Once you start meeting Mardi Gras artists, you’ll never want to stop! Quirky, fun and exuberant, these local talents are everywhere come Carnival time, each with a unique artistic expression of what the season means to them and how they can share it with others.  While visiting two recent pop-up events, several such artists quickly became new favorites of mine. At the Ogden Museum Mardi Gras market, Laura Bridsen, the designer of Royal Rags, displayed ornate, handmade capes and capelets for special occasions. You’d be surprised at how glamorous you feel in cape (think Garbo not Harry Potter). Another gem, Nola Critter Sitters, fashions crushed mirror glass and melted Mardi Gras beads into incredible ornaments and disco balls. She also makes hand-painted, light up parasols that she frequently shows at artist Big Monie Luv’s (another favorite) studio in the Marigny.  

At the Virgin Hotel Mardi Gras Market there were purple, green and yellow sparkles in all nooks and crannies! The market spanned across two floors of the hotel with over 12 different makers showing Carnival flair. Cool your Fannies (she had us with the name alone) was a popular, eye-catching vendor. Her ornately bedazzled and fringed insulated fanny packs were a hit. And yet another crowd-pleasing vendor offered headpieces created by Sorellas Nola. The owner of the boutique creates one-of-a-kind headbands, headpieces using vintage beads, stones and all kinds of accoutrement you’d never think to put on your head. To finish it all off, glittered icing king cakes by Sucre were on offer. Someone in the crowd may or may not have eaten some straight out of the box with no utensils. But hey, it’s Carnival time and a shopper has got to eat. 

Other fun artists & makers at the market were: