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Old School – New School

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

Although, as many of you know, I hold a huge fascination for the worlds of certain bygone eras, I do consider myself quite forward thinking as well—far from being mutually exclusive, in fact I find these two outlooks to be quite perfectly complimentary.

Of course, I do realize life today presents some obstacles to living with style, but we don’t need to necessarily replicate the past to honor it. It does require a bit of extra effort and fortitude, for example, to travel in style these days (given what we are subjected to at airports!). However, looking good, especially in slightly more taxing situations, can help one to feel better, (and subsequently perhaps set things up to actually be better).

Many of my design and fashion favorites drew inspiration from the past without becoming overly sentimental. In the fashion world, Halston, for instance, fused a decidedly modernist sensibility with the free-flowing opulence of the ’30s to create a distinctly new aesthetic. In the decorating world, my own Albert Hadley was hugely conversant in the history of design and drew quite freely from the past to create interiors that still spoke in a very fresh and livable way to the present.

I am happy to see a wonderful shift taking place, especially with my younger friends who are celebrating tradition in a big way. Perhaps some of my contemporaries too, will bring the elegance and glamor back into life!

The very talented Gabriel Everett hearkens back to another, perhaps more glamorous time, in this black and white photo. I’m wearing a Tom Ford brown plaid suit in linen, silk and cashmere, with a brown end on end cotton shirt with French cuffs and a contrast white collar and orange and white retro print silk pocket square, cuff links in shell with coral beads, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle and sunglasses, Etro orange suede tasseled loafers, vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

The Hildestahl Medium III Bag

James Andrew and Hildestahl Medium III Bag - photo Gabriel Everett

When I saw the Hildestahl Medium III bag I, of course, simply had to have it. It’s the most perfectly useful and stylish every-day bag that one could ever want—and, AND, yes, in this fantastic shade of purple!

Now, you might think a man’s handbag in purple would be a bit over the top, but I can tell you, (and I know a bit about his sort of thing), purple is a hugely versatile color that works well with practically any combination. Gentlemen, do be bold! Wear the colors that you want, whatever they may be!

As far as securing YOUR purple Hildestahl, it is in quite a limited edition of 5, and now that I have one of them, well, you can do the math. So be quick about it.

I’m photographed here by the very talented photographer Gabriel Everett, sporting my marvelous Medium III Hildestahl bag in purple, dusty gray blue suede motorcycle jacket and grey cashmere turtleneck sweater both Tom Ford era Gucci, Etro wool challis scarf, Uniglo slim dark denim jeans, vintage Rolex oyster perpetual in stainless steel, Gucci black suede loafers (not shown), Dior sunglasses and my fragrance is Creed Himalaya.

New Year’s Resolutions

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

Let’s face it, most well intentioned New Year’s resolutions are forged and then forgotten. For whatever reason, they just don’t seem to stick.

At the risk of sounding a bit preachy, I want to quickly share my thoughts on the subject.

A big part of the problem seems to lie in our concept of time, and particularly with our expectations of the future. In fact, looking to fulfill dreams somewhere down the road often prevents us from finding them in the only moment we’ll ever have—and that, of course, is “the present.” The past is gone by definition, and the future is always beyond experience. Once we know that, then the real question becomes can we muster the courage and focus to bring our dreamiest of dreams into this very moment. Most of the time the little voices are saying no—doubt and/or fear prevail. Don’t get me wrong, caution can be a lifesaver, but if we can’t turn the negative self-speak off, then we’ve got a real problem. It colors our whole present.

In an effort to break this limiting internal dialogue, I’ve found the following two tiered approach to be particularly effective. While you may already be familiar with these ideas, it might be well worth reacquainting yourself with them. For fun, let’s just call these the WIJW Commandments:

1) Be aware of the story you’re telling yourself, and if it isn’t helping, then tell yourself a better story—this new story doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just the tiniest positive shift in the tragic narrative you may be imagining. You can build a better and more beautiful story as things progress. Focus on POSSIBILITY instead of impossibility, and why things CAN happen, instead of why they can’t.

2) Practice gratitude. Find that spot that feels good, even if it’s only the tip of your toe, acknowledge and feel its goodness. We need to make space for good things to happen right here and now, and unproductive feelings of want and lack only perpetuate themselves. Like attracts like.

Give these a try if you care to, and be sure to let us know your thoughts along the way! Whatever your situation may be, WIJW wishes you good luck on your own amazing adventure.

Here’s to a remarkable New Year, filled with awareness, light, and blessings!

Cheers,

JA

Taking some time to reflect and contemplate, I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in a dark brown wide wool check, brown silk pocket square, brown wool knit tie and “Cyrille” sunglasses, Turnbull and Asser red and white striped cotton shirt with contrast white collar and French cuffs, vintage agate cuff links, Gucci brown tweed motor cycle pant, python belt and brown leather Chelsea boots, red leather gloves by Sermoneta, Etro silk paisley scarf and my fragrance is Creed Vintage Taborome.