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Billy Baldwin

James Andrew at home. Photo by Jory Clay Sutton.

My appreciation for the design work of Billy Baldwin began many years ago quite by chance when I happened upon his impossibly fresh and utterly chic designs in the book, “Billy Baldwin Decorates.” I can remember quite clearly being riveted by the Villa Fiorentina, a magnificent French Riviera home Baldwin decorated for Mr. and Mrs, Harding Lawrence—if you haven’t seen pictures of Baldwin’s interiors there, you must! The book is truly a master class in interior decoration, and has definitively shaped and informed so much of what I do. Albert Hadley, my own mentor, was in fact a student of Baldwin’s and they subsequently became lifelong friends. I feel that much of my friendship with Albert Hadley now was formed through our deep mutual admiration and respect for Baldwin’s vision.

Naturally I’m hugely excited about the new Rizzoli publication, “Billy Baldwin The Great American Decorator;” and doubly gratified by Hadley’s forward. “This is the first fully illustrated account of the career of Billy Baldwin..,” Hadley writes, whose “…style was a revelation-simultaneously classical and modernist, tailored and clean, yet dramatically colored and above all else, American.” It does seem that there is a need for exactly this today, and it should not surprise you that I aspire to the self same goals in the work I do for my own clients!

It might interest you to know that the book contains never before published transcripts of four 1974 lectures Baldwin gave at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum—a must read for every decorator and/or design enthusiast!

For today’s post, I’m channeling a Horst portrait of Baldwin, with a painting that actually once hung over Baldwin’s own sofa!

The fantastic photograph was taken by the bright young photographer, Jory Clay Sutton.

I’m sporting a smashing Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in a dark brown wide wool check and pale blue cotton shirt with contrast white collar, brown silk satin tie Ralph Lauren, brown and pale blue retro print silk pocket square by Charvet, silver pearl and pale blue sapphire Seaman Schepps cuff links, black wool flannel pants by Gucci, sunglasses by Lanvin, Tom Ford brown suede tasseled loafers (not shown), and brown leather belt with faux tortoise buckle, and my fragrance is Creed Vintage Tabarome.

11 Comments

  1. Marvelous photo and post James.

  2. The colors all go so well in that room!
    ‘Beauty lies not in colors but in their harmony’

  3. p gaye tapp says:

    I know the Horst photo well and the painting of BB’s! how wonderful that you have it-.He-I bet would be thrilled that you acquired it, that seems fitting. Great photo and I appreciate the book and have added it to my library. His own books are quite endearing and informative, his client stories are even better. Look forward to the NYSD piece with more home photographs. Gaye aka little augury

  4. Matt says:

    You look so adorable in this photo!
    Simply love the brown touches in this outfit and the great mix of different patterns.

  5. K. A. Adams says:

    Great story James, I never knew that pic belonged to Billy. Cool!

  6. Oonagh says:

    How perfect you own this painting, not only did it belong to BB, it looks like a portrait of your own lovely doggies.

  7. Harrison says:

    ~My dear departed friend Rory Cameron’s (who was also a great decorator ) mother lived in Villla Fiorentina , I believe prior to Mary Lawrence , if I remember correctly .
    I would not have remembered this , had I not read your lovely article !

  8. Knowing the dog painting only from the photos, I have long loved it and wondered what happened to it. I am glad it found a good home.

  9. Kelly says:

    The painting is wonderful!

  10. This entire fit is spot on.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

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