New Orleans


Wild Side Expressed

During my last trip to New Orleans to attend Fashion Week New Orleans, I visited the Mignon Faget headquarters for a tour of their offices and jewelry production space. It was then that I was introduced to their newest collection, a handbag collection. Being a handbag designer, I immediately dug in!

At first I was confused how a brand known for it's jewelry could have handbags void of hardware. After speaking to members of the team and Mignon, I discovered a surprising trait tucked in the history of the Mignon Faget aesthetic - one with a very bohemian flair. I find it very exciting to find things or meet people which appear to have a very polished and prim surface, yet have a nomadic, gypsy spirit. Having these little mysteries about oneself is certainly an element of je ne sais quoi.
leather handbag, canadian tuxedo, valor jacket, brooklyn blogger, knitted hat

Taking a look back to the Mignon Faget 60s archives, I discovered a Mignon with a wilder side. This collection recaptures the youth of the Mignon Faget brand. These styles are a natural vegetable tan leather with a very soft hand. They are completely 
unpretentious while exuding quality. Special touches like a blue suede interior show thoughtful consideration to tie back to it's iconic blue felt jewelry bags.

Magazine Street Crossbody c/o Mignon Faget


valor jacket_ double denim_ knitted hat_pink sunglasses_mignon faget handbag
Hand Knitted hat from Iris Mint on Etsy , Vintage Yellow leather gloves

valor jacket_ double denim_ knitted hat_pink sunglasses_mignon faget handbag
Pink rim sunglasses - stolen from Lloyd ;)

This past weekend I threw on a double denim outfit with a vintage camel colored velor jacket. The Magazine St crossbody was the ideal bag for this look. It's easy going casual flair has that effortless appeal, which looks like you aren't trying too hard,yet appear very put together. In addition to it's charming aesthetic, it's the perfect size for a weekend outing. 

Now I'm ready for festival season!!! - It may be called the Magazine St Crossbody but it will be perfect for Main St at Coachella (with a bit less clothing)

A Gumbo of Southern & Posh

Söpö: A boutique that manages to capture the zany side of the city's character while remaining poised and refined
Sopo New Orleans, Dressing Room
SÖPÖ = Southern Posh
Smart, Zany, & Inviting
Sopo Nola Sinage

Sopo Boutique New Olreans

As I stepped into Söpö, there was so much to look at, and I wanted to look at it all. This is the kind of boutique that beckons your attention and your gift giving spirit. There are so many items you want for yourself and if not for yourself, then you know someone you would want to give it to.

The item that got me into the store was a very unique accessory that they carry by artist: Ellen Macomber. It's a screen printed silk scarf with a New Orleans road map.  It's the perfect mix of kitsch and class and a truly tasteful souvenir from NOLA.

Taken by surprise, SÖPÖ has great gifts for the boys too. For instance, they carry a very dapper selection of bow ties and pocket squares for the true Southern Gentleman. Oh, and this iconic New Orleans Map print can also be found on a bow tie, pocket square and neck tie as well.
bow ties

pocket squares
Pocket Squares by Fox & Brie
neck ties

pocket squares
Pocket Squares with NOLA map

Anyone that has visited the city of New Orleans knows that it's slightly off-kilter (and that is what makes it wonderful). The appreciation for the unconventional is alive and well at SÖPÖ where porcelain crawfish and alligators at the bottom of a coffee cup show the easy going, joking manner of this city's inhabitants.
porcelain coffee cups

art akimbo mustache stand
Sunglasses and a place to rest them

art akimbo mustache stand

Sopo New Orleans Boutique, dolls
Cake Toppers
ginger coloring book
Coloring Book
baby clothes
For Babies!

ellen macomber art
Glass Art by Ellen Macomber
pop art, elephant head
Pop Safari Art

ellen macomber art
Class art by Ellen Macomber

serving tray

Sopo New Orleans Boutique
Once you get past all of the housewares, stationary, handbags, jewelry, baby clothes & toys, and everything else on the 1st floor that you were not aware you had to have, the 2nd floor is like your dream walk-in closet.  The women that own & operate Söpö, Robin & Britta, truly know what they are doing when selecting the apparel for SOPO.  There is attire you not only want to celebrate in, but really live in. It would be hard to not walk away with at least one new piece for your wardrobe since everything in here is so inviting.
dressing room
The Dressing Room
dressing room

rope necklace
rope necklace
black and white necklace
cowgirl boots
porter lyons earrings
Porter Lyons Mineral Earrings

These earrings need no story to enhance their desirability but I was even more hooked when I learned designer, Ashley Porter, made these of a Louisiana Mineral. Cheers to the Local movement.
Hansel from Basil Bobby Socks

Umm Cute Socks... We all know how I feel about Sweet Socks and Wedge Sandals - In LOVE.
porter lyons jewelry
more Jewelry by Porter Lyons
eve gravel dress
My Favorite dress by Eve Gravel

Sopo New Orleans Boutique

This Boutique in New Orleans' Mid City Neighborhood is an instant favorite rather you are a tourist or a local. Söpö truly offers one of the finer shopping experiences in New Orleans. If you can't make it to NOLA, check out their website.

