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.