On Friday, May 9, at 2:30pm, interior and jewelry designer and author, Hutton Wilkinson, President and Creative Director of Tony Duquette, Inc. and President of the Elsie de Wolfe Foundation, will present an illustrated talk on his soon to be published book, “The Walk to Elsie’s,” a rip-roaring tale of the last ten years of the great designer’s life, as told to him and his co-author Flynn Kuhnert, by Tony Duquette.
For this amusing and informative talk, Wilkinson will not only discuss de Wolfe’s decorative life from her birth in 1865, to her rise in turn of the century New York society, her stint on Broadway as a Charles Frohman star, but her many firsts including being the first woman to fly with Wilbur Wright, the first woman to sue the IRS, and the first woman to charge for taste, thereby inventing the multi billion dollar business of professional interior decorator.
Besides covering the last ten years of her life, Mr. Wilkinson will discuss and illustrate a span of eighty-five amusing years. He will discuss her marriage to Sir Charles Mendl; the moderne penthouse she built for herself in Paris in the middle of the depression; her storied home, the Villa Trianon at Versailles where she hosted her coterie of international society friends; her backing of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and how she taught Wallis Windsor how to run a home fit for a king.
Elsie de Wolfe’s friends, clients and business associates will be discussed and reviewed: men like Stanford White, Cole Porter, and the dress designer Mainbocher as well as women such as Elsa Maxwell, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Elizabeth Arden.
Wilkinson will continue the saga with de Wolfe’s escape from the Nazi’s by Rolls Royce during World War II, after which she ended up in Hollywood, hanging out with the likes of Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford and Tony Duquette, creating an entire new world for herself on the west coast towards the end of her long, decorative, life.
808 N La Cienega Blvd
Remains lighting offers exterior and interior, contemporary, traditional, and antique lighting made-to-order, hand-crafted lighting, and mirrors by Remains Lighting, Alan Wanzenberg, and Tony Duquette; all manufactured in the U.S.