In the early 1940s he worked with such well-known designers as Lady Elsie de Wolfe — Mendl, William “Billy” Haines and Adrian. It was through the patronage of Sir Charles and Lady Mendl that Duquette was able to establish himself as one of the leading designers in Los Angeles, where he worked increasingly on films, creating both costumes and sets for many Metro Goldwyn Mayer productions under the auspices of the great producer, Arthur Freed and the celebrated director, Vincente Minnelli.
Duquette, a self-described “do-it-yourself-De Medici” was truly a Renaissance man. His works covered a vast range of disciplines including furniture, set design (for both film and stage), interior design, sculpture, painting and jewelry.
Hutton Wilkinson, born in Los Angeles, grew up in the architectural offices of his father and grandfather. At eighteen he had the opportunity to apprentice under the great American design icon Tony Duquette. And from apprentice to collaborator, Wilkinson worked with the great designer on a myriad of projects throughout the next twenty-five years.
In 1998, Wilkinson and Duquette launched a collection of one-of-a-kind, hand-made jewelry, popularly praised by both the public and the fashion press. Since the success of this enterprise, Tony Duquette jewelry has been featured in C, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Elle, and W and the jewels have been used on the runway by such varied designers as Tom Ford, Gucci, Oscar de la Renta; Balmain, Andrew Gn and Badgley Mischka.
After the passing of Duquette in September of 1999, Wilkinson as owner, creative director and president of Tony Duquette Inc. continues to design and market his one-of-a-kind designs for fine jewelry as well as a collection of home furnishings for Maitland-Smith and Pearson, textiles for Jim Thompson Thai Silk, custom lighting products for Remains Lighting and hand-made carpets and tapestries for Patterson Flynn Martin as well as fine china for Mottahedeh and tabletop accessories and interior decorations.