This is a great piece of writing by Madeline Trudeau Kawanaka about Blanc et Noir Marching Society. A fascinating look at all the hard work that goes into prepping for the Krewe of Highland parade. Krewe of Highland 2018 parade is Sunday February 11.
Random costume wisdom from a 10-year Blanc et Noir veteran:) Old members, please join in with your wisdom!
A small black or white umbrella decorated with fringe, a feather boa, etc is an authentic nola second-line accoutrement. It'll give you something to do with your hands as you remember how to dance to our live band.
It's a long walk so comfy shoes are key and the streets are quite dusty so plan to be dirty afterward. My Goodwill ballgown acts as a street sweeper and turns grey and collects lots of lovely debris--but i'm cool with hosing it down afterward.
Some fun and wild looks for women (think tight black sequin dresses with the midsection cutout or tight white bodysuit) can be found at those cheap clothing shops at the boardwalk and in mall st vincient. It's only one day of the year and you'll be wearing a mask so just go for it.
Men will not be alone if they wear a tux as Robert Trudeau does every year.
Speaking of masks. I prefer a mask over face paint but others look simply stunning with all manner of blanc et noir designs on their faces. Bring your face paints and we can help each other apply at the preparty. Tubb's Hardware in Bossier has a lot of Mardi Gras masks--mostly purple, green and gold but occasionally you can score a b&w or silver (silver fits the krewe aesthetic also) one. cheap ball gowns
You can cut the Blanc et Noir logo from foam sheets and pin it to your outfit if you'd like to rep your krewe. Foam sheets are found in the craft sections of Michael's and Hobby Lobby in matte, sparkle and sequins. You can also pin or hot glue these to your parade umbrella.
A wig transforms your look! It's the piece de resistance! Black or white bob? This is the one area krewe members add a pop of color to their costumes with. Purple, hot pink?
I made the mistake one year of having a fancy, tall head piece and trying to sway a decorated umbrella over my head--that was comical fail.
Hot glue, staples, safety pins are what hold great one-day costumes together. No need to break out the sewing machine. Elmers glue will give out on you mid-way through Highland. We have a 20 year old parade umbrella which has stapled on fringe at the edges... it works.
Hobby Lobby's party section (back left) has lots of black and white paper goods like paper fans, tissue pompoms, feather boas, tulle bows and more.
A paper fan can be hot glued to a headband at an angle to make the start of an impressive fascinator/head piece. You can add silk flowers or a tissue pompom behind the tilted paper fan. If this interests you I can get you a pic of this.
Party City has their costuming separated by color so it is super easy to find black and white inspiration there.
The first few years I wore an oversized black blazer from Goodwill (can you see a theme?) which I bedazzled and added our logo to the back of. It looks very nola "social aid and pleasure club" and people can see your smooth steppin' when you wear pants. You'll want to imitate the steps of Blanc et Noir founder and professional dancer, Jerry Davenport. Find him and do what he does!
Along with a decorated blazer or a ball gown, a decorated sash is an authentic Nola look, especially for men. You could make this from white satin and fabric paint. Some are beautiful works of art.
Members sometimes pic themes or characters; we've had harlequin clowns, pandas, zebras, wild cats, birds (yes, multiples of all of these!) and more fun stuff I just can't remember right now. You can get into any character you want and go as elaborate or as simple as you wish.
Bicycle frames can be wrapped with tissue paper or crepe paper and tissue paper pompoms can be strung on to the basket or reflectors. I typically hot glue sparkly black fabric to the bike helmet, stick a foam blanc et noir face on it and it's transformed.
A decorated wagon is nice to pull to stow throws (totally optional), waters, and kids when they tire. We will also have water in or parade vehicle.
My best decorated wagon ever was covered with a white, iridescent door curtain--the shiny fringe brushed the ground just like a mini version of a huge parade float. Duct tape was my friend on this one.
Black or white plastic table cloths are an easy way to transform a large area of a wagon or stroller with color. You can cut it down, tape it flat or bunch it and get creative. i wrapped a black one on the wagon one year and put white blanc et noir masks cut from foam sheets all over the black base.
Do a google image search for "new orleans second line" and soak it all in:)Image: Second line Sunday: Prince of Wales | The Latest Found on Google from bestofneworleans.com images.google.com