During tonight's Academy Awards(aka Style Maniac's Superbowl) stars, starlets, speeches and sartorial matters will take center stage. The design and production awards will be rushed through to get to the acting and best picture awards. But for me, set design, costumes and photography count as much as acting and scripts. After all, it's a movie not a radio broadcast.
It's not often though, that a set designer's name is recognized much less remembered years later. Or attains the legendary status of Tony Duquette.
Duquette not only designed sets for films such as The Ziegfeld Follies, Kismet, Can Can (all shown above) and To Catch A Thief, he also designed costumes, jewelry, interiors, Broadway productions, ballets and extravagant parties. When MGM and Warner Brothers sold off their back lots they called Tony, who filled up trucks with props ranging from the front doors of Tara to an entire Chinese village. All to later appear in his studio and Malibu ranch (below), where movie magic became real.
Tony Duquette's exuberant version of Hollywood Regency influenced many prominent interior designers (such as Kelly Wearstler) and while some creations might be a bit much to live with on a daily basis, his work for client like the Ducommuns and the Hilton Lagoon in Honolulu (below) combine glamour and warmth in equal doses.
And no matter what the medium, his bold mixes, fantastic color sense and sheer fun in creating provide great inspiration for all of us.
Tony Duquette by Wendy Goodman and Hutton Wilkinson.
"Use the good china for breakfast."