Friday, September 26, 2014

A bright idea

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 11:43 AM

When people see designer Ashley Porter's light bulb earrings, they invariably ask whether the bulbs light up. The answer is no, but the conversation pieces do spark dialogue about an important issue.

"The concept for the design was about spreading awareness ... about the literacy crisis," Porter says. "It's believed that 20 percent of adults in Louisiana are illiterate — a fact that should be more well-known in order to take measures to eradicate it. "

The earrings are made from vintage automotive bulbs.
  • The earrings are made from vintage automotive bulbs.

The "Light Up for Literacy" light bulb earrings are part of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities' (LEH) campaign to improve literacy in Louisiana. Porter came up with the design concept during a "light bulb" moment while sketching in her studio. Soon after, she stumbled upon hundreds of old automotive bulbs in a Texas flea market, which she crafted into drop earrings. The earrings cost $95, and 50 percent of proceeds benefits the LEH.

A California native and Tulane University alumn, Porter returned to New Orleans after attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She launched her jewelry and accessories label, Porter Lyons, in 2012. Sales of the earthy, Louisiana-inspired pieces benefit the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Porter is happy to turn her attention to another pressing local issue. "I'd love to thank the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for taking a chance on what was just an idea last year," Porter says.

She's at work on next year's literacy campaign design, which will include one crucial new element.

"I'm working with a sensor technology to make the [light bulbs] turn on," she says.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Storyville and Gambit partner for a T-shirt contest

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 2:11 PM

You've got your black-and-gold T-shirt, your Hubig's Pies T-shirt and, just maybe, your "I Got Bourbon Faced On Sh*t Street" T-shirt (we won't judge). Now, Gambit has partnered with Storyville to create the official Gambit T-shirt. The creator of the winning design gets $1,000, and the shirt will be sold by Storyville.

"We are looking for designs that don't just look like a generic logo tee," says Storyville co-owner Natalie Naquin Harvey. "We want something unique that really captures how much Gambit is an iconic part of New Orleans life. We really want this to be a design that people all over New Orleans want to wear because they love New Orleans, they love Storyville and they love Gambit. The artwork must be original, and hand-drawn fonts are a huge plus."

A few entries in the Gambit/Storyville T-shirt contest
  • A few entries in the Gambit/Storyville T-shirt contest

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jolie & Elizabeth creators sell 10,000 dresses

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 3:39 PM

They've reinvented seersucker. They've designed the go-to piece for the New Orleans girl (and nationwide customers who wish they were one). Their dresses have been worn by Zooey Deschanel and featured in Forbes, Southern Living and Daily Candy.

And now, Jolie & Elizabeth founders Jolie Bensen Hamilton and Sarah Elizabeth Dewey have sold their 10,000th dress.

Timeless silhoettes and seersucker are hallmarks of the Jolie and Elizabeth brand.
  • Timeless silhouettes and seersucker are hallmarks of the Jolie & Elizabeth brand.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Gambit TV: New denim trends for fall on WWL-TV

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 4:23 PM


CUE editor Missy Wilkinson was on the WWL Eyewitness Morning News today to talk with Laura Buchtel about new denim trends for fall.

Watch the segment, and pick up a copy of CUE in this week's edition of Gambit.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Southern Design Week replaces NOLA Fashion Week

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM

After three years and seven seasons, New Orleans Fashion Week (NOLAFW) has ended its run. It is replaced by Southern Design Week, which takes place Nov. 3-9, 2014. Founded by designer, blogger and author Andi Eaton (who was a co-creator of NOLAFW), Southern Design Week is part of Eaton's new company, the Southern Coalition of Fashion and Design (SCFD).

While Southern Design Week differs from its predecessor in some ways (most notably with its name, which sets it apart from other local and regional fashion weeks), its focus will remain the same.

"Eaton's NOLAFW events held a focus on independent designers, and that won't change," says Leonela Guzman, communications director for the SCFD. "However, the company's intention is to primarily focus on the designer, the process of garment creation, and to build a network of resources around the design community. ... The end goal of SCFD is to support Southern makers and the design community in growing sustainable roots."

SCFD is a member organization open to anyone affiliated with the Southern design industry. Though Southern Design Week will take place in New Orleans, Eaton plans to target fashion industry professionals from across the region.

"SCFD will host quarterly education, networking and market events to facilitate industry growth," Guzman says. "Events of this nature will aim to entice designers and industry professionals into New Orleans as a headquarter to their operations."

