NOLAFW Construct Jewelry & Amanda deLeon Recap

by Meghan Wright

My favorite part of New Orleans Fashion week is getting to see first hand the local talent we have and the creativity of our local designers. It isn’t just about New York and Paris, all of those people had to come from somewhere and I’m convinced some of our locals will one day be there.  I was very excited to check out Construct Jewelry and Amanda deLeon’s presentations, and was definitely not disappointed.
(Click on the photos to make them larger and see more detail)

Construct Jewelry

So I might be a bit of a nerd for all things local, and I am certainly a lover of all things vintage. Construct Jewelry is a wonderful combination of those two elements. Designer Lauren Eckstein takes those beautiful, rare vintage pieces I love and revamps them to give them a more modern feel, but without losing their classic touch.

 The presentation itself was an interesting one. A lovely room at the soon-to-be art gallery, restaurant and music venue Cellar Door was decorated with Lauren’s pieces and very patient models wearing them. They sat posed, like breathing mannequins while we made our way around the room viewing the pieces. I like the way it was presented, we all got to see how the pieces could be worn, and how they actually looked on a person rather than laid out delicately on a table. They weren’t flying by in a runway setting demanding a second look.

Amanda deLeon

Amanda deLeon is not one to lose focus on detail. Her presentation was small, but it was extravagant. When one thinks of fringe, they typically think of the flapper style of the ’20s or the boho style of the ’60s and ’70s. Amanda took fringe and made some fantastic pieces that one would not expect. The fringe pants had me drooling, until during the show a box was opened and out came a be-fringed (new word y’all) ballerina. Thinking of the work that went into those pieces made my lazy brain start to ache.

It was all so delicate, there was creme wool and purple silk adorned with intricately placed sequins. It was not as dark as Amanda’s usual fair, but still took classic pieces and materials and sent them away on an acid trip. The glitter-coated riding caps showed exactly how she adds fantastic madness to polished pieces. As I’ve said a thousand times, I cannot wait for her next collection.

Here’s some detail on those amazing pants

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Summer School: Vintage Tips

Text by Meghan Wright

Vintage is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s a great way to find unique or one of a kind pieces. Whether you’re scouring through the racks at your favorite thrift store, or browsing a cute boutique, here are some tips to help you better understand your vintage shopping experience.

Is it Vintage?
Pieces from the 1940s to the early 1990s are vintage. Anything older is antique, anything newer is contemporary
{editors note: I’ve always considered vintage to be 30 years old, thus placing 80s and 90s attire in the retro category.  However it seems everyone has a different opinion on what’s truly vintage these days.}

What decade is it?
With the way trends and styles come back, the best way to determine if an item is actually vintage is the construction of the garment. I’ve seen some amazing crochet dresses, that if it weren’t for the contemporary tag, would appear to be straight from the early ’70s. Once you’ve determined that a piece is vintage, the best way to know what decade is to simply study up on the styles of previous decades.

Here are some tips on determining true vintage and what decade:

  •  Clothing didn’t have washing instructions on the tags until the 1970s. This makes it particularly easy to discern whether an item is from the ’60s or ’70s, as certain styles were very similar in those decades. 
  • Clothing from the ’60s and earlier will often have a metal zipper. Most clothing is now made with plastic zippers, or nice metal zippers. Vintage metal zippers are rough and slightly thicker than modern zippers.
  • Earlier pieces will sometimes have buttons instead of zippers, but they’ll always have one of the two. Pullover dresses with elastic waists didn’t come about until the ’70s.
  • In the ’60s and earlier, tags weren’t as mass produced as they are today. The tag on the garment will typically be a rectangular shape, with only the brand name and sometimes a location.
  •  Let the different patterns and prints help you identify what decade the item is from. For example: Light florals, muted colors, polka dots, pin dots and checkered patterns were common in the ’40s and ’50s. Color blocking, bigger, brighter florals, paisley and geometric prints were common for the ’60s and ’70s. Neons, animal prints, geometric prints (again) were common in the 80′s. Darker florals, ditsy florals and plaid were common in the 90′s.
A tag from a 1950s era dress

Where to get it:
Thrift stores are always a great place to search for vintage, though you’ll mostly find pieces from the ’70s – ’90s. Consignment shops and vintage stores are an excellent place to find rare pieces in good to excellent condition. They are of course a bit pricier, but you’ll almost always find a treasure.

