspired by simplicity and travel being both elegant and comfortable. 

A fellow Lafayette native, a friend, a maker. Mitzi and I were introduced many years ago by some of my oldest, closest childhood friends. Oddly enough our meeting was in sunny San Diego, no where near our roots. Since she and I shared a strong bond with the same very special folk, it only made sense that we too would share a friendship. We met when she was in town visiting mutual friends, who along with me lived there at the time, so our visits were always short but intimate and we always had our love of fashion in common.  Each one of us is on our own path in the industry, not expecting that we would one day naturally collide. And here we are today.
Intricate, streamlined, rich, minimal, innovative, local…Thread & Crescent!
Thank you Mitzi!
From one southern belle to another,
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Designer Interview: Lia Cinquegrano of Thomas IV

Text by Meghan Wright

I had the fantastic pleasure of interviewing Lia Cinquegrano, the creator and designer of handbag line Thomas IV. The Florida native (now in Brooklyn) has an interesting design aesthetic and makes wonderful use of different fabrics, textures, and patterns.

Photo c/o Thomas IV
 – Where did you get the name “Thomas IV?”

I usurped the family first name. My brother is Thomas Cinquegrano III, so I stole Thomas IV and passed it down to my handbag line

– I love your mixture of bold prints, colors and fabrics. Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes for the idea of using inherently colorful materials with little to no hardware. I use fabrics from Guatemala and India as well as recognizable graphic patterns like houndstooth. I like for all of the bags to be very relaxed, casual and quirky. They are a true reflection of my personality and represent how I feel about fashion. I do not take fashion seriously. I think all design should be clever and have a sense of humor. I am attracted to colors and patterns and mixed media. I wanted the bags to feel like they have a personality of their own and make a statement.

Photo c/o Thomas IV

– Why do you think it is more beneficial to you as a designer and to your product to have all of your pieces made locally? 
As a small and young designer who studied fashion design, I believe using the industry available in my home-city is super important.  I want to have a relationship with the people executing my designs. I want to be able to oversee the process any day of the week. I want to explain my ideas face to face with the technicians and I want to support my local economy and the industry that is available for people like me. I need to use factories that support small designers and are willing to forfeit high minimums. Using these factories benefits me because I am gaining a real hands-on education which in turn helps with my design process. When I can see how something is made and understand the possibilities of manufacturing, I can better design a product.

– Where did you get your start, and why did you choose to design bags? 

I studied fashion design at Rhode Island School of Design. I graduated in 2005 and moved to NYC in 2006. When I moved here I began working for womenswear designer Nanette Lepore designing clothes. I still work for her designing clothing, shoes and handbags. She manufactures 80% of her garments within a 5-block radius of her west 35th st. design studio. I used to walk to each factory to oversee the production of her sample garments. I gained an appreciation for the garment industry in New York which is why I am happy to use local manufacturers as well.

About 2 years ago I was fortunate enough to have access to a giant studio space in a former Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn.  Each classroom was rented out to artists, mostly RISD grads, who used the space as studios. When I first rented my studio I was not sure what I wanted to make. In addition to working for Nanette, I also had side projects designing costumes for music videos and theater, but having the studio space meant I had to find my own outlet. I had no boss or director or collaborator. I wanted to flush out my own design ideas so I started by patching together old printed leather jackets and turning them into bags. Then I started making silhouettes from scratch trying to come up w/ innovative ways to incorporate the functional elements of a handbag into the design with out using a lot of metal. For example, a bag must have a handle or a strap, it has to close and those elements have to be working together in a harmonious way so I tried to really think about signature ways to attach a strap or make an interesting closure. For Spring 2011 I made my first collection which consisted of 3 styles. I took photos of the samples at my brother’s loft and started sending my look book out to buyers. Barneys Co-op and Steven Alan picked up the line. I have now just designed my 4th collection for Fall 2012.
Photo c/o Thomas IV

– Do you have any advice for anyone who aspires to be a designer or work in the fashion industry?
I think it is important to honestly represent yourself. If you design something that you think is great and it is accurate representation of yourself and your personality than you have a recipe for success. I think it is important to recognize design gaps in the industry and fill them naturally with your ideas. I am still learning so much myself. I think quality control is extremely important as well as research within design and technical execution. I think it is important to spend time developing your ideas and testing them out before releasing them.