James Michalopoulos’ Old New Orleans Rum Distillery (2815 Frenchmen St.) hosts the majority of Southern Design Week's runway shows of spring/summer 2015 collections. There will be events and presentations at venues citywide.

SCFD membership passes are on sale at the SCFD blog.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five stylish new game-day accessories

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 4:25 PM

It's almost football season, which means it's time to put together your fiercest game-day ensembles. These new pieces will shame the opponent for saying they'd beat them Saints, or make Mike the Tiger stand right up and roar.

Made with accents of 22-karat gold, this double old-fashioned glass by Mignon Faget offers an elegant alternative to the Solo cup. The glasses will be available in stores by the week of Sept. 12.

Double old-fashioned glass, $55 for a set of four at Mignon Faget.
  • Double old-fashioned glass, $55 for a set of four at Mignon Faget.

Gameday Goddess, a collection of game-day garments, accessories and more (there's a tutorial for a purple-and-gold flower crown) launches this month. The emphasis is on LSU colors, but founder Melissa Mamelli plans to expand to include six more sets of school colors by next football season.

Oversized tiger sweater, $59 at Gameday Goddess
  • Oversized tiger sweater, $59 at Gameday Goddess

Flying Fox has released a new NFL-compliant cross-body bag. Unlike its predecessors, this one features leather accents and has optional gold foil monogramming.

Leigh cross-body bag, $78 at Flying Fox
  • Leigh cross-body bag, $78 at Flying Fox

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Monday, August 11, 2014

CUE on WWL-TV: Back to school fashion under $100

Posted By on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 5:08 PM


CUE editor Missy Wilkinson appeared with Laura Buchtel on the WWL Eyewitness Morning News today to show off the new issue issue of CUE (tucked into this week's Gambit) and talk about some back-to-school looks that cost less than $100 — head to toe. Pick up a copy or read the flip version online.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

It’s a hair affair with Carol’s Daughter

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

To kick off Essence Music Festival weekend, Carol’s Daughter hosts a “Cocktails and Curls” party from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, July 4 at Jax Brewery Bistro Bar (620 Decatur St.).

Festivalgoers looking for a little pre-party and some hair love before Prince’s performance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome can attend the event. Carol’s Daughter will give out hair product samples, and one guest will win a $1,000 Target gift card.

If free hair samples aren’t exactly your cup of tea, don’t worry — there will be libations. Complimentary champagne and cocktails will get the party started, and a DJ will provide the beats. RSVP here.


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Friday, June 20, 2014

It's so Esby

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Stephanie Beard, owner of the Austin, Texas-based clothing line Esby, examines a white button-down blouse. “Do we like the sheerness of this shirt?” she asks everyone in the room.

A clothing rack near the wall holds her second collection, still in its early stages of development: a menswear-inspired assortment of blouses, pullovers and trousers. I snap photos, engrossed by Beard’s first fitting with local garment studio Nola Sewn (2101 8th St., Harvey).

“Sheer is pretty in right now. I don’t see a problem with it,” says Nola Sewn director Lisa Iacono.

Stephanie Beards designs for Esby are brought to life in the U.S.
  • Nia Porter
  • Stephanie Beard's designs for Esby are brought to life in the U.S.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Meet your new bra fitter: your smartphone

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:28 PM

When it comes to not-so-pleasant aspects of being a woman, bra fittings fall somewhere between eyebrow waxes and Pap smears. However, Tulane University alumnus David Spector and his wife Heidi Zak have cofounded ThirdLove, an online lingerie company that makes it possible for women to get an accurate bra fit without leaving their homes. The expert fitter? A smartphone app.

“A woman can get fit and sized, all from her smartphone,” Zak says. “You put on a tight tank top, take two pictures in the mirror, and we are able to calculate the size of your body in relation to the phone itself.”

David Spector and Heidi Zak cofounded ThirdLove last fall.
  • David Spector and Heidi Zak cofounded ThirdLove last fall.

Developed by ThirdLove’s in-house team of computer engineers, the one-of-a-kind technology has seven patents, with four additional patents pending. To guarantee a perfect fit, ThirdLove offers half-cup sizes. “A lot of women are between an A and a B or a B and a C,” Zak says. “I am one of them. So I wear a half-cup and have a bra that fits me well for the first time in my life.”Turquoise mesh plunge bra, $49

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