Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Le Style Rothschild











The favourite interior designer of such luminaries as the Countess Rattazzi, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Lillian Bostwick Phipps and Diana Ross, Robert Denning was the perfect purveyor of the extravagantly excessive decor so beloved of the American wealthy in the 1980s.

Born into a poor Russian immigrant household, his desire to escape into a different, more luxurious world is a familar story to many queens of our acquaintance. Robert's chosen route was music, but while studying at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, he discovered other more earthy passions. It was during his time there in the early 50s he met Edgar de Evia, an aristocratic Mexican with tastes that mirrored his own (and the money to acquire them) and they moved into plush accommodation in Madison Avenue.


Denning & Fourcade

Having successfully entered the high society of New York, however, Robert left de Evia for another millionaire playboy Vincent Fourcade with whom he settled into a relationship that lasted five decades until Vincent's death from AIDS in 1992. The Denning & Fourcade partnership was both a personal and commmercial success, and provided the nouveau riche with a style of living that gave an impression, at least, of a sense of historical opulence - “Le Style Rothschild”.

From his obituary in the New York Times
By the 1980's, Denning & Fourcade was renowned for colorful rooms densely outfitted with rare 18th- and 19th-century antiques, museum-quality art and sumptuous fabrics that would not have looked out of place at the Vatican.

"Outrageous luxury is what our clients want," Mr. Fourcade once explained.
The designs and the outrageousness (Mr Denning's eccentricity and lifelong devotion to plastic surgery were legend) continued solo until his own death, and the legacy of his particular penache survives in the minds and mansions of his society and celebrity clients everywhere.

"I'll accept commissions from anyone who isn't frightened by my proposals."

Robert Denning (13th March 1927 – 26th August 2005)

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