There are so many things I admire about fashion designer Betsey Johnson, I don't know where to start, but maybe an apt place would be her roots — her hair roots, that is:
1. She spends thousands of dollars a year on hair extensions. I am so envious of her cash flow and her platinum tresses.
2. She's a septuagenarian, and she can do cartwheels and splits. I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO EITHER OF THESE THINGS. Watch her! She's amazing! She looks like she's going to fall, then she lands in a perfect split! It's a kind of controlled chaos, which is a good metaphor for the designer herself. Did I mention she's 70?
3. Her handwriting is really cool and arty looking and she leaves cute notes backstage at her shows:
4. She got tattooed in the 1970s, when only genuine badasses got tattoos, and her lightning bolt tattoo is still effing sweet:
5. Her fashion career spans more than 30 years and her brand is stronger than ever, with distribution in more than 2,000 boutiques.
6. She'll be at Dillard's Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd.) tomorrow from 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. taking pictures with fans, and anyone who spends more than $50 on her stuff gets a free gift.
A Tiffany & Co. store is slated to open this fall at The Shops at Canal Place. According to the Tiffany.com store locator and career website, it will be the only Tiffany & Co. in the state. The company's search for a New Orleans store director is underway.
CUE magazine editor Missy Wilkinson sat down with Laura Buchtel of the WWL Eyewitness Morning News today to show off the big fashion spread from this week's issue — retro-themed swimsuits with 1940s and 1950s touches.
•Curbing HIV/AIDS transmission NOLA (C.H.A.T. NOLA), an organization that answers anonymous callers' questions about HIV/AIDS, is hosting a grand opening for its lounge, which will serve as a place where young people can display their talents. There will be door prizes, performances, open-mic and refreshments.
•Researching Your New Orleans Property participants will learn how to trace a property's history using primary sources like city directories and the census.
•At the Community Let's Move Family Health and Fun Fest, there will be music, health screenings, food and activities for kids and grown ups. A mountain bike, 32-inch HDTV, $500 and an iPod Touch will be raffled.
•Our Crowning Glory is a natural hair convention where attendees can learn how to style natural hair, participate in discussions about it and buy products to maintain its health.
•Huey P. Long bridge runners will run the entire span of the Huey, starting in Bridge City and ending on Jefferson Highway. This is the inaugural run, celebrating the widening of the bridge.
•What Maisie Knew is a movie about divorce and custody proceedings, told from a child's perspective. It's based upon a Henry James novel of the same name and Chalmette Movies is the only theater in the state showing it.
Details are below the jump.
New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl, Final Fours, championship boxing bouts, presidents, a pope, the Dalai Lama and coming in September: The 2013 National Beard and Moustache Championships(Sept. 6-7), the Westminster show of male facial hair. There are 18 categories to medal in, and anything goes except artificial hair.
Germany is home to the World Beard and Moustache Association, which held its first competition in 1990. National Geographic has some good pictures of 2010 competitors. Britain's club has its own impressive competition.
In the U.S., regional groups are cropping up and there are several regional competitions. There is a New York competition, which allows women to participate (and Coney Island has its own competition). There's also a New York beard alliance. Los Angeles has a competition. Missouri has an active hirsute community. There's a club in Philadelphia. Austin. Houston. Bonnaroo has a beard competition this year, and it's got a category for fake beards. The online Beard Club has a links page with a round up of tumblr sites with photos, how to sites, competitions and more.
Update: There also is a local group for those who want to stop shaving and start networking.
The championships in New Orleans are open to men only. There are three main divisions with subcategories: Mustache (Salvador Dali, Hungarian, Imperial, freestyle, etc.), Full Beards (natural, Geribaldi, freestyle) and Partial Beards (Fu Manchu, Muskateer, Amish, sideburns, freestyle, etc.). Competitors are allowed to use various hair products, but from competition photos, it seems that some sort of period costume is a good idea.
If Royal Teeth's rain-abbreviated Jazz Fest set left you craving more of vocalist Nora Patterson's style, you'll want to pick up CUE next week: The issue features Patterson on the cover and interviewed by Jeff Roedel, coinciding with Royal Teeth's announcement that their first full-length album, Glow (Dangerbird Records), will be released August 13. I could happily devote four pages to Pattersons's rock-star-meets-Southern-belle aesthetic, but we only had a quarter of that. So here are some photos and outtakes from the interview.
