Last night, NOLA Fashion Week brought a roster of five spring/summer 2014 runway shows to the New Orleans Museum of Art: Hi-Lo, Libellule, Dreamcar, Matthew Arthur and Noel Martin. I arrived just as Dreamcar was wrapping up. Judging by the confetti-dusted crowd's reactions (e.g. "There was a DOLLAR PRINT ONESIE. I need that"), it was a cotton-candy fantasy.
Project Runway alum Matthew Arthur showed a menswear-heavy collection that included crop tops, short shorts, and a metallic shirt and black knit shorts layered over leggings. In a city where there often feels like there's a dearth of menswear, his collection was a breath of fresh air. I do hope to see the gents wearing shorter shorts come spring.
Noel Martin's collection was both sweet and spooky. A student at Parsons The New School for Design, the 20-year-old emerging designer showed playground-friendly ruffled rompers, jumper dresses and tap shorts. Rendered in white leather, topped with BDSM-tinged Lucite chokers and caul-like hoods, these pieces took on an air of menace, something I don't usually associate with pastels. The models' slow, deliberate walks recalled Miss Havisham, ghosts of asylum patients and drowned, flower-crowned Ophelias.
The shows continue tonight at the New Orleans Museum of Art (1 Collins Diboll Circle). Tickets are available here.