Clothes, New Orleans
Along Bourbon Street I came across this rather amusing and exotic clothing shop. The mixed gender and racy nature of the clothes were hard to beat even for a person used to such things in the home city of San Francisco.
What to buy: Try on an item just for fun.
What to pay: Who knows, but I would bargain. This is a locally owned shop.
The shop is a exclusive resale boutique. The inventory was gorgeous. A lot of the inventory came from some very exclusive and well to do neighborhoods and I definitely would have paid a lot more for the items if I bought retail.
What to buy: Designer dresses, ballgowns, wedding dress and some upscale items. They also have a back room for separates.
What to pay: Price can vary depending on item from $10 and over.
We rode the Canal Street car out toward the City Park, but on the way, we saw a street fair, and stopped. I saw these scarves and wanted to buy one for my mom, but I didn't have any money - Bob had it all and I couldn't find him to get some from him.
What to buy: Kathleen Grumich paints her designs on silk. In addition to scarves, she has shawls and purses. I emailed her, and she sent me photos of the scarves she has on hand, and I picked one and paid her via PayPal.
What to pay: Scarves are $50 to $115 plus $5 for shipping.
Shawls are $150 to $200, and the purses are $52.00
My husband and I were walking around in the French Quarter late one night when we walked by the window display at Fleur de Paris - and I instantly fell in love with a hat. The sweetest riding hat in shades of blue with peacock feathers. I took the photo below, and we ended up in the same area the next day, so we went inside - "just to look". I asked to see the hat in the display, and the owner retrieved it for me to try on - OMG, it was even prettier up close! I took a peek in the hatband and saw the pricetag - way out of my price range, but that's just me... I love it so much, and am trying to justify the expense - it is truly an investment in a piece of wearable art.
If you love hats, do yourself a favor and stop by. The owner is very nice, and they have a lot of other lovely things in the boutique. Even if you just stop to look in the window - I absolutely love this shop!
What to buy: In a custom millinery shop - handmade hats, of course! They also have other sparkly, blingly, lovely things - it is a great place to buy gifts for your friends and family who have everything. And, you could always go buy the hat for me... :-)
The Fleurty Girl has become a Facebook phenom, starting out with cool t-shirts with local New Orleans flair, and has since branched out into locally-crafted jewelry, local-artist books, Saints swag, etc. The French Quarter store has great staff and even a dressing room (in case you can't decide which size and style you prefer).
What to buy: Since Hurricane Katrina, the fleur de lis has become the symbol of solidarity, resiliance, and HOME for the people of New Orleans. For those of us who have relocated since then, the items which bring back a taste and memory of the city we love are touchstones to the people we are and the life we left behind.
Lauren (the owner) was there that day, and recommended I visit the larger store on Magazine Street, as they have more accessories. Next time I visit NOLA, I am so there!
What to pay: I have several t-shirts (~$25 each) and a fleur de lis "Who Dat" cuff bracelet for $10. They have adorable accessories and NOLA-centric stuff - great for gift shopping! I bought several of the New Orleans Water Meter coasters to give as office gifts ($5 each).
Retro glamour-luxurious lingerie and loungewear, corsets, smoking jackets, decadent indulgences for the boudoir, cigarette holders, jewelry, boas, feather fans and accessories.
What to buy: A boa, a thong...something sexy!
What to pay: Not cheap.
We passed this shop on the way to dinner the first day. I thought the gowns in the window looked really beautiful, but all I did was window shop. The dress with the roses on it (on the right side) is a bridal gown, but he also does other special occasion gowns.
Hours Monday - Friday 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm to 6:00pm
I had never heard of Harold Clarke. This is what his website says
What to buy: Harold Clarke - head designer and owner of Harold Clarke Couturier Atelier has brought to the United States the kind of luxury, elegance, and personal service that the world’s most privileged individuals have known and come to expect for many years. As told by Essence Magazine, "Clarke weds vision and skill to design the gown of your dreams, using the most precious fabrics and innovative classical designs to create unique concepts in Bridal and Special Occasion wear for his clientele". By doing things according to his timetable, Harold Clarke has managed to stay in a class by himself and does not follow a typical Seventh Avenue schedule.
The Jamaican born native came to the United States in 1969, His objective was clear, he would one day become a household name in the high stakes fashion industry. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York. He later opened his first studio in SoHo specializing in mood pieces and was later discovered by a specialty store on West Broadway. There he designed special couture pieces and limited edition gowns in all fabrications. From SoHo Clarke moved his operation into the garment district, with a design studio at 147 West 40th street between, the famous, Seventh Avenue and Broadway. At this time he specialized in couture bridal and special occasion gowns. Later Harold Clarke added a showroom in the prestigious bridal building at 1375 Broadway, where his collections were sold to exclusive clients, specialty stores and boutiques across the United States and beyond.
While working on a bridal party Harold Clarke was introduced to the city of New Orleans. There Clarke was seduced by the history, ambiance, culture and the entire essence that is, the City of New Orleans. The city has directly influenced his special occasion pieces. Clarke applies advanced technique and resources to create a collection that displays the New Orleans experience through fashion.
What to pay: I expect these gowns are very expensive.