In the fickle world of design, a designer’s worst fear is that he or she will become irrelevant and that their legacy will be forgotten. The transient nature of the field makes those who have created successful, internationally renowned brands even more admirable, respected and revered. Tony Duquette exemplifies the designer who is in that “iconic strata,” whose work remains timeless and influential. The Tony Duquette Studios were founded in 1941, and Tony’s illustrious career included costume and set design for Fred Astaire musicals, jewelery design for Tom Ford at Gucci, a Tony Award for Costume Design for the musical “Camelot,” and elite residential and commercial interiors throughout the world. Although he passed away in 1999, Tony’s legacy is carried on under the direction of Hutton Wilkinson, his business partner since 1972.
The other week I had the pleasure of meeting Hutton Wilkinson at a book signing at the Baker Showroom in Chicago, where they were not only selling the Tony Duquette book but were also showcasing the Tony Duquette collection at Baker. Baker’s recreation of some of Tony’s most renowned furniture and accessories is exquisite. His exuberant style has been meticulously represented in these recreations, and they as much inspire fantasy and stir the imagination today as they did when were created as much as 60 years ago. It is exciting to view these pieces in their original setting, (Tony never duplicated any of his work; everything was custom created for the individual client, architecture and his own distinct vision!) but one can also imagine transferring these pieces into a fabulous 21st century home.
Here is the Biomorphic Console in its original setting, the 1960’s Charles and Palmer Ducommun Bel Air estate.
And here is the Biomorphic Console recreated from Baker that now you can have in your own home!
The Dining Room of the Charles and Palmer Ducommun Estate.
The Palmer Chair from Baker, recreated from the Charles and Palmer Ducommun Estate.
Another view of Duquette designs in the Charles and Palmer Ducommun Bel Air Estate.
The Abalone Chandelier from Baker. Although it was hung (as seen above) in the Drawing Room of the Ducommun Estate, the chandelier was originally part of Duquette’s one-man show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
With the Tony Duquette Collection at Baker, you can now own your own piece inspired directly by one of the design world’s design greats. What are your thoughts on this unique collection?