Angele Parlange

Angèle Parlange

Many designers rely on their roots for inspiration, but few have taken them to heart as Angèle Parlange. With each of her successive collections, the designer, who divides her time between New Orleans and New York, has built a body of work that expresses a unique point of view. A childhood spent on Parlange Plantation in one of Louisiana’s oldest and most celebrated houses informs every endeavor the designer pursues. Parlange has remained in her family since it was built in 1750 and its legacy is apparent in her work. The New York Times stated that “Angèle has creatively and flamboyantly reinterpreted her family traditions in fabric, china and interior designs of the hyperfeminine variety. She thinks nothing of borrowing from the legacy of her great great grandmother and then dressing it up Mardi Gras style in feather boas and fuchsia taffeta: call the look Parlangerie.”

Her first signature fabric design, the Calling Card Collection, established her international reputation. Inspired by calling cards passed down through the family from her great-great-grandmother’s 19th century Parisian salon, the design incorporates the names and addresses of notable guests on jewel-hued silk dupioni. The Calling Card line, along with other fabric designs and home furnishing collections, revel in their unabashed opulence but don’t take themselves too seriously. Her wry sense of humor, as well as her appreciation for history, winks out at us. In one fabric design, the silhouette of an illustrious relative, Madame Pierre Gautreau, better known as John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”, appears, her famous arched profile exaggerated to celebrate this very modern 19th century woman.

For five years, Parlange ran a popular store on Magazine Street in New Orleans, offering her own exclusive fabric and home furnishing designs as well as those of select friends like Mish Tworkowsi. Parlange is well known for hosting festive gatherings, so it’s no surprise that an entertaining line grew from her design work. The Maltby Collection Lustrée, a line of china and stemware, was inspired by her grandmother’s lustrerware oyster plates.

Most recently, Ms. Parlange published “Creole Thrift, Premium Living Without Spending A Mint” (Harper Collins) and is currently at work on her second book. Through her rich associations and heritage, she is the epicenter of a lively design, art and style scene.