Inventing the California Look

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Inventing the California Look
Interiors by Frances Elkins, Michael Taylor, John Dickinson, and Other Design In novators

From the 1940s to the 1980s, some of the best residences in Northern California were decorated by a coterie of designers whose names were once recognized only by the cognoscenti of interior design. From Frances Elkins and Tony Hail, with their aristocratic aesthetics, to Michael Taylor and John Dickinson, with their bold fantasies, these designers created revolutionary settings that were idiomatic of their time and place—fresh, luxurious spaces complementing the various terrains and lifestyles of the northern part of the state.

Fred Lyon (b. 1924) is perhaps the only photographer who knew and documented the work of this talented group. Akin to what Julius Shulman was doing in Southern California, Lyon worked closely with the designers and magazine editors to help shape the look for posterity.

Author Info:

Fred Lyon has contributed to such magazines as Glamour, Vogue, House & Garden, and Life. His photography is in both private and museum collections.

Philip Meza is a strategy consultant, writer, and enthusiast of twentieth-century photography and design. Jared Gossis an independent scholar and former associate curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

UK cover price: £45

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