I often dream about the ideal garden and what my own might look like someday. It would be filled with a profusion of delicate flowers and textures, pales colors and subtle fragrance. A place to escape the pressures of life and the fast paced rhythms of living in a big city. It would be anchored with pathways and allées of lush and verdant boxwood framing perennials and the occasional garden ornament. The calming and cooling effect of water would be another essential element. A paradise found that provides inspiration and a sense of romance.
In the current issue of the New York Times Style magazine I was delighted to read the article on designer, Federico Forquet, whose own self created paradise that represents the dream garden I have had in my own mind all of these years.
Forquet began his own career with dreams of one day becoming a couturier and worked for the master, Balenciaga, before striking out on his own in the late fifties. After a stellar career in fashion designing for clients such as Marella Agnelli, Diana Vreeland, C.Z. Guest and Babe Paley, to name a few, Forquet closed his atelier and turned his attention to garden design.
The influence of the great garden designer, Russell Page, who was a good friend, is evident. Like Page, Forquet has relied on structure, color, subtlety and appropriateness to achieve a garden of timeless beauty. He has used the same sensibilities inside his home, which are the perfect extension of the gardens outside. Forquet designed many of the furniture pieces throughout the house and even had custom fabrics made. Like the gardens the interiors reflect quiet and subtle luxury where no one thing jumps out at you and says look at me. They are rooms where you discover things over time and where light is celebrated. I see a connecting thread between the tastes of Forquet, Bunny Mellon, and Pierre Berge. Its almost as if they all collaborated on the house and gardens but the results are clearly Federico Forquet’s. Forty years in the making!
Photographs by Ricardo Labougle for the New York Times Style Magazine.