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September, 2011:

Making Magic

James Andrew

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

I read a quote on The Bach Book recently, and it had me smiling all day.

I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And if that’s sinful, then let me be damned for it!

Blanche Dubois — A Streetcar Named Desire

I’d forgotten these lines from Williams’ legendary Pulitzer Prize winning play, but they so do resonate with me!

I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who might call me delusional, but I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a very active dreamer! I’ve certainly had many lively discussions with friends about “what is” vs. “what we want it to be,” and I always like to make the point that most things start merely as a dream—something only imagined—and I needn’t even bring in the old cliché of man going to the moon. I’ll bet there are a hundred things in your room that were once only an idea, and one of them is right in front of you!

And here’s my point. Everyone has those moments of fatalistic self-doubt and poor self-esteem—we may think we’re overweight, unsuccessful, or obsess over getting older, but why not imagine you’re a gorgeous goddess or whatever elevated thing you’d like to be. At the very least it’s better than moping around with that old warn out self image, and it’s definitely a better place from which to actively build on your dreams. I myself always try to focus on the impossible being possible, and I do love to help others to see themselves as the stars that they are—ultimately validation has to come from within of course, but every now and then we can all do with a bit of support!

Now if someone happens to consider any of this delusional, well then so be it!

I’m sporting what I think is a terrific “transitional” look with a dusty rose suede safari jacket, pale khaki pants, python belt and brown suede loafers with pink suede trim by Gucci, Tom Ford lilac cotton over check shirt, and brown and pink floral print silk tie, sunglasses by Lanvin and my fragrance is Eau d’Italie’s Paestum Rose.

Be fearless and don’t be afraid to dream really big!

Transitional Style

James Andrew

James Andrew

This time of year finds many in a bit of a fashion quandary; summer is officially over, the autumn season has begun, and we’re faced with a few weeks of warm and often wildly humid weather.

I cope with this transition by retiring my linen, pale pastels, and other wholly summer wear. Still, though, it’s not quite time to bring out the tweeds, heavy wools or velvet. Instead, I opt for light weight wools, light weight suede and other leathers, cottons and silks, and I choose a color palette that starts to reference the autumn season. For Black Tie evening occasions, I retire my pastels and pales, selecting darker color wool and silk dinner jackets. I save velvet for a bit later in the Autumn/Winter season—in any case, a few shifts in this direction can keep one looking super stylish and quite comfortable despite the weather.

It’s also a bit about savoring each season. Why not extend that feeling of Summer a bit longer while enjoying a little change in wardrobe? There’ll be plenty to look forward to as we anticipate full autumn!

I’m pictured here in what I think is a terrific transitional look, worn on a rather humid and potentially rainy early autumn day in New York City. Tom Ford era white black, and saddle leather Gucci jacket(I love how the white just brightens this whole ensemble), Paul Smith light weight gray wool pant, Tom Ford gray cotton window pane plaid shirt with French cuffs and solid black silk tie, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, Gucci patent leather belt and saddle leather tasseled loafers, Swaine Adney Brigg “Whangee” umbrella and my cologne is my new favorite Creed Original Cologne.

Creed Original Cologne


CREED Original Cologne

Elegant starched banded collar and cuffs, high-waisted striped trousers, suspenders, frock coats, vests, cravats, pumps, pocket watches, fobs, gloves, walking sticks and top hats were requisite—and of course no well-equipped late nineteenth century English gent would feel complete without a touch of something like the oh-so-crisp Royal Exclusives Collection Original Cologne.

It was an era ruled by the landed leisure elite and ultra-wealthy industrialists. Their households were as tidy as their tailored clothes and the world as they new it ran as assuredly as the British railway. A new continental awareness prevailed and elevated status was conveyed as much through riches as it was through a mastery of formal etiquette.

We are of course speaking of Victorian England which, as you may have guessed, is the perfect inspiration behind Creed’s Original Cologne, a snappy amalgam of floral, citrus, fruit, and clean white musk (amongst other masterfully chosen ingredients), presented—as befitting of such a refined scent—in an exceedingly smart hand blown etched Pochet glass bottle. Need we say this will look as good as it smells on your dressing table?

As one might expect, there is a limited supply of Creed Original Cologne and I urge you to secure a bottle for yourself post-haste!