Celebrate New Orleans Mardi Gras Like a Local
Since we can't all be at Mardi Gras -- we bring you the inside scoop straight from New Orleans native Taylor Morgan. She is a fashionable girl about town and editor of the newly launched New Orleans' Scout Guide -- a consortium of super-chic city guidebooks that are dedicated to "capturing the best of local." Who better than a Scout Editor to give us the New Orleans low down? Not only did she let us know how and where she's celebrating Mardi Gras (The locals ride bikes!), she also gave us a slew of shopping recommendations from artwork to earrings that each feel true to New Orleans style.
Taylor's Mardi Gras Agenda: On Friday, I went to the party at IBERIABANK on St. Charles Avenue-- the new branch just opened and the interior design is stunning! Saturday, I mingled between parties on the Avenue, at the Columns Hotel, and the famous Pine Street Block Party with local musician Deacon John. Sunday kicked off with brunch at Ralph's on the Park followed by parades. Monday was the Proteus lunch at Antoine's. On Mardi Gras day, we're biking along the parade route and watching Rex at 2525 St. Charles Avenue. The whiskey sours and mini-hamburgers are a legendary Mardi Gras tradition!
Taylor piles on the color and the shades: I always try to incorporate a little purple, green or gold into my outfit. And, I just purchased Oliver Goldsmith's Lancelot 1968 glasses from Art & Eyes for Mardi Gras. Here's hoping the sun shines!
Taylor catches beads at: Muses, Proteus and Rex. Muses has the BEST throws. They are famous for throwing glittery shoes, yep, you heard that right! Each rider decorates their old heels with glitter and they throw them out to the crowds. They are highly coveted! I am a huge traditionalist, so the beauty of the Proteus and Rex parades captivate me. You can tell that the float decorators spend hours upon hours to create these masterpieces. The theme of Proteus this year is the "Unseen New Orleans Carnival" and the Rex theme is "All Creatures Great and Small." You can buy the proclamation by local artist Shelley Hesse here.
And after Mardi Gras, Taylor gets serious about Lent... I'm giving up everything! It's going to be healthy, healthy, healthy from here out!
Check out a sampling of Taylor's favorite shops and galleries:
This is a New Orleans staple (and you can get it on Etsy!). My good friend interior designer Tyson Geary, says a travel bar (like the one pictured above) is a must for any parade goer. They can be as easy as a simple leather case that houses all your necessities to more elaborate hard cases.
I have been eyeing Marion Cage's Portail Dangle earrings since I first met Marion McCollam, the local jewelry designer. They are very dramatic but subtle at the same time. I would wear these everywhere!
Many are surprised to find out that one of the South's best architects, Ken Tate, is also an accomplished painter. Ken fascinates me-- he's so intuitive and there so many layers to him. I love looking at his paintings and wondering what in the world he was thinking!
I love all the work that local artist, Alexis Walter, does but I'm really partial to her mini canvases. They are great gifts -- I just gave my best friend one for her 30th birthday.
I'm dreaming of laying in this Gerrie Bed from Bremermann Designs (White is one the legendary decorator's signature colors) wrapped in Leontine Linens -- one day!
I'm still waiting to purchase the Gerrie bed. In the meantime, I stock up on Rebecca Vizard's Fortuny flowers available from Bremermann Designs. They look great bunched together in a vase or used as napkin rings.
Every girl has to have an Ashley Longshore painting. My favorite ones are the ones with the bottles of Veuve Cliquot. But the one I have says, "Ya ain't going to be complaining when you're sitting on the sundeck drinking margaritas." So true! A toast to our home in Pass Christian, Mississippi.
For more of Taylor's adventures in New Orleans, check out her blog.