New Orleans designer and writer Andi Eaton interprets the Crescent City's modern-day fashions through the lens of history in her new book, New Orleans Style (History Press). Eaton shows how the melding of French, Spanish, African, Caribbean and other cultures established the unique styles we see on the streets today. Like its architecture, New Orleans' fashion represents an evolution based in necessity and artistic expression.
Inspired by the city and its people, Eaton sees fashion as "part of the celebration." Landmark retailer Rubensteins remains a staple for men in New Orleans, as do three-piece suits, standard dress for early jazz musicians. The evolution of women's fashion is on display from local labels like Jolie & Elizabeth, whose seersucker frocks are a natural fit for the Southern climate.
While not discounting the dark side of New Orleans history, Eaton celebrates the contributions of all players ranging from debutantes to streetwalkers and slaves to Cajuns. Eaton makes it clear New Orleans is a place where styles past and present collide in a beautiful mix of color, function and creativity. The author includes vivid images and interviews with industry leaders.
The design and layout of New Orleans Style appear as thoughtfully curated as the material on its pages. Part travel guide, part history text, part fashion magazine, this book can be enjoyed by simply flipping through the pages or sitting down for a more in-depth read.
Sincerely Luxe (2240 Magazine St., Ste. 102, 504-272-9004; www.facebook.com/sincerelyluxe) hosts a book signing from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.