Thursday, 25 August 2011

Tony Duquette


A friend at work recently emailed me some photos from a fashion shoot that was in Vogue Italia in 2000.  It wasn't the bikinis he was pointing out, but the fantastic location. (You can see the rest of the shoot at Make the World a Prettier Place).
 
The Sun Room

By coincidence, the most recent issue of Vogue Living has an article about this very place.  It was the residence of the interior designer, set designer and artist Tony Duquette (1914-1999) who built the house (named 'Dawnridge') with his wife Elizabeth in 1949.  It is decorated in the most amazing Asian-Baroque fusion, but somehow instead of looking cluttered it just looks amazing!

 The drawing room

The house is now owned by Duquette's long-time business partner, Hutton Wilkinson, who purchased it after Duquette's death in 1999. He and his wife re-decorated the drawing room in 2000, but retained the Duquette style.


Reproductions of some of the furnishings, such as this rose chest and the marchasite fabric hanging behind it, are available to purchase from the Duquette website.  Be warned though, the marchasite fabric, which I love, is $138 a metre!

 The master bedroom

 This photo shows the Duquette's bedroom. (If you click you can see it twice as big).  I love the Chinese pagoda style canopy over the bed, so exotic and cosy at the same time.


 This is an alcove in one of the bedrooms, with a little sofa and a mirror which reflects the wild garden outside.

 The Green Dining Room

 The dining room has a mirrored tile ceiling, and a leopard-print tablecloth, divine!



Duquette grew up in Los Angeles, and received scholarships to both the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and the Yale School of the Theatre.  In the early 1940s, he met Lady Elsie de Wolfe Mendle, an famous socialite and interior designer, who became his patron.  With her backing, he became one of the leading designers in Los Angeles, creating costumes and sets for Fred Astaire musicals with Vincente Minnelli at MGM. He also designed sets for operas and ballets, and created interiors for the rich and famous, including Mary Pickford, Elizabeth Arden and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.


Duquette  was a talented painter, sculptor and jeweller.  He created many stunning pieces of jewellery for Elsie de Wolfe, and in the 80s he designed jewellery for Tom Ford at Gucci.  He was the first American to be honored with a one-man show at the Louvre in 1951.


 Dawnridge was not the only house the Duquettes created.  'Sortilegium', high in the Malibu mountains was another stunning residence which they purchased in the 1950s and spent the next 30 years renovating and decorating.  Unfortunately it was destroyed in the fires of 1993, although you can see photos of the interior and gardens here.

2 comments:

  1. THERE IS A NEW BOOK OUT NOW ON AMAZON... WITH PHOTOGRAPHS SHOT IN THESE GARDENS AND HOUSES... IT IS CALLED "TONY DUQUETTE * HUTTON WILKINSON * JEWELRY" AND IS ALREADY A BEST SELLER ON AMAZON BEFORE IT'S OFFICIAL RELEASE THIS NOVEMBER... CHECK IT OUT. HW

    ReplyDelete
  2. THERE IS A NEW BOOK OUT NOW ON AMAZON... WITH PHOTOGRAPHS SHOT IN THESE GARDENS AND HOUSES... IT IS CALLED "TONY DUQUETTE * HUTTON WILKINSON * JEWELRY" AND IS ALREADY A BEST SELLER ON AMAZON BEFORE IT'S OFFICIAL RELEASE THIS NOVEMBER... CHECK IT OUT. HW

    ReplyDelete