PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MRS. DOROTHY DRAPER
"The Drab Age is Over"
Dorothy Draper (1889-1969) was one of the 20th century's most celebrated and innovative interior designers, with a daring and bodacious style that made headlines nationwide. Mrs. Draper was a decorator with an innate sense for fresh, bold color and contrast. Applauded for her many renowned commissions, she created her own fabric and furniture lines, wrote her own newspaper column along with two best-selling decorating books
Unrestrained by academic notions, Draper's decorating look was dubbed 'modern baroque' and her reputation for audaciousness was established in the 1930's with her first high-profile commissions. Her larger-than-life designs defied accepted conventions of scale and proportion and her color stripes and bold floral imagery inspired a generation of designers. Her many landmark projects included The Carlyle and Hampshire House Hotels in New York, The Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels in San Francisco, The Arrowhead Springs Resort in California and The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
As witnessed in her commissions, Draper's trademark was her extravagant and innovative personal style. She would often refer to her unusual accessories as metaphors for her decorating principles: "Lamp shades are like hats-they go in and out of style...Lamps as a matter of fact, are just as important to the final dress of your room as is your Easter bonnet to your spring outfit," she said.
She was an ardent advocate of color: "The Drab Age is over. Color is coming onto its own again...Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness". It thus comes as no surprise that the present brooch and ring, by Jean Schlumberger, whose extraordinary scale, whimsical play-of-color and bold design, were part of Draper's collection. Like Draper, Schlumberger, was known for his extravagant creations, which played with tradition to create a world of "glamorous Surrealism". For Schlumberger, movement, volume and color were of primary concern in designing his highly original and whimsical creations.
Deriving his inspiration from strolls around the flea markets of Paris, he first designed a series of jewels made of old Meissen porcelain flowers. Soon he received commissions from the Duchess of Kent and Daisy Fellowes. The then editor of Harper's Bazaar, Diana Vreeland, became a close friend and mentor, and the surrealist fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli commissioned costume jewelry and buttons. In 1956, he joined Tiffany & Co. where he made designs exclusively for the jewelry house and his jewelry was worn by many of the 20th century's style icons, such as Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Schlumberger once said: "I'm trying to make jewelry that is as close as possible to a woman's personality" These extraordinary present examples achieve this and truly capture 'The Draper Style'.