All photos are from Thomas IV’s Fall 2012 collection. 
Lia’s blog: Phuck Fashion
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Twila’s Vintage Style

Lafayette here again!
As I grow to understand what I feel worth mentioning here about southern style I find myself drawn to expressing the eclectic influence of mixing up the new items boundlessly available to us with those sometimes hidden treasures that have been around for generations, for decades. Bits and pieces with roots to the past that have a story to tell. Adding vintage to your style is also a great way to ensure your look is original and won’t be found on the gal at the next table.
So here is a young belle with wonderful style infused with vintage, meet Miss Twila of twilasvintageclothing.com.

She shows great success in the mixing of classic elements with eclectic, new with old. 
Just a little visit to her blog and her etsy shop is evidence enough. Twila is a collector of vintage, a fashion curator. She studied fashion design at ULL, she is the founder of the Arts and Fleas here in Lafayette held on the second Saturday of each month in conjunction with downtown’s Artwalk and she will soon be on her way to Brooklyn to find her next ‘big thing’.
Her style is original, distinct and a great representation of her personality. She makes a bold statement of individuality with casual flare.  Even if her clothing or accessories may not be the simplest, for instance sequins and layers of uniquely different necklaces, her comfortable demeanor and natural spirit make it appear casual and spontaneous.  She wears her style choices effortlessly and confidently. I believe this is something to be admired when looking for inspiration to express ourselves through style.  And ones style is certainly an expression of themselves.  Here’s to happy dressing, southern style!

So when did you know that fashion was ‘your thing’?

I have always been interested in fashion, styling and crafts. But it wasnt until after working a professional job in my degree field that I decided to return to school to make fashion my career.

What inspires you most and gets ‘your heart racing’?

Tons of things inspire me. I love looking at street style blogs and other fashion blogs..seeing how ppl put things together every day. Of course fashion runways inspire me as well.

What sparked your interest in vintage?
I just love how vintage is usually a one of a kind piece and unique compared to what is on the rack at that time. It is also interesting thinking of all those that have worn it before and all the different parties that vintage dress has been to.

What is your favorite article of clothing and your favorite accessory right now?

gosh…I have so many favorites right now. Casually, I am about the very oversized top with tons of vintage necklaces, skinnies tucked into wool socks and my red heeled booties. If its extra chilly I will throw on my army green parka. For dressy nights, my favorite pieces would be sequin dresses.


If you jumped out of bed late for an appointment what would you throw on to get yourself out the door in style? and how would you wear your hair?

I would probably wear the oversized top with skinnies tucked into wool socks, tons of vintage necklaces or bracelets and red boots ensemble. Lately, I am in a phase of wearing my hair down parted down the middle with my natural wave which is funny bc growing up I would never ever wear my hair down.

What would you declare the next growing trend that we are going to see more of?

Neon accents are big right now and its a little hard for me to adapt to bc Im not much of a bright colored girl. Another one is floral skinny pants and wide leg pants which Im loving right now

Why Brooklyn?

I’m ready for a new adventure!

