THE COSMIC CONNECTIONS THAT LANDED US IN JON VOIGHT’S LIVING ROOM
There is a vintage Double D jacket framed in the living room of Jon Voight’s Los Angeles home. It belonged to the late Dorothy Koster Paul.
Dorothy was a character; strong, spiritual, and savvy. She was a longtime lover of Double D Ranch – particularly keen on anything velvet – and for decades and decades, Dorothy was a vital, impactful character in Jon’s life.
A vintage Double D Ranch jacket of Dorothy Paul's on permanent display in Jon Voight's living room.
Back in the early 1980s, Jon had cast Dorothy’s teenage daughter, Bonnie, in a play he was directing. As the production went on, the rapport between Jon and the Paul family grew and cultivated into standing daily breakfast dates and beyond.
“We spent quite a lot of time together,” Jon said. “And we became kind of a ‘thing’; this trio, Dorothy, [her husband] Hank, and I, and it was that way for almost the next forty years. And when I call Dorothy a ‘mentor’, I mean that in the highest sense, and she was that kind of influence on everyone who met her. I was privileged to be so close.”
Dorothy & Jon
Years later, when Bonnie’s daughter Skyler Shaye was born, Jon was named as the child’s godfather, a relationship that has evolved into almost a surrogate fatherhood, and only further deepened his connection to Dorothy.
“Both Bonnie and Skyler were extremely close to Dorothy, almost appendages,” Jon laughed. “She was a matriarch, she had a lot of influence and that included their style. They almost mimicked her in dress. Dorothy dressed modestly, but with flare. She was wearing a lot of modern Western, which was very unusual for Beverly Hills. You can see how Double D would fit into that, on multiple levels; she was drawn not only to the clothes, but to the family.”
Jon, Skyler, Bonnie and one of Dorothy's jackets.
A couple of years ago, a handful of the McMullen/Franz clan had the opportunity to share a meal with Dorothy and her family, including Jon, out in California. It was one of her last before she passed.
“That was a special memory,” Bonnie said. “I love their family, and mom loved their family. They’re more than a company, they’re friends. And they’re artists. Every piece is museum quality. It’s fitting that the jacket I gave Jon of my mom’s, which holds sentimental value for him, is displayed on his wall like a piece of art. Because it is.”
Skyler, Bonnie and Jon
This whole opportunity has a bit of a surreal, meta, full-circle feel to it. Dorothy’s love of DDR jackets that sparked our friendship; her relationship with Jon, the lead in the film that inspired the collection; and the fortuitous, almost cosmic, way the elements have come back together.
“It was my grandmother who brought us to Double D,” Skyler said. “So the fact that we’re doing a moment for my godfather, for Midnight Cowboy, and also representing my grandmother, there’s a very intertwined magic of how the universe brought it together that makes it even more powerful and meaningful.”
Bonnie and Skyler
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