“One of the great things about Hollywood Regency is its versatility; the look can be done up in a very fun, camp manner or be tailored for an upscale feel.” - Dominic Albanese, owner of NY's Metropolis Modern showroom
Oskar Torres - Hollywood has not only influenced Fashion, but the Interior Design industry has widely been in the spotlight through the eyes of set designers and furniture designers as well. Hollywood Regency Style as sometimes referenced by designers, is inspired by the movie sets of Hollywood's most iconic motion pictures’ sets. Pieces range from simple lines inspirited by the past to hand-picked stylized objet d’art coveted by dealers, designers, and collectors worldwide.
This neo-classical revival style has been going strong in this century. Not only do we see it in décor, but also in home furnishings, textiles, and accessories from high-end Neiman Marcus to affordable Target.
Some collector’s pieces can cost $1,000, while others more rare and authentic from the Forties period run up to $45,000. Interior designers and dealers have mastered the craft of combining these glam pieces into their projects and shops to create unique environments for clients. These items are easy to place in any English traditional interior or even within ultra-modern décor. High-end galleries in New York and throughout Europe carry these pieces in their inventory as fillers to any interior.
We've noticed a resurgence of the “look” at retailers worldwide. Target, for example, has enlisted various designers to re-create that era at a lower price point and we can see how successful the movement has been with the help of designers like Thomas O’Brien bringing Hollywood-inspired merchandise to the masses. We've also seen other low-price-point merchandisers like HSN joining the marketing bliss with the assistance of interior designer Nate Burkus whose shining mercury glass lamp for the network was well received.
Hollywood Regency Style was all the buzz during the 1930s and 1940s when movie set designers played a major role influencing furniture and interior design in general. Those were the sets you were dreaming of and wanted your home to reflect - you wanted to transform your home into that period ... or at least just one piece of that glorious past as part of your living space. This style is the revival of the English Regency period, but it was done with a twist by adding more sparkle and materials that were reminiscent of the Golden Age of Movies: glossy lacquer, gold leaf, smoked antique mirrors, fur, rock crystal, silk velvets, and chinoiserie.
Metallic finishes on leather and shiny metals were all part of the decorative elements that played a key part in recreating the chic “movie look.” Today it only takes an Internet search or thumbing though the many hardcover volumes at your local bookstore to look further into the magic that is the Hollywood Regency Style. Some of the good volumes are: In The Pink: Dorothy Draper by Carlton Varney; More is More by Tony Duquette; Regency Redux: High Style Interiors by Emily Evans Eerdmans; and Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style by Kelly Wearstler.
“If it looks right, it is right” - Dorothy Draper
Creams, grays, soft blues, silver leaf - these were preferred interior color schemes; strong colors such as red, yellow, apple green, and turquoise were used as accents by William Hanes and other designers of the period. Haines led the Hollywood Regency movement in the Thirties; his style was plush, glamorous and romantic and directly related to his earlier years as a movie star. Others who carried the torch: Dorothy Draper, the doyenne of the interior design industry of the Twentieth Century; Tony Duquette, the American design icon, known for his exotic excess style; and Samuel Marx, a connoisseur who always used the best of the past. Classic elements like the Greek key were in vogue at the time and are still used widely by many designers today.
"Design is an opinion, not a profession." - William Haines
Today, these pieces surface on major websites throughout the world, and you'll find them at auction houses and flea markets. Trendsetting designers continue to be influenced by the old Hollywood glitz, and the details of the period can be seen in interiors and home décor. Notice how Jan Showers uses luxe textiles and Lucite furniture and candy-color table lamps. Jonathan Adler has carved a niche in the industry with his ultra-chic furniture and home accessories. Nancy Corzine, the queen of silk velvets and exotic woods, will certainly glam any interior. And Kelly Wearstler will likely be known for her over-the-top ultra-chic interiurs. These designers have consciously chosen a closeness to this popular style, and they're certainly riding the wave as true stylists and purveyors of all-things Hollywood.
This article printed with the permission of interior designer Oskar Torres. Visit the Oskar Torres website for more information.