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Creole Thrift Hardcover – October 31, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Parlange has creatively and flamboyantly reinterpreted her family traditions in fabric, china, and interior designs of the hyper-feminine variety." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Angèle Parlange has won renown as a designer for her irreverent reinterpretations of classic design themes. Her signature collections of fabrics, clothing, home accessories, and furniture are rooted in history, dating from the eighteenth century to the present, and updated with a theatrical contemporary edge. Having owned a successful New Orleans retail store for five years, she now consults with corporate and individual clients on lifestyle and design. She divides her time between her (gorgeously decorated) homes in New Orleans and Long Island, New York.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperDes (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060788062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060788063
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure who in the marketing dept. decided on this as a great title for this book, but, um, thrift must mean something quite different to a southern woman who grew up with servants on a plantation than it does to me, pigeonierre-less as I am in Minnesota where I work for a living. She is long on charm & the book is full of pictures of her in non-thrifty shoes and non-thrifty skirts looking non-thriftily adorable. Her ideas are creative and good, and I could do them in a pinch myself if only I had, let's see now, my own seamstress, my own gold-leafer, my own ironworker, my own silkscreener, -- am I forgetting anyone? Then I have pressing needs such as: I simply must redecorate my sunroom, as it has already been photographed in a major spread by one magazine. And, of course, I must needs take trips to the Hamptons, Paris, New York, etc. etc., to bring back trims and silks. Honestly, to be fair, it does mention in the book the fact that Ms. Parlange does not subscribe to the NY Times but rather reads a friend's copy on Tuesdays: this is useful and thrifty. And don't get me wrong: if I could buy enough turquoise silk to make floor to ceiling curtains and enough white marabou to trim them, that would be my first choice. And, putting my cards on the table, I am a self-proclaimed title bitch.

Good parts about the book: Absolutely creative ideas. And, really quite well written; the author comes across as somebody I'd like to have lunch with (though she probably wouldn't like to have lunch with me since I'm so damn crabby).

Now, supposing I did have a few coins to rattle together & wanted to purchase, say, the author's trademark Madame X fabric: where the heck is it available? Why isn't this information available and easily stated?

What can I say, the thrift part started me drooling & then I was so bitterly disappointed.


Miss Ford
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with many comments left by reviewer "Miss Ford".

I paid full price for this book and was disappointed.Sorry to say.

First, the title "Creole" is quite deceptive, in my opinion. Truly, I have no idea why the author chose to use "Creole" in her title. I realize that her plantation is located in the South, but the term 'Creole' in the title, made me think that the book was going to include many unique "Creole" ideas, --ideas never seen before. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Second, the author gave a few "transformation recipes" but not enough "recipes". I had expected to see so many more "transformation recipes" but did not. In a way, this book reminded me of some of the later "Shabby Chic" books (not the earlier "Shabby Chic" books, but the later ones). This can be a good thing if you like the Shabby Chic's (book) format, but bad if you wish to buy this book in order to get some inspirational & unique Thrift ideas.

Third, even though the photos were bright and colorful, there were not enough photos of her transformations or her Thrift store excursions. Many,many photos of the author were included, that is for sure, but not enough photos of her step-by step projects. Example, I saw 2 photos of the author holding a few "thrift" items, but no mention as to how she used them in her transformations(eg:there's one photo in the book of the author holding a big brown foot stool. Why?) (Confusing).

Fourth, as mentioned by other reviewers, the author failed to state where most of her "finds" or her papers and fabrics could be found. (example: are the products only available via her site...if she even has one?).

I did like the (sepia) vintage photos the author used, especially the before-and-after photos of her plantation. But I wish she would have included some before-and-after photos of her remodeling projects too.
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Format: Hardcover
I live in New Orleans. I decorate in New Orleans. I shop in New Orleans. I love New Orleans.

I was wildly anticipating this book, knowing of Angele and of her family home Parlange.

The production and photography is flat.

Angele's stories are typical of many folks who live here, no more no less.

Her how-to's are easy if you have a gold leaf artist and a few sewing ladies at your beck and call, as she does.

I'm not saying she's not creative, or cute, or has a good story to tell. There are dozens of gals (and guys) like her here in New Orleans.

I expected her book to be extraordinary, because New Orleans is extraordinary and it does have a unique visual IQ.

Angele has all the advantages of being from an old family with old things to influence her.

Maybe she needed a better art director and stylist and photographer and book designer to do her world justice.

I also beg to differ with her Oxford dictionary definition of Creole. The Creoles in New Orleans defy that definition.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a really fun read: I buy design books constantly, and confess that I usually completely disregard the text. This book was the exception: I found it extremely entertaining, and actually read the entire thing, cover to cover. One of the main criticisms I've seen leveled at it is that most people don't consider the ideas thrifty. As an interior designer with a busy Chicago firm, I can understand both perspectives. By "thrifty", Ms. Parlange does not mean cheap. What she writes about is achieving a luxury result with far less expense than the usual routes. What this book does is essentially walk you through the steps of contracting a custom job yourself, rather than paying a designer $150 an hour to do it for you. In that sense, it's far less expensive than a custom job could run. I would also like to note, for those of you intimidated or overwhelmed by the custom world, it's truly not as daunting, and also often not as expensive, as you might think. If you can find somebody local, particularly somebody who works on the side or out of their home, rather than a large company, custom can actually be very reasonable and accessible. For example, there are many extremely talented seamstresses who work informally while their children are at school, or once they've officially retired. Custom will almost always be more expensive than walking into Target and buying pre-made draperies, or a generic mirror. However, it can be extremely gratifying, not to mention, often much more beautiful and appropriate to the space, to design something yourself and see it brought to fruition. Although most of these projects are a little on the "crafty" side, they could easily be dressed up or down. In short, this is a great, creative book about obtaining a luxurious result in a way that brings it into the realm of possibility for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
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