Hilton Mc Connico started out in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was born in 1943, as a debutante dress designer and was lucky enough to meet Grace Mirabella at American Vogue in the 1960’s. She recommended that he move to Paris where he found work with Ted Lapidus. Very soon he was working on movie sets as a decorator and he did the decors of “Diva“, the magical film by Jean Jacques Beneix shot at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord which revealed Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez as an opera singer.
He was an artist, a photographer, a decorator and became a full time designer in the 1980’s. His shop on rue Madame was full of eccentric objects and he started a collaboration with Daum and Saint Louis, the glassware manufacturer. His cactuses were in every magazine and Parisian dining room. He also worked closely with Jean Louis Dumas at Hermès and was a revered furniture and lamp designer after having worked in the movies.
When in 1994, La Samaritaine opened its fabulous restaurant, Le TOUPARY, overlooking the Seine, he designed it and I still have a little ashtray from the opening with the phone number of the restaurant on the back.
Hilton Mc Connico died at 74 on January 29, and will be cremated this afternoon, Tuesday February 6, at 3.30 at Père Lachaise. His step son, Julien David filmed him in the last months of his life in a documentary where he shows all his sense of humor while facing his disease. His wife Jacqueline Ternier survives him.
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