Keep up with local estate sales. Some of the most amazing pieces I’ve come across were from estate sales. You can also find great vintage jewelry at flea markets.

Then of course, there is online vintage shopping. eBay and Etsy are two great places for vintage. Two things to remember: Some retailers will label an item “vintage” when it actually a contemporary reproduction. Pay attention to the item’s photos and details. Secondly, vintage sizes are drastically different from modern sizes. You may be a size 6 now, but that size 16 dress from the 1950s might fit you perfectly. Measure yourself and pay close attention to the measurements listed in the item’s description. If there aren’t any, ask the seller to measure the garment for you. Never rely on the tag’s size.

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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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Friend – Menswear on Magazine Street

Text and images by Meghan Wright
A great menswear store is hard to come by, not impossible, just not as common as womenswear boutiques. Friend opened up on Magazine St. back in February and they are going strong. 
 The style is casual and modern, with brands like Shades of Grey, Saturdays Surf NYC,  Reyn Spooner, and Vanishing Elephant. They also have shoes from Rivieras, sunglasses by Super, and a great selection of men’s fragrances from Eau d’Italie. 
The look of the store is very clean and classic. The plants, antler keychains, and vintage decor set amidst the light blue walls and wooden shelves give the shop a rustic edge. Support a local business, and do yourself a favor by checking it out.
2115 Magazine Street
Open every except Tuesday from 11am – 6pm
 (504) 218-4214
Also, check them out on Facebook
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NOLA Fashion Week Recap

Much thanks to Meghan for covering most of fashion week while I was out of town. She took a ton of photos, check them out on the Slow Southern Style Facebook page.

Let me just start by saying, as a first time NOLA Fashion Week-er, that it was fantastic. It’s great to see so much local talent, and witness the best of New Orleans’ fashion scene. I was able to attend 7 of the presentations, and have a little recap of each.

Libellule – Libellule was short, sweet, and very chic. There were lovely gold, champagne and pewter shades throughout with details like sequins and leaf appliques that gave it all extra polish. The whole feel to me was “modern goddess.”

bySmith – Vibrant, shiny color was prominent at bySmith. Jewel tones and fantastic patterns helped bring out a psychadelic 70’s feel. The tailoring and style of the garments were very young and up-to-date. I’m a huge fan of an old meets new kind of style. 

Loretta Jane – Loretta Jane was sweet and pretty, easy to wear, and another throwback to a more retro style. New Orleans loves its 50’s Pinup fashion; the high-waisted crop pants, telephone prints, and button-front dresses did not disappoint. 


Andrea Loest – Andrea Loest definitely let her creative side take over with her newest collection. The colors were classic pinks, black, and nudes. The construction was the main feature with allover stitching and patchwork fabrics. 

Amanda deLeon – Amanda deLeon drew inspiration from the darker side of New Orleans culture. Blood red leather and studs, giant mausoleum prints, and plenty of crosses made up the gorgeously dark collection.

Matthew Arthur – Matthew Arthur’s collection was all about modern simplicity and texture. There were muted shades of black, grey and white. All of the pieces were classic pieces, somewhat re-imagined.

Cavortress – We can’t forget about swimwear and Julie Wheat certainly has not. The entire collection was fun, as swimwear should be. The colors were bright and the prints were perfect. There were also some pleated cover-ups reminiscent of those popular in the ’70s.

All photos and text by Meghan Wright


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Nashville Fashion Week: Recently Confirmed Designers

With NYC Fashion Week long gone, other cities fashion weeks are fast approaching. Three more designers have been confirmed for Nashville Fashion Week, which will be March 20-24.

Traver Rains, formerly of Heatherette now has his own brand, T.Rains. His newest line, which is inspired by his Western roots will show Tuesday March 20 at Marathon Music Works.


 With her line already in stores around the World, Hungarian designer Eva Franco has made a name for herself with her Los Angeles based company. She will be presenting on Monday March 21 at Marathon Music Works.

Eva Franco

Versace Collection began in 1991 as a men’s only line, but expanded to women in 2009.  On Friday March 23 in Centennial Park, both collections will be presented by Nashville’s local clothier, Levy’s.

Versace Collection

Versace Collection

In addition to this exciting lineup, Nashville Fashion Week, an emerging designer showcase is set to highlight some of the best local and regional designers that the south has to offer.

