Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Do-It-Yourself De Medici

Today being Father’s Day our post celebrates one of the forefathers of American design and one of our favorite inspirations, the legendary Tony Duquette.

The beautifully produced design books “Tony Duquette” and it’s companion “More is More” have become staples on my coffee table both for their breathtaking imagery and inspiring content. Discovered as a young man by international design arbiter Elsie de Wolfe, Duquette’s genius as an artist and designer earned him the honor of being the first American artist in history to be granted a one-man show at the Louvre.

Known as the “Do-It Yourself De Medici” for reworking ordinary objects in imaginative ways, Tony’s creations ranged from jewels for the Duchess of Windsor to sets and costumes for MGM motion pictures. Duquette designed for the opera, ballet, and theater, earning a Tony Award for costuming the original Broadway production of Camelot. His theatrical touch made him much in demand among wealthy clients as a creator of lavish parties, but it would be interior design for which he would become best known. The evocative image above shows the spectacular drawing room at Dawnridge, Tony’s jewel box of a home in Beverly Hills.

Here we’ve arranged our treasured books with a nod to Duqette style including an elaborate Chinese vase filled with bright fragrant lilies, glowing votives, a handful of seashells, and an unexpected bubble filled crystal ball just for the fun of it.
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