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IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL

James Andrew - photo: Boris Glamocanin

James Andrew – photo: Boris Glamocanin

With the idea of extending summer, I recently decided to explore a place that heretofore had been off my radar. As you know by now, I’m always on the prowl to find places that retain a former era’s fabulousness! From its advertisement, the place I found seemed to offer some truly intriguing possibilities. In the 50s, a gentleman (I believe he was a set designer) and a group of his friends set out to create an over-the-top confection using salvage from Newport mansions and stage sets – think: Oliver Messell and Rex Whistler (though perhaps this is too generous a compliment). I thought it all had great potential for some lovely louche 1970s glam.

I should have researched the idea with greater scrutiny!

The place was a vapor of what it once may have been. It was now run-down and sad… and to add to this, it had absolutely horrible service. I’d reserved the “Rotunda Suite” which I paid for in advance, but upon arrival I was told that other guests were extending their stay and I would have to stay in another room. The website itself was overflowing with amazing images – no doubt very old ones – of rooms and other spaces that upon arrival we discovered were not accessible to guests. It was all quite a bit of false advertising. Additionally – there was all sorts of seriously lewd behavior in the public areas – I’m going to spare you those details.

Despite all hopes of any brilliant photo opportunities, I decided to soldier on and try to enjoy my time sea-side. My friend Boris Glamocanin (the brilliant artist/photographer), and I took a nice stroll along the beach, and we returned to the guest house to lounge on the deck and soak up some glorious sun. The sky became the most magnificent shade of blue, and contrasted strikingly with ornamental details of a white elephant and obelisks. There was a gorgeous moment just then, despite all else having gone so wrong. I ran into the room and put on my Tom Ford chartreuse dressing gown, and voila, Boris snapped away. Sometimes, as in all things, with a shift in perception one can start to tell a different story. Rather than give in to the great plethora of annoyances, I opted to relax and embrace whatever beauty I could find.

SUMMERING IN ST BARTH

Ensemble for dinner at On the Rocks, Eden Roc St Barth – Tom Ford mango silk "Spencer" jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, Seaman Schepps shell and pink tourmaline cufflinks, Cartier Tank Divan, Drakes white and navy dot print linen pocket square, vintage floral pant, Max Verre denim tasseled loafers, my fragrance Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Ensemble for dinner at On the Rocks, Eden Roc St Barth – Tom Ford mango silk “Spencer” jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, Seaman Schepps shell and pink tourmaline cufflinks, Cartier Tank Divan, Drakes white and navy dot print linen pocket square, vintage floral pants, Max Verre denim tasseled
loafers, and my fragrance Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Scott McBee is rather keen on St Barth, so often we make a quick trip there every August – it’s actually a good time to go as well, since there are great deals and no crowds. We mostly schedule our trips just off-season to avoid the herds!

Casual chic is the order of the day: I only wore two jackets and was able to pack for eight days in one Vuitton duffle – substantially less than my usual! With such a minimal wardrobe, great care and consideration should be given to one’s selections: a mix of pattern and color so as not to be a total bore, and lots of linen. St Barth is an opulent boheme, so ikat, and batik work rather well. As you can see from our photos, I was not afraid to sport some rather vibrant colors, and mixing them with navy and white works well.

There are so many beautiful beaches to explore in St Barth, and some great culinary offerings as well. St Barth really is the most perfect escape from NYC – and this was a true holiday, with lots of rest and relaxation, lounging beachside and enjoying divine lunches and dinners – all accompanied by a great torrent of Rosé followed by the traditional vanilla infused rum as an after dinner treat. For dinner I highly suggest: Bonito, L’Isola, Eddy’s, Langouste, and On the Rocks at Eden Rock. While shopping in Gustavia be sure and snap up a piece of tahitian pearl jewelry strung on leather at Bijoux de la Mer.

Some more of my St Barth ensembles:

Dressed for dinner – I’m sporting Gucci navy cotton safari jacket, Indian white cotton voile embroidered kurta, vintage orange silk pants, orange suede espadrilles, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance Creed Windsor

Dressed for dinner –
I’m sporting Gucci navy cotton safari jacket, Indian white cotton voile embroidered kurta, vintage orange silk pants, orange suede espadrilles, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance Creed Windsor

Pre-dinner stroll around Gustavia – Here I’m wearing a vintage  shocking pink linen shirt, Burberry indigo ikat pants, Tom Ford Sandals, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Pre-dinner stroll around Gustavia – Here I’m wearing a vintage shocking pink linen shirt, Burberry indigo ikat pants, Tom Ford Sandals, Hermes Deux Zones Cape Cod watch, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Pre dinner beach stroll – I’m wearing a vintage navy linen safari shirt and white and navy pin stripe linen pants, orange suede espadrilles, KJP woven white cotton belt, Cartier Tank Divasn, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

Pre-dinner beach stroll –
I’m wearing a vintage navy linen safari shirt and white and navy pin stripe linen pants, orange suede espadrilles, KJP woven white cotton belt, Cartier Tank Divasn, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura

CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS

James Andrew. photo Boris Glamocanin

James Andrew. photo Boris Glamocanin

Apart from my design work, WIJW? has certainly provided me with a superb creative outlet for many years, and I still thoroughly enjoy putting together these pieces. As a young man I was mesmerized by the great creatives: Cecil Beaton for instance, also Slim Aaron – his beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes in beautiful settings, and let’s not forget Bruce Weber’s photographs in GQ in the late 1970’s: his work was nearly a religious revelation for me! So now I often have fun referencing the photographic brilliance of many of these legends, and to this end I’ve had quite a few collaborations with artists and muses alike. Often we set off to do one thing and end up with something completely new. The idea for an image may begin with a single garment from my rather extensive collection. Other times a particularly spectacular place informs and inspires me. To bring these ideas to fruition, I’ll confer with my photographer friends and we’ll develop a plan.

For today’s post I collaborated with my exquisite friend, artist Boris Glamocanin who never fails to bring an elegant edge and singular sensuality to what he does. We referenced some photos that I had worked on with Boris previously to inspire us, and he imbued things with a luxurious and louche spirit. I think it is the most perfect way to showcase this sensational Tom Ford silk ikat dressing gown paired with velvet ikat slippers.

Boris and I have been putting our heads together, and we’re planning another special little something in the near future – so stay tuned!

Do consider Boris for all of your super-fabulous photographic needs.