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September, 2017:

AT HOME WITH DOGS AND THEIR DESIGNERS: SHARING A STYLISH LIFE

Ar Home with Dogs and Their Designers

While preparing for her book about designers and dogs, my friend Susanna Salk asked me if I would like to be included. Of course I would have jumped at the opportunity to be featured (Salk just gets everything right and I absolutely adore her) but sadly my beloved whippets, Rupert and Nigel, had passed away.

I continue to hold a warm place in my heart for those out there who live with and celebrate their four-footed friends, and so as you might imagine, I was overjoyed to receive Salk’s beautiful Rizzoli offering. With a wonderful narrative and immersive photos taken by the impossibly talented photographer and fellow blogger Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence, At Home with Dogs and their Designers: Sharing a Stylish Life will make a perfectly lovely gift for any dog lover and/or designer. Incidentally, Salk and Bewkes also make up the divine duo behind the “At Home With” video series which I highly recommend!

From At Home with Dogs and their Designers

From At Home with Dogs and their Designers

At Home with Dogs and their Designers

From At Home with Dogs and their Designers

The tome features the chicest collection of designers: among them, my dearest friend Robert Couturier is captured quite well! While visiting Kent, I actually got to see first hand how wonderfully he spoils his pack of precious Shih Tzus – Hercule, Dora, Clara, and Zazou.

Of course my whippets were terribly spoiled as well, and had the run of our home. These exquisite companions bless us with their unconditional love and bring such joy and warmth into our lives, how could one not spoil them? I am quite pleased to see that so many of my fellow designers share my opinion! Do hurry and secure your copy of At Home with Dogs and their Designers: Sharing a Stylish Life.

IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL

James Andrew - photo: Boris Glamocanin

James Andrew – photo: Boris Glamocanin

With the idea of extending summer, I recently decided to explore a place that heretofore had been off my radar. As you know by now, I’m always on the prowl to find places that retain a former era’s fabulousness! From its advertisement, the place I found seemed to offer some truly intriguing possibilities. In the 50s, a gentleman (I believe he was a set designer) and a group of his friends set out to create an over-the-top confection using salvage from Newport mansions and stage sets – think: Oliver Messell and Rex Whistler (though perhaps this is too generous a compliment). I thought it all had great potential for some lovely louche 1970s glam.

I should have researched the idea with greater scrutiny!

The place was a vapor of what it once may have been. It was now run-down and sad… and to add to this, it had absolutely horrible service. I’d reserved the “Rotunda Suite” which I paid for in advance, but upon arrival I was told that other guests were extending their stay and I would have to stay in another room. The website itself was overflowing with amazing images – no doubt very old ones – of rooms and other spaces that upon arrival we discovered were not accessible to guests. It was all quite a bit of false advertising. Additionally – there was all sorts of seriously lewd behavior in the public areas – I’m going to spare you those details.

Despite all hopes of any brilliant photo opportunities, I decided to soldier on and try to enjoy my time sea-side. My friend Boris Glamocanin (the brilliant artist/photographer), and I took a nice stroll along the beach, and we returned to the guest house to lounge on the deck and soak up some glorious sun. The sky became the most magnificent shade of blue, and contrasted strikingly with ornamental details of a white elephant and obelisks. There was a gorgeous moment just then, despite all else having gone so wrong. I ran into the room and put on my Tom Ford chartreuse dressing gown, and voila, Boris snapped away. Sometimes, as in all things, with a shift in perception one can start to tell a different story. Rather than give in to the great plethora of annoyances, I opted to relax and embrace whatever beauty I could find.