Mardi Gras 2016

spray painted shoesThomas FewerChristy LorioMardi Gras 2016Mardi Gras costumesWell that was fun.

Mardi Gras 2016 came and went. If you follow me on Instagram then you know I’m a very busy lady during carnival season. I marched with the Gris Gris Strut Marching Band again this year.  My friend Missy (flag corps) said it best: “This is like having a part-time job.” The band started practicing before Christmas, with the bulk of rehearsals in the weeks leading up to carnival. Then there are the parades. I marched in five of them this year, which was great fun but also physically and mentally draining. Walking at a snail’s pace across half the city while playing an instrument, coupled with the intense stimulus of thousands of eyeballs on you, takes its toll. Needless to say, it’s bittersweet that marching season has come to an end.

Oh yea, so y’all wanna talk about these costumes? This was the first time in three years that I didn’t have to balance Mardi Gras with school, which meant I had more time to get busy with the details. I think the official appliqué count was 28– all hand stitched by yours truly. And that’s not counting all of the sequin and feather trim work.  I started on our costumes a month ago, but as usual Lundi Gras night was spent at home with a needle and thread. Thomas was on shoe duty this year, and he did a great job dazzling up his pair of thrift store penny loafers.

After sifting through multiple costume boxes (we have enough to practically open our own costume store) to pull out my trust metallic gold body suit, I’m going to sit down after Ash Wednesday and put my old retail management skills to use. Each box is getting an inventory sheet, sorted by themes and color schemes. Our wigs (I lost count years ago) will get stored in their own separate box. A true #MardiGrasProblems situation.

January, where did you go?

Oh. My. Goodness. January whipped past me. The fall semester started, I blinked, and now we’re in the middle of Mardi Gras.

Celebrated my birthday last week at Balise. 

Good finds at my friends Rebecca and Charlé’s pop up at Miette.

Zag, you’re it. 

A book that I got hired to work on just got published. Pick up a copy at Octavia Books.

Zulu display at Lakeside Mall.

My girls were hippos in a past life. 

Vintage ride on Napoleon Avenue.

My view from Knights of Sparta this past Saturday night. 

All photos via my Instagram account. 
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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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Summer School: Sanforized

If you’ve ever wandered into a vintage shop, chances are you’ve seen a garment with the word “sanforized” proudly stitched into the label. First trademarked in the USA in the 1930s, sanforization is actually a way to treat fabric so that it doesn’t shrink, even after repeated laundering. I always equate the word with vintage apparel, yet the Sanforized company is still around today.

The process itself is rather fascinating. Fabric is fed through a special machine that dampens the cloth, then a cylinder presses a rubber band around another heated cylinder, which shrinks the the band. The treated cloth is sandwiched between the rubber band and the cylinder, which allows the fabric to expand and contract. The result? Fabric that doesn’t shrink during the manufacturing process. Textile mills can use the Sanforized trademark only if they comply to strict testing requirements. If a garment is comprised primarily of Sanforized material than it may be labeled as such. 

If you’d like to learn more, there’s a wealth of knowledge on the Sanforized website.

Original 1963 Sanforized ad

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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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KC Thomassie Designs

I’m usually down for a good runway show, but the amount of work  that goes into a 15 minute event gets lost in the excitement sometimes. Never satisfied with a perfunctory viewing, I need to handle the goodies to really appreciate the craftsmanship, especially when intricate handiwork is involved. After attending New Orleans’ RAW natural born artists show a few weeks ago at 12 Bar, I got up close and personal with some of the pieces that Kaci Thomassie sent down the catwalk for their inaugural showcase.

Kaci works with new and re-purposed materials, breathing life into vintage fabrics. Silk taffeta ruffles that once adorned a pillow are transformed into a slinky bolero, with the addition of chain necklaces accentuating the back. An old fashioned cameo turns into a clever necklace, juxtaposed with brown suede, crystals, and feathers. Her work maintains a sense of modernity yet retains a nod to the first half of the 20th century. The pieces aren’t necessarily practical, yet they escape being categorized as too precious for everyday wear.  Kaci is all about taking the fanciful and putting a touch of everyday wearability to her work.  After all, it’s New Orleans, and no one will look twice if you take to the streets in a cherry blossom wire headband.

For event photos go to the Slow Southern Style Facebook page but be sure to check out the rest of the collection here. To purchase, visit her Etsy shop.

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Exclusive Photoshoot: Blue Dream Vintage Part 2

If you didn’t catch the first part of this photo shoot last week you can see it here. 

 Inside of Revival Outpost there’s a store within a store. Blue Dream Vintage complements the rest of the inventory but stands alone thanks to owner Akasha Rabut’s keen eye for mint condition, one of a kind vintage clothing, accessories, and household items. 

“Blue Dream is heavily curated by myself and my boyfriend Sam, who is also my business partner. Sam and I are obsessed with collecting old objects and clothing which is why we opened Blue Dream.  Everything in the shop is personalized and has a story. All of our fixtures are hand made by Sam from old cypress and other trees native to New Orleans, we even hand painted our floors! All of our items are hand picked by the two of us and have been gathered from around the country. We staunchly believe in recycling the old and supporting artisans and independent designers. In addition to vintage clothing and goods we also carry cold press soap, beeswax candles, household items, plants and terrariums.”

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Exclusive Photoshoot: Vintage Cars and Clothes from Revival Outpost

Revival Outpost recently asked if I wanted them to do a special photo shoot just for Slow Southern Style. How could I say no? Joining several other secondhand, vintage, and antique shops on Magazine Street, Revival Outpost specializes in vintage and retro clothing. They also do fantastic, professional photo shoots, pulling all of their clothing from their own store. Revival has also teamed up with Blue Dream Vintage, which now functions as a store within a store. Many thanks to Christina Flannery and Akasha Rabut for supplying us with the beautiful images. Check back in next Tuesday when we share the rest!

All images taken by Akasha Rabut
Clothing from Revival Outpost and Blue Dream Vintage

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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

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,
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Poppin’ up in Memphis with Le Saispas Vintage

If you are in the Memphis area looking for something different and fun Slow Southern Style favorite Kristin Irene of Le Saispas is having a pop up shop December 14th-24th at Hoot + Louise in downtown Memphis.

The opening party is this  Wednesday from 4-8pm. Enjoy wine and hot cider while shopping a hand picked selection of season appropriate vintage clothing and accessories. Styles range from 1950s to early 1990s finds for men and women and there’s even vintage home decor and housewares. The prices will be “more than fair to boot”, just like Kristin’s Etsy shop. Pop up shops are great ways to not only promote  small businesses but to find really unique, unexpected holiday gifts that scream more “I thought of you when I bought this” vs. “They were having a sale at the mall”.

If you want to learn more about Kristin and Le Saispas check out the interview I did with her back in August 2010.

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