Thursday, April 26, 2012

Federico Forquet

Italian designer Federico Forquet had a short but spectacular career as an Italian couturier.  Born in Naples in 1931, he studied piano at the Naples Conservatory.  As a young man, he liked to create costumes inspired by the great operas that were playing in Italy at the time.

In 1953, Forquet met Balenciaga by chance on the resort island of Ischia.  Balenciaga hired Forquet to work in his atelier in Paris.  Forquet stayed for 2 years and learned the craft of couture alongside Andres Courreges.

After returning to Rome, Forquet worked as a designer for Fabiani and Galitzine before opening his own atelier in 1961.  His debut runway collection was shown to the press in 1962 to great acclaim.  He was labeled "The Italian Dior."

From the collection of the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute, ca. 1969-71
Forquet had a great eye for architectural lines, colorblocking, and ingenious use of geometrical seaming.  His choices of fabrics to support those design sensibilities was simply superb.

Cocktail dress covered in glass beads and paillettes, ca 1967

Forquet retired from the world of fashion in 1971 when he closed his atelier.  Since then, he has devoted his talents to interior and garden design.

Forquet designed patterns for the Vogue Couturier Design line of home sewing patterns for several years.  You can see many of those patterns at the Vintage Pattern Wiki, where you will see his ingenious seaming in the line drawings.


KellyT said...

I love the coat with the windmills down the front! What is the material? It looks like wool felt or wool flannel.

c ball said...

I have determined to make the windmill coat. I bought and felted (in my washing machine) a horizontally striped flannel, and will piece the windmills with some sort of fusible webbing. I couldn't tell for sure if the original was pieced; in this photo there seems to be a slight ridge around the windmill stripes, but in other photos it appears to have been printed with the windmill border. If you look this coat up elsewhere, you will see that it is lined in a matching stripe of a different colour. Could it be a doublecloth?

Pamela said...

If you go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art website, from which this image came, you can click on a larger than full screen image of this coat. The fabric is amazing! It is a printed wool twill doublecloth, same print on both sides, but in cranberry & melon on one side, with the reverse in medium blue & green. the stripes and windmills are printed. The coat is completely reversible! Just gorgeous!

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