A Magazine Adventure
In New Orleans, when you want to keep your finger on the pulse of fashion and style you’re likely to head to a famous “M”: Magazine Street. Magazine Street is home to store owners who pride themselves on exclusive designs, direct imports from Europe and beyond, and a general interest and awareness of what’s hot season to season. This month we’re taking a stroll to see what’s in store for spring 2020 and where you can relax and refuel.
Fashion & More
Starting on the far end of Magazine Street, near Audubon Park, PERLIS has long been selling high-end Southern fashion for men, ladies and children. Perlis is a hot spot in spring for one of the South’s most iconic fabrics: seersucker.
“Our wide variety of seersucker and white linen suits allow men to stay cool during summer weddings and dressy events,” says Bebe Rafferty, Marketing Coordinator. “Also, we’ve introduced some summer seersucker for ladies.”
According to Rafferty, Perlis also has introduced New Orleans-themed needlepoint belts and accessories exclusively made for PERLIS by Smathers & Branson that incorporate shotgun houses, crawfish boils, street tiles and even St. Charles Avenue.
Heading towards downtown on Magazine Street, you’ll find Home Malone between Jefferson and Napoleon avenues. This location –Home Malone’s second – just celebrated one year on Magazine selling home décor, apparel, jewelry, art and gifts. Boasting a floor-to-ceiling collection of locally made items, Home Malone is a hot spot in spring for its paper Carnival flowers that add bright pops of color to area homes. In preparation for spring, the shop recently added new locally made jewelry and clothing. Home Malone loves celebrating local creators and invites hobbyists to its events.
“We host a handful of craft classes each month at our Magazine Street location and will be participating with a local makers’ market on Magazine Street’s biggest event of the year, the ‘Champagne Stroll,’” says Owner Kristin Malone Johnson.
Carried by Home Malone and other Magazine Street retailers like Dirty Coast and Ballin’s LTD is Mimosa Handcrafted, a local line of handmade jewelry by Owner and Creative Director Madeline Ellis. Ellis uses lost-wax casting in creating her works, which are cast in bronze, sterling silver and 14 karat gold.
“We always see a shift in focus to gift giving in the spring for Easter, graduation and Mother’s Day, so we have some exciting new pieces coming out that speak directly to some of those,” says Ellis.
Mimosa Handcrafted’s cake pull collection is a popular gift for brides, while the magnolia necklace, earrings, cuff and ring are popular for Mother’s Day, along with the sleek, to-the-point “MAMA” necklace.
Once you cross over Napoleon Avenue, you’ll find NO Fleas Market, a five-year-old second-hand store owned and operated by the Louisiana SPCA.
“What makes this store unique is that all proceeds from NO Fleas Market benefit the homeless and neglected animals at the Louisiana SPCA,” says Charlotte Cox, Manager. “By donating items and shopping at NO Fleas Market, you’re making a real impact in the lives of animals.”
Since the store’s items are donated, there’s always something new to see. Previous items have included Tiffany & Co. and Mignon Faget jewelry; Hudson Jeans and AG denim; vintage pieces; Perlis and Ralph Lauren for men; and a diverse book collection. The store will be open for the Champagne Stroll on May 9.
On the next block, Feet First continues to keep things fresh with spring arrivals in shoes. Locally owned and in business for over 40 years, the store recently changed hands with Owner Rachel Patterson now at the helm. Patterson anticipates color being key this season and has brought in a spectrum of colors in all styles.
“We are very excited about two new shoe lines this spring, which include vibrant colors and beautiful textures: Kate Spade – including the Kate Spade Keds collaboration and bridal line – and Bird of Flight, which are handmade in Brazil with a vintage vibe,” says Patterson.
About midway between Napoleon and Louisiana avenues, Art & Eyes is set back and shaded on Magazine Street. The locally owned store features independent European, Japanese and American frames in an amusing store full of color and creativity. According to Owner Starr Hagenbring, big and thin will be a strong look for glasses in spring.
“Carolyn Abram is your girl,” says Hagenbring. “Parisian style, multiple different colors of metal, some with added acetate to really make them pop.”
With festival season at our heels, she also mentions Spexwax and Vinylize, frames made of recycled colored and black vinyl records. Additionally, Piero Massaro is a personal favorite for Hagenbring, who brought in a variety of shapes.
Walk a couple blocks more and arrive at Dark Garden Corsetry & Couture, a woman-owned-and-operated atelier and boutique specializing in corsetry and special occasion attire. Long established in San Francisco, Dark Garden’s new location on Magazine Street is at home with New Orleans’ love of dressing up.
