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BIRTHDAY WITH MCBEE

James Andrew birthday at  Le Grenouille

James Andrew birthday at Le Grenouille

We had made spectacular plans to celebrate my birthday in Lisbon…but alas, “the best laid plans…” and so on. And although I was a bit saddened not to make it there for my birthday this weekend, as we’ve often said, delays don’t necessarily mean denials! In fact we’re still planning to go in the not too distant future, and I’ve been having a terrific time scheming and fantasizing per usual. Without too much heaviness about it, we set about making alternative celebration plans, and I’m very happy to report that my dear Scott McBee pulled out all the stops to make sure I had a marvelous old-school birthday celebration right here in New York City!

Martinis with McBee

Martinis with McBee

We were out of the gate running with a delectable lobster omelette and rosé champagne luncheon at the superb Union Square Café — a consistently top tier Zagat listing. Come the evening, we set off in black tie for martinis at the fabulous Four Seasons, then McBee whisked me away for the ultimate in luxurious French dinners at the legendary Le Grenouille (my favorite NYC restaurant). Its rooms aglow with elegance and atmosphere, and enlivened with fresh floral arrangements, Le Grenouille was the most gorgeously perfect place to commence a new and magical year for yours truly!

Dressed to celebrate all of this fabulousness, I’m sporting a Tom Ford magenta silk evening jacket and black silk faille bow tie, Tom Ford era tuxedo shirt in white cotton voile with wool barethea tuxedo pants, black patent opera pumps, Creed Imperial Millisime.

James Andrew and Scott McBee at Le Grenouille

James Andrew and Scott McBee at Le Grenouille

Diamond evening set by M. de Phocas

Diamond evening set by M. de Phocas

My spectacular diamond evening set by M. de Phocas, and the ever-handsome Scott McBee is wearing a Tom Ford black tie ensemble.

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An M. de Phocas Evening Set and a Book Pending

James Andrew wears and evening set by M de Phocas. Photo by Rose Callahan for her upcoming book.

James Andrew wears and evening set by M de Phocas. Photo by the brilliant Rose Callahan for her upcoming book.

My friend Rose Callahan (see her blog, The Dandy Portraits: The Lives of Exquisite Gentlemen Today) is working on the most marvelous book of photographs (with text by Nathaniel Adams) capturing modern day dandies, and I was quite thrilled to be asked to take part! The release is slated for the fall of this year via Gestalten Press, but thought to include this photo (above) as a little teaser!

For our shoot, Callahan envisioned a retro-glam Hollywood scenario at the recently refurbished Waldorf Astoria Hotel here in New York City. In planning a wardrobe befitting such opulent surrounds, my thoughts immediately turned to the evening sets from our friends at M. de Phocas. After a quick consultation with them, they graciously offered the pictured marvelous mix of diamonds, sapphires and onyx—the most perfect compliment to my black silk moire Tom Ford era Gucci dinner jacket. I matched this with a lavender Tom Ford tuxedo shirt, Charvet mauve silk bow tie, and a Turnbull and Asser black and white silk scarf. A splash of Creed Millesime Imperial topped things off.

Max Rhyser

Max Rhyser and James Andrew - photo Julio Gaggia

Max Rhyser and James Andrew - photo Julio Gaggia


As you know, WIJW loves to feature artists that catch our eye. That being said, we’re pleased to briefly interrupt our Marrakech story for the ultra-talented Danish-American-Israeli model, stage, television and film actor, Max Rhyser.

In case you were wondering, Rhyser was not always the gorgeous, confident young man we see today. In fact, he tells us of a life full of uncertainties—whether it was moving between Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen as a child (with the requisite challenge of having to learn a new language each time) or being gay and having weight issues, circumstances weren’t exactly conducive to a happy childhood. Things began to change, however, when Rhyser joined his school’s theater program. “I found a home,” he says, a “beautiful escape,” with like minded friends. From then on he’d always seek out the “theater group.”

Pursuing his dream of acting in New York City was not all roses and lollipops either—his accent and ethnically ambivalent look found him trying to be who he thought everyone wanted him to be. Ultimately, though, he found his own voice (to critical acclaim we might add)—just read his extensive filmography on IMDB!

Max Rhyser - photo Julio Gaggia

Max Rhyser - photo Julio Gaggia

Of course his success took no small degree of personal initiative: “As an actor, an artist,” Rhyser exclaims, “we’re always waiting for the agent, the manager, the casting director, the director, the producer, the network, the gallery, etc., etc., etc.. WHY? With all the resources available to us these days, we can do anything we want, anything! You have a role you want to play, a story you want to tell, do it! Do it!”

Feeling inspired yet?!

Rhyser and Sal Bardo’s latest film, entitled “Chaser” tackles cultural alienation and the fringe gay community. See link here. Of this rather brave role, Rhyser explains, “operating from the heart truly TRULY removes all fears.”

Also check out his latest on-stage appearance in The Austerity of Hope. His performance is a must see!

With so many projects in the works, it probably goes without saying that we’ll be bringing much more from the dynamic Max Rhyser in the not so far future. We can’t wait!

I’m pictured (top) dressing Rhyser for the Oscars and Tony Awards he is sure to win! He’s wearing a Tom Ford era Gucci black silk moire dinner jacket and tuxedo pants, Tom Ford lavender cotton voile tuxedo shirt and black silk faille bow tie, and an outrageous diamond evening set by our friends M. de Phocas. The effect is complete with a generous misting of Creed Imperial Millesime.

Diamond Evening Set by M. de Phocas

Diamond Evening Set by M. de Phocas

I am sporting the vest and pants from a Tom Ford charcoal glen plaid wool suit, grey cotton window pane plaid shirt, antique shell and coral cuff links, and brown leather loafers. My fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.