Crazy for Costumes
It is no big shock to anyone that I look forward to this month all year long. It might be assumed that September is my favorite month, with new fall fashions and New York Fashion Week, but in fact, September is a close second to October. You can keep your carols, festive family dinners, packing up for the parade route (blasphemous, I know) and dyed eggs. For me, October has always been considered “Halloween Season,” and it’s a beloved month and holiday for many reasons: there is no pressure to prepare fancy meals for family you see once a year, nor purchase gifts; pumpkin carving is considered a competitive sport; the only Martha Stewart magazine I ever buy is the Halloween issue, and do I need to mention the copious candy? Yet the most significant reason I adore all 31 days is the occasion to dress in costume.
Though here in New Orleans there seems to be an opportunity to costume every weekend, as a child I only had two days a year to dress up, and I took those two dress-up days very seriously. In my house, it was sacrilege to buy a costume from a big-name retailer. I was fortunate to have a mother who sewed our costumes by hand every year. She was the original Etsy shop. I have inherited this tradition, and destiny led me to marry into a family that shares this uncanny obsession with creative costuming.
The joy of Halloween is being able to morph into something wicked or whimsical, creepy, cute or even risqué without judgment. The holiday is similar to the fashion world; in fact, Halloween was the catalyst for my passion for fashion.
Treats: Good n’ Plenty
New stores and notable boutiques will satiate your style appetite this month. Sweet items for fashion followers on a budget include home goods, one-of-a-kind jewels and dapper duds for men. Check out these spook-tacular locations:
Vita – Metairie’s only lifestyle boutique, the brainchild of Amy Brechtel Cain and Erin Ewing, is a one-stop shop for your home, your man and, most importantly, yourself. This boutique/gallery features the paintings of New Orleans artist Jennifer Ansardi and custom furniture designer Ginger Leaber Coffer. You will also find butter-soft and flattering denim by Henry & Belle, tailor-made Italian men’s suits and McClendon Designs jewelry.
1537 Metairie Road
Jess Leigh Jewels – “Uniquely inspired and one-of-a-kind” are the beautiful pieces created by designer and boutique owner Jess Leigh. Her designs have been available at local boutiques such as Fairy and Abeille, and she recently opened her own shop, replete with all her stunning creations under one roof. Her reworked vintage pieces, stones and beads are transformed into chic rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
5715 Magazine Street
Candy Apple – Conceived by Candace Bienvenu with the assistance of her sister Cassie, Candy Apple has been a boutique-in-the-making for well over a year. Candace has been hosting fabulous pop-up shops in various places around town and has developed a fashion-forward following to rival the front row of any fashion week. Expect to see all things chic and shiny at insanely reasonable price points.
701 Metairie Road, Suite 105 B
Rise – Sophisticated, professional and crazy cool — this is Fallon Lewis, the lovely owner of Rise. Open for a year now, her boutique features a variety of polished contemporary brands for both women and men. It also happens to be one of the few places you can find the NFL-approved purses made by Bats on Tees. Lewis posts daily on Facebook, Instagram and on the app the NEARBY to keep her customers abreast of new inventory and sales.
3650 Magazine Street
B. Boutique – Owner Blaine Clayton is beyond beautiful and intelligent. This former model and owner of a modeling agency recently opened her second location in Metairie. Staying true to her original concept, Clayton continues to carry sizes 2-20. Equipped with a runway, B. Boutique makes fashion fun, accessible and affordable. Her dresses, workout wear and accessories are not only on-trend, but budget-friendly.
701 Metairie Road, Suite 110 B
I wish you not-so-scary shopping this Halloween!