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Alexandra KnightAlexandra Knight

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What is your favorite AK item and why? 

On my wish list is the Lola Clutch and the Mercury Tote in magenta. The ostrich Credit Card Case was a hostess gift from my friend Leslie.  She will be invited back again and again for that lovely gift.

What are your top 10 latest obsessions and what can you not live without and why?

Babylonstoren near Stellenbosch (near Cape Town, SA)

I stayed here last fall and it is one of my all time favorite places ..the restaurant Babel, the farm, the spectacular gardens, the rooms.  I long to return. 

Cire Trudon Candles

My favorite is the Solis Rex - the smell of the Mirrored Hall and floors of Versailles.

Jimmy Fallon

Tesla

My friend has one and I got to ride in it but I'm afraid I have to live without it.

The book, "Empty Mansions

The fascinating and eccentric life of Hugette Clark.

A quote from T.S. Elliot:

 "If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?"

Stationery from Grove Street Press, a new letterpress shop in New Orleans.

Ivy Restaurant in New Orleans

The decor alone makes me weak.

Jane Scott Hodges beautiful new book, "Linens"  

You will want to buy new sheets.

Old family correspondence.  

Letters tell so much about a person.

What are your top 5 prized possessions?

Alligator tooth belt, (looks especially chic with an Alexandra Knight pocketbook.  Men stop me in the airport and try to guess what kind of tooth it is.  I give them 3 tries but they never guess. It is from Avery Island (where Tabasco is made), Louisiana. Touché!

My Elizabeth Locke crown necklace.

My mother's silver beakers.

1st edition of "Wind in the Willows."

 My collection of old silver cigarette holders even though I don't smoke.  

Best Advice you have ever received?

 "Save your breath to cool your porridge"  if you're the only one who knows about your project, adventure, crush and keep it to yourself, then if it doesn't go down, you're the only one that has to deal with the set back OR if it's a thrill, you decide if you want to share it. 

Personal Mantra or quote you tote around with you?

"Ain't time a Wrecker" an expression from Lubertha Hurst and the title & forward of my book "Creole Thrift."  I don't have to tell you why.

Can you give us some insight about your background?

I live in New Orleans and for many years I was a fabric and home furnishings designer.  Most of my inspiration came from family and Louisana history. My Calling Card fabric design, my signature work, was inspired by calling cards from my great great grandmother's Parisian salon.  The names and addresses were printed on jewel tone fabrics and introduced on chairs,pillows, everything! and sold to Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Barney's and to interior designers in addition to having my own shop in New Orleans. But several years ago, I changed creative pursuits, and began writing and still do design consulting.  

You published a fabulous book called Creole Thrift that every design lover and party thrower should read. Can you tell us about how it came to be?

"Creole Thrift" was an expression of my grandmother's.  She knew how to make something stylish by improvising out of necessity and instilled the same in me. 

After a profile on my designs in the New York Times, publishers came calling for me to do a book.  The book is inspirational for those who have family heirlooms, documents or a historic interest. It is a how-to book showing the reader how to do the same with their old photos, letters, etc. Premium living without spending a mint.  Essays accompany each design project so it's a fun read as well.

  

I heard you throw a fabulous gathering - can you share some of your entertaining secrets?

A lot of my entertaining pieces may've been intended for something else but I like to use them in unexpected ways.  Like an old pharmacie jar or tracking down pigeons for a photo shoot in front of the pigeonnier.  I had to have those pigeons.

  

You grew up on Parlange Plantation - can you tell us about that and how it shaped you?

It has been in  our family for eight generations, unusual in America, and being surrounded with history forms you. Through hard times and good times, wonderful and formidale people have inhabited it.  It defines graciousness and Southern hospitality.  

What is your background? (You have had some amazing endeavours we would love to hear about those and how they influenced you).

One of my most exciting times was styling a book club meeting for Oprah.  She was gracious and enthusiastic. Another time was going on Martha Stewart's show and mixing Southern cocktails. And because Madame X is a relative of mine, she inspired a fabric design and I was invited to the opening of the John Singer Sargent show at the National Gallery.

What inspires you?

Beautiful dust jackets of first edition books, museums, gardens, food, friends, shoes, cape jasmines, yoga to keep me balanced.

  

What are your fashion must haves for spring?

An Isabel Marant skirt & blouse and I love the new line Trademark. Original and affordable. 

Anything that most people don't know about you?

I'm an excellent parallel parker even before navigation systems.

Who are some of your favorite people to follow online?

Mrs. Blandings

Alexis Swanson

Miss Zeit, because it's just so pretty.

What is on your nightstand?

Hand cream

 "Around the Year" by Emmet Fox, (I start my day with him).
My road notes

What are some of your design favorites?

Interior designers:

Steven Gambrel

Miles Redd

For fashion:

 Emilia Wickstead

The photographer Arthur Elgort.

Who is Angèle Parlange and why do we love her?

I met Angèle through a dear friend in New York.  After hearing so much about her previous to our meeting I must say she did not disappoint.  She is a Louisiana girl and as many of you know, that means she has fabulous style, epitomizes southern charm and etiquette and can hang with the big boys! She is gifted at so many things and once you get to know her you realize those closest to her reads like a who's who in the design world.  She is gentle and kind but will make you laugh, want to sit up straight and inspire you to throw a fabulous party! 
 

Many designers rely on their roots for inspiration, but few have taken them to heart as Angèle. With each of her successive collections, she 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. 

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."  Most recently, (as you have read) Angèle has published "Creole Thrift, Premium Living Without Spending A Mint" 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.

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