The Walk to Elsie's (Two Volume Luxury Edition): A Loving Memory of Elsie de Wolfe entrusted to the Authors and Illustrated by Tony Duquette

 
9780990885801: The Walk to Elsie's (Two Volume Luxury Edition): A Loving Memory of Elsie de Wolfe entrusted to the Authors and Illustrated by Tony Duquette
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A limited, luxury edition of 1000 numbered sets. This bespoke edition is presented in a gold-stamped, linen slipcase which features original artwork by mid-century artist Tony Duquette, the first American to have a one-man show at the Louvre in 1951. Both hardcover books feature gilded edges and include hundreds of original illustrations by Mr. Duquette, never published before, and printed in a four-color process to fully capture their sepia tones.

Book One: The Walk to Elsie s: 400 pages

Book Two: The Walk from Elsie s: 236 pages

SYNOPSIS:

Elsie de Wolfe, seventy-¬five year old superstar, must abandon her beloved Villa Trianon at Versailles in advance of the invading Nazi army. It only takes a minute for the world s first professional interior decorator, a tastemaker to kings and the world s original Queen of Branding , to proclaim that she is going Hollywood... to be with the royalty of America! The movie stars!

Tony Duquette flees the town of Three Rivers, Michigan, realizing that he has to make a new life for himself and his family. With his father s financial ruin, the teenager knows that it is up to him to provide for his parents and siblings, and he intends to do so by making a name for himself in Hollywood.

Inevitably, the two stars collide to form their own galaxy. What ensues is a midcentury romp across continents and café society featuring the most glamorous globetrotters of their day: Cole Porter, Billy Haines, Louis B. Mayer, Vincente Minnelli, Judy Garland, Christian Dior, Carlos de Beistegui, Doris Duke, the Windsors, and dozens more!

Authors Hutton Wilkinson and Flynn Kuhnert have written a pair of novels, imparting inside knowledge of a woman who wasn t born rich or beautiful but made herself both. As historical fiction, they share for the first time inside knowledge of Elsie de Wolfe, who d entrusted her life s secrets to Tony Duquette. This Auntie Mame tale carries the reader on a lavish adventure across the United States and Europe, between the years 1932 and 1951, as young Tony becomes Elsie de Wolfe s last great protégé.

Based on a true story, The Walk To Elsie's is a tale of irrepressible joy amidst loss, determined rebirth, self-invention, and most importantly, continuance. It is a journey, which irrevocably binds together two diverse personalities... a pair of iconoclasts who just happen to be the most fabled of 20th century tastemakers.

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About the Author:

Flynn Kuhnert has taught 19th & 20th century dramatic literature at Harvard College and served as a Visiting Professor at Duke. He has directed & designed 35 theatre & opera productions in America and the Netherlands, as well as having served on the international board of directors of Save Venice, Inc. for almost a decade. In 2013, he created & presented The Kuhnert Chronicles for the Ovation Television Network: analyzing art, architecture, theatre and literature. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Happy Traveler.co, exploring art and cultural happenings in cities across the globe. Born in Los Angeles, Flynn has lived in Paris and London. He is a graduate of the University of California, Northwestern University and Harvard University s ART Institute. He lives in Bel Air, California.

Hutton Wilkinson is a co-author of Tony Duquette and author of More is More, as well as Tony Duquette*Hutton Wilkinson: Jewelry. He is Creative Director and CEO of Tony Duquette, Inc., where he presides over the important jewelry and interior design house begun by Tony Duquette in 1941. Mr. Wilkinson is also president of the Anthony and Elizabeth Duquette Foundation for the Living Arts, and the president of the Elsie de Wolfe Foundation, as well as having served as a director of the international board of Save Venice, Inc. for 25 years. Recently Hutton Wilkinson was recognized by His Majesty, King Juan Carlos of Spain as the hereditary Fourth Count of Alastaya. Hutton and his wife Ruth live in Beverly Hills, California.

Review:

Praise from HARPER'S BAZAAR: THE PERFECT LITERARY GIFT: THE WALK TO ELSIE'S A gilded work of historical fiction and covetable coffee table eye candy. By Tess Kessler A stunning work of historical fiction, Hutton Wilkinson and Flynn Kuhnert's The Walk to Elsie's (Two Volume Luxury Edition) is both a captivating read and the ultimate Christmas gift for the refined literary friend. Built on the true story of Elsie De Wolfe, better known as Lady Mendl, the most coveted interior designer of the 20th century, The Walk transports its readers to the brilliant scenery of Los Angeles, France, Venice and New York during World War II. The novels recount the historical happenings of Lady Mendl's later years, while bringing to life the budding stardom of another iconoclast, the renowned stage and film designer Tony Duquette, with rich fiction. The storiesdetail their thriving partnership and even more elegantly, the beautiful friendship cultivated by two of the most talented interior designers of their time. The result? An extravagant collection of escapades. When Lady Mendl inevitably stumbles upon the ingenious Tony Duquette during her exile to Hollywood in 1941, she enlists the "little duc" as her protegé and her heir to the throne of design. Emboldened by the guidance of a seasoned designer with a young heart, Tony follows Lady Mendl to her beloved Villa Trianon at Versailles, where he flourishes under her well-adorned wing. With no shortage of dazzling debutantes or grandiose soirees, Kuhnert and Wilkinson employ potent imagery that will have their readers aching for luncheon among Lady Mendl's ornate residences, whose guest lists included names like Judy Garland, Christian Dior, the Windsors, J. Paul Getty, and Vincente Minnelli. Tony Duquette appointed author Hutton Wilkinson as his own protogé when Wilkinson was just a teenager. Paired with Flynn Kuhnert, a director, designer, and renaissance man in his own right, the two writers have preserved the history of maximalism's greatest in an extraordinary set of novels. Among the volumes' nostalgia-ridden pages are hundreds of sepia tone sketches, illustrated by the late Duquette. With their vibrant, original cover work and gilded edges, the set of novels is a gem to the eye and a colorful account of historical fiction that is sure to inspire creativity this holiday season. The Walk to Elsie's Two Volume Luxury Edition --HARPER'S BAZAAR, December 2015

Praise from VERANDA MAGAZINE: GALLIVANTING WITH GREATNESS Design legends Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette's travelogues have been brought to gilt-edged life in The Walk To Elsie's, a limited-edition set of historical fiction by Hutton Wilkinson and Flynn Kuhnert - essential for the original Duquette illustrations alone. --VERANDA, January 2016

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