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Paul Smith


James Andrew, Boston. photo ACS

James Andrew, Boston. photo ACS

A friend’s surprise 50th birthday bash in Boston provided the perfect excuse to revisit my old stomping grounds. This was an uber-fab affair at The Four Seasons—no expense was spared with limitless oysters and a sea of martinis (and they actually pulled off keeping this a secret from said birthday boy right up to the moment!).

The next day was all about connecting with Alexander Coster Scott—brilliant artist, renaissance man, and my dearest long-standing friend. We met many years ago while I was working at the Copley Ralph Lauren store. Scott had the most gorgeous long blond hair and an incredible physique. I had a major crush on him, but alas, he was not on my team so to speak. We did however begin one of my first EPIC bro-mances and he made for a perfect escort (the boy had his own tux) for all the rather posh affairs I was invited to. I was also smitten quite early on by Scott’s art, which I promptly started showing at Ralph Lauren. I’ve been collecting (and placing) his work ever since!

It was so wonderful this past weekend to revisit and share with my beloved Scott McBee (who accompanied me from NYC) many of my old Boston haunts. Along with Alex Coster Scott (we’ve got two Scotts here) and his glamorous gal pal Dr. Wendy Chao we re-visited the incredible Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It’s a truly unusual mishmash of a mansion without any detectable sense of decor logic, but its priceless art and turn-of-the-century head-turning density made it absolutely well worth a visit on a blustery autumn day.

On a crisp walk back from the Gardner along the Back Bay Fens to Coster Scott’s flat nearby, he snapped the beautiful image of me for WIJW (top). Then we all retreated inside, where he gave us an art viewing over fortifying glasses of sherry and Huntsman cheese (a Prince Charles fave).

Coster Scott, Untitled (Olmsted) 40" x 40" silver gelatin print.

Coster Scott, Untitled (Olmsted) 40″ x 40″ silver gelatin print.

Coster Scott’s latest work focuses on Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace in Boston, capturing the many different aspects and evolutions of his creations – “…the awful and the awfully beautiful” as Coster Scott describes it. This gifted photographer has somehow figured out how to re-imagine the landscape genre in a fresh and exciting new way, and I of course had to have one of his latest: a 40″ inch silver gelatin print of a luscious landscape rendered in a circle…absolute genius. Needless to say there won’t be many left in this edition as I’ll be making my clients snatch up every single one. Do make your purchase straight away!

Our visit was way too short…I’m not sure what we were thinking by not spending the entire weekend…it would have been so delicious to have had a bit more time with my old friend. Of course we are anxious to return…in the meantime, my new photograph and the many works by Coster Scott I have amassed over the years keep the spirit of him close.

For a sublime Boston Saturday, I’m sporting a Tom Ford rustic charcoal wool silk mouline “priest hat” tweed “Country” jacket and teal and green silk pocket square, Tom Ford era Gucci yellow cashmere turtleneck sweater, Paul Smith black watch wool tartan pants, Tom Ford brown suede tasseled loafers, Rolex watch, Gucci aviator sunglasses Hildestahl “Valfrid” leather tote and my fragrance Creed Royal-Oud.

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James Andrew - Lalanne at Sotheby's

James Andrew – Lalanne at Sotheby’s

As you all no doubt know by now, I’ve had a long-standing appreciation for the work of the husband and wife team, Claude (b. 1924) and Francois-Xavier (1927–2008) Lalanne, having reviewed their sculpture on WIJW more than a few times. You’ll recall I was thrilled to see their work displayed on Park Avenue in 2009, and then later to see curator Peter Marino’s show of their work at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. All this being said, it won’t surprise you when I say that I’m ecstatic about the sale/exhibition of Lalanne now at Sotheby’s — Les Lalanne: The Poetry of Sculpture.

Les Lalanne at Sotheby's

Les Lalanne at Sotheby’s

Curators Paul Kasmin and Michael Shvo focus on some of the most iconic Lalanne pieces, and even went so far as to construct an interior garden to display these sublime surrealist beauties—it’s a splendid show. I so love the unexpected scale, the sense of fantasy, and the playfulness these pieces convey, and I’d certainly jump at the opportunity to incorporate a few of them into the designs (both interior and exterior) I’m currently creating for my clients!

Be sure and visit Sotheby’s to experience these lovely Lalannes in person! They’ll be on exhibit until November 22, 2013.

We’ve made the Lalannes’ luscious Pommes D’Hiver my backdrop for today’s post. I’m sporting a Tom Ford amethyst windowpane plaid wool and silk tweed jacket and purple wool knit tie, Turnbull and Asser purple gingham shirt, Hermes grey silk pocket square, Paul Smith grey wool pants, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle, YSL black leather “Windsor” loafers, Rolex watch, and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

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James Andrew at Christies - photo Montana Timchula

James Andrew at Christies – photo Montana Timchula

I attended the most fabulous preview and lecture today at Christies, celebrating the brilliant collaboration of interior design legend, Michael Taylor, and his sophisticated client/patroness Diana Dollar Knowles. These are the kinds of collaborations every designer dreams of having — a superbly refined client with the funds in place to realize the most ravishing rooms.

Taylor provided his client, Knowles, with the very best of the best from dealers around the world, and this Christies sale features pieces (and in some cases entire rooms) from her homes in San Francisco and Tahoe. Taylor’s timeless sensibility makes everything in this collection enduringly fresh and just as appropriate for a contemporary interior as they were then. Needless to say, there are several pieces I’ll be bidding on for both my clients and myself!

A Michael Taylor design.

A Michael Taylor design.

Hosting the fascinating lecture was Suzanna Tucker (of Tucker Marks), who worked with Michael Taylor and became a protégé of sorts. Joining Suzanne, was Tony Victoria of Frederick P Victoria who was one of Taylor’s favorite dealers and furniture makers as well as Jeffery Simpson, formerly of Architectural Digest, and Andrew McVinish of Christies.

See auction details here: Michael Taylor and the Alchemy of Design: The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection at Christies.

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My magnificent and talented friend, Montana Timchula, accompanied me to the preview, and kindly photographed me amongst a few of the beautiful Michael Taylor/Diana Dollar Knowles items you’ll find at this not-to-be-missed Christies auction.

I’m sporting the most delicious Scottish cashmere toggle coat sweater in teal and charcoal from Paul Stuart, Tom Ford black and white stripe cotton shirt with French cuffs, black pearl cuff links, Gucci black wool flannel pants and black leather tasseled loafers, black alligator belt with sterling buckle and black and white silk polka dot scarf by Ralph Lauren, and my fragrance is Creed Epicea.

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