-Meghan Wright, with additional commentary by Christy Lorio

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Never Too Retro: A Girl Is a Gun

New Orleans is no stranger to boutiques featuring vintage-inspired clothing, and the most recent shop to join those ranks is A Girl Is a Gun.

The store has an cool, modern vibe with Pop Art inspired accents. The clothing has a very sixties feel- think Mad Men meets Pulp Magazines. Owner Patricia Steere stocks separates from Collectif, gorgeous dresses from rockabilly staple lines such as Bettie Page and Stop Staring, jewelry from Tarina Tarantino and Eldorado Club, and even custom shop tees for around $30.

 Check them out on Facebook, and on their website!

A Girl Is a Gun
Open seven days 11AM-7PM
6010 Magazine Street
(504) 891-GIRL

-Meghan Wright
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Meet The Staff

By now you’ve probably noticed a few new voices on the site.  Slow Southern Style brought on six great interns this past January, and it’s been  fun to watch them settle into their roles here. Click through the page break to meet Amber, Brandy, Elizabeth, JelLyn, Meghan, and Miranda.  And don’t forget to click on their names to see what they’ve written so far!

I’m a Southern girl, bred and buttered. I have bounced around the region and most recently landed in lovely Louisiana. I have had an eye for fashion and a flair for the dramatic since I began putting on runway shows in my hallway at age 6. Film comes second to fashion for me, and often I find my style is influenced by what I’ve watched recently.

My name is  Miranda Humphrey and  I am not a native to the South, but I am definitely a local with ancestral roots. In fact I wouldn’t consider myself native to anywhere being that I grew up in the Air Force. I did however spend most of my youth in California and Nevada with some of my 20’s living throughout the Northwest before settling in Louisiana. 
My personal gumbo recipe is  a deep roux of culture and anthropology, then add unconventionality, appetite, adventure, and a dash of esoteric.  I’m definitely at home in New Orleans.
I don’t discriminate between Earth Tones and Day-Glo, High Life’s or French 75’s.
I love architecture in all things; clothes, buildings, music, food, words…
Anthony Bourdain and Anna Wintour are my personal heroes.
I’ve come to understand New Orleans and the South, as an infinite muse as well as a pragmatist’s achilles heel.
If I had to pick my last meal on Earth, it would be eggs benedict traditional, a heaping side of jumbo lump crab meat, and a giant mimosa.
My favorite patron saint is the New Orleans Saints. Who Dat!

Hi, I’m Amber!
A new homeowner and remodeler in the Garden District. A design lover and fashion style junkie. I have a love for textiles and great design..and New Orleans culture where I’m born and raised.
Here’s the A to Z of everything about me!
A. Age: 26
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: vaccuming the rugs
E. Essential start to your day: H2O or grapefruit juice and my blogroll
F. Favorite color: Coral
G. Gold or Silver: I’m really loving gilver
H. Height: 5’3
I. Instruments you play: I can snap my toes to the beat of anything.
J. Job title: intern, coordinator, administrator, blogger, designer
K. Kids: three… Gigi a Cairn Terrier, Marley a Pit Lab Mix, and King Louie a Great Dane mix
L. Live: New Orleans, LA  – Garden District
M. Mother’s name: Brenda Ann
N. Nicknames: A Train, Toodah, Gal
O. Overnight hospital stays: yes when I was younger
P. Pet peeves: when I’m walking down the street and my purse makes my skirt or dress rise… so annoying
Q. Quote from a movie: “(whistles) Engine room! Where the hell’s my drink?” Dudley Moore as Arthur
R. Right or left handed: Rightie
S. Siblings: three brothers
T. Tattoos: a Saints Fleur de Lis i got a few days after Hurricane Katrina
U. Underwear: worn most of the time
V. Vegetable you hate: Pimento ugh!
W. What makes you run late: Not looking at the clock
X. X-Rays you’ve had: teeth a bunch, arm twice, wrist twice, hand once, ankle 2 times, knee once… I hope that’s all.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I cook a big pot of Chili when I go to my familys ranch in Amite. I’m also awesome at toast.
Z. Zoo animal: much rather the song but I guess da elepants axt me too. They’re my fav!

