Friday, March 4, 2011
Tony Duquette collectibles will be on sale tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. EST on One King's Lane. Show up early and stay late. Tony is the most famous unknown person in the design world. I mention his name all the time, and unless you are "in the know," eyes glaze over. So let me begin. Bullocks Department Stores hired young Tony to create seasonal displays in their California stores, in a locale that had no seasons.
Tony was one of the great creators of The Hollywood Regency Style, defined by the New York Times as: "Synthesized 19th-century French, Greek Revival and Modernist touches into a heady mixture that has since been christened Hollywood Regency, which foreshadowed aspects of postmodernism." Elsie de Wolfe, Billy Haines, Dorothy Draper, and Frances Elkins, among many Victorian reactionaries, created shimmering, sophisticated light refractive interiors. Elsie de Wolfe saw Duquette's work in Bullock's department stores, launching his broad and eclectic career with this iconic commission.
Elsie de Wolfe
Elsie de Wolfe's commision
This is "The Meuble." Voila le grand piece, catapulting Tony into the stratosphere of design legend, extending from interiors to costume design, furniture, jewelry, set design, and gardens to spectacular event stagings. His eclectic talent and energy was recognized by the Louvre, as their first American solo artistic exhibit, and the Academy (awards for costumes for Camelot). My friend Hutton Wilkinson, went to work for Tony at the age of 18 and preserves his legacy. Our mothers were in boarding school together, and I came to know Hutton and Tony in my late 20's. The first time I met Hutton was at a dinner party, when he became instantly fascinating to me as the grandson of the last dictator of Bolivia. Now, of course the dictator had some monarchy in him, so Hutton traced his royal blood back through time.
Just so you know, Hutton chased off the interlopers who seized his title and is The Ninth Count of Alastaya. Take home a souvenir of the great collaborative legacy at One King's Road.
Palazzo Brandolini with Dodie Rosekrans
Hutton decorating the ballroom at Palazzo Brandolini
Don't Miss the Magic!!!
We'll talk tomorrow about the sale.
It can't get better.