China patterns commissoned by Truex for Tiffany's
As a President of Parsons School Of Design , the Kansas born Van Day Truex was sure to get a nice chapter in the annals of American style. But it is his tenure as the design director of Tiffany's in the mid-50's to the early 60's that holds the most fascination for TI. Several of the china patterns and flatware design he championed during that stint have become classics, most notably that "wild strawberry" plate pattern and the simple brilliance of the bamboo silverware that the store still carries to this day. It has been argued that Van Day Truex's "design judgements" never really impacted America beyond that very narrow niche of the American super-rich of the early 60's (Think Bill and Babe Paley) . That was the world as seen in the American playpens shot by Slim Aarons in "Once Upon A Time". The important lesson to be gained from this man who could be very very supercilious is that you can take all that very Parisienne/Old World grandeur and filter it through that hard, clear clean lens that is American style and come up with a very modern idea of living. It is a principle that is very much ripe for an update.