Aspire To Inspire


This spectacular piece was made for Lulu of Thievery Corporation

A few weeks ago I did a trend post on the use of rope in interiors, apparel and accessories as it was something that I quickly saw as a trend that inspired me. I’m not in the habit of talking about trends much anymore, but I do love it when something that is so basic and utilitarian becomes an over-arching trend. Rope is a medium that is so useful and purposeful, but at the same time can be used to create beautiful art as I learned from New Orleans artist, Seth Damm of Neon Zinn.
I originally saw Seth’s work at a friend’s store, Garment Modern Vintage, in Austin, TX and also spied it at the Dallas location of Tenoversix. It wasn’t until I shared my post on social media that I got connected to Seth through friends and found out that he was living in New Orleans.

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I have a serious love of portraiture and the wackier the person is, the more in love I become with the painting. I have a collection of vintage portraits all around my house, and I’m always a sucker for a unique personality. For this reason, and many others I fell in love with Hayley’s work and I reached out to her so that I could learn more about her career as an artist here in New Orleans and take a peak at her studio.

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Veronique Branquinho S/S 2015

For awhile now I’ve been fascinated with the use of rope in interior design and I started to notice a trend in rope becoming a bigger player in the accessories market for Spring 2015. I’ve got a rope belt that was on a COREY dress from years ago and I always love to tie it around my favorite pair of Levi’s and other baggy pants during the spring and summer time. It looks like this simple idea is taking shape in many different varieties in Spring dressing this year which makes me happy. I love when a simple item such as rope becomes a trend as it is so easy to work with and so easy to find.

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A few years ago when I visited New Orleans with some of my best friends, I was told by my highschool girlfriend that I had to meet her cousin, musician Kristin Diable if I wanted to find out a good perspective on living in New Orleans and the music scene. Kristin grew up where I did, in Baton Rouge, but left and lived in New York City for awhile before she moved to New Orleans and became a fixture in the community. We met at one of my favorite Nola bars, Bar Tonique, and she gave me her rundown on living in the city of New Orleans. Before I left she handed me her latest CD and we promised to stay in touch as to where I decided to move.

I didn’t waste much time in getting a listen on her music, and I was immediately mesmerized with her songwriting and her unique voice. It was one of those albums that once you started listening you just can’t stop and I would play it over and over again while I drove my car around Los Angeles contemplating my move and the desires of my heart. I immediately started to follow Kristin via social media and we quickly found out we were amongst the same tribe -a gypsy warrior woman on a journey of a soul-filled and adventurous life, taking in everything we can along the way and always looking forward.

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Well it’s been quite a bit since I’ve shared with you. A few weeks after my move to New Orleans, I got in a bad car accident and broke my leg and ankle. I had surgery and I was laid up for 6 weeks with my pain pills and Hulu Tv. For someone who is constantly moving and on the go, this proved to be a very challenging time for me. I had just gotten to New Orleans and I wanted to get out and start to meet people and enjoy this beautiful city. But God had other plans in store. I took my prescription of no walking for 6 weeks as a gift of rest after having been on the move so much these past few years.

Everyone was warning me about getting depressed and how important it was to stay positive. I’m happy to admit that I only had a handful of darker days and the rest of the days I spent being thankful for all of the gifts that have been given to me in the past few years. I think I had to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN in order to actually see how all of the moves I had made and the hard decisions I encountered had led up to where I was now here in New Orleans.

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It’s not that often I get a girl crush, but when I recently discovered German blogger Maja Wyh, I was smitten. Not only is this lady stunningly gorgeous and fresh as a daisy, her skill in odd-ball layering is some of the most sophisticated and chic style I have seen in awhile. I’m obsessed with every single look she puts together and oogle at her ability to layer up to 7 different proportions of clothing on her body at once-this is a serious skillset.

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Right before I moved to New Orleans I worked on a styling job that was pretty special so I wanted to share it with you. Bauble Bar is an online jewelry and accessory company from NYC that came to Austin, TX to shoot a special friend of the company for their “Guest Bartender” story that they feature monthly. For this special series they chose Megan Runser as their guest bartender, a beautiful woman fighting Leukemia who got in touch with the company to express her dream of being a Guest Bartender on their website. Megan reached out to Bauble Bar never thinking that her dream would actually come true. Well, this life-threatening cancer had hit one of the owners close to home, so the company decided to make Megan’s dream come true.

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This past weekend I went to a free event (most live music is free in this town btw) to see a band I discovered this summer at SXSJ in Austin, Hurray for the Riff Raff. The event featured several New Orleans artists and musicians and The Joy theater was packed full of the Riff Raff’s local fan base. They’ve been out on tour promoting their new album, Small Town Heroes, and were thrilled to be back in Nola performing for their crowd. I wanted to share their music with you as their sound is very unique and their story of success lies in the heart of what New Orleans is all about. Lead singer, Alynda Lee Segarra started the band in New Orleans and is aiming to leave a hefty mark on the Americana folk music scene. She makes her music for the riff raff, the underdogs and says, “We really feel at home with a lot of worlds of people that don’t really seem to fit together, and we find a way to make them all hang out with our music. Whether it’s the queer community or some freight train-riding kids or some older guys who love classic country, a lot of folks feel like mainstream culture isn’t directed at them. We’re for those people.”

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For those of you that know me personally, you already know that I am a big fan of Justin Townes Earle. Have been for years. I’ve probably seen him now live around six times and recently drove all the way to Nashville to see him open for Dwight Yoakam. I have been waiting for another album for a few years now and am thrilled at his new album release today, Single Mothers.

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Living in Texas, I’ve become very accustomed to seeing people in cowboy and western clothes and its exciting for me to now see so much of this look in fashion right now. I knew the minute that I saw Chanel’s Resort show in Dallas this year that western fashions would be all over the Fall 2014 editorials. To no surprise, they are everywhere.

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