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FASHON FADES STYLE IS ETERNAL

James Andrew

James Andrew

Having just read the two terrific tomes we shared in our last post, Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan and Lou Lou De La Falaise, I was struck by how Agnelli and La Falaise never concerned themselves with trends. Whether decorating or dressing themselves there is always a sense of personal style. Certainly both wore couture and Agnelli worked with the most brilliant interior designers, architects, and landscape designers – but all was selected to enhance a singular and quite timeless vision. In fact, after looking through these books, I’m convinced that it would all look just as fabulous today as it would twenty years from now. As Yves Saint Laurent was fond of saying, “fashions fade, style is eternal.”

My own taste in fashion certainly has evolved over the years; as a young man it was all very ivy league, and then as I started to work with Ralph Lauren, I became possessed by his hyper romantic world. Having worked there for almost 10 years, my closet was overflowing. My departure from Ralph Lauren left me at a stylistic crossroads. The cherished wardrobe I had acquired at Lauren started to feel a bit like a costume, and wasn’t very sexy. Tom Ford at Gucci came to the rescue, though I quickly realized that the mod 60’s vibe of some of his stuff would quickly become outdated. Thankfully Ford’s transition to a Savile Row inspired classical style coincided with my shift in aesthetic, which I added a touch of Italian flair to. I have continued to experiment over the years, and yes, made some hideous choices along the way, but that is always a chance one takes when trying to push the envelope a bit.

I really love the fact that La Falaise had such an elevated sense of style that she could wear YSL couture and still put her own brilliant twist on things — there was a spectacular creative reciprocity between muse and the master Saint Laurent himself — great stye informing great fashion. In this spirit, we here at WIJW hope you are courageously expressing your own sense of personal style while navigating the ever-changing fashions of the day!

Strolling the grounds of a grand estate-like park, I’m sporting a summer Sunday casual ensemble: Tom Ford era Gucci black linen denim jacket with suede elbow patches, Gucci linen plaid shirt turquoise and purple, Tom Ford lavender silk herringbone weave pant, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with sterling buckle and turquoise suede driving shoes, Charvet turquoise silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, straw hat from The Sugar Mill Trading Company and my fragrance is Creed’s Acqua Originale Vetiver Geranium.

A NIGHT AT THE MET

James Andrew at the MET

James Andrew at the MET

Summer nights in town are the perfect time to explore museums and catch up on exhibitions — and happily many museums here have evening hours on Fridays, making them the most perfectly pleasant escape from the heat of the day. My beloved artist, Scott McBee, and I recently decided to go to the exceptional John Singer Sargent exhibit at the MET, Portraits of Artists and Friends.

John Singer Sargent at the METJohn Singer Sargent at the MET

John Singer Sargent at the MET

John Singer Sargent at the MET

John Singer Sargent at the MET

Sargent certainly does enthrall with his wildly confident stroke, his relaxed compositions, and all of those delicious details rendered in glorious, velvety globs of paint. As the title of the show suggests, we’re given a pretty comprehensive glimpse of his personal stuff, which, away from the pressures of his commissioned work — “no more mugs” he once said of his hired portrait work — shows us a series of sumptuously energetic and honest pieces. The collection, in a way, is the true Sargent — an artist who continually experimented while celebrating the visual world and the creative bunch that he called friends. Among the many really beautiful works I hadn’t had the opportunity to see in person until now, I was particularly thrilled to see Sargent’s portrait of his lifelong friend (and notable aesthete), Dr, Pozzi — definitely my favorite of all of Sargent’s works. McBee and I hit Mr. Chow for a bite afterwards, which was a fine choice — an elegant place amongst the glitterati to savor our thoroughly satisfying evening of fine art.

Dr. Pozzi -- John Singer Sargent at the MET

Dr. Pozzi — John Singer Sargent at the MET

Dressed for a night at the MET, I’m sporting a Tom Ford red cotton jacket and white cotton shirt with French cuffs, Seaman Schepps pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, Cassette citron yellow jeans, Ralph Lauren red crocodile belt with sterling buckle and needlepoint slippers, Charvet yellow and white retro print silk pocket square, Creed Pure White Cologne and a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel to add that sun-kissed glow.

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SUMMER TRANSFORMATION

James Andrew at home with Quadrille's China Seas fabric.

James Andrew at home with Quadrille’s China Seas fabric.

I’m wild about the idea of summer slipcovers — changing one’s furniture covering (or simply adding a new table cloth), in a well-chosen fabric is always a quick and immediately gratifying way to freshen up any room. My little dining room/library here in town is pretty moody with its lacquered aubergine walls and silver holographic ceiling. As the temperatures have been rising, I wanted a room that felt brighter, lighter, crisper, and cooler. A bit of the exotic always helps as well. So I turned to my friends at Quadrille who are certainly at the top of my list of go-to resources for ultra chic fabrics and wall coverings. Quadrille’s China Seas collection provided the most perfect selection of fabrics to choose from, and Island Ikat in pale aqua on white did the trick — the pale aqua is a spot-on match to my living room wall color and ties the whole flat together quite nicely — with an overall effect that provides a dash of Lyford Cay-esque tropical splendor.

James Andrew, Quadrille transformation.

James Andrew, Quadrille transformation.

There is a softness and luxury that fabrics can bring to a room, and my new table cloth is already providing a splendid backdrop for my summer repasts. I switched out my Dodie Thayer tureen with a vintage Este white melon tureen to lighten the look even further. This aqua and white cloth will look super chic with plates in turquoise, coral, blues and malachite — stay tuned for photos!

I’m dressed in a Tom Ford ivory linen sateen suit, dusty rose cotton mini plaid shirt, pink silk knit tie and ivory suede and leather cap toe shoes, Charvet pink silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, Seaman Schepps cuff links in coral and shell,vintage Gucci python belt with silver buckle, Creed Royal Mayfair fragrance and a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun kissed glow.

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