WHAT IS JAMES WEARING? Rotating Header Image

Posts under ‘Creed’

THE MET OPERA OPENING NIGHT GALA 2017

James Andrew at the MET Opera opening gala

James Andrew at the MET Opera opening gala


One of our favorite events of the Fall season is the opening night gala at the Metropolitan Opera. It’s a festive and elegant affair with a good deal of glamor. People for the most part do make an effort to dress for the occasion – men are generally dressed in a version of black tie that can extend to more than just a classic tuxedo. Ladies tend to go all out, and this year’s opening gala was no exception with many glorious gowns and dresses gracing the event.

Scott McBee

Scott McBee

This being said, I still don’t understand why the MET Opera allows people access wearing shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, etc. It’s easy enough to procure a tie or a button down shirt at the very least. Honestly I feel it is so sloppy and disrespectful to all of the people who put their whole lives into these opera performances, not to mention all of those in attendance who do make an effort to make themselves presentable. #bringbackthedresscode

Regardless, it was still a beautiful evening. The opera season commenced with Bellini’s Norma and a powerhouse soprano, Sondra Radvanovsky, playing the druid priestess whose battle with love and betrayal ends with the ultimate sacrifice on a funeral pyre (a truly stunning culmination to the performance). Sets were a bit dull and dreary, but the vocals were so on point, they more than made up for it.

Scott McBee and I ended our evening with a magnificent dinner at Charles Masson’s masterpiece, Majorelle, with its sublime cuisine and ravishing Michael Smith designed interiors. It was an absolute dream.

Details from our lovely opera evening

Details from our lovely opera evening

For the opening night gala I wore a Tom Ford iridescent aqua/turquoise silk dinner jacket, ruffled white shirt, wool tuxedo pants, and black patent leather opera pumps. I wore a Le Noeud Papillion “Majestic” black bow tie and cummerbund, silk hose from Paul Stuart, Cartier Tank Divan, a rock crystal and black onyx and diamond evening set by Seaman Schepps, and my fragrance for such an elegant affair was Creed Millesime Imperial. Our very own Scott McBee wore Tom Ford head to toe.

PESTANO PALACIO DO FREIXO AND CASA SERRALVES

James Andrew at Casa Serralves

James Andrew at Casa Serralves

After a fine breakfast at our fabulous hotel Pestana Palacio do Freixo, with the able assistance of the attentive staff we were off for another day’s adventure.

While we’ve been exploring many of the classic mansions and palaces of Portugal we were interested to see a rare modernest example, namely the Casa Serralve located on the outskirts of Porto. It’s an utterly beautiful classicist masterpiece with hints of Deco and gardens influenced by 16th and 17th French formal designs. The estate which included a working farm, was commissioned by the 2nd Count of Vizela Carlos Alberto Cabral.

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Cerralves, Porto

Casa Cerralves, Porto

Cabral was so impressed by the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts in Paris that he hired a whole team of French Architects and designers to work on the project — primarily French Architect Charles Siclis with the help of Jose Marques da Silva. The Interiors were designed by Jacques Emile Ruhlman, Rene Lalique, Edgar Brandt, Ivan da SIlva Bruhns, Jules Leleu, Jean Parzel and Raymond Subes.

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Serralves, Porto

Casa Cerralves, Porto

Casa Cerralves, Porto

Sadly all the furniture is gone, yet one can still get a sense of what this house once was, no doubt reminiscent of the grand salons aboard legendary ocean liners like the Normandie. We were so taken with the place that we actually came back after lunch at the superb restaurant Cafeina, to soak in a few more moments of the impossibly beautiful place.

After Casa Serralves, we dashed back to town to catch up with a few super chic Porto based friends. Later we were treated to the most divine dinner at the Pestana Palacio do Freixo’s Palatium Restaurant — a veritable feast with wine pairings was the most fantastic celebration before leaving Porto — we will definitely need to return and spend more time there with so much more to see!

Pestana Palacio do Freixo, Porto

Pestana Palacio do Freixo, Porto

I’m captured (top) at the sublime Casa Serralves, sporting a Tom Ford ivory cotton/cashmere corduroy jacket, charcoal wool cashmere pant and black and white silk pocket square, Tom Ford era Gucci red cashmere turtleneck sweater and black suede loafers, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun kissed glow and my fragrance is Creed Windsor.

* * *

THE SUITE LIFE AT PESTANA PALACE LISBON

James Andrew -- Dom Luis Felipe suite a the Pestana Palace Hotel

James Andrew — Dom Luis Felipe suite a the Pestana Palace Hotel

In keeping with our theme of exploring the great houses and palaces of Portugal via palace hotels, the Dom Luis Felipe suite at the Pestana Palace Hotel certainly provided us with more than a little taste of the palatial experience! Our ravishing rooms welcomed us back from each day’s exploration and provided us with the most sublime base of operations while in Portugal. A stay at Pestana Palace feels more like being a guest at the home of a relative who just happens to be a Marquis – welcoming and yet elegantly eccentric!

There is so much to see in Lisbon, but among the not-to-be-missed highlights is the Palacio Nacional da Ajuda. The original royal palace was destroyed by fire in 1795, and replaced with a monumental neo-classical style palace in the early 19th century, however it was left incomplete in 1807 when the Royal family was forced to flee to Brazil. It was finally completed in 1861 when Luis I became King and married Maria Pia Princess of Savoia. Needless too say they spared no expense in finalizing the structure and appointments, and the place has left me utterly inspired.

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Also on the must-see Lisbon list is the Museu de Artes Decorativas. Housed in the 17th century Palacio Azurara, it is dedicated to preserving Portuguese traditions in the world of decorative arts. On display are some of the finest examples of furniture, textiles, silver and ceramics. Going there really is a two-for-one experience: enjoying the spectacular palace on the one hand, and the splendid collection on the other!

An exhibition of Portuguese chairs at Museu de Artes Decorativas

An exhibition of Portuguese chairs at Museu de Artes Decorativas

Luncheon at Pestana Palace is always a good idea and since we had the most wonderful weather, we were served on the back terrace overlooking the lovely gardens. One should also be sure to dine at Restaurant Tavares – perhaps one of the oldest restaurants in Portugal, it is an elegant venue serving traditional Portuguese cuisine.

Savoring the beauty of our ravishing rooms at Pestana Palace, I’m sporting a Ralph Lauren Purple Label red tartan wool cashmere jacket, red and white striped cotton shirt with white contrast collar and cuffs by Turnbull and Asser, vintage black silk pocket square, antique Victorian Scottish agate cuff links,Tom Ford era Yves Saint Laurent “Windsor” loafers in black leather, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle, vintage Rolex, a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel provides a healthy glow and my fragrance is Creed Windsor (indeed, I felt very much like a Windsor, staying at Pestana Palace!).