Jeff Roedel: Does being in a band affect your style? By that I mean, does what your band mates wear have any bearing on your wardrobe?
Nora Patterson: I’ll usually decide what I’m wearing, then [singer] Gary [Larsen] will base his clothes off mine for some consistency. All the guys are stylish by themselves, so they basically wear what they want—but with my approval first (laughing).
Oxford American stylist columnist and man-about-town L. Kasimu Harris is a judge at Sippin' In Seersucker, a libation-heavy benefit for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art that fetes the storied, quintessentially Southern fabric. Harris is uniquely suited to judge not only because of his discerning eye, but also because of his long relationship with seersucker. "The fabric (has been) professionally beneficial to me," Harris says. Here, he discusses his feelings about seersucker, tips for contestants seeking to win the seersucker fashion contest, and the fabric's serendipitous weave throughout his writing life.
You once wrote a column for Oxford American about your experiences wearing seersucker. You have a very long, intense history with the fabric. Would you discuss your feelings about it?
The first time I went to the thrift store with my mom, the summer after high school, I was kicking and screaming, but I left with three seersucker suits. ... In 2010, when I met Marc Smirnoff, founding editor of the Oxford American, he had on a seersucker blazer, and that was our entryway into conversation.
I love that I can recall exactly what I wore on several life milestones because of the seersucker. More importantly, wearing seersucker right after high school helped shape my style.
Last week, a Missouri senator proposed banning seersucker suits for people over age 8 on the grounds that they "look ridiculous." What's your reaction to that?
By just about anyone's estimation, Marcus Stewart has arrived in the fashion world. A celebrity stylist and reality TV star, the New Orleans native got his start working at Hemline. Here, he shares his story, along with styling tips, and the reasons why he wouldn't have had a fashion career if he'd lived anywhere else.
You're featured on the Bravo reality show Dukes of Melrose. What is the show about?
It's about the legendary consignment boutique Decades, which dresses all the big Hollywood stars in vintage looks for their red carpet events. The show follows my two bosses, Christos (Garkinos) and Cameron (Silver), who couldn't be more opposite. I'm the East Coast buyer, and I'm often showcased as being in the middle.
In addition to being a buyer, you're a trunk show coordinator for Decades, and you do image consulting. What tips do you have for women who want to incorporate vintage items into their wardrobe but aren't sure where to start?
Make sure you go shopping when you have time to try on things. If you're in a rush, you won't see what's in front of you. Always try on clothing with heels, because they totally change the situation. Heels do wonders for women. If you want to do vintage, you have to know your own body type: If you're an apple shape, find your waistline and cinch it in. An hourglass can wear more form-fitting things. A tall and skinny banana type can wear trapeze and sheath dresses, but you also want to draw attention to your waist. If you don't know your body, vintage is hard because you can't see what you need and nothing will seem like it fits. If you know your body shape, you know what to gravitate toward and you know what can be fixed with a tailor. Your tailor is your best friend. Have a vision beyond the clothing rack: envision a garment smaller here or let out here. Clothing is moldable art.
CUE editor Missy Wilkinson was on the WWL Eyewitness Morning News today to talk spring fashion with Laura Buchtel. You can find a copy of CUE in this week's Gambit.
Unless you've been hiding out under a clearance pile of bedazzled Uggs, you've no doubt heard the latest fashion news to rock New Orleans: a 32,000-square-foot H&M will open in the French Quarter's old Hard Rock Cafe building. While the overwhelming response from local fashionistas is a breathless "FINALLY!!!", H&M came under fire from NPR last week for being a purveyor of "fast fashion" — cheap clothing manufactured under less-than-ideal conditions that's worn a few times and discarded. Here, H&M spokesperson Nicole Christie shares some information about the Swedish chain's plans for New Orleans and its initiatives toward sustainability.
First, it's really exciting to hear that people want us to come to their city. For us, it's all about the factors being in place to open the best store possible. The best location is our priority. We'd rather wait than open a store in a less-than-ideal location. Second is our customer base. Market conditions have to be ideal for us to open there. We know there's a strong customer base in New Orleans, because there's been such a demand and the retail conditions are quite strong.
Fantastic! In my neighborhood! Yum.
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