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February, 2016:

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MIX

James Andrew – photo by  Boris Glamocanin

James Andrew – photo by Boris Glamocanin


Whether I’m creating rooms for a client or working on my own sartorial splendor, it’s all in the mix!

For me, a traditional interior really comes alive with the addition of modern art and photography. This marvelous juxtaposition of classic and contemporary is so impossibly fresh and chic. Conversely, an architecturally modern apartment can really make an exceptional antique piece sing – highlighting and enhancing the effect of its sculptural qualities, and giving an otherwise chilly interior a bit of warmth and soul.

When putting together a clothing ensemble, I love combining sportier elements with tailored pieces – this is something very American I think, and adds a touch of edgy chic to things. The ensemble featured today is a perfect example of that idea – mixing a down vest with tweeds and corduroy (and in this particular case, it provides a much needed layer of practical warmth as well)!

I have a rather extensive collection of formal dinner jackets which I sadly do not wear enough. But occasionally I wear one of these jackets with a white shirt, white pants, scarf, and white loafers — creating a less formal ensemble for a dinner or cocktail party. In fact I’ve put together just this outfit for an upcoming Palm Beach trip so stay tuned! A variation might be a dinner jacket with a black turtleneck, black pants, leopard slippers, and voila, a super chic. fun, semi formal look!

My point is, don’t be afraid to mix things up and have fun. Be inspired by style icons who were brave enough to experiment without needing approval!

I was thrilled to work again with my endlessly talented friend, Boris Glamocanin – his images add a seductive edginess which we adore! I’m sporting a Tom Ford charcoal wool tweed jacket with brown suede elbow patches, teal cotton corduroy pants, black and white window windowpane plaid shirt with French cuffs, teal and charcoal check cashmere wool tie, teal silk pocket square, brown leather tasseled loafers, Hawke & Co charcoal down vest, Seaman Schepps grey pearl cuff links, vintage Rolex watch, Tom Ford London fragrance, and a bit of my trusty Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun kissed glow.

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BE A DISCIPLE OF ELEGANCE

James Andrew at home.

James Andrew at home.

A few years ago I was honored to be included in Corriere Della Sera’s Style Magazine in a piece entitled, The Latest Aesthetes. And I was in such tremendous company too, with the likes of Hamish Bowles among others. They wrote: “.. in an era that has abandoned elegance James Andrew is a loyal disciple..and the latest …arbiter of good taste.” It’s a title I’ve tried to live up to every day – and despite this era of “abandoned elegance,” it may surprise you to know that I’m actually quite pleased with a lot that is going on today in the worlds of fashion and design.

For instance via the miracle of Instagram, there are so many sharing their very own sartorial splendor and indeed, there are quite a few marvelous examples of very well dressed and elegant men and women out there! I’m also thrilled to see so many sharing images of iconic interiors and homes that are providing inspiration and excitement for aspiring and established designers alike. Terrific table settings as well seem to be flooding my Instagram feed — so many out there are giving very good table!

James Andrew table setting.

James Andrew table setting.

I find that many are paralyzed by insecurities and don’t know where to start. Good taste doesn’t have much to do with money, it really has more to do with having a good understanding and appreciation of the history of art, aesthetics, and a recognition of fine craftsmanship. Certainly money does not equal good taste! Of course, I won’t deny that having some monetary resources can certainly help facilitate the realization of that hard earned appreciation once one has got it, but this doesn’t need to bankrupt you or your clients.

In fact, a huge part of my collection has come from sifting through eBay for incredible bargains, and going to flea markets and vintage boutiques where I’ve managed to find all kinds of unusual and one-of-a-kind treasures. To the aspiring aesthetes and decorators out there, my big word of advice is that this should all come from a place of joy – our work should make our own and others’ lives better. Be sure to stay light and have fun with what you are doing.

Just as the decoration of one’s home creates an environment that nurtures one’s own soul and those of our friends and loved ones, having friends and family for drinks and/or dinner is another perfect way to celebrate the loved ones in our lives. And it’s all in the details! I never serve a cocktail, for instance, without a freshly starched cocktail napkin! Even a modest dinner for two can be elevated with fine china and crystal.

All of our efforts to live a more elegant life are rewarded on so many levels. The sharing of beauty in all its forms is truly a noble pursuit and can elevate a potentially mundane event into a moment of awareness, and deep appreciation. To this end, I encourage all of our readership to become disciples of elegance – and be sure to spread the joy!

I’m sporting (top) a Tom Ford lavender wool tweed window pane plaid jacket, grey checked cotton shirt and black purple, and ivory glen plaid wool/cashmere tie, Ralph Lauren grey wool flannel pants, Ralph Lauren Purple Label grey cashmere fair isle sweater, Turnbull and Asser grey and black dot silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford era YSL Eton aubergine suede boots, my fragrance is Creed Himalaya and a I’m using a touch of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for some much needed sun.

JEAN-CHARLES DE RAVENEL PALM BEACH REVISITED AT LINDROTH

Mrs. Harrison Williams at home "Blythedunes" by Jean-Charles de Ravenel

Mrs. Harrison Williams at home “Blythedunes” by Jean-Charles de Ravenel

I’m sad to say our upcoming trip to Palm Beach has had to be postponed. Our beloved Scott McBee had to dash off to California on a family matter.

We’d secured rooms at the Colony Hotel Palm Beach – which is always my hotel of choice in Palm Beach. Needless to say, we were so looking forward to catching up with friends and enjoying a bit of Palm Beach splendor. But as we like to say, delays don’t mean a denial — and we’re already rescheduling our visit!

For those of you on your way to Palm Beach, you must stop by our super chic friend Amanda Lindroth’s boutique where she has brought the best of Lyford elegance and sophistication to Palm Beach! Of particular note, Lindroth will be showcasing the collage work of our exquisite friend Jean-Charles de Ravenel in an exhibition entitled “Palm Beach Revisted.” The renowned artist will be showing 14 works celebrating Palm Beach in the fabulous 1930s – a time when manners, elegance, charm, and sophistication were the order of the day — where people dressed up, decorated, and entertained in great style.

We are sharing two of de Ravenel’s magnificent works. Mrs. Harrison Williams at Home “Blythedunes” (decorated by Syrie Maugham and later becoming the home of Charles and Jane Wrightsman) See above; Secondly, Mrs. Harrison Williams on board “Warrior.” See below.

Mrs.Harrison Williams on board "Warrior" by Jean-Charles de Ravenel

Mrs.Harrison Williams on board “Warrior” by Jean-Charles de Ravenel

This is one of those must-see exhibitions, and is on view from:

February 11th through April 2016

Lindroth 312 B South County Road, Palm Beach. Phone 561-249-1205

In lieu of actually being there, I’m sharing a flashback to a couple of my own favorite Palm Beach looks!

James Andrew — Palm Beach style

James Andrew — Palm Beach style


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