The end of the year is arguably the most celebratory, glamorous and magical time of year. Holidays bring families and friends together under warm, twinkling lights, with joyous moods prevailing at events, dinners and celebrations. Planning for occasions like New Year’s Eve and other gatherings allows for added liberties in the ways of getting ready, dressing up and splurging on food and fun. Our annual guide to NYE planning contains tips on how to prepare, what to wear, how to finish your look, where to eat and what to do this season.
How to Prepare
When you want to look your best for special occasions, Dr. Sean Weiss of Facial Plastic Surgery recommends starting early. He suggests medium to deep chemicals or ablative lasers for more aggressive skin resurfacing, which should be done three to four weeks before special occasions.
“For dramatic, non-surgical enhancement with minimal downtime, injectable fillers using cannula rather than needles for injection is the way to go. Cheeks, lips, jawline and smile lines can be corrected instantaneously with little risk of bruising and swelling,” says Weiss. “Top it off with laser genesis and a light peel for glowing skin and you are sure to be a hit this New Year’s Eve,” he says.
Dr. Ali Sadeghi at the Center for Plastic Surgery also recommends a number of non-surgical treatments that achieve quick results. From fillers and peels to Botox, microneedling, laster treatments and Emsculpt/Cool Sculpting, these treatments can help turn back the hands of time with little downtime. Dr. Sadeghi is often sought for liposuction and breast surgeries; if you’re looking for the more dramatic results achieved by surgery, consultations should be scheduled well in advance of any special occasion.
At The Woodhouse Day Spa, Owner Erin Warner recommends the Therapeutic Stone Massage for dealing with a busy holiday season. The smooth, hot stones act as a remedy for the harsh, cold weather.
Facials are also popular at The Woodhouse for adding glow. “The HydraFacial gives the skin an immediate glow that will look great for New Year’s parties and photos,” says Warner. She adds that the Illuminating Facial is a very light peel that has no downtime but removes that dull surface layer. “We also offer body exfoliating treatments in our Vichy shower. This helps give a glow to the body,” she says.
It is hard season to stay on top of to-do lists during the holiday, and apps like Spafoo make it easier for those who aren’t good at setting appointments to get on-demand spa services such as hair, makeup, nails, massage and personal training wherever and whenever. Just download the app from your Android or IOS play store, register and choose your service and time. Send the request for your advance or same-day appointment and a provider will accept.
“Spafoo offers convenience on location and is open even when traditional brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t open – early in the morning, late in the evening and on Sundays and Mondays – of course during the day, also. Make your evening party less stressful by having the service come to you,” says Scott Reynaud, Co-Owner.
Dr. Sean Weiss – Facial Plastic Surgery
2201 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie
Dr. Ali Sadeghi – Center for Plastic Surgery
3434 Prytania St., Suite 420
The Woodhouse Day Spa
4030 Canal St.
Note: St. Charles Avenue magazine doesn’t advocate plastic surgery except under certain conditions. Please consult your doctor before undertaking any medical procedure.
What to Wear
Claudia Croazzo fashion house was founded in 2016 in the United Kingdom with a flagship store located in New Orleans. The store contains an in-house studio where all couture and Black Label gowns are made.
“When I design I try to incorporate sophistication and sexiness – I want women to feel empowered when they wear Claudia Croazzo,” says Claudia Croazzo, Founder and Designer. “For me, New Year’s Eve is the one night where I think you’re allowed to go extravagant. I always wear a long gown for a night out on New Year’s Eve or a heavy embellished cocktail dress, and of course a crop fur coat just to make a statement when you walk in to the room,” she says.
According to Croazzo, sequins and embellishments are out in full force for the season. The beauty of sequined separates, she says, is the ability to dress them down or dress them up.
Glitz and sparkle seem to reign the holiday season, and there’s nothing wrong with adding shimmer and pop to your style. But for some, a classic, sophisticated look is the way to go.
