A Razzle-Dazzle Ride with Coach + Tony Duquette + Glamarama Pals

If the best job in the world is one where it doesn't feel at all like work, then being able to glam it up and cohost a party with truly fabulous pals such as Tracee Ellis Ross, Hutton Wilkinson and Nina Clemente (as we're all pictured above) was a great gig, indeed.

Last night's celebration marking the debut of the new collaboration between Coach and the estate of Tony Duquette was pure fun. THANK YOU to everyone who came out. It was a busy evening in town, so it was great to even see the likes of Christos Garkinos pop in since his Decades partner Cameron Silver was hosting his own crystal-drenched fete up the street for Swarovski.

The night was a merging of old school meets new school as friends dropped in through the evening, inspired, it seemed, by the ghost of Duquette to turn up the glamour quotient.

Even our handsome photographer of the evening, Alex Berliner, whose photos appear in this posting, looked the part in his floral tie and checkered shirt. If only I'd had my own camera. Live and learn!

Luminous Jessica Joffe showed that less can also be more with a gold spikey bracelet from the new collection.


On the tables, our new favorite deejay, Daisy O'Dell. She played our friend, Anita Wetterstedt's birthday last month, and we had to have her for this night.

Part of the overall sparkling presentation of the new collaboration inside the Rodeo Drive Coach flagship. Pieces were selling fast during the party, so it's very likely the display will be shrinking as soon as this weekend! If you do have your eye on something, best not to delay popping in or shopping it online.


  Hutton Wilkinson, our fearlessly dapper leader of the night, was not only debuting the collaboration he spearheaded with Coach. He was also busy as a jeweled bee signing copies of the stunningly leather-bound book reissued by Coach. As they say, supplies are limited. So any of you collectors of books on jewelry or the Duquette legacy better get your skates on if you want to ensure having a copy in your library.

The cover of the book features a favorite Duquette motif, the sunburst. The massive jeweled piece was a source of envy at the party as it twinkled pinned to the left shoulder of lucky Ruthie Wilkinson, Hutton's other half all these many years (pictured below). As we enjoyed our first glass of Champers before the guests arrived, she reminded me of the time I was stung by a bee at their Malibu compound. We were walking from their home to the burned-down Duquette property (since sold), and a bee got under my bonnet, literally. What a wouzy afternoon I spent back on their sofa, thanks to the sting and fabulously surreal decor of their home!

Ruthie wasn't the only one flaunting an original Tony Duquette creation at the party. Long before she became West Coast bureau chief of InStyle and long before Tony Duquette was "discovered" by a new generation of fashion aesthetes, Glynis Costin interviewed the genius sometime in 1995 for the now-defunct yet still-legendary magazine, Buzz. He gifted her this incredibly wild necklace. Some gals do have all the luck!

Glynis laughed as she relayed her daughter's dismay over her mother wearing what in her young mind was such a questionably attractive necklace. Some day, she will realize otherwise. If not, Glynis dear, you have my number…


  Certainly not to be outdone by the OD (original Duquetters) in the party was Peggy Moffitt, who turned up in a jaw-dropping necklace dripping with ammonites, tiger eye, agate slices and other earthly delights. Peggy told me how she spent the afternoon filing the edges of the dangling shark teeth after one snagged a one-shoulder dress she'd planned on wearing.

In the end, her camel-colored ensemble was on the mark. Not only was the necklace beyond amazing, the pairing of her sable jacket with her well-loved vintage Coach classic bag was the height of chic (see below). LOVE her and the way she vamps it up for the camera.

Coach should seriously consider Peggy for a future collaboration.

Tony Duquette didn't meet an insect he couldn't reimagine as a jewel. So it goes to reason, that in ode to the master, guests would bug out for the night. So did Raven Kauffman with a dazzling laboradite vintage beetle on her satin lapel. From head to toe, Raven is always such a vision of elegance.

Thankfully, the bug motif appears in the Coach collaboration. Co-host Nina Clemente brandished a beetle of lapis and malachite with enamel eyes on the back of her vintage Moschino riding jacket. The stick pins, seen below, ended up receiving plenty of attention because of the way they were dashingly worn by both Nina and my other half, Andy…

On his necktie, Andy sported a golden grasshopper stickpin with crystal eyes, lapis body and royal blue enamel accents. Because of this, many a man at the party suddenly realized there was something for them, too, in the Coach collection. Of course, now I've created a monster: Andy kept requesting the entire set all the way to dinner!

While I'm at it, I'll highlight the four pieces from the new collection that made me sparkle: tiny gold-plated brass sunburst earrings twinkling with crystal pavé centers; a giant cocktail ring of clear quartz crystal with vines of Swarovski crystals; a fuschia satin clutch with a chunky pink and red Swarovski heart in flames that perfectly matched my vintage Dior turban (close-up of clutch below); and the pièce de résistance (which is why it was featured on the invite), the Duchess Bib, so named because it's based on a design Tony Duquette fashioned for the Duchess of Windsor. I'm no duchess, but I definitely admired that crazy dame's jewelry collection.

  Speaking of dames with crazy great style, there were no shortage at the party, as if anyone would expect otherwise. Seen here with Ruth Wilkinson is interior designer Barbara Lockhart, draped in a floor-length garnet fur coat. She came right up to me and complemented my turban. And that woman, no doubt, knows her turbans…


  Another grand dame, Peggy Larson…


And Michele Crahan. What flair! She certainly gave Tracee and Nina a run for their red outfits.


My hats off to both Magda Berliner and George Kotsiopoulos (ok, so I couldn't resist!). These two always look perfect.


Leandra Medine of Man Repeller


Alexis Johnson and Erin Weinger (love the dress Erin!)


Desiree Kohan and her handsome beau Ricardo


Stylist Tanya Gill, writer Adriana Caras and friend


Nina with her debonair beau, Wayne Rambharose


Jessica Joffe with pal and Coach's Carolyn Angel and art world mover Bettina Korek


Pretty in pink: Amanda Luttrell Garrigus


Bookended by two stylish pals is Jessica Fels, my conduit at Coach through this affair and an absolute pleasure to work with. She also showed how to wear pieces from the collection in a very modern, louche style.


  Make-up artist Kathy Jeung (with Joseph Brooks and Andy to her right)


Gorgeous Yaya DaCosta says good night.


 All photographs courtesy of Alex Berlier/ABImages

Posted in Art, Books, Design, Style


  1. Jessica

    I love your recap. I ordered the beetle pin and it’s out for delivery today. In my excitement, I Googled for images from the collection and found your blog – and the amazing inspiration for the pin!

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