Thanks to Douglas Little I can now check off one of my many to do's on my wish list.
Since I was a gay youth (ahem) I have dreamed of Dawnridge. I remember reading about Tony Duquette in Architectural Digest when I was 10 years old and falling face first into the pages of chandeliers, jewelry and over the top arrangements. When Douglas suggested a trip to meet Hutton during my trip to LA I bit hard.
Sunday evening I dressed for an evening with Mr. Little and met him in West Hollywood. He picked me up in his zippy new car with his gorgeous Lela and off we rode to Beverly Hills. We twisted and turned through the lush streets until we reached those iconic doors. The star burst above them and the lady sphinxes welcoming, one on each side.
Hutton welcomed us into the house and once step in the door a got choked up. I was here. Here it is. This place. So photographed, so respected, so inspiring. Since it is still a private residence its not a place loads of people have seen. Although Hutton, bless his heart, is a yes man and conducts many tours for friends, friends of friends and friends of friends of friends.
On this day he was already hosting five people when we arrived. After he poured us some champagne he bolted out of his chair to begin the tour of the house. I’m sure he could do it asleep. He recited his docent speech about the Elsie de Wolfe meuble, the monkey room that used to be a carport, Beagles paintings and the paintings from Elizabeth Taylor’s movie- The Seagull. A highlight was Hutton feeding his coy. There were hundreds of them and they all swarmed when he approached. He was so Uncle Mame, just like Ms. Russell in the movie feeding her coy and talking to them. How endearing.
It was all so fascinating, all so beautiful and historic.
After the tour wrapped up we found the house empty of guests. Ruth, Hutton's wife, was upstairs with the dogs getting dressed for dinner. We sat in the main room, drank more champagne and gossiped for a while. Hutton is amazing, and so easy to get along with. At least for me. We bonded quickly. I appreciate anyone who has taken on such an undertaking. Keeping the Duquette dream alive and growing it. His new book, More is More, launches October 1st and I am hoping to interview him about it next time he is in NYC.
At 6pm it was time to go. Hutton and Ruth had a dinner and we had to head out for cocktails.
We took a few more pictures and then were off.
I think I am still on a coral coated cloud from that evening.
Thank you Douglas and thank you Hutton!