“I tend to favor thoughtful pieces over anything flashy or colorful – a black slim jean with a silk camisole and sharp tuxedo blazer or leather jacket, amped up with cool vintage statement jewelry and a very pointy high heel,” says Hattie Moll, Store Director of Billy Reid New Orleans.
Moll sees rich tones and patterns on the rise for this season along with duster jackets and kimonos worn over jeans and silk tops. For a more casual gathering, Moll suggests something versatile that can be incorporated into your regular wardrobe such as a printed silk shirtdress paired with opaque tights and flat ankle boots.
In 2019, Yvonne LeFleur will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Proprietress Yvonne LeFleur enjoys a long reputation of providing bridal gowns, formals, career clothes and edgy suits, dresses, contemporary sportswear, furs, custom millinery, jewelry, scarves, lingerie, gloves and fragrances. According to LeFleur, the trend this year is to achieve elegance with comfort.
“New Orleanians love to dress up. Many clients prefer a formal gown with a little fur, as their date might wear a tux. We also feature cocktail dresses and fur wraps. Then, some ladies will enjoy our silk blouses, cashmere sweaters and velvet magic pants for house parties,” says LeFleur. “Personally, I like to welcome the New Year at home wearing my cashmere robe with a silk slip gown,” she says.
8131 Hampson St.
4214 Magazine St.
Billy Reid New Orleans
3927 Magazine St.
How to Finish
According to Rachel Burkhardt Patterson, Owner of Feet First, metallics, shimmer and texture rule footwear on a night like New Year’s Eve. Options in metallics include silver, platinum, gold and rose gold, while the basic black shoe can be jazzed up with fun fabrics that shimmer or metallic threads weaved in for extra sparkle. Additionally, animal prints, especially leopard and snake, are a great way to change up your basics.
“Whether it’s feathers, studs or embroidery – and it doesn’t have to be a lot – texture adds another dimension to your party ensemble,” says Patterson. “But most importantly, be comfortable. Block Heels are back and will help you survive well past the midnight hour with little fatigue. Or, doctor up your shoes and feet with shoe accessories such as the Foot Petals line,” she says.
In addition to choice of shoes, layering your accessories can add a lot of fun to your party look.
“To complete your final look, adding fun jewelry, fur – faux, of course – or sequins will be sure to turn heads and make you stand out from the crowd,” says Effie Boihem, Co-Owner of FeBe with Bessi Papazis. The two recommend using jewelry and a metallic clutch from Rebecca Minkoff to make your statement.
“FeBe exclusively carries Sennod by local designer, Michele McKeon. Sennod gives you the ability to mix and match interchangeable vignettes with her latest design of layering chains,” says Papazis. “You can layer multiple delicate chains to create your own one-of-a kind look.” The store will host a Sennod Trunk show December 13-15.
At RELISH, Owner Beth Harris echoes the need for bright, shimmery jewelry, handbags and shoes. She notes that vintage-inspired jewelry is hot right now, and RELISH features pieces from Paris and Brooklyn that are hand-made from vintage findings.
If it’s a chilly New Year’s Eve, she recommends RELISH’s collection of real and faux fur accessories, vests, ponchos and jackets.
“You have to see our glitter leather and metallic handbags and clutches in person – the perfect accessory for New Year’s Eve. We also have a selection of metallic and hand-embroidered leather booties to add the perfect amount of sparkle to your winter wardrobe,” she says.
4122 Magazine St.
474 Metairie Road, Suite 102, Metairie
600 Metairie Road, Metairie
Where to Eat
Deciding where to dine and imbibe is part of the fun of the holidays, and even more so on a night like New Year’s Eve, when you’re all dressed up and looking to see and be seen. From quiet, quaint formal dining to social, celebratory champagne popping, your dinner or drinks locale adds to the experience.
If you’re looking for an energetic, contemporary dining room that infuses a New York vibe with New Orleans flair, the CBD’s Briquette may be the spot to hit.
