New Orleans Jazz Fest flags are as much a part of the festival experience as the music and the food. Festival flags come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the aerial wonders aren’t even flags. I’ve seen busts of Elvis and Professor Longhair, a blender, and a pork chop flying high over the festival grounds against a bright blue sky. These colorful, creative airborne markers serve as beacons, drawing festival-goers to easily identifiable rendezvous spots. Before cell phones, these spectacles were how you found people at Jazz Fest. Due to poor cellular service and drained phone batteries, they’re still how you find people at Jazz Fest!
Among the collegiate and professional sports team pennants, there is a variety of homemade totems and flags that showcase the creativity and ingenuity of fest fans. Drawing on my love of Jazz Fest, I was inspired to craft my own flag-filled shoe that captures the essence of this NOLA experience.
I started with a stacked heel with a funky 70’s vibe. For this shoe, I wanted a light blue outer body to represent a cloudless blue sky. My color scheme was ultimately pulled from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s website logo. In doing this, I created a visual connection between the shoe and the Jazz Fest organization. The interior of the shoe is covered in a light orange glitter and the stacked heel in gold.
I custom made the Krewe of Muses banner, WWOZ and Jazz Fest flags. Using bits of fabric attached to floral wire, I created double-sided flags covered with glue and glitter. The graphics on the flags were created using the glitter applique technique.
When creating embellishments for my shoes, I am all about repurposing Mardi Gras throws. The crawfish was removed from a strand of beads, the red pump topping the Muses flag is a reimagined shoe taken from a Muses bracelet.
From every angle, this shoe is promoting all things Jazz Fest. Everyone knows the festival food plays an equally important role in keeping the fans coming back annually. With this thought in mind, I decoupaged the outer sole with a listing of a few of my favorite festival food items.
The final garnish before adding my cloud of feathers was a small airplane. Festival goers often look up high above the flags and see a small plane writing words in the sky. I found yet another Mardi Gras throw to glitter and suspend above this shoe to achieve this likeness. My goal when creating themed shoes is to pull elements together so that the individual who knows what I am trying to convey can tell me the name of the shoe without me having to spell it out! Jazz Fest fans and lovers, did I accomplish this mission?!?