Well hi there darlin’! 
My name is Je’Llyn Morvant but many of the folks closest to me call me mama J. 
I’m a homegrown southern gal born and raised in Cajun Country. I spent my 20’s on the west coast in southern California where I studied fashion design, the beach, and late nights. I drove the cross country trip back to the bayou in my volkswagen van 8 months pregnant for my first, a bright, creative and motherly young lady bursting with attitude, Kaya Ruth. Though my journey in southern California may have not been complete my destiny cleared me a new path back home. 
I am a wife to a wonderful young man and a mother to two beautiful, strong spirited young children. For me it is indeed truth that inspiration is a driving force. I have a passion to create. Something. Anything. Inspiration motivates my day and my decisions. Inspiration is to my spirit what air is to my lungs, what blood is to my heart. The blog world is a nouveau way for me to collect my thoughts, my inspirations and our happenings. I began my virtual existence when my youngest, a baby boy whom we named Sage Francis, was only 6 months old or so. We lived in a much smaller space then and the opportunity to spread out my supplies to work with jewels, metal, or cloth were near null. I was yearning for an outlet. Surfing the internet was an easy, choke hazard free escape with loads of inspiration lurking behind each click. I was going deeper and deeper into the abyss of visual inspiration while reading of other mothers and creators documenting their experiences, their inspirations and telling of their passions. I one day decided to create my own ‘journal’. My very own virtual place that stands as a reminder of where I have been and where I wish to go. A place that catalogs who I am today that I can reflect on tomorrow. A place that just may inspire another bohemian spirit juggling the challenges of motherhood and family while trying to nurture her own soul. 
Today is a new day. I have studio space to create and I am getting lots done, of course never enough, but lots none the less. I am a professional juggler, trying to accomplish many things at once always being distracted and pulled from the task at hand. But I am happy (most of the time). I am expressing myself creatively and I am getting involved with more things that help my spirit feel accomplished and up-to-good. Conquering some of my silly fears, letting go of what others may think and truly being myself. Discovering who that is exactly more each day. 
I am certainly pleased to be a part of Slow Southern Style and to introduce Lafayette to its stylish southern scene. We here Cajuns have a lot to show off. An unconventional aesthetic rich with culture and intrigue. Small town girls (and boys) with big style.
you can find me at 

I grew up in a small town in South Louisiana. I can be found in New Orleans on the weekends. I am looking forward to soon becoming a fulltime New Orleans resident. I am a student at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I love shopping even I spend no money. I someday hope to open my own boutique. I love exploring New Orleans and finding new places to shop and eat. I am excited to begin blogging with Christy and discovering all the amazing talent around New Orleans and meeting new people.

I’m a college student with a major in English and International Studies.  I spent my junior year studying French abroad in Angers, France, and during that year I ate as many chocolate eclairs as possible.  A few things that I enjoy doing include baking cupcakes, reading books, and taking ballroom dancing lessons.  While I may not be the typical girl you might expect to be interested in fashion since my entire wardrobe fits comfortably in my tiny closet and I certainly never look like a runway model, I love the way that style is a form of personal expression.  At Slow Southern Style I’m looking forward to combining my interests in fashion and writing.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Valentine’s Day at Feet First

Valentine’s Day is coming up and Feet First has something for all you single gals out there. Instead of spending the evening alone, treat yourself to  complimentary champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries courtesy of Lolli’s Chocolates, and king cake while being surrounded by fabulous footwear.  Guests will enjoy a Kay-la Handbags trunk show, and 1/2 off the 610 Stompers will be there to sell their calendars at 50% off the normal price. There will also be door prizes, a scavenger hunt, and possibly some smokin’ hot special guests.
Tuesday, February 14
5pm – 9pm
4119 Magazine St.

Meghan Wright
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Trend Alert: Art Deco Jewelry

Many aspects of 1920’s style have been making a comeback, including Art Deco jewelry. Art Deco was a much more modern style that differentiated itself from the intricate and flowy Art Nouveau of previous decades. Inspired by the paintings of Tamara de Limpicka and the architecture of William Van Allen (who designed the Chrysler Building), the jewelry gives off a vibe of modern elegance. With new collections from Pieces, House of Harlow and Kenneth Jay Lane, Art Deco has been given a very chic twist. 

Clockwise from top left:
Ring – House of Harlow
Necklace – Pieces
Earrings – Tarina Tarantino
Ring – Kenneth Jay Lane
Necklace – TopShop
Earrings – Forever 21
Cuff – Ranjana Khan

So which is your favorite piece? 
Are you excited about this trend?

Meghan Wright
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style