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OPERA AND LAST NIGHT AT THE MET

James Andrew and Scott McBee at the Met. Photo by Rose Callahan

Scott Mcbee and I were recently treated to the opening night of the new production of La Traviata at the MET Opera. I simply adore these opening night galas, and dressing up to celebrate the evening and those who have put so much into these performances!

The site “Last Night At the MET” and their accompanying instagram feed is a wonderful place to find pictures of yours truly (like those on this post!) and pictures of many other opera goers as well. It’s a place “…where the opera is grand and so is the style.” There are so many interesting interpretations of formal attire these days. Needless to say it’s a #mustfollow, and certainly encourages all to don their “gay apparel.” I’m thrilled to say it must be working, as more and more people are dressing appropriately for the opera!

James Andrew at the Met. Photo by Rose Callahan

James Andrew at the Met. Photo by Rose Callahan

We were so happy to have been captured by the exquisite eye of Rose Callahan who documents the highlights of these magical evenings.

I’m sporting a Tom Ford chartreuse silk velvet evening jacket, ruffled tuxedo shirt, tuxedo pants, ivory, black and grey silk pocket square, black silk faille bow tie, leopard slippers, Cartier Tank Divan watch, Seaman Schepps evening set, a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing gel for a sun kissed glow, and my fragrance is Creed Imperial Millesime. Scott McBee is sporting a Tom Ford brown velvet smoking jacket.

DIOR AND HIS DECORATORS: VICTOR GRANDPIERRE, GEORGES GEFFROY, AND THE NEW LOOK

I’m rather excited to share the latest and greatest tome by my exquisite friend, Maureen Footer! Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look is a celebration of Dior, Victor Grandpierre, and Georges Geffroy and their enduring contribution to the definition of chic. I’ve been forever fascinated by Dior and the work of Geffroy, but I have to admit I only had slight knowledge of Grandpierre – it’s a great joy to learn more!

Christian Dior from “Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look”

The author Maureen Footer, a historian and an expert in French decorative arts, had the entire Dior archive at her disposal – which, as you might expect, helped her to create a uniques and engaging narrative replete with (195!) captivating images. Her work deftly brings to light many lesser known aspects of these three legendary taste makers. With chapters devoted to each, one is given a most glorious glimpse into post WWII France and how, from the cultural rubble, their careers were formed, and the “new look” was made manifest.

Georges Geffroy from “Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look”

The story of Geffroy really resonated with me. When he finally started to make some real money he acquired a modest apartment at the fabulous 248 Rue de Rivoli – a fifth floor walk up with Mansard roof. Footer writes: “Geffroy turned architectural defects into virtues….The result was the mix of elegance, measure and surprise that characterizes Geffroy’s best work.” As an aside: I myself have recently paid homage to Geffroy, utilizing octagonal panels for our beloved Scott McBee’s NYC maisonette!

Grandpierre is a most captivating figure as well, and is really responsible for helping to “brand” Dior via his designs for Dior’s first couture house at 30 Avenue Montaigne with its chic, elegantly restrained look: pale gray walls, white moldings, and Louis XVI style chairs. Grandpierre also created the template for the now famous Dior typeface, logo, and ensuing signage and packaging which, like all good design, has stood the test of time – a look that appears as fresh and relevant today as it must have then.

From “Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look”

From “Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look”

From “Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look”

Dior was a successful art dealer before he became a fashion designer. Geffroy and Grandpierre also pursued many different career paths along the way, but ultimately their paths merged and all three excelled, becoming iconic Parisian designers who Footer writes: “…captured the moment and often predicted the future.”

Footer’s tome is so very good – I actually read it cover to cover in only two sittings – it was nearly impossible to put down!

Do get a copy of Dior And His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look for yourself and for your friends as well!

UNTERMEYER GARDENS WITH LARSON HARLEY

James Andrew at Untermeyer Gardens. Photo Larson Harley

I recently stumbled upon the glorious Untermeyer Gardens via the miracle of Instagram – I was mesmerized and simply had to go explore the place for myself. It’s terribly handy to NYC – just a quick train ride along the spectacular Hudson River, and happily my endlessly talented friend, photographer Larson Harley, was up for an adventure!

In 1916, Samuel Untermyer hired William Welles Bosworth, an Ecole des Beaux Arts trained architect and landscape designer, to create the “greatest gardens in the world.” In the years following, Bosworth created the formal gardens of Greystone.

James Andrew at Untermeyer Gardens. Photo Larson Harley

James Andrew at Untermeyer Gardens. Photo Larson Harley

The Walled Garden was based on Indo-Persian paradise gardens and included many of their traditional elements: the use of waterways to divide the garden into four quadrants, massive gates, and surrounding walls anchored at their corners with octagonal towers. These gardens were appointed with Grecian influenced structures including an Ionic open air amphitheater intended for entertaining, a Corinthian temple and a Doric stoa, or porch. The Walled Garden is thought to contain the largest outdoor use of mosaic in America!

Leading west and downhill toward the Hudson River, the second spectacular feature of Bosworth’s gardens is the vista. Its inspiration was drawn from steps at the Villa D’Este which descend toward Lake Como in Italy.

The Gardens were left to the town of Yonkers as a public park for all to enjoy. I think Larson Harley captured me quite well amongst the beautiful surrounds, don’t you? Do pay a visit yourselves. You will not be disappointed!

James Andrew at Untermeyer Gardens. Photo Larson Harley

On a fabulous Fall day, I’m sporting a Tom Ford brown mini herringbone tweed topcoat, wool challis scarf in the most sublime shades of green, brown and white check shirt, brown leather belt with faux tortoise buckle, Barbour olive quilted waist coat, Ralph Lauren olive wool flannel pants, Tom Ford era Gucci brown leather “Chelsea” boots, Hermes Cape Cod Deux Zones watch, Seaman Schepps cuff links in ebony, rosewood, sandalwood and walnut with citrines and Tom Ford tote bag in brown suede. My fragrance Tom Ford – London