In the late 19th century, author John Mackie wrote of New Orleans, “Nowhere in all its course does the American sun behold so high-colored muslins, such flaunting silks and roseate ribbons. New York has no show of millinery to compare with it.” This of course was written during the Gilded Age and the way people dress (as well as live) has changed a lot since. Even so, New Orleans endures as an internationally touted city for its musical and culinary talents. The food and music industry still thrive. So, what happened to our standing in the fashion world? Considering our proclivity towards grand soirees, balls and general bias towards opulence, you’d think the city would be overflowing with fashion houses and the businesses that serve them. Yes, there remain several fantastic fabric shops, gown, dressmakers and costume ateliers, but they are fleeting as consumers veer towards cheaper, faster options.
Tracee Dundas founder of New Orleans Fashion Week, aims to put local fashion back on its pedestal. Her overall goal is to showcase the many exceptional, often-overlooked designers in the South with the hope of attracting more to briefly send our musical, gastronomic castmates backstage so fashion can perform its own monologue. Through a series of parties, fashion shows and guided tours beginning next week, NOFW will showcase local designers and their support teams for its 10th year in a row. Dundas comments, “We are thrilled to kick off the festivities next Tuesday featuring a ‘Pink is the New Black‘ opening reception. The event will include a Barbie Through the Years, inspired fashion show curated by Bambi DeVille.” Other exciting events throughout the week boast; a guided tour of the Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour exhibition at NOMA, which includes a mural installation by local designers, Sophie Omoro, Tabitha Bethune, Carolina Gallop, Suzanne Perron & Katie Schmidt. Also on the schedule, a tutorial session with fashion illustrator, Rhonda Corley (space is limited) and a grand runway showcase Saturday evening at Gallier Hall by local designers such as; odAOMO, DeAndre Beverly and VanShawn Branch.
Ongoing: Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour at NOMA
9/14 from,5 p.m.-7 p.m.: Revitalize and Renew, receive complimentary skin consultations and need-to-know, customized advice from The Spa’s lead esthetician, Julie Brien, The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans
9/19-9/23, New Orleans Fashion Week
10/4 at 6 p.m.: Meet Walter Isaacson, author of “Elon Musk” and purchase a signed copy of the book, Purchase tickets here