“From our convenient location in the Warehouse District to valet parking and our amazing wine cuvee housing 800 bottles to our glass-enclosed kitchen, Briquette will bring all the excitement you want for a beautiful New Year’s Eve dining experience,” says Anna Tusa, Director of Operations.
Briquette will have you ringing in the New Year with entrées like the popular Snapper Pontchartrain or the Porterhouse of Pork with a Bleu Cheese Crust and fig demi-glace. Before your midnight champagne, cocktails like The Briquette 75, the Baron’s Cup and Bourbon Milk Punch made with maple toffee bourbon will likely warm your spirits.
While champagne is typically how you end your New Year’s Eve celebration, at Brennan’s, a champagne happy hour may be the way start to your evening or even your afternoon. Bubbles at Brennan’s runs 2-7 p.m., Mondays-Thursdays, in the Courtyard and Roost Bar. The restaurant will serve its à la carte menu for dinner on New Year’s Eve.
This holiday season, Brennan’s is offering guests a new festive dining experience with its B’Reveillon Brunch. A breakfast and lunch take on a New Orleans dinner tradition, the B’Reveillon Brunch offers a three-course meal available December 1-23.
For an intimate, off-the-beaten path New Year’s Eve meal, regulars every year venture over to Gautreau’s, a longtime New Orleans favorite tucked within a quiet neighborhood off St. Charles Avenue. According to Owner Patrick Singley, guests always dress to the nines on New Year’s Eve, and while the restaurant serves its regular à la carte menu, it will also bring back some of its all-time favorites.
“Additionally we add several splurge-worthy dishes like foie gras in a more elevated dish than usual. We serve caviar, lobsters, rack of lamb and possibly Dover Sole,” says Singley.
701 S. Peters St.
417 Royal St.
1728 Soniat St.
What to Do
While it might not be where you choose to don your formalwear, the Louisiana Children’s Museum offers a festive daytime alternative to New Year’s Eve fun for families with young children. The Louisiana Children’s Museum’s “Countdown to NOON” culminates with a colorful confetti toss and balloon release. Kids are welcome to get creative in making noisemakers and festive paper bag party hats. According to Amy Kirk, Education Director, The Free Agents Brass Band will have families looking forward to 2019 in style.
Though closed on New Year’s Eve, Celebration in the Oaks brings an enchanting winter wonderland to New Orleans City Park throughout the holiday season. This year marks the event’s 32nd anniversary. According to Amanda Frentz, Assistant Director of Public Relations, Celebration in the Oaks will have traditional installations such as Mister Bingle and the Cajun Night Before Christmas along with new items as well.
“The holidays are always a magical time in the Park. The weather is cooler and people love being outdoors,” says Frentz.
From December 21-31, NOLA ChristmasFest is a family-friendly event that welcomes people of all ages to the Convention Center.
“Kids, parents and grandparents delight in spending time together in the weather-controlled, indoor festival. Pay One Price ticketing ensures parents can say yes to every ride and take a turn on the ice rink – even skate rental is included,” says Diane Lyons, Event Specialist and Marketing Liaison. According to Lyons, The real ice rink is the most popular family attraction, but families also enjoy the ice slides, crafts, entertainment, carnival rides and bouncing on the inflatables. The festival is open on New Year’s Eve 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
NOPSI welcomes guests to underCURRENT Bar & Patio on New Year’s Eve, which will be serving a prix fixe menu that includes VIP entry to its official celebration.
“There will be an energetic fervor surrounding NOPSI. Aside from the New Year’s Eve revelry, many will be in town for the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which is a quick 10-minute walk from NOPSI,” says Gene Fields, Senior Director of Food & Beverage. “There is no better place to kick off your tailgate or celebrate your team’s win than at the Patio at underCURRENT or out by our rooftop pool and bar, Above the Grid,” says Fields.
Louisiana Children’s Museum
420 Julia St.
New Orleans City Park Visitor Center
5 Victory Ave.
900 Convention Center Blvd., Hall H
317 Baronne St.