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May, 2012:

Old School – New School

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

Although, as many of you know, I hold a huge fascination for the worlds of certain bygone eras, I do consider myself quite forward thinking as well—far from being mutually exclusive, in fact I find these two outlooks to be quite perfectly complimentary.

Of course, I do realize life today presents some obstacles to living with style, but we don’t need to necessarily replicate the past to honor it. It does require a bit of extra effort and fortitude, for example, to travel in style these days (given what we are subjected to at airports!). However, looking good, especially in slightly more taxing situations, can help one to feel better, (and subsequently perhaps set things up to actually be better).

Many of my design and fashion favorites drew inspiration from the past without becoming overly sentimental. In the fashion world, Halston, for instance, fused a decidedly modernist sensibility with the free-flowing opulence of the ’30s to create a distinctly new aesthetic. In the decorating world, my own Albert Hadley was hugely conversant in the history of design and drew quite freely from the past to create interiors that still spoke in a very fresh and livable way to the present.

I am happy to see a wonderful shift taking place, especially with my younger friends who are celebrating tradition in a big way. Perhaps some of my contemporaries too, will bring the elegance and glamor back into life!

The very talented Gabriel Everett hearkens back to another, perhaps more glamorous time, in this black and white photo. I’m wearing a Tom Ford brown plaid suit in linen, silk and cashmere, with a brown end on end cotton shirt with French cuffs and a contrast white collar and orange and white retro print silk pocket square, cuff links in shell with coral beads, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle and sunglasses, Etro orange suede tasseled loafers, vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.


James Andrew with Tamaso Saraceno installation - photo Scott McBee

James Andrew with Tamaso Saraceno installation - photo Scott McBee

The museum program mentions something about the merging of “…art, architecture, and science.”

Our immediate impressions were a bit more, let’s say, visceral (read, unabashedly boyish).

In fact, we couldn’t wait to climb aboard this unbelievably cool, adult-sized molecular jungle-gym/spaceship! It’s a stunning steel and plexi structure by Tamaso Saraceno and can be found perched on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum where it affords one some truly wild inter-dimensional views of the NYC skyline. Obviously this puts it high on the WIJW list of must-sees this season. There is a timed admission to enter the structure—make sure to pick up your ticket before ascending to the roof!

I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci white, black and saddle leather jacket, Tom Ford “Regency” pants in pink & green silk cotton madras check, black and white stripe cotton shirt with French cuffs, “Nicolo” sunglasses, vintage moon stone cuff links, black, white and silver leather Gucci loafers, vintage Cartier Tank “Divan” watch and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

Lily of the Valley

James Andrew Lily of the Valley

French tradition has it that one simply must offer a sprig of Lily-of-the-Valley (muguet) to a loved one on May Day for good luck and happy wishes.

Of course one needn’t limit one’s enjoyment to a single day! I generally can’t get enough of its uplifting fragrance, and enjoy Lily-of-the-Valley in one form or another throughout the year. A perfect way to ensure a steady infusion of this beloved fragrance is through the esteemed Caswell-Massey Classics triple milled floral soaps. During its 258 year history, CM has been a longstanding favorite amongst America’s elite (they cite President Washington, George Gershwin, Greta Garbo, and John F. Kennedy as examples), and rightfully so. In a word, the product is simply superb. Why not give a box to a loved one during these last days of May? And do buy a box for yourself as well to keep you, your clothes drawers, and your guests, smelling heavenly.