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February, 2012:

Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting @ The Frick

James Andrew at the Frick

James Andrew at the Frick

I’ve just attended the opening of the gorgeous new exhibition at the Frick entitled Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting. Here, the Frick Collection has gathered together nine of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s most important full length paintings, for a show that was initially inspired by Renoir’s “La Promenade,” in the Frick’s permanent collection.

Quite unique within the circle of impressionists (despite being one of the primary founding members), Renoir paints on a large public scale for these works, which, happily for us, has also allowed the artist to indulge his passion for detail.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Les Parapluies

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Les Parapluies

Renoir’s father was a tailor and his mother was a dress maker, making him well aware of current fashions, and his paintings provide a real lesson in costume history. One of my favorite paintings, and perhaps one of Renoir’s most ambitious works, “The Umbrellas” (Les Parapluies) has an interesting story behind it. Begun in 1881, Renoir was unhappy with the painting, and subsequently put it aside until four years later, when he felt compelled to complete the painting. Aside from an examination of the fairly pronounced stylistic shift between parts of the canvas, scholars are, in fact, able to date the figures on the right side of the canvas, to 1881, and the young lady depicted at the left side, to 1885, based solely on their clothing. All of this, and much much more, is revealed in the fascinating Illustrated catalog accompanying the show (offered for purchase at the museum shop).

As you might have guessed, this is another WIJW must see for anyone interested in fashion, history, and fine art!

Here, at the Frick’s East Gallery, I’m enjoying a private preview of this sublime and never seen together before collection of Renoirs and I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci paper thin bottle green leather bomber jacket, windowpane plaid wool pant in gray, teal and blue and navy leather cap toe slip on, Tom Ford teal check cotton shirt with French cuffs and charcoal wool tie, aquamarine and diamond cuff links , black alligator belt with sterling buckle and my fragrance is Creed Bois du Portugal.

An office in Mayfair, London


James Andrew, office in Mayfair, London

If you were to ask me where I’m based, I’d tell you I’m global. I’ve traveled across the world, working on projects from Boston to Bali (and everywhere in between). Of course, New York itself brings me a lot of international connections, and in a different way, WIJW also provides me with a global platform from which to share my musings (albeit virtually) on style and taste.

Despite the many and diverse projects I’ve worked on over the years both here and abroad, I only have a handful of images to remember them by. Unfortunately, (and this is really not that uncommon when doing high-end design), most of my clients are extremely private, and the taking of actual photographic records is usually quite out of the question. I did recently come across this rendering, however, showing one of my designs for a Mayfair London office in a rather posh Georgian building, and think it’s a good example of the sort of balancing act I’m often called upon to do. For this design, I produced something modern without altering the existing architecture (upon request of my client). I concentrated on bringing together an important collection of modernist furniture, including a set of Jansen steel and gilt bronze chairs upholstered in suede and leather, a steel and glass desk by Jacques Quinet, Dupre Lafon club chairs, a 1970’s octagon table in chrome and glass and an Edward Fields “Terra” carpet designed by Van Day Truex. To cap it all off, I added one of my opulent holographic finishes to the ceilings.

Bringing back the Ascot Scarf

James Andrew, NYC

James Andrew, NYC

Inspired by the impossibly chic ascot-wearing assassin played by Edward Fox in the 1973 film adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s “The Day of the Jackal,” (which I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve only just seen), I’ve revisited my ascot and scarf drawer, and have been wearing them with some fanciful delight. I’m also happy to see quite a resurgence in men wearing ascot-style scarves (aka “day cravats”), including high profile trend setters like Brad Pitt and David Beckham. While it’s been rather neglected, and, in some cases, outright rejected (particularly by some, shall we say, less than secure men), a cravat/ascot really is just the perfect accessory when wishing to add a touch of semi-formal panache to one’s ensemble—a note of color and pattern to pop things up, or simply to soften an uncomfortable collar! I look forward to incorporating many more into my wardrobe and encourage our reader’s (if they do not already wear them) to try out this super chic accessory.

I’m sporting a purple foulard and paisley silk scarf (worn in ascot fashion) by Gucci as well as a Tom Ford era Gucci camel top coat, gray flannel pants and peccary gloves, Amber cashgora sweater and white cotton shirt both by Tom Ford, Rolex oyster perpetual watch and YSL aubergine suede “Eton” boot. My fragrance is Creed Bois du Portugal.