Who was Tony Duquette? A Hollywood icon who created ethereal and amazing costumes for Broadway shows and Hollywood movies -- and also loved to fasten together found objects into incredible breathtaking creations.
Duquette died in 1999, and left behind a collection of fine jewelry -- at very high prices -- that his great friend Hutton Wilkinson has continued to create. Sold in Bergdorf Goodman, Tony Duquette jewelry is highly collectible and flamboyant -- it's all about big pieces, over the top. Wilkinson lives at and runs the Duquette estate in the Hollywood Hills, Dawnridge, one of the most famous houses in Southern California.
And now comes a collaboration between Coach, designed by Reed Krakoff, and Hutton Wilkinson. The resulting collection is being carried in the Beverly Hills Coach boutique on Rodeo and Coach stores around the country. There are gold-plated pendants and great necklaces with suns and moons and fun stones, bracelets with charms or spikes, dangly sun earrings, and bug stick pins. The bib necklaces are the real stand out -- they've got a lot of color and shine.
Prices range from about $65 for the stick pins and earrings to $300 to $450 for the pendants (the more charms, the higher the price). These are very reasonable prices for jewelry with the Duquette impramateur -- and they sure liven up those all-black wardrobes. Festive at a fun price is the idea for this line. The pieces do look far more expensive than they are, and they've got more than a bit of Hollywood legacy.
"I met Reed Krakoff at a book signing in the Hamptons," Wilkinson told THR at a reception for the jewelry launch in the Rodeo Drive Coach store. "He thought we should collaborate. After all, 2012 is the 70th anniversary year for both companies. The whole project took less than a year from conception to store."
And what would the late Tony Duquette thought of this? "He would have loved it!" Wilkinson exclaimed. "He loved the idea of everyone having beauty."
Will there be more Duquette and Coach collaborations? "If it's successful," says Wilkinson.
Meanwhile, the pieces that are now in store are limited editions. So if they appeal to you, act quickly.