My fantasy Lyford Villa
Some may say I am jumping the gun just a bit, seeing as how I don’t actually own my favorite Lyford tropical villa yet, but there IS something to be said for living as if. So much of life is related to the stories we tell ourselves, and that can range from topics of health and well-being to financial issues as well. Telling ourselves a better story may seem delusional, but the fact is, one might just need that shift in attitude to actually accomplish one’s goals. As our WIJW readership probably knows by now, I like to tell myself some pretty fabulous tales — my reasoning (other than being a whole lot of fun) is that if one’s dreams don’t scare one a little, then they aren’t big enough — and truth be told, one often does make more progress when those dreams are big!
Places like Lyford put me completely at ease, and it didn’t take much deliberation for me to locate my tropical fantasy villa here in this corner of paradise. As imagined, my design would have a stunningly exotic orientalist-in-the-tropics sort of vibe — think: Doris Duke’s Islamic-style Hawaiian Shangri La. Not satisfied to leave this as a simple daydream, I’ve actually taken this design to the point where I have folders on my desktop overflowing with images of art and antiques to fill my Lyford villa. Whether I realize my dreams or not, I’ve been having a blast fleshing out ideas, and who knows, these things do start to gather momentum beyond mere thought!
For a visit to my lovely Lyford Villa (I do think this semi-ruin is well worth saving – kickstarter anyone?), I’m sporting another look inspired by my friend Amanda Strong Boalt’s take on Palm Beach style. I’m wearing a Tom Ford era Gucci white linen jacket and linen madras shirt, Strong Boalt Hybrid “Seafoam” shorts, Tom Ford ivory suede loafers, lavender glen plaid cotton pocket square, “Dimitry” sunglasses, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino.* * *
James Andrew, Lyford – after Slim Aarons’ Cmdr. Whitehead at Lyford.
For an artist who most enjoyed “…photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places,” it’s no wonder that Slim Aarons found himself quite at home in Lyford. From its inception the Lyford Cay Club sought to attract the rich. the interesting, and the beautiful as members — and unlike many clubs in places like Palm Beach, Lyford welcomed all sorts without the dogmatic discrimination and antisemitism that pervaded so many social clubs of the day.
A long time Lyford member, Commander Edward Whitehead has to be the original mold for the “most interesting man in the world.” A former British Royal Navy officer and head of Schweppes USA, Commander Whitehead became the face of Schweppes, with the now classic ad campaign portraying the Englishman delivering highbrow discourse on the beverage’s “Schweppervescence.” He also wrote a treatise How to Live the Good Life: The Commander Tells You How based on words he delivered aboard the Cunard liner, QE2. My friends who knew him at Lyford tell me he was a delightful, dashing, and debonaire man. Needless to say he is a man after my own heart. I’m sure he would have had a blog if he were with us today!
Commander Whitehead by Slim Aarons
For today’s post, I’m paying homage to Commander Whitehead and his brilliant portrait by Slim Aarons. I’m dressed in a Tom Ford era Gucci navy cotton pique jacket, Tom Ford pale blue shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs and white cotton twill pants, Ralph Lauren silk and linen pink, ivory and pale blue stripe tie, pink silk pocket square by Charvet, pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, red and blue bi-color braided belt with silver buckle by Adriano Meneghetti, navy suede Gucci loafers, Rolex, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.
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As you might imagine we were beyond thrilled to soak in some of those last few rays of sun with a most luxurious visit to Lyford Cay.
It’s off-season at Lyford, but the quiet actually suited us just fine — the weather was splendid and a bit of solitude amidst the lush surrounds and the gentle waves of the Caribbean were the perfect culmination to a lovely summer.
The first order of business upon arrival is to head seaside, and fortunately my exquisite friend Lulu de Kwiatowski — artist, designer and long time resident of Lyford — rather graciously offered her private beach and pool with instructions to “frolic and enjoy.” Serendip Cove is certainly one of the most glorious estates in Lyford and we were overjoyed to be there.
On my way to the beach at Serendip Cove, I’m taking sartorial inspiration from my friend Amanda Stongboalt and her take on Palm Beach style. I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Spencer” jacket in pink silk basket weave, white cotton shirt, and ivory suede loafers. I’m also wearing Classic Boardshort Sharks Shallow Water shorts, precious turquoise cufflinks, Charvet turquoise silk pocket square, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.
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