I’m sure the big apple will suit her well and I am looking forward to seeing what she brings back down south when she one day ventures home.  Someone once told me on one of my many plane rides back and forth from southern California that when your from Louisiana we almost always come back.  Now I can’t say that is truth for all but it certainly was for me.
From one southern gal to another,
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Gator Heads and Oyster Shells courtesy of Half Shell Productions

If you’re still looking for something to complete your Mardi Gras costume (or perhaps you haven’t even started on it yet), Halfshell Productions may have your solution.  Tracy Hamlin in NOLA offers a selection of appropriately quirky Mardi Gras headdresses and bustiers.  Like all good Mardi Gras costumes, Tracy’s designs feature plenty of feathers and beads as well as some more unconventional materials.
Photo courtesy of Half Shell Productions

Here’s a bit from Tracy herself about her unique offerings.
You mentioned in your Etsy shop profile that you started making headdresses for the 2011 Mardi Gras season.  What prompted this?
Costuming is a New Orleans tradition. Sometimes it only takes one item:  a bustier, headdress or top hat, to begin the whole look and feel of a costume. That’s how it was for me. I made a Cajun Carmen Headdress, and then a feathered bustier, to march with Mondo Kayo on Fat Tuesday of 2011. I had so much fun wearing the outfit that I wanted to offer that one piece of “the look” that fires one’s creative process. 
 
Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
 
My designs use local items like preserved alligator heads, feathers, king cake babies and nutria pelts because people in Louisiana have a connection to them.  I designed and wore the nutria skirt and Gator Bustier to the Righteous Fur Fashion Show in Lafayette in October. Nutria pelts are so lovely to work with. The fur is extremely soft, and I try to incorporate it into my designs as much as possible
Photo courtesy of Half Shell Productions


You use so many different elements in your creations.  How do you choose the materials for each design?
 I sold a Gator Headdress to someone in Bulgaria.  Through etsy.com, I have sold nationally and internationally, so obviously other cultures have connections to the designs, as well. I also like the look of layers: feathers in background and alligator heads and other items in the foreground. I do have some standard designs, but sometimes, I start with a number of items and put them together in a totally different pattern which creates a new design. At times, I have no idea how a piece is going to end up. Adding and subtracting items until it feels just right. I have to keep materials on hand so they can be incorporated into designs. That means that I have to keep collecting and upgrading the materials that I work with.

 
What are your plans for Halfshell Productions after the 2012 Mardis Gras season ends?  
I love what I am doing right now.  My 2012 plans include creating new designs, working with new materials, and going to more markets to expand my client base.
If you need still some unique Mardi Gras attire or if you’re just interested in taking a look at some of her designs, be sure to check out Tracy Hamlin at Halfshell Productions on etsy.
Photo courtesy of Half Shell Productions


Elizabeth McNair

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What I Wore: Jangueando con Lianamar

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of being a guest on Lianamar Davila Sanabria’s radio show, Jangueando con Liamar. This bilingual show comes on every Thursday at 7:00pm and discusses a wide variety of topics, including a biweekly NOLA Eats dining segment from my friend Leslie Almeida.

Handled the mic like a pro…maybe

This past week I was on the show to talk “shop” about Slow Southern Style, my wardrobe consulting business Slow Southern Styling, my full time job at Buffalo Exchange and we even managed to squeeze in what to wear on New Year’s Eve. Hemline Boutique in the French Quarter was nice enough to play host, which made chatting about fashion on live radio a breeze. The complimentary cocktails from Kru Vodka didn’t hurt either.

See all of the photos from the night on the Jangueando con Lianamar Facebook page and listen to the show by clicking below.

Listen to internet radio with JangueandoConLianamar on Blog Talk Radio

Eyeing up the studded Sam Edelman loafers w/ host Lianamar

The gaggle of girls (and one guy) who were guests on the show
my outfit details:
cardigan, Coco Bourgeoisie
necklace, LF
bone and horn bracelet, c/o Macy’s Heart of Haiti
sheer blouse, American Apparel via Buffalo Exchange
skirt, Kenzie via Buffalo Exchange
thigh high socks, American Apparel via Buffalo Exchange
platform wedges, Buffalo Exchange
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Interview: Kathryn Wilson left me at the Altar

 Clothing designer Kathryn Wilson contacted me about her clothing line Altar, made here in New Orleans. Each of her designs are named after the streets of New Orleans and are reconstructed primarily from vintage materials. She’s offering Slow Southern Style readers 15% off at her Etsy store with coupon code SLOWSOUTHERNSTYLE15. Learn more about Altar clothing by reading the interview below and see what inspires Ryn.