“Whether for Carnival, balls, weddings, costume parties, shapewear, a stage performance,or just a random Wednesday, we’d love to help you feel fabulous in our styles,” says Annabelle Zakaluk, Boutique Manager.
With wedding season underway, Dark Garden has house-made gowns and separates available and can work with couture bridal clients to bring their fantasy ensembles to life. The boutique recently stocked Zakaluk’s favorite design: the Rosalind gown.
“Inspired by the glamour of old Hollywood, this is a show-stopping piece for your holiday or special occasion, or you can order it in white as the perfect elegant wedding dress.”
Among the bustling shops and restaurants just downtown of Louisiana Avenue is the fine jewelry store of Cristy Cali, Designer & CEO of Cristy Cali New Orleans. Primarily focused on sterling silver, Cali is most known for her Fleur de Knot collection, originally inspired by the ancient Celtic Love Knot.
“Anything inspired by Celtic culture would be perfect for this time of year,” says Cali, “even the Fleur de Lis because this symbol originates from the iris flower. We often forget this term translates to ’flower of the lily,’” she says.
Cali couldn’t resist adding a fleur de lis to her Claddagh ring, a traditional Irish design intended to signal a wearer’s relationship status. Cali also notes that April is a time to reestablish or strengthen faith and spirituality – for this reason she notes that Celtic crosses can be a creative and beautiful way to express one’s faith.
Where to Take a Load Off
On the lower end of Magazine Street, Belladonna Day Spa beckons shoppers off weary feet with rejuvenating spa experiences in addition to skincare services and a retail boutique.
“We’re more than happy to give private tours to our shoppers and first-time guests,” says Nicole Strassel, Wellness Events Director. “Many of them are surprised to see that we offer so much more than spa treatments. We’re the one-stop-shop for aesthetics and wellness in a relaxed, upscale environment.”
Belladonna is introducing a new series of wellness events at the spa to showcase new spa treatments and gathering spaces, including the Hydrotherapy Garden and tranquil Tea Garden with blooming jasmine, gardenia, magnolia flowers and a bubbling koi pond.
Like relaxing, refueling is another must when shopping the six miles of Magazine Street. Fortunately, there’s Pizza Domenica (Uptown).
“Our garlic knots are notorious in town, but we have pizzas that have been on the menu since day one, including the Calabrese pizza,” says Executive Chef Phil Mariano. “In the spring, we pull in fresh produce and fruit and change up pizza toppings, desserts and salads,” he says.
A neighborhood pizzeria with an open kitchen, Pizza Domenica uses a custom-made oven shipped from Italy in creating its specialty, gourmet pizzas. The bar offers national and local beers, specialty brews and craft cocktails. Monday through Friday, Pizza Domenica offers an enviable happy hour from 3-5 p.m. with half off pizzas and drink specials.
2 More to Try
Just a few blocks off the far end of Magazine Street is Lukka Boutique, a women’s contemporary fashion boutique gearing up for spring with lots of color.
“We have seen neon as a fun trend to bring color to your spring wardrobe,” says Catherine Tessier Lemoine, Assistant Buyer and Marketing Consultant. “Lots of pink!” The looks of the season are “acrylic accessories, colorful jewelry and a statement handbag,” she adds.
Sets are also in at Lukka, whether a blazer and matching short, a light-weight button down and matching pant or a fashionable top with shorts that can pass as a romper.
“We just love the versatility that a set brings, together or separate,” says Lemoine.
Mixing in a little of Magazine’s sister street, Metairie Road-based Relish offers a similar shopping vibe just on the other side of the parish line, where Owner Beth Harris is bringing in large-brim hats for outdoor events and relaxing on the beach. A frequent traveler to Europe, Harris is lately drawn to accessorizing with colorful silk scarves.
“Women put them on their handbags and then put them around their neck or in the hair – it’s a great accessory, versatile, affordable, colorful and bright,” she says. Additionally, Harris is bringing in colorful belts and handbags for adding more pop to an outfit this spring.
Art & Eyes
3708 Magazine St.
Belladonna Day Spa
2900 Magazine St.
3110 Magazine St.
Dark Garden Corsetry & Couture
3528 Magazine St.
4122 Magazine St.
4610 Magazine St.
Lukka New Orleans
711 O’Keefe Ave.
NO Fleas Market
4228 Magazine St.
6070 Magazine St.
Pizza Domenica (Uptown)
4933 Magazine St.
600 Metairie Road , Suite B