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ASCOTS AND SCARVES

James Andrew

James Andrew

As a child I was quite fascinated with the super sophistication and elegance of screen stars like Cary Grant and Fred Astair; they always looked sharp, whether they were in a scuffle or perhaps bounding about in a full-on musical number. On television too, I had favorites like dear old dapper James Backus as Thurston Howell III and more recently I do love Gossip Girl’s rakish Chuck Bass. It seems they all had a penchant for wearing lovely (and sometimes louche) ascots and scarves, which to my mind really are the most useful of accessories — they add that perfect bit of panache even to the most casual outfit and offer a rich yet relaxed alternative to ties and bow ties in a more formal ensemble. They can take the chill out of a slightly nippy spring day and, in my particular case, can help to harmonize the brashest of color combinations — You’ll have noticed I’ve been doing variations on the theme for some time! Witness some of these images from posts past:

A Tom Ford pink cotton voile scarf

A Tom Ford pink cotton voile scarf

Big Sur and The Hacienda -- a Ralph lauren woven cotton serape scarf

Big Sur and The Hacienda — a Ralph lauren woven cotton serape scarf

At Casa del Herrero -- a Le Noeud Papillon orange and navy dot silk ascot

At Casa del Herrero — a Le Noeud Papillon orange and navy dot silk ascot

En route to the TriBeCa Ball wearing a Le Noeud Papillon ascot

En route to the TriBeCa Ball wearing a Le Noeud Papillon ascot

Today’s primary image (top), taken by the multi talented Scott McBee, captures me sporting a simple Indian block print silk scarf with a Tom Ford mango silk “Spencer” jacket, lavender silk mini herringbone pant and orange, purple and lavender floral print silk pocket square, a custom Turnbull and Asser shirt in purple cotton with contrast white collar and cuffs, vintage moon stone cuff links, vintage Rolex, Etro orange suede tasseled loafers, Gucci python belt and sunglasses, Tom Ford – Lavender Palm fragrance, and Tom Ford Bronzing Gel.

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THIS MOMENT IS PERFECT

James Andrew

James Andrew

When all of the inherent baggage of the past drags one down, and fearful projections of future calamity find one utterly paralyzed, it’s time to get present — something as simple as taking time to observe one’s breath or just being aware of, say, the sunlight (if there happens to be any!) can bring some much needed grounding. It’s an age old technique and has been re-espoused and championed by nearly every modern master of the mind (Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Shunryu Suzuk, Jiddu Krishnamurti; the list goes on and on). Now is where everything that we know and experience is and always will be! If everything is a mess, well then, that is how it is. Whether one likes or dislikes that experience doesn’t actually have much to do with things — that mess has a perfection about it — a perfect mess! We only begin to have problems when we start to see things one way or another — when we start to fuss — and then we waste a LOT of energy running away from (or looking for, as the case may be) what we perceive to be a huge threat or an irresistible object of desire.

Of course one does need to try to create a better environment and reality for oneself and others, but taking it easy and being still is an absolute prerequisite to any effort. From there, we can scoop up some of the tremendous energy that is all around us right now, and if we want, fashion it with clarity into a better situation.

In this effort, it is really important to recognize how we perceive struggle; I find great comfort in the fine words of Neale Donald Walsch:

“It is okay to be at a place of struggle. Struggle is just another word for growth. Even the most evolved beings find themselves in a place of struggle now and then. In fact, struggle is a sure sign to them that they are expanding; it is their indication of real and important progress. The only one who doesn’t struggle is the one who doesn’t grow. So if you are struggling right now, see it as a terrific sign — and celebrate your struggle.”

As you know, I’m quite an experienced daydreamer (and it got me into no small bit of trouble as a youngster in school!), but even now, I quite often need to remind myself to use daydreaming in a more powerful way, and to be aware of the stories I’m telling myself. Those imaginings, whatever they may be, become reality! Try creating a truly palpable and beautiful daydream (that is, make believe as if it were already manifest) on a regular basis — I myself make this a daily routine — and watch your very best imaginings blossom in this wonderfully perfect moment!

Giving thanks for the sunlight (and the gorgeous strains of Carmen playing in the background), I’m thinking of the infinite potential of the here and now. I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci navy cotton velvet jacket, Tom Ford ink and ivory cotton plaid shirt, purple wool tie, purple glen plaid silk pocket square, glasses and black and tan leather loafers, Etro wool challis scarf in a Sonia Delaunay inspired print, Uniqlo slim jeans, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with sterling buckle, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford bronzing gel and my fragrance is Lorenzo Villoresi’s, Garofano.

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METRO CURATES

James Andrew at Metro Curates

James Andrew at Metro Curates

As an interior designer, I’m always searching for versatile, elegant, unusual and one-of-a-kind pieces that take an interior to the level of the sublime — and with so many cookie cutter designers out there these days, it is especially important to me that my objects, and thus my interiors, stand out as truly exceptional.

300 year old pancho Metro Curates

300 year old pancho Metro Curates

Thankfully there is the Metro Curates fair — it’s one of those not-to-be missed events showcasing unique folk, contemporary and ethnographic offerings from all over the world (I often liken the uptown Winter Antiques Show to a Broadway show, whereas the Metro Show is a bit more off Broadway — always guaranteed to feature the unique and unexpected!). I’m sharing a few highlights from this year’s show which sadly ends today, but I strongly encourage everyone to attend the next one!

Stephanie Wilde painting at Angela Usrey, Metro Curates

Stephanie Wilde painting at Angela Usrey, Metro Curates

Folk art bust, Metro Curates

Folk art bust, Metro Curates

I’m sporting (top) a Tom Ford era Gucci black cashmere top coat over a Paul Stuart teal cashmere sweater coat, a Gucci vintage Russian print silk shirt, purple foulard silk scarf, Tom Ford era Gucci purple cashmere turtleneck sweater, Uniqlo jeans, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with silver buckle, Tom Ford era Yves Saint Laurent aubergine suede “Eton” boots, vintage Rolex, tom Ford Marco sunglasses, my fragrance is Creed Himalaya, and I’m using a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun-kissed glow.