629 North Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA

Where Caffeine addicts go to die - Café Heaven

Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans

Church Alley Coffee Bar in New Orleans

A Surreal Fairytale that is Bohemian yet Victorian

This Week Mademoiselle Love took a vacation so I hope you can live this week with out your new french vocabulary lesson and the antics of Simone and Amy Lynn. French Fridays returning Next Week.

Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans
Iced Coffee with Coconut Milk
So in it's place I offer you a COFFEE FAIRY LAND I discovered during my last trip to New Orleans. Actually I may have never discovered this cafe had my coffee date not suggest it.  It's on a quiet block with no outdoor signage. In fact the subway tile in front of the door reads "Hair Store".  Based on the appearance of the block and the facade, I was not expecting much inside. Then I opened the door and I felt as though I  entered a fairytale land in which a Caffeine addict would hope heaven is like.
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans

It's a quintessential New Orleans ambiance which is rarely so well executed. The whimsical hanging lights feel very Bohemian and playfully Surreal while the color palette and furniture lines are very Victorian.
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans, clocks on ceilings
The Ceiling

Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans, glass collage
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans, dog
The Guard Dog aka The Lap Dog
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans

Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans
Chuch Alley Coffe Bar, Coffe, Coffee Cups, New Orleans, Subway tile
1228 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, Louisiana

French Friday #16: Trompe L'oeil

This Week's French Phrase
by Mademoiselle Love
Trompe L'oeil
Pronounced:   | tʁɔ̃p lœj |
Translation: Trick of the Eye

I've always known that New Orleans was a trippy kind of a place, but I didn't know to expect this...
I saw this ad in the Gambit and thought, "This is a weird Tasse de Café waiting to happen". So, here I am at Sacred Grinds, a Zombie-themed coffee shop, and I got inspired to post about trompe l'oeil.

Trompe l'oeil means "trick the eye," so it's the term used for optical illusions, for example... 
two faced optical illusion 
You may have seen this French term come up in the context of fashion because recently, it has become quite fashionable for details like collars, belts, jewelry or even buttons and pleats to be drawn onto clothing, creating the illusion that those elements are actually there. Simone knows what I'm talking about...

Amy Lynn: Simone, I love your sweater. What a cool collar!

Simone: OMG, Amy Lynn, it's not actually a collar. 

Amy Lynn: Then, what is it? It looks like a collar to me.

Simone: It's a trompe l'oeil collar. Duh!

Amy Lynn: Woah!!! Trippy, man!

I guess the collar on Simone's sweater looks super real, just like this zombie hiding behind the simple sugar!
 So many trompe l'oeil today! Man, did someone spike my coffee??
Should I say something about the cemetery?

Merci Beaucoup,
Mademoiselle Love
jenée here: It's true that this use of trompe l'oeil, once reserved for paintings, has become a fashion statement. My favorite use of trompe l'oeil, as a handbag designer, are the cheap cotton tote bags with a drawing of a very expensive, iconic bag like an Hermes Berkin Bag. This becomes quite the piece of art. Is it a joke about the insane price of a Berkin? or is it about a girl stopping at nothing to get a Berkin even if it's only a drawing for now?  
Is it tricking your eye?
Bag for purchase on Etsy
It appears that perhaps Simone found her sweater at J.Crew
The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"
Is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on KVPI-FM
My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 
Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and my friend, the author, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.
Tune in to KVPI every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. But to make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.

Vintage Shopping in New Orleans at Lili's

vintage clothing, new orlenas A few summers ago I read an amazing hot pink book called Eccentric Glamour by Simon Doonan. It left me not only entertained, but well fashion advised. Though, I will never forget Chapter 5 when Simon seems to cringe at the thought of Vintage Clothes because he is afraid of ghosts. You see, I love Vintage Clothing and know that a wardrobe is not truly complete with out a few pieces. So if you are an "Existentialist or Gypsie" like me, as Simon points out, then "your whole point of view is contingent upon augmenting your wardrobe with the kind of unique and eccentric pieces that can be found only at vintage emporiums."

While Shopping in New Orleans, Louisiana a few weeks ago I found my new favorite Vintage Boutique - Lili. It is extremely well merchandised (which means the buyer has amazing taste), and it does not smell vintage (she has all items cleaned and repaired). I found some serious Cocktail dresses and dresses that make me want to get married again!

Lili Vintage Boutique
Unique, Discerningly Tasteful, Southern Pretty

Vintage hats Vintage Cocktail Dress, New Orleans Vintage cocktail dress, new orleans vintage gown, new orleans wicker handbags, vintage vintage wedding dress vintage wedding dress vintage cocktail dress

and now, for the grande finale ... a Gorgeous, Wintery, Vintage Wedding dress

This is the Veil
vintage wedding dress vintage wedding dress Vintage wedding dress

take my word for it....
Lili Vintage Boutique
3329 Magazine St.
New Orleans, Louisiana

Beignets - Breakfast of Champions: A Dainty Mess

I know, everyone thinks their version of breakfast is the champion, but trust me, in New Orleans, Beignets with Café au Lait really is. You pick the beignet up with two fingers and stick you pinky finger out when you eat. Then the powdered sugar inevitable ends up everywhere - It's a real Dainty Mess. We enjoy Morning Call in City Park while we are in Mid-City and Cafe du Monde while in the French Quarter. (btw, they make a great mid-day snake and a great mid-night snack as well).