SALE Burnt Orange Textured Satin Top with Sash size small medium - Calliope

Describe the Altar clientele. What type of woman would be drawn to your designs?
A woman with a unique sense of style who wants to appear creative and put together at the same time. Someone who is not afraid to reveal their dark side, but in a subtle way. She reveres their clothing as a personal statement and is confident and sexy inside and out. I think the clothing hints at these elements while the woman emphasizes it in her own personal way.

How does the South, and New Orleans in particular, influence your work?
New orleans seduced me the first time I visited on a short trip many years ago. There is a magic about this city that I’ve never felt anywhere else. I was so excited when I got into grad school here a year and a half ago, because the thought of immersing myself in NOLA was thrilling. There is a thriving art and fashion scene which provides endless inspiration and if I have a lack of ideas I just need to step out my door and take it all in.
For fashion specifically, I am drawn to the lace and frills aesthetic of the south. The white linens and loose gauzy materials capture my imagination. I love to counter that innocence and airiness with a bit of black leather. It’s like the swamp to me, absolute breathtaking beauty to look at, but with a presence of great danger. 
Euphrosine Lace Blouse with Bow Tie and Vintage Buttons XS/S/M/L/XL made to order
Aside from fashion design what are some of your other interests and hobbies?
I am a photographer and video maker, currently midway through the MFA program at UNO. I pretty much spend all of my time working on or researching my clothing designs or my photo/video projects. The time spent researching is some of my favorite because it involves going to galleries, reading books, watching films and talking to other inspiring artists. I also count traveling as research because every time I do I am guaranteed to come home with a new vision and a sketchbook full of notes.
Joliet - Black gray satin lace ballet slip dress tutu XS/S/M/L/XL made to order
 What does the future hold for you?
I have a few possible paths. When I get my degree I plan to apply for photography/art teaching positions. I hope to stay in New Orleans, but I’m open to change. I am also excited about the possibility of attending artist residencies in the US or abroad. Something else that has been on my mind for a long time is moving back to Shanghai (I lived there for a short period in 2008). I’d love to get a studio there to continue the Altar business full time while also working on my other art endeavors. Shanghai is so inspiring and the fabric markets are orgasmic. I definitely need to do that at some point in the future.

Keep up with Ryn by reading her blog or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

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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maison orleans

Here in New Orleans there is a reason ghost tours are so popular with tourists. This city definitely has a dark side, one that we embrace whole heartedly. From our beautiful cemeteries to tales of Jean-Lafitte everyone loves a sinister story. Janelle of Maison Orleans has managed to capture this mood with her line of jewelry inspired by her deep love of the dark.


 


Your jewelry certainly has a dark feel to it with a lot of ocean references. Describe Maison Orleans and what your aesthetic is.
I think the atmosphere of New Orleans lends itself to dark expression. I’ve been drawn to both the mysteries of this city and the mysteries of the ocean for as long as I can remember. There’s a certain romance to it, even in our beautiful cemeteries. Where else is a funeral celebrated with dancing and jazz music? As to the ocean, who hasn’t dreamed of sailing the high seas as a pirate or discovering a long-lost shipwreck? My aesthetic might seem eclectic, but I design and create my pieces in the hopes that there is someone else out there who will see and feel that same sense of mystery.


definition of evil charm necklace with glass vial and handmade voodoo tarot charm


How does living in New Orleans help you with your design inspirations?

There is no greater city in the world for artistic inspiration. If you spend even a few hours watching people flow through the French Quarter or travel the river, or walk by the street artists and performers, you can’t help but feel the uniqueness of the culture. Even the architecture is fascinating.



