Long before New Orleans became a Hollywood hotspot boasting two fashion weeks, Harold Clarke was designer to the stars. His sinuous yet sculptural couture gowns are favorites of celebrities ranging from Vivica Fox to Vanna White. Clarke is a pioneer of New Orleans' revitalized fashion industry, and fittingly, his collection will close out Fashion Week New Orleans' (FWNOLA) slate of runway shows. This is his first time presenting a collection in FWNOLA.
"He wanted to get some high fashion into the New Orleans community," says Imani Bass, Clarke's granddaughter. "I'm so glad to see him participate in Fashion Week."
Last night, Clarke hosted a party and trunk show for FWNOLA patrons, friends, clients and members of Fashion Group International's New Orleans chapter. Clarke shows his collection Friday, March 21 at the New Orleans Board of Trade. FWNOLA continues through March 22. For more information and tickets, visit its website.
I first heard of the Burch name a few years back, when local fashionistas began padding around in ballet slippers with what looked like Mardi Gras doubloons attached to the toe. These were Tory Burch flats. At a couple hundred dollars per pair, they were a little rich for my blood.
But I wanted them. Burch devotees claimed the flats were so comfortable! Every fashion blogger seemed to have a pair.
Fast forward a couple years. Turns out there's another Burch in fashion: J. Christopher Burch, Tory's ex-husband. Christopher has his own brand, C. Wonder. He debuted his first store in New York in October 2011. This February, a C. Wonder store opens at The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St., second floor, 504-524-5926) — the first location in Louisiana.
It's worth mentioning that the average C. Wonder product costs less than $50.
Amanda deLeon's moody yet structured designs have made her a darling of the New Orleans fashion scene. At NOLA Fashion Week, her shows routinely pack the house. The architecture student-turned-fashion designer is drawing attention from beyond the Big Easy. Next month, she debuts her fall 2014 collection, LaNouvelle-Orléans, at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Here, deLeon talks about what this means for her career as a designer and the fashion industry for New Orleans as a whole.
Congrats on showing at New York Fashion Week! How did you accomplish this?
One day I was contacted via LinkedIn by a PR girl with amazing credentials. She is a creative director/contributing fashion editor with Condé Nast as well as a PR representative for some incredible high-end brands. She loved my work and said it had an edge she hasn't seen before. We continued casual phone conversations over several weeks. She fell in love with my inspiration of New Orleans and how intriguing the city is, and we began working together. Before all that, she posted my work on a private account so she could get feedback from her industry connections. She said the response was amazing and she was positive she wanted to help me.
Today, Tiffany & Co. (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., 504-434-6002) celebrated the grand opening of its first store in New Orleans (and 94th U.S. location) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 3,900-square-foot store's interior design scheme features nods to founder Charles Lewis Tiffany's design motifs, including a custom carpet with his graphic dragonfly pattern. Art Deco-inspired details and the signature Tiffany blue color palette are prevalent throughout. Officials say the opening was a success.
“We are thrilled to have had such a wonderful turnout on our opening day in New Orleans," says Diane Brown, vice president of Tiffany & Co. mid-Atlantic market, U.S. "The Tiffany store has been in the making for many years, and we are excited by the warm reception by the local community. The Tiffany brand is rich in history and tradition, as is New Orleans, and we look forward to planting our roots in this wonderful city.”
The store carries engagement rings, celebration rings, and pink and yellow diamond jewelry, as well as baby gifts, leather goods and accessories.
The lululemon athletica (333 Canal St., 504-522-3264) Birthday Jazz Brunch is still on for 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 — but attendees are now required to wear clothes.
The event was originally titled the Birthday (Suit) Jazz Brunch and invited participants to come naked. The first 10 nude attendees were to receive free lululemon outfits.
However, following complaints from neighboring retailers, the nudity aspect was removed.
The Shops at Canal Place director of marketing Carla Adams had no comment.
Tomorrow, H&M (418 N. Peters St., 855-466-7467) makes its long-awaited debut in the French Quarter. One of more than 3,000 H&M stores worldwide, the 32,000-square-foot store is second in the U.S to feature a home collection. Actor Blake Lively will attend an invitation-only VIP preview event at the store tonight, and the store celebrates its grand opening tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 16). H&M spokesperson Marybeth Schmitt shares some information about what shoppers can expect.
What special events do you have planned for the grand opening?
H&M will offer the first 500 shoppers in line an H&M T-shirt and an Access to Fashion Pass valued from $10 to $500, in addition to other opening offers. [It] will also be the last store in the country to launch the Isabel Marant for H&M collection. … Isabel has created a wardrobe of pieces inspired by her signature style. The collection will … feature clothing and accessories for women and teenagers, as well as her first-ever collection for men.
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