With only days to go before the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade, Miss Chris passed away at somewhere around 89-years-old. The business and property owner, generous supporter of many nonprofits, entertainment legend, and grande dame of the Easter Parade danced and sang until the last of her life.
The weather was terrific for the parade, but locals felt the bittersweetness as her signature float rolled past. I’d hoped they would dress a mannequin so that we could see her dress and hat – which were always spectacular. The hat was the only item making the trip, but I was glad to see it.
Easter is one of those days that highlights differences between locals and tourists. Most visitors wear t-shirts and jeans, sometimes with ball caps. New Orleanians dress for the day. Many go to church before attending parades. Men favor pastel seersucker and linen suits with fedoras, banded-straw hats, or festooned Easter bonnets. Women generally choose dresses in floral prints and/or spring colors topped with hats, fascinators or headpieces.
My wide-brimmed hat was hot pink and orange – the colors of the Pussyfooters dance krewe who I’ve paraded with since 2013. My brother and sister-in-law sent it last year to cheer me up when there were no parades to dance in or attend – and it worked!
Nature abhors a vacuum and they say that when one door closes, another opens. After attending Chris Owens’ parade, the door that opened Easter Sunday was Trixie’s Burlesque Boutique. The shop is still collecting merchandise but there were flowing diaphanous robes, floral headpieces, showy rhinestone necklaces, pasties, and books about burlesque’s stars, culture and history.
Trixie Minx, has been delivering crowd-pleasing, sassy and comedic burlesque performances since 2005. She currently runs Trixie Minx Productions, bringing burlesque shows to the city and beyond. She looked great standing behind the cash register in a glittery Easter egg headpiece.
There was a mannequin posing for selfies, and in the back of the boutique – a corseted DJ spun actual vinyl on turntables. A painting of Chris Owens hung on the lavender wall behind her. Trixie explained that they will be offering classes in that back space. I spotted a giant champagne glass in the corner and wondered if it would be part of the lesson plan.
WGNO’s Kenny Lopez entered with friends from work and a dance party broke out. It was a great start to a beautiful day.
Sorry I only had my cell phone camera. Next up, the Gay Easter Parade (where I finally had my camera).