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January, 2013:

Luggala Days by Robert O’Byrne

LugallaDays

If you are as fascinated as I am by grand houses, their histories and their inhabitants, then you will just adore Robert O’byrne’s (see The Irish Aesthete) latest tome, Luggala Days. It’s the story of an exquisite 18th century house located in a secluded Irish valley, that became home and haven to the Guinness family in 1937 and, throughout the 60’s and 70’s, to a colorful collection of superstar-guests, including the likes of John Paul Getty II and his wife Talitha, as well as a whole who’s who list of creatives like Lucien Freud, Bill Willis, Mick Jagger, and even Michael Jackson.

Tara Brown on his 21st Birthday with Rolling Stone Brian Jones and then girl friend Anita Pallenberg, John Paul Getty II and his wife Talitha and interior designer Bill Willis

Tara Brown on his 21st Birthday with Rolling Stone Brian Jones and then girl friend Anita Pallenberg, John Paul Getty II and his wife Talitha and interior designer Bill Willis

Portrait of Garech Browne by Lucian Freud

Portrait of Garech Browne by Lucian Freud

Ernest Guinness presented Luggala to his daughter Oonagh Guinness upon her marriage to the fourth Baron Oranmore and Browne. Her son the Hon. Garech Browne took up the Lagalla torch some three decades later in the late 60’s. In addition to lovingly restoring Luggala to its original 18th century splendor, Browne is known by many as Ireland’s last dandy!

The drawing room at Luggala

The drawing room at Luggala

Ireland's last  dandy, Garech Browne

Ireland’s last  dandy, Garech Browne

Often combining traditional tailoring with unexpected materials and colors to create truly unique and sometimes quite arresting effects—Brown’s approach, in fact, is not that dissimilar to mine! In speaking of Browne, O’Byrne quotes Baudelaire at one point: “Dandyism is the last splendor of heroism….” The thought certainly resonates with me—it does take a certain fearlessness to be oneself and to express one’s own unique sartorial vision.

This is certainly a must-have addition to one’s library—a luscious account of a remarkable home and the people who made it legendary.

Vanity Fair, The International Best-Dressed Challenge

The International Best-Dressed Challenge

The International Best-Dressed Challenge

We here at WIJW need your support to win Vanity Fair’s Best-Dressed online challenge!!!

  1. Click here: The International Best-Dressed Challenge | Vanity Fair
  2. Look for a photo of me
  3. Click on the HEART ♥ to like it!

I’ll be uploading a photo every day from now until June, and so we’d be deliriously happy if you’d check in at Vanity Fair every day to cast your vote. Furthermore, I think you’ll be as intrigued as we are by all of the unique and unusual ways people are putting themselves together out there!

Each week a group of Vanity Fair editors will pick their favorite looks from the latest batch of submissions, and you’ll see these selections in a weekly curated slide show on vanityfair.com. Additionally, a monthly award will go to the entrant who has received the most “likes” from viewers!

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Thanks for you support,

James

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Soon, The Winter Antiques Show, Young Collectors Night!

James Andrew at Carlton Hobbs - photo Perkins & Harley

James Andrew at Carlton Hobbs – photo Perkins & Harley

I’m excited to say in just one short week (Thursday, January 31st from 7-9 PM) we’ll be gathering together to enjoy the event of the season, that is, the Winter Antiques Show, Young Collectors Night!

So if you haven’t purchased your tickets or sorted out your outfit, what are you waiting for? The Young Collectors Night provides exclusive access to an illustrious world of antiques, fine art, and you’ll mingle with eighty of the most notable designers NYC has to offer, and ticket sales benefit the East Side House Settlement, a charity in the South Bronx that provides a range of services for the community.

We’ll be looking to include a few of our well dressed readers out there in our event coverage. Who knows, you just might find yourself gracing the pages of WIJW!

Of course the superlative Carlton Hobbs Gallery will be exhibiting there, which alone would warrant the purchase of a ticket! I stopped by this week to get a bit of a preview of what they’ll be exhibiting, and I can say that you will want to make a beeline to their booth. I was particularly taken by a ravishing pair of massive eagle crested Regency Convex Mirrors, that retain their original, and highly unusual blue-grey paint. With pieces like these, it is no wonder that wall mirrors were indeed a Regency addiction! I would place these flanking a fireplace or an important doorway—they’de be sure to add a sublime balance to any room, be it minimalist modern, or the sort of “amplified traditional” that I create for my clients. Look for these at the show!

One of a pair of massive eagle crested Regency convex mirrors from Carlton Hobbs

One of a pair of massive eagle crested Regency convex mirrors from Carlton Hobbs

Taking time to bask in all the beauty that is Carlton Hobbs, I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in amethyst wool silk tri-color windowpane, grey and black plaid cotton shirt with french cuffs, charcoal wool tie, black and grey silk pocket square and black and tan leather loafers, Tom Ford era Gucci black wool flannel pant, antique moon stone cuff links, vintage Rolex watch, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with sterling buckle and my fragrance is Creed Royal Oud.