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MARCH / APRIL 2012
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HOW-TO Tony Duquette decked out in full party regalia, with his protégé, Hutton Wilkinson, in the 1980s. Design for Living Hutton Wilkinson shares lessons from the life of his legendary mentor, Tony Duquette This collar of coral branches, baroque pearls, and peridots is set in 18-karat gold. W hen he was just 17, Hutton Wilkinson began working for legendary Hollywood designer Tony Duquette, a Renaissance man of boundless talent with a flair for fabulous living. Over the next 28 years, until Duquette’s death in 1999, their working relationship blossomed as Wilkinson grew from apprentice to partner to, finally, president of Tony Duquette, Inc. For Wilkinson, his mentor was more than a master craftsman. He was a visionary, a model of daring self-discovery who just happened to keep world-class company. (His clients included J. Paul Getty and the Duchess of Windsor; his circle of friends, Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor.) As Wilkinson recounts in his trilogy of lavishly illustrated books—Tony Duquette, More Is More, and the recently released Jewelry— the education he received while growing up in this glittering milieu was definitive. This month, he shares with Lonny the wisdom he’s drawn from his sublime experience. —R.L. L Stand Out Portrait by Ken Levine, Berliner Studio Jewelry photography by Stephanie Hanchett Don’t be afraid to We live in an era in which style is increasingly dumbed down and homogenized. Today, it seems, everyone dresses the same; they live in identical homes filled with the same kinds of furniture. But Tony believed that originality was the definition of luxury. Many of his clients were fabulously wealthy, women such as Doris Duke and Dodie Rosekrans, who could have, in his words, “out-Frenched the French” when it came to collecting antiques. But they came to him because they didn’t want same old, same old. They weren’t afraid of vision and originality, of “going for Baroque,” as Tony used to say. Never be ashamed to be unabashedly you! 2012 MARCH • APRIL Lonny 79