When you hear about fashion week you think New York City. Light, glitz, glam and white tents. Well what you may not know if that several years ago other cities around the country started tapping into their local fashion industry and creating fashion week events in their hometowns. Eight years ago New Orleans was a city that started their own which has quickly become the most impressive and comprehensive fashion event on the Gulf Coast.
Over the years I have been able to attend some of the shows here and there but this was the first time that I was able to get a little bit of a behind the scenes look attending events like Let’s Talk Fashion at NOMA, the opening night Kick Off Party at NOPSI and the Tricentennial: 300 Years of New Orleans Fashion Show.
I also attended the Kids Runway Day watching designers like Alexandra Bujan and Cadence Dixon and the Top Design Competition that was held Thursday night which was phenomenal.
I wanted to make this one big post but there were so many great things to see that I am breaking it up into two posts.
Let’s Talk Fashion…
The Let’s Talk Fashion event was held at NOMA and was the first event I purchased tickets for. I am love to attend educational talks and it was fashion related so I was sold.
The discussion was led by Tracee Dundas, the CEO of New Orleans Fashion Week, and designers Brik Allen and Tabatha Bethune. Tracee had a list of questions that she asked each designer from design process to social media. I was very interested to learn how much additional fabric each designer buys before making a custom gown. They also told us that they each tend to buy fabrics and then let the dress choose which one will work better. Tabatha admitted to having a bit of a fabric addiction and has a whole storage room full of fabrics.
Many people don’t appreciate fashion as an art form and hearing them talk about how much time and energy they put into their craft was very inspiring. I was able to tour the Alexander McQueen: A Queen Within exhibit after the talk and Tabatha Bethune viewed a few of the installations with us. I loved hearing her perspective on the clothing and the way they were curated.
My biggest takeaway from this event was from Tabatha. She talked about how as creatives we need to recognize the “emotional apprenticeships” that they have an how much your friends and family pour into you and listen to your ideas. You need to recognize these people because many of them will never benefit from your business other than just supporting their person.
Kick Off Party at NOPSI…
This event was beautiful, the drinks were good and as hard as it is to compete with the New Orleans skyline the Models definitely gave it a run for it’s money. This was the perfect ending to a day of soaking in all of the fashion. Models treated us to a installation like show of several designers pieces.
What I liked the most about this event was the chance to walk around a view the designers pieces from all sides. Unlike a fashion show where the models are walking down the runway and then are gone this event allowed me to view all of the items and really appreciate the craftsmanship as well as the styling.
From the hair to the head pieces to the jewelry everything was carefully chosen. This was obvious from the moment you went it to see the models.
My favorite piece??? The flower crowns of course!
Tricentennial: 300 Years of New Orleans Fashion…
I had not originally planned to attend this event but more tickets became the day of so I called my friend Karen and we jetted across the bridge. Once we got there I was so glad that we decided to go. I was probably one of the most visually interesting shows I saw all week long.
The show was divided up into five different time periods to explore New Orleans Fashion. Marie Antoinette, Sazerac, Fairgrounds, Canal Street, Seersucker and the Future of Fashion.
This was one of the most interesting and educational events that I attended. I felt like they chose perfect time periods to highlight and it was also easy to see the New Orleans influence in each look.
Mardi Gras Indians
Walk Down Canal Street
The Future of Fashion
The future of fashion was designed and executed by high school students who are learning the art of fashion design.
New Orleans Fashion Week was overall an amazing and educational experience. Tracee Dundas and her staff are incredible and definitely have done a lot with this event over the last 8 years.
Thank you again to Eduardo Benitez Photography for these beautiful pictures!