Marie Laveau Voodoo Charm necklace with hand stamped sterling silver accents


Aside from jewelry what are your hobbies?
3. I also paint and make clothing (which will hopefully make it into my shop), and I could spend weeks wandering flea markets and thrift shops. I really love to take something “discarded” and turn it into something beautiful, or at least something interesting!


gulf oyster shell with bronze swarovski pearl
Any big plans in the future?

I never want the kind of success that would mean I couldn’t personally make every single piece I offer. I added Maison Orleans as an avenue for pieces that are close to my heart rather than commercial, and I’m content to continue. In a perfect world, I would share a retail space in the city, mainly for the direct contact that it would provide.


Altered Bone Dia de los Muertos Pendant
Define southern style.


Southern style, to me, is exaggerated in every sense. Whether it’s an elaborate chandelier, a monster truck, a 7-course meal, a mass of second liners, big hair, or unique jewelry, the South does what it does on a big scale, and I love every minute:)


Janelle sells her jewelry in the Maison Orleans Etsy shop.

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Bayou Salvage


When I first started this blog I instantly knew that I wanted to showcase talented locals producing lovely, well made clothing and accessories.  Kerry Fitts of Bayou Salvage is one of these individuals. She was even sought out by Anthroplogie and her work can be purchased at the New Orleans store. Her style is “southern gothic” and no one but Kerry could describe her aesthetic better:

“Rust. Sweat. Stormy nights. Sweet Tea on the front porch. Whisky out back. House proud.Cypress moss swinging from branches.Old leather. Family secrets. Muddy back roads. Torn linen.Tent revivals. In the deep south,our atmosphere is our destiny. Whether its the heat,water,wind or hurricanes..our unique cultural experience dictates the way in which we live and how our effects survive. It is our reckoning. My work appeals to those who understand the deep South no matter who or where they are.”


I’ve followed your work for a while and love it! Tell Slow Southern Style readers a little bit about what you do. 
I recreate the stories of the Southern women that live in my head through clothing and accessories. They are women that are resourceful like Scarlett O Hara grabbing the green velvet curtains to make the dress that makes Rhett Butler fall in love her. I grab the curtains all the time!


French Market Bag ... charcoal black ruffle tote from down de bayou
French Market Bag

Your designs have a definite “salvaged” feel to them and a romantic, dark undertone. Aside from New Orleans what else inspires your designs? 
I was born and raised in  Faulkner Country.  Many of the folks in my town were written about by old Bill and other writers. Larry Brown was my fireman. Dogs still sleep in the streets. Its sort of a lowdown magical lunatic bin. Some people say tellin stories is in the water. I think it in the whiskey myself- the whiskey one must drink because there’s nothing to do out there. We romanticize it to make sense out of the pieces or at least what happened the night before. I just tell my stories with fabric, found objects and a bit of make do.

Sunny Came Home...Rococo Tuxedo Seersucker Ruffle Dress  from down de bayou fits all s m l xl plus
Rococo tuxedo dress

You recently were approached by Anthropologie to design some pieces for the New Orleans store. What was your experience like working with them?
 
They decided to highlight local artists and designers to promote the region. I feel very fortunate they liked my work. What an honor. 


Keep Calm and Carry on...Vintage Liberty of London Textile Cuffs
Vintage Libery of London textile cuffs

When you aren’t designing what other hobbies and activities do you enjoy?
 
I’ve been pretty busy these days but hanging with my hunting dogs, road trips and the latest mystery novel or nextflix thriller keeps me going.

Define southern style.  

Southern style to me embraces the languid geography of where we live- enveloped by water below, beside and around us. Southern style is as mysterious and winsome as the bayous and eddys of the Mississippi River- calm, murky or churning.It nods to history and looks forward. It is hopeful.


Bayou Bloomers rustic ruffle pantaloon in FRENCH VANILLA..S.M.L.PLUS.from down de bayou

Purchase Bayou Salvage at the following places.

Online:

Bayou Salvage

New Orleans, Louisiana:



West Columbia, South Carolina:






  
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