|The gallery of the Agnelli country house near Turin, Italy. The image, by Horst, was published in American "Vogue" in 1966.|
Though for years I have been an firm proponent of big, blowsy, naturalistic floral arrangements—in the manner of Constance Spry, for example, or Anne, the Countess of Rosse—I've recently developed a renewed appreciation for bouquets with a high artifice quotient, the more sculptural, the better.
Consider, for instance, the bold compositions of snow-white and hot-pink spider mums set atop a pair of Piedmontese silver-gilt tables at Villa Agnelli, the Fiat automotive dynasty's country house in the hilltown of Villar Perosa, Italy, in the mid 1960s. With their conical silhouettes and barber-pole swirls of color, the graphic arrangements bring a crisp, declarative statement to the sweeping space, the striped bouquets holding their own amid this gala interior's delirious swarm of golden arabesques.