One of the most talked about events at High Point this fall market was the unveiling of the new Jacques Garcia Collection for Baker. In a large and luxuriously designed space, the substantial new collection was received with enthusiastic response.
For almost 30 years, the celebrated French designer has been creating both residential and commercial projects at the most prestigious addresses. From legendary Parisian properties such as Hôtel Costes, le Fouquet’s and Ladurée to the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, below,
So it seems only fitting that his furniture collections should be with one of the oldest and most well respected furniture companies in the country. I grew up with Baker. For me it is a name synonymous with quality and design excellence; I was honored to be sponsored by them at market.
Jacques Garcia represents the fusion of old world craftsmanship with a sophisticated design sensibility. Always juggling past and present, he is equally adept at revitalizing the Decorative Arts rooms of the Louvre (due to debut this February) or his spectacular chateau in Normandy, above and below, as he is creating modern furniture based on ancient forms.
Two of the most iconic pieces in the new Jacques Garcia Collection are part of the Atrium series. Taking the ancient Greek Klismos and giving it a modern vitality, these pieces feature a simplified elegance and purity of form. Whether the bold refinement of the chair
or the recumbent luxury of the chaise, every aspect is carefully considered. A delicate saber leg and scroll detail on the side are small reflections of the larger shapes articulated in beautiful ribbon stripe mahogany above.
The collection is all about a livable sensuality and the St. James Sofa proves that supreme comfort and chic style are not mutually exclusive. With a dramatic presence, Garcia’s interpretation of the classic Chesterfield has been updated with re-enforced flat arms and back to encourage extra impromptu seating. Inspired by lounges he has created in the finest hotels around the world, the St. James invites lounging and a convivial sociality. Whether oozing luxury in violet velvet
or casual comfort in a Belgian linen
this is a statement maker with dressmaker detailing, like the fan pleated arm, that separates the fine from the fabulous. With over 23 fabrics in the exclusive textile line accompanying the collection, all hand-selected by Garcia, there is an infinite variety to the pairing possibilities to express your personal style.
The Vicomtesse sofa is an expression of tailored sophistication. Offered in two and three seat versions or as a sectional, it’s clean lines and exposed tapered legs make it a versatile classic.
An integral part of the collection is what Garcia refers to as Industrial Couture, including pieces that incorporate hand-forged iron and steel elements, a perfect counterpoint to the refined elegance of the upholstered pieces. Available as a console or cocktail table, the Cicéron made the perfect opening statement in the dramatic entry to the space in Baker’s High Point showroom.
Referencing the wrought-iron X of antique bases, Garcia’s vision is brought to life by the artisanal metalwork of an accomplished blacksmith in North Carolina near the Baker factory.
More industrial chic is seen in the Kampa desk. Walking the line between feminine form and muscular metalwork, it is a ying yang of artistry.
The Strelka is the cocktail table version with a totally colorless glass, devoid of the usual green tint.
The Auguste Chair and Longue Tige Ephaistos Mirror were favorites. Echoing the spare lines of French Modernism, they bring functional art to the forefront of the collection. And though minimal, the Auguste is perfectly pitched with sink in comfort. And Le Lion Stand, available in black as shown, white gold or red adds a touch of whimsy to any interior.
But above all, Garcia is known for his glamorous mix, including such pieces as the chic Bar des Élixirs. Sleek and sexy, its interior features all the bells and whistles – mirrored back, lights, mirrored pull out serving shelf,
yet when closed is like a furniture fashion statement. Concealed hinges and expertly engineered joints keep the surface sleek, hand-tooled hardware is a jewel-like addition, and shapely legs taper gently to capped feet, like a ballerina on point.
Although just a taste of the collection, you can hopefully see how Garcia balances form and function, glamour and comfort and past and present to create a timeless collection. It is this combination of knowledge, daring and finesse that separates Garcia from the pack and Baker’s expertise that brings it to life.
“The rules of beauty defined by the antique world are a solid foundation–unique, perfect and unparalleled–on which I rest without ever getting bored or disappointed. Perfect knowledge of those rules is what releases new creativity in me. Its codes are found in the elegance of proportions, in the studs of sofas and beds, and desks and coffee tables; in the wrought-iron X of antique bases, in the clover shape of Gothic churches … The pieces are a mix of very different, or even opposite universes coming together, to invite everyone to be themselves. ” – Jacques Garcia