Apr 27, 2023 - Things to Do

Meet the New Orleans textile artist who dresses Jazz Fest performers

Sigourney Morrison poses for a headshot wearing a gingham shirt against an orange background.

Sigourney Morrison is the textile artist behind Dressed New Orleans. Photo: Courtesy of Morrison

You may not know it, but you’ve probably seen Sigourney Morrison's signature style. Whether you caught Sweet Crude, Maggie Koerner or even Modest Mouse wearing some of her threads, or you've envied chef Mason Hereford's Popeyes jacket, you've seen her work.

Who dat?: Morrison is the textile artist behind Dressed New Orleans. You can pick up a customized piece of her chain-stitching at Jazz Fest this weekend and, soon, in a new French Quarter storefront.

  • At Jazz Fest, find her in Tent F during Weekend 1 within the Louisiana Marketplace.

Where she went to school: The New Roads native graduated from LSU with a major in fashion design.

  • Before she started Dressed New Orleans, she trained in hat-making and worked as a milliner for about seven years in New York.
  • Morrison moved to New Orleans to work for Goorin Bros., but soon got back to her roots working in needlepoint, which she learned from her grandmother.
Sweet Crude performs on Jazz Fest's Gentilly Stage wearing customized white suits embroidered by Sigourney Morrison. Sam Craft stands at center stage with his back to the audience, showing an embroidered jacket that says "Je Te Vois" (or, "I see you") above a green and pink eyeball and lightning bolts.
Alexis Marceaux, left, and Sam Craft of Sweet Crude perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2018. Photo: Josh Brasted via Getty

What would Dolly do?: A "diehard Dolly Parton fan," Morrison has always loved country music and the glam western-wear style that comes with it.

  • Think Nudie suits, rhinestones and Jerry Atwood.
  • "A lot of people do that [style] really well, but my style and subject matter is more irreverent and more of what I know, like Louisiana flora, fauna and food," she says.
  • Morrison's embroidery also offers nods to local sites and color, like our sports teams, potholes and Mardi Gras traditions.

It's called fashion: One of Morrison's most visible designs so far has been a set of fully-custom looks for Sweet Crude when the band played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2018, each white piece with flashes of bright, embroidered color carefully considered for each band-member’s needs.

  • "It was a good mix of trying to make everybody cohesive but also reflecting their comfort level of what they wanted to wear," she says.
  • At this year's festival, the members of Los Guiros will wear another new Morrison look.

Get you some: At Jazz Fest, you'll be able to find Morrison's booth in the Louisiana Marketplace, and after the festival, her storefront will open at 317 Burgundy St.

  • She'll sell her irreverently embroidered fanny packs and backpacks, and she'll have her chain-stitching machine set up so she can customize Jazz Fest Bayouwear and other pieces she'll have on-site.
  • The storefront will be part-retail, part-workshop and showroom, allowing her to talk through custom projects with clients.

Last word: "All the stars aligned to me taking this next step because I've grown so much," she says.

Related Axios guide: A local's guide to New Orleans Jazz Fest 2023


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