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Jolie & Elizabeth Summer Collection

Just in time for a season of steamy soirees, New Orleans fashion designers Jolie Benson and Sarah Elizabeth Dewey of Jolie & Elizabeth (7630 St. Charles Ave., 755-9070; www.jolieandelizabeth) launch their second summer collection, an assembly of breezy garments crafted from cool pastel cotton piques, silks and, of course, seersucker.

  "Seersucker is popular, especially in the South and coastal areas, because it's traditional and comfortable," Dewey says. "It's 100 percent cotton, so it's machine washable, wrinkle-free and durable, while still being lightweight."

  Jolie & Elizabeth garments are manufactured entirely in New Orleans, and the designers draw their inspiration from local sources: Mood boards include photos of Spanish moss, blooming azalea bushes and Mississippi river banks. Though the line's vibe has a decidedly antique undertone, Dewey says the garments welcome unique twists. "Sometimes women stray away from seersucker because it may be too traditional or preppy for them," she says. "Seersucker can really be made modern or styled to your own tastes. Dress it up with pumps or down with Keds — add classic pearls or costume jewelry. Our garments look completely different from woman to woman." — Missy Wilkinson

Jolie & Elizabeth garments are for sale at Hemline (609 Chartres St., 592- 0242; 3308 Magazine St., 269-4005;, Perlis (6070 Magazine St., 891-2073; and Branch Out (2022 Magazine St., 371-5913;

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