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July, 2013:

Fortuny

James Andrew at Fortuny - photo Gabriel Everett

James Andrew at Fortuny – photo Gabriel Everett

As an Interior Designer, I’m constantly on the prowl for unusual furniture, objects, and fabrics, and the Fortuny showroom is one of my favorite go-to resources. They are a true and enduring classic, and have remained in demand by the super chic and sophisticated set for over a century! I’m particularly wild about their fabrics. As one would expect from such a longstanding company, their fabrics are hugely versatile, and work well with really any design idiom, from classical to modernist, and everything in-between.

Fortuny Fabrics - NYC Showroom

Fortuny Fabrics – NYC Showroom

You’ll find these glorious made-by-hand fabrics in nearly every fine James Andrew interior. In fact I’m currently working on an interior that celebrates the work of Renzo Mongiardino. I’m referencing the stenciled walls he created, utilizing Fortuny fabrics on the vestebule walls of client’s town house – a field of “Melagrana” bordered by pieced Fortuny fabrics, antique ribbon, and silk tape! The effect is sublime.

The Fortuny showrooms.

The Fortuny showrooms.

Fortuny has struck that delicate balance – remaining true to their legacy while continuing to innovate and evolve. When looking to imbue an interior with timeless magic, do keep them in mind. Their spectacular New York City showroom is a must see – a perfect example of great style always being in fashion.

Captured at the stunning Fortuny New York City showroom by Gabriel Everett, I’m sporting a Tom Ford tangerine silk herringbone suite, brown and white micro-houndstooth cotton shirt, ivory silk tie, brown and ivory glen plaid silk pocket square and brown leather tasseled loafers, shell and coral cuff links, Rolex watch, and my fragrance is Creed Orange Spice.

Be a Rebel

James Andrew boating in the city - Photo Gabriel Everett

James Andrew boating in Central Park – Photo Gabriel Everett

While reading one of my favorite blogs, Style Like You, I was pretty taken by something Bobby Hicks said: “We’re so focused on charging forward, there’s something rebellious about being brought back to a different time.” Read more here.

Following Hicks’ reasoning – and our particular focus is on attire though it is clear that Hicks’ words speak to many levels of lifestyle – I think we can agree that very few people really make an effort to dress up these days. The irony is that the act of dressing up itself has now become a protest of sorts – quite the opposite to what we’ve seen in the past. Most of society seems to be locked into an uber casual (read sloppy) mentality, where aesthetic considerations have been nearly completely supplanted by expediency and comfort – and unfortunately the future appears to be following this downward trajectory. This, of course has been a rant we here at WIJW have been on since the beginning, but it’s one we’ll continue to deliver as we aspire toward more elevated living!

James Andrew boating in the city - Photo Gabriel Everett

James Andrew boating in Central Park – Photo Gabriel Everett

As you can see, a recent boating expedition certainly provided me with the opportunity to externalize some of these thoughts. While most were dressed in cargo shorts, tank tops, and flip flops, I sported an ensemble reminiscent of times past – a la Brideshead Revisted. In the process, I might add, I was happy to create quite a stir…a gorgeous gaggle of girls, for instance, followed me around the pond snapping pics, and a wedding photographer even diverted his camera from his clients for a few moments to shoot me instead! Needless to say, I was happy to receive the attention. Why not join me in our style revolution and have a bit of fun being a rebel while you’re at it.

For my boating expedition in New York City’s Central Park, I’m sporting a straw hat from the Sugar Mill in Harbour Island, a Gucci pinstripe cotton jacket, Tom Ford grey and black plaid cotton shirt, blue and lavender paisley silk bow tie, lavender silk herring bone pants and lavender glen plaid cotton pocket square, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with sterling buckle, pearl and sapphire cuff links, Rolex watch and black, white and silver leather loafers by Gucci, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

Balsamo Antiques 

James Andrew at Balsamo Antiques - photo Gabriel Everett 

James Andrew at Balsamo Antiques – photo Gabriel Everett 

As an interior designer, I’m always seeking out the most unique and unusual things for my clients. I do feel that decoration has become rather homogenized – many of the same pieces are simply getting used and re-used in the design world, and so I make an extra effort to procure one-of-a-kind items to help create truly spectacular interiors for my clients.

One of my best resources in this endeavor has been Balsamo Antiques. Balsamo is the love child of Ray Attanasio and Steve Abeles. Both cut their teeth as merchandisers and designers for the likes of J. Crew, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Bloomingdales, but left the corporate grind to pursue their personal dreams – and thank goodness they did! They now bring with them all of the expertise that their former careers required of them, applying that solid base of experience to their own (and far from the ordinary) collection of unique and eclectic objects – bold and beautiful one-of-a-kind as well as re-imagined pieces. I’m particularly crazy about the gilded Indian bell light fixture pictured above me (top). Could make a really perfect statement in a monumental project I’m working on now in Florida.

An industrial steel dining table at Balsamo Antiques

An industrial steel dining table at Balsamo Antiques

A pair of unusual 19th c. Italian Console tables at Balsamo Antiques

A pair of unusual 19th c. Italian Console tables at Balsamo Antiques

Make a point to peruse their website or if you are in the New York area, visit them at their spectacular showroom at 306 East 61st Street on the 7th floor or in their Upstate shop at 3007 Church Street Pine Plains, NY.

I’m photographed Balsamo Antiques dressed in a Tom Ford “Wetherby” suit in ocean blue wool silk linen melange, midnight cotton dotted herringbone print shirt, Pierre Hardy cobalt suede demi boots, Charvet pale blue and royal retro print silk pocket square, Rolex watch, and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.