It’s oxblood, ladies

You can’t miss it. The color is everywhere in mall window displays and magazine pictures. Already heralded as the new black, it’s been done up in coats, dresses, leggings and skirts, leather, jeans and evening gowns. Fall fashion’s darling is oxblood.

Yes, ladies, that’s what it’s called. Recoil in horror all you like, it’s a little late to be squeamish. In use as a color name since around 1700, the French call it sang de boeuf, which translates directly as oxblood, and if it was some other word like merlot, they’d tell you. The French don’t make fashion mistakes.

Wearing an oxblood blouse to the office this past week was a mistake, however, because after dropping the name, the compliments changed to gasps of dismay all around. Some even grimaced. “I prefer to think of it as burgundy,” said one.

Well, it’s not.

While the name does have a sort of slaughterhouse tinge to it, oxblood is a deep, dark cross between chocolate and garnet. A sultry, mysterious shade, it’s no accident that vampires prefer it for their lipstick. Its dark red color reflects little light.

And no, you shouldn’t try to get away with euphemisms. Carnelian is too orange, wine doesn’t incorporate oxblood’s brown hues and plain garnet can be all red or nearly black. Cranberry is too lightweight, as are burgundy and merlot, which brings us to cordovan. This is a shade of leather named for its birthplace in Cordoba, Spain, and its deep rich color closely approximates the shade we’re talking about, so if oxblood just won’t come out of your mouth, you can always try cordovan.

Which sounds so much better than horse hide.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Tinsel & Treasures preview party

Santa never rocked it like this. The Junior League of Lafayette kicked off its annual shopping lollapalooza with a chic black-tie preview party at the Cajundome Convention Center and there were changes afoot. “The market itself has changed,” said JL President Maggie Simar. “New layouts, new vendors — we’re trying to tie the fundraising to our mission more and let people know we’re not just Tinsel & Treasures, we’re community programs.” Nor were there just things to buy — there was an indoor VIP lounge, an outdoor VIP lounge and a live band en plein air. Shopping for a cause were Dr. Terry Cromwell, LBA’s Kyle and Monique Gideon, Nancy Van Eaton Prince and Gail Romero, Sarah Zuschlag, and lovely lady-in-waiting Emily Tate. What we loved: The Pony Pals rocking horses and Artisan Creative Catering’s eggplant with marinara sauce — better than a wrapped-up present.

Tennis, anyone?

Players and sponsors of the Cajun Tennis Classic took a time-out for “A Taste of Louisiana” at City Club in River Ranch. Competition may be fierce on the courts but there was none when it came to the buffet — it had everything your heart desired. Rhythms on the River serenaded outside, while in the VIP mix were tournament director, founder and Tennis Association Hall of Famer Jerry Simmons, sponsors Moss Motors and The Advocate, man of the hour Mark Jeffrey, proud parents Blaise and Monique Fremin and players Coleman Wahlborg, William Huyton and Edgar Lopez. We’re pretty sure a lot of women just quit watching football.

Rodrigue Aioli dinner

The Aioli Dinner Supper Club recreated their namesake painting at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Heymann House. Dining under the oaks on French wine and four courses of fois gras, quail, wild boar and pineapple upside down cake by Jolie’s chef Greg Doucet, guests were encouraged to wear black and white for authenticity and dined on placemats made by J.Wallace James students. The aioli? Tossed with the Brussel sprouts. The event raises money for the George Rodrigue Foundation with the funds dedicated to the Louisiana A+ Schools, the Foundation’s arts education program.