Info on the locale for Anthro's March 2010 catalogue

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Photo from my good friend Google

Thanks a ton to Anon @ 4:10 PM in this post who found out some more information about the setting of Anthropologie's March 2010 catalogue. It turns out the sculptural shots were taken not in a country like Cambodia or Thailand like I first thought but somewhere much closer: Mexico. Specifically at Los Pazas in Xilitla, a tiny town a few hours north and east of Mexico City.

Photo from Lucy Nieto's flickr set

The gardens are a creation of English millionaire Edward James as a tribute to surrealism. Here's some more information Atlas Obscura, the online curiosities compendium:
Construction on Las Pozas began in 1962, and carried on for the next 20 plus years until James' death in 1984. Las Pozas means "the pools" in Spanish, named for the 9 pools on the property created from waters that flow naturally through the property. The gardens feature more than thirty structures, ranging from plant sculptures to winding staircases to nowhere, and cathedral inspired screens - some ornately finished, others seemingly incomplete, although it is unclear if they were ever intended to be "finished". Most of the construction was done by Plutaco Gastelum, James' friend and co-designer, who was described in Smithsonian magazine as "part Yaqui indian, part Spanish aristocrat and a swashbuckling former rancher, boxer, telegrapher and amateur architect". Gastelum's home is now an eclectic hotel near to Las Pozas.

The full article is fascinating. Truly amazing stuff -- I can't believe that I knew NOTHING about this place before. I am going to Mexico in June and all of a sudden I want to take a detour up to this beautiful garden! I am such a sucker for architecture and sculpture. Here's an amazing flickr set with tons of great pictures from the garden, and below is a video from the BBC series "Around the World in 80 Gardens" with Monty Don. Thanks again to Anonymous for the tip, and to Joyce James in Anthropologie's customer service department for all the great info!