Adventurous Spirit: Angele Parlange
Image above, Angele Parlange by Quentin Bacon for Southern Accents
Image above, William Waldron
Below, Gamay Bistro, New Orleans (now called Louisiana Heritage Cafe) designed by Parlange with architect William Sonner
My favorite description of Southerner Angele Parlange came from Margaret Russell a few years back: "Known for racing full-tilt through life dressed head to toe in up-to-the-minute fashion, Parlange is hardly the archetypal belle. On the contrary, she's a savvy businesswoman who runs a design firm, entertains, and travels with remarkable enthusiasm and virve."
With Parlange's book, Creole Thrift: Premium Southern Living Without Spending a Mint, we get to go along for the ride. Her stories are hysterical and pay homage to the craftsmen, seamstresses, and handymen -- those who go unmentioned in most shelter mags -- that bring the designer's ideas to fruition.
Some readers have been disappointed with the book's contents because they focused on the word "thrift," but not the rest of the title. It's not about "design on a dime" or "glue gun decorating." Instead the focus is on being resourceful and using what you have to create a gracious and interesting home, rather than a trendy showroom. Parlange's style is rooted in French classicism with a very whimsical bent -- if you are a modernist at heart, the book's interiors images probably won't appeal to you. However, throughout the pages there's a wisdom about spirited living (plus great cocktail recipes) that applies to everyone, regardless of personal aesthetics.
Links to some of Angele's favorite shops: Bell'occhio and Tinsel Trading, M & J for ribbon and trim.
For antique silver mint-julep cups, try Shelton Gallery
(This post is an update on the 7.16.06 post)