Photo by Geovanni Velasquez (www.blackandgeauxld.com)
Confetti poppers marked the end of Lisa Iacono's 2014 Dreamcar Collection runway show.
New Orleans Fashion Week (NOFW) takes the city by the stilettos March 18-24, with a full slate of events for fashion lovers of all ages and genders. NOFW brings together budding and established designers from all over the country, with a focus on homegrown talent from the Gulf South, and provides a chic setting for networking, mentoring and — of course — shopping. The group's mission is "to foster and support economic growth by raising attention to the talents of southern designers, beauty professionals, photographers and models," and the dream is realized this month with a parade of fashion shows, demonstrations, pop-up boutiques and panels.
Red carpet events and runway shows are March 22-24 at the Civic Theater, with Luxe Marketplace pop-up stores at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 as well, and shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $35 for upper-level general admission to $300 for a 3-day VIP pass, and are available here. The fashion fun doesn't stop there though — here's some info about attendant events.
Enjoy Retail Therapy Day on March 18 with your Yelp passport, and receive special promotions at participating stores and a chance to win a prize from the Kendra Scott collection. Check out boutiques such as Hattie Sparks, Swoon, Head Over Heels and Fleur de Paris (to name a few), and while getting your shop on, enter the NOFW Street Style contest by Instagram-ing a picture of your bad self with the #NOFW7StreetStyle tag. You could win prizes and event tickets. Winners will be announced at the Kick Off Party Saturday evening.
Pop bottles with models at the Kick Off Party 7 to 9 p.m. March 18 in the courtyard of the W Hotel French Quarter. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and the hotel is offering $10 valet parking (so you don't have to walk far in those heels).
Bring the little ones to Kids Runway Day for designers, shopping and live entertainment 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 19 at Fulton Street Square (228 Poydras Street), on Fulton Street between Gordon Biersch restaurant and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Models will take the runway with some special guests from the Louisiana SPCA — each will be paired with vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and adoptable dogs. Tickets are $20; use the code "FASHIONFIDO" to automatically donate $5 of the ticket price to the LASPCA.
Meet New Orleans-based fashion designer Pedram Pasha Taheri (owner of Pedram Couture on Camp Street) 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 20 at Cafe Adelaide. Taheri will host a Q & A session, during which attendees can enjoy $5 specialty cocktails inspired by the designer and his work. The event is free, but an RSVP is required at email@example.com.
In partnership with NOFW, the W French Quarter hosts "What She Said" 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. The panel of female fashion and design entrepreneurs will include Hattie Collins Moll, owner of Hattie Sparks, Reagan Charleston, jewelry designer, and Louisiana-born actress and producer Shanna Forrestall, and will be moderated by NOFW creative director Tracee Dundas. The event is an opportunity to network, enjoy some small bites and a complimentary glass of wine, and listen to some live music by singer Robin Barnes. The panel is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is advised at firstname.lastname@example.org, since space is limited. The hotel is offering special event parking for $10.
The Top Design Competition will award the NOFW Top Designer and Yelp's People's Choice awards on Wednesday, March 22. Among the competitors are New Orleans natives Itchel Spears, whose minimal, contemporary aesthetic is informed by art, architecture and pop-culture, and Mimi Holaday, creator of Halo Mimi, a line of handmade premium straw and felt hats. Other designers up for awards are Brittany Henderson, Jamie Rogers, Jane Elizabeth Gressaffa, Kiyada Jenkins, Mary Virginia Ayres, Sakeenah Ashiru, Victoria Cleveland, Victoria Henley and Viviana de la Rosa. The runway show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Theater.
Forrestall teams up with Elida Tsou of Elida Designs to raise money for the nonprofit Launch Louisiana, which manages fundraising campaigns for Louisiana-based projects like flood relief for South Louisiana residents affected by the 2016 floods. Tsou will attend NOFW red carpet events and runway shows, and will showcase custom jewelry designs. 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Launch Louisiana. Tsou will also premiere a set of fine jewelry titled "Light, Love, Life." The necklace and ring are made of rubies, diamonds, silver and gold, and the design was inspired by the hope area volunteers brought to families affected by the flooding. The set is valued at $10,000, and will be revealed and auctioned on March 23. A percentage of the auction profits will be donated to Launch Louisiana as well; private inquiries and bids can be placed by emailing email@example.com.
High school and college students interested in the fashion industry can attend Fashion Career Day on Friday, March 24. The informational session is 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeside Shopping Center, in the former Limited store space. There will be guest speakers, a student design competition and resume building and interview preparation workshops. Dr. Lisa McRoberts, a fashion design professor at LSU, will host an alligator textiles workshop as well. Registration is $65 and includes a continental breakfast, runway show tickets, and a swag bag.