Bountiful Baubles, Beauty and Blooms: Embrace all things beautiful this month in New Orleans.
March is a month that simply can be described as epic when it comes to the number of fashion and design events taking place. Mardi Gras goes without saying; here, we in NOLA costume for sport. Our ensembles — outlandish, eccentric, gravity-defying and with supreme attention to detail — rival the most famous runway shows and couture houses in the world. There’s New York, Paris, Milan and New Orleans — welcome to my fashion world.
In addition to Mardi Gras, this month features one week that will put your social schedule in overdrive. I’m waiting for my Google calendar to crash and burn. New Orleans, you have your very own fashion triathlon: warm up those juicers, ladies, and start your high-heel conditioning — you need to bring your “A game” this month.
NOLA Fashion Week, March 16-22
The New Orleans Fashion Council, a motivator behind the evolution of the fashion industry in New Orleans, hosts NOLA Fashion Week. NOLAFC provides a weeklong conference for hairdressers, makeup artists, photographers and designers to reveal their talents. Held biannually, NOLA Fashion Week includes Southern-born or -based designer-runway presentations, as well as a Fashion Market that showcases local artisan brands and independent Southern-born or -based designer collections. nola-fashionweek.com
Fashion Week New Orleans, March 18-22
Fashion has become a significant contributor to New Orleans culture. Since its inception in 2011, Fashion Week New Orleans has acknowledged the connection between designers and retailers. This platform, formulated by style doyenne Tracee Dundas, unites fashion professionals in a weeklong series of educational seminars, networking opportunities and runway presentations.
Unique to Fashion Week New Orleans is the Fashion Industry Career Day and Top Design Competition. Career Day provides students with an inside look into fashion careers and the occasion to engage with industry professionals. In the Top Design Competition, the next generation of budding designers is granted an opportunity to showcase their collection on the New Orleans Fashion Week runway in front of a jury of fashion professionals and educators. This select group of designers competes for a coveted prize package that includes necessary tools to further their careers. fashionweeknola.com
NOMA’s Art in Bloom, March 19-23
This annual springtime fête includes educational courses and social events with intricate floral arrangements inspired by works of art in NOMA’s galleries. This year, a “Perfect Palette, Celebrating the Flavor of New Orleans,” presented by Whitney Bank, will commence with a preview and patron party on March 19. The event will be open to the public March 20-23 with highly styled and grandiose living works of art fashioned by local florists, garden clubs, interior decorators and fashion stylists installed throughout the great halls and wings of NOMA. Feast your senses on these bountiful blooms! noma.org
Something to C.
The New Orleans shopping experience, particularly of interest in the downtown area at the moment, continues to cultivate its list of noteworthy retailers. The city has an extraordinary blend of locally owned boutiques and globally familiar stores that satisfies the shopping desires of both the traveler and local consumer. The latest addition to New Orleans’ growing retail résumé is C. Wonder, which has opened its first Louisiana location at The Shops of Canal Place. This store is an ideal place for all charming, chic and charismatic women to shop. The retailer’s belief is that luxury should be a feeling rather than dollar signs on a price tag; however, the best thing about C. Wonder is the price tag (with average costs of $50!). How wonderful! cwonder.com
This month, when Mardi Gras concludes and the sensation of repentance commences, I suggest that you simply ignore it and allow yourself to revel in the excess of fashion. You can never have too much of a good thing.