Monday, December 8, 2014

Jess Leigh Jewels: Live in wonder

When Jess Leigh of Jess Leigh Jewels asked me if I was interested in sharing her "Live in Wonder" photo campaign here I didn't hesitate to say yes. I met Jess Leigh several years ago when she was just starting to make jewelry and sell it at the boutique she worked at. Since that time I've witnessed her wholesale bracelet orders flourish into a full fledged business. Enjoy the pictures and make sure to scroll down to learn about Jess Leigh's inspiration for the campaign. 

For additional photos head to the Slow Southern Style Facebook page. 









The concept for this collection and photoshoot was inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. When I started to imagine the aspects of the story that were most inspiring to me, a few points really stuck out. The tea party is by far one of the most memorable parts of the stories of Alice. I thought about this particular scene for a long time. I wondered if maybe the tea party was more of a turning point in the story and the participants; instead of being mad or crazy, were they just realizing their own strengths and personalities?

Expanding on that, when Alice arrived in Wonderland what if instead of being a scared, naive, and insecure girl, Alice- through her trials and adventures in Wonderland- started to find herself, her security in herself, and her personal confidence? That was my concept for the photoshoot, to capture the transformation of Alice while she found her true identity. 

In order to best communicate this I chose three models with different styles but similar looks. The start of the shoot is stiff and posed with all three models dressed in Alice's signature colors: blue,cream, and white. As the shoot continues the models separate and layer on jewelry, take off layers of clothing, and then change wardrobe completely. The end of the shoot is the tea party with three completely different girls all laughing and enjoying themselves. They are finally themselves, completely. 

With the line, I was trying to create something I have never done before- something recreate-able. {Note: Jess Leigh's pieces are usually made from vintage and repurposed jewelry so each piece is one of a kind.}  A body chain, that is a lot like a collar, represents the feeling of Alice's self-imposed oppression. Several long pendant necklaces with feathers represent the flowers in the garden in Wonderland. A bib necklace with jewels and sparkles represents the Cheshire Cat's winning grin. A smaller bib necklace with flowing rhinestone chains represents the wings of the Gryphon. A butterfly hand jewel represents the bread and butterflies, and a feather cuff to represent the flamingoes in the croquet game. 

Of course, I still have a penchant for all things one of a kind and for repurposing antiques. I collected as many compacts and pill boxes as I could in the months prior to launching the line. I drilled small holes in each with a drill press and fashioned them into necklaces named "Open Me." I made earrings from chandelier crystals with unique designs on every pair. I also made large cocktail rings from as many vintage buttons, brooches, and stampings as I could find. 

It is my hope to inspire others with this collection, shoot, and story. I love the idea of seeing wonder in everything and want to pass this along.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Exhibit Be







Short story: Street artists from across the globe transformed an abandoned housing complex into a powerful art gallery.



Long story: I had the privilege of touring Project Be, an off-limits street art gallery, last summer. The makeshift space was like an "at your own risk" art crawl: broken glass, missing stairs, crumbled sheet rock, and other debris littered the dilapidated Florida housing project out in New Orleans East. A tour of Brandan Odums' -and several other artists- work meant you had trespass. The local media jumped on the story, more people started to show up to view the art, and eventually Project Be was shuttered for good. 

Odums found a new space in Algiers and this time the property owner granted him permission to create "the largest single-site street art exhibit in the American South," according to Odums' website.

Exhibit Be attracted hundreds of people this past Saturday. It was only open to the public for one day, but rumors circulated that future events might take place. A part of Prospect 3, panel discussions, DJs, and food trucks added to the party atmosphere while still acknowledging the solemn subject matter of some of the art. The work was diverse as portraits of civil rights leaders, slain New Orleans children,  to giant carrots, dinosaurs, and more abstract figures.

The building is slated for demolition in the near future, which made the experience even richer. Exhibit Be exists to remember the past but only exists in the moment.

You can view more photos from the event on the Slow Southern Style Facebook page. It's also worth your time to scroll #ExhibitBe on Instagram. 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween: Space Age Vikings

Thanks for the picture, Daniele!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Guts And Glory

        This is a piece of flash non-fiction I wrote just as a writing exercise. It captures the spirit of childhood summers spent next to the swamp. I hope you enjoy it.

       “They look like sin dipped in misery,” Mom said. We called them katydids, science calls them Romalea guttata. They invaded our yard in biblical proportions; their bodies shined like freshly cooled lava.
         “I think they’re pretty when they flap their little red wings,” I responded.
         The black grasshoppers copulated on our front yard at dusk, sometimes sneaking into the garage like lusty teenagers. One sweat soaked evening me and my brother invented our own pest control with Dad’s golf clubs- katydid hockey.
         “Take that, sucker!” Chris yelled as a katydid skidded into the storm drain.
        “Yeah, Chris, yeah!” I screeched with delight. Thick yellow guts painted the pavement like a Passover door. We stayed out until the mosquitoes launched an aerial attack, their needle noses drilling the napes of our necks. We were unaware that our game was a grasshopper massacre; our consciouses only existed in those fleeting moments of sunlight. We forgot our insect graveyard, oblivious to it until it was safe to resume our game the next evening. 


Bastards.
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