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.
NOLA Fashion Week kicks off its sixth season this Saturday, Sept. 28. There's a lot to be excited about on its roster of runway shows, workshops and shopping events, and I'm especially pumped about Lisa Iacono's new collection, Dreamcar! That exclamation point isn't just to show my excitement, it's part of the logo. See?
If this isn't enough to sell you on Dreamcar, here are a few more compelling points: 1. You will look like Malibu Barbie on a spring break road trip when you wear it. 2. That halter top is made of MONEY PRINT FABRIC. 3. Speaking of money, nothing in the collection costs more than $100. 4. It's locally made right here on the West Bank.
I grilled Lisa about her new collection. Here's what she has to say about it.
Mondo Guerra, winner of Project Runway's all-star edition, visited New Orleans this week in conjunction with the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). The fashion designer, who is HIV positive, shares his thoughts on the importance of HIV education, his personal experience living with the virus and why HIV and AIDS need to continue to be part of the public dialogue.
What was your role at the USCA?
This is the second year I have been at the conference. I teamed up with Merck (pharmaceutical company) on an HIV education campaign called I Design. I Design is a program to empower people living with HIV to take a tailored approach to a treatment plan that works for them. The message is about encouraging people with HIV to have open dialogues with their doctors, which I found very important in my personal experience. For a long time, my doctor was the only who knew about my HIV status.
Near the end of August, local actor and comedian Tony Frederick was walking down the street when a tourist asked him what NOLA stood for. “That’s easy!” he retorted. “No one likes Atlanta!”
Over drinks that same night, Frederick told the joke to friend and designer Cortni Witherspoon. That was on a Tuesday. By the following Saturday, Witherspoon had designed a range of t-shirts with a No One Likes Atlanta logo, and within 24 hours the new company had more than 200 Facebook likes.
"Can you turn something around for me real quick?" Gambit's editor-in-chief Kevin Allman asked before pointing me toward a Vanity Fair article. Something about Bobby Jindal's spouse Supriya being named one of the most stylish political wives. "It implies there aren't any women among the elected officials."
I clicked the link, all ready to stew in a hot bath of self-righteous indignation. The sexist verbiage did not fail to deliver:
So, just to start unpacking the implications: Headline: "The Good Wives." Really? First line: "Faith in our elected officials may be fading, but of this we’re sure: their wives remain as stunning as ever." As stunning as ever. Because a woman's appearance, not her career or her charitable contributions, is her most valuable and noteworthy attribute. And the fact that our elected officials are men is assumed and implicit. (Although, sadly, that's less of a sexist slip of the pen and more a reflection of reality; see the handy infographic for an accurate picture of the gender breakdown in Congress circa May 2013.)
As you may have heard, the NFL recently issued a bag policy for New Orleans Saints game attendees, banning backpacks, fanny packs, seat cushions and coolers, among other items. And as you may suspect, the Who Dat nation has interpreted the decree as a challenge to rise to new levels of home-grown resistance via fashion accessories* a la the 2010 Who Dat debacle.
Shannon Walker Markward created Stadium Satchels, handmade nylon and faux leather bags that fall within the rule’s allowance for “small clutch bags, about the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap.” The bags retail for $40 at StadiumSatchel.com. “I started designing Stadium Satchels as a fun and stylish alternative to the see-through bags offered by the NFL,” Markward said in a press release. “Personally, I prefer the privacy of a stadium satchel to a clear Ziploc bag.”
Repurposing NOLA Piece by Peace created a pouch from repurposed leftover team jerseys. The pouches cost $15 with a strap or $18 without. They will be available the week of Aug. 19, and pre-orders are being accepted now.
Or there's this clear bag, which includes a handmade fabric wallet and sells for $38 at Bats on Tees:
And Fleurty Girl offers this clear clutch for $19.95:
Of course, you could just buy the NFL-approved clear bag. Check it out!
It's not without its own panache! And that "the future is clear" vibe the NFL has going on is pure genius for appealing to all you '90s-obsessed Millennials. If the NFL wants to launch a full-on TV campaign, they might consider taking cues from this classic feat of clear product marketing:
*Edit: I keep finding out about new bags and adding them to the list, so let me know if there are others I've missed.
There's a free shopping app that allows users to find local shops, check out the goods and make purchases through the app. The Nearby launched in January 2013 and debuted in New Orleans in March 2013. Sixteen New Orleans boutiques have joined, and so have nearly 200 stores in more than 30 cities ranging from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.
So what makes this app different from interfacing with a shop via its Facebook page?
"The major difference is communication," says Amanda Weisiger, the app's editor. "Shops post images all day, and users can communicate with the salespeople at the stores. You can say, 'Can you put that on hold for me?' or 'Here's my credit card number; ship it to me.'"
LSU football season is right around the corner (in 50 days, according to the ticker), which means it's time to start planning your purple-and-gold tailgating outfits. You can't go wrong with a cute LSU shirt and shorts, but in recent years there's been a push toward classy purple-and-gold ensembles along these lines:
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