The video opens with some Vampire Weekend-esque, trendy, indie-style, drum-led music, and some “cute” hipsters in eclectic outfits gaily bounding down some stairs in what appears to be a fairly barren industrial area of a city. The voiceover says, “Let us give thanks for a new type of tribe,” as a hipster pushes a Native American guy out of frame, and a purple-haired girl in a pink shaggy coat unfurls an American flag. The video then quickly devolves into a montage of Native American headdresses next to Urban Outfitter’s range of records and record players, American Spirit cigarettes, beaded vests and “honoring heritage by making it sexy”—and making me laugh out loud, because it’s so on point.(The "fairly barren industrial area of a city" is Crescent Park in the Bywater.)
So, sometimes New Orleans thinks of itself as the provincial backwater of the fashion world. We're getting better about this, thanks to a burgeoning fashion industry ... but we might want to shake the habit lest we be accused of false modesty. We've got NOLA flair, and these celebs know it.
Exhibit A: Earlier this month, Beyonce was spotted in Paris wearing KREWE du optic shades:
Exhibit B: Katy Perry came out as a Trashy Diva last night:
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 "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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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