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James Andrew at the Scott McBee studio

James Andrew at the Scott McBee studio

“His Ship Has Come In. How Scott McBee became the pre-eminent portrait painter of yachts,” Aaron Kuriloff entitles his piece for Bloomberg Pursuits. A fitting tribute to our formidable artist friend — well done Scott McBee! Since Mcbee is near and dear to our hearts, we are of course beyond thrilled to share his success with our WIJW readership.

Artist Scott McBee in his studio.

Artist Scott McBee in his studio. (click to view article)

View McBee’s work (yacht and ocean liner paintings) online at www.scottmcbee.com, or find a selection for purchase here in New York City at the Chinese Porcelain Company on Park Avenue. Also, McBee’s fabulous animal paintings can be found at Creel and Gow on 131 East 70th Street as well as at John Fondas’ fabulous, The Island Store in Lyford. Should you want to commission a fine yacht portrait, do schedule your piece early on as there is now quite a waiting list!

Stopping by McBee’s studio to celebrate this brilliant press release, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci red leather biker jacket and black and white striped cotton shirt with French cuffs, pearl cuff links, my black and grey silk paisley ascot by Le Noued Pappillion, Rolex watch, Paul Smith light weight grey wool pants, black alligator belt with sterling buckle by Ralph Lauren, YSL black leather “Windsor” loafers and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

★ ★ ★

Angelo Donghia

James Andrew at the Donghia New York showroom

James Andrew at the Donghia New York showroom

Angelo Donghia was the Halston of the interior design world—a super-star designer with equally spectacular clients.

‘Trained at Parsons, steeped in classicism, and highly disciplined, Donghia stressed simplicity of line, purity of materials, and boldness of form, in rooms that appeared at first glance modern, but were actually based on the eighteenth-century belief in sensible proportions and careful symmetry,’ in the words of Stanley Barrows, Donghia’s teacher at Parsons….These ‘sensible proportions’ translated into comfort, something Donghia also insisted upon. ‘I design for people’ he maintained. ‘Rooms are backrounds for people : that’s why they’re called living rooms.’ (From the book, Manhattan Style, Esten).

Certainly these are all principles that inform my own approach to interior design!

As many of you may know, Donghia actually decorated Ralph and Ricky Lauren’s homes and worked on many of the early Polo Ralph Lauren stores.

Angelo Donghia and Ralph Lauren

Angelo Donghia and Ralph Lauren

While I was working at Parish-Hadley Associates, my mentor Albert Hadley told me that Ralph Lauren had called him to take a look at his 5th Avenue apartment—this was shortly after the Rhinelander Mansion became the Ralph Lauren flagship store and Lauren wanted a bit more of the same old-world feeling in his own home.

As it goes, Hadley told Lauren that Donghia’s scheme and architecture was so beyond perfect that he (Hadley) didn’t want to disturb what had been done. Instead, Hadley advised Lauren to simply mix in some fine antiques and paintings. And so, per Hadley’s suggestion, the Lauren’s employed their own design team to do just this. Recently, however, the Lauren’s have very nearly returned their home to Donghia’s original design. It goes without saying, that this speaks volumes for the longevity of Donghia’s designs.

Since Donghia’s passing, his company has been through many incarnations, but I’m thrilled to see there’s been a strong return to Donghia’s roots. Many original Donghia pieces have been brought back to life—and are as fresh and perfect for today as they were back then. There are many new and original designs to choose from too—all imbued with the founder’s spirit.

There is a whole generation coming up today that are now buying their first homes and apartments, and many of them are curious about the decadent glamour of the 70’s and the opulence of the 80’s. If you’re one of them, do look at Donghia’s latest pieces, as they recall the fabulousness of those decades. Visit the recently re-decorated Donghia showroom here in New York City, there are so many fabulous pieces that I’m feeling rather inspired to incorporate many in my own design work. Keep a lookout for the room with corner banquettes—so very chic! I’m wildly crazy about them.

I’m photographed in a stunning living room at the Donghia New York showroom which showcases several of their latest additions like the “Kent” sofa and draped “slipper chair” -—perfection!

Kent Sofa at Donghia

Kent Sofa at Donghia

Slipper Chair at Donghia

Slipper Chair at Donghia

I’m sporting a Tom Ford indigo and ivory glen check silk jacket, pale blue cotton shirt with contrast white collar and cobalt and pale blue polka dot silk tie, Charvet vintage print silk pocket square, Paul Smith pale grey wool pants, Ralph Lauren navy leather D ring belt, Gucci navy leather slip on shoes, vintage Rolex, pearl cuff links with pale blue sapphires and my fragrance is Royal-Oud by Creed.

Be a Modern Day Renaissance Person

James Andrew - photo and painting by Scott McBee

James Andrew – photo and painting by Scott McBee

From da Vinci to Thomas Jefferson, Mariano Fortuny to Oprah…we here at WIJW love Renaissance men and woman. Taking our cues from the greats, we like to give ourselves free rein to indulging our many and diverse curiosities. We’re passionate about what we do…and this forum truly has given us the widest berth to explore! I’m pretty proud to have Christie’s call me “interior designer, style icon, and blogger extraordinaire.” It does seem to encapsulate much of what I’ve been dedicated to over these many years—and yet, I remain open to new interests and possibilities. Why limit oneself? I adore Henry Ford’s “If you think you can or you think you can’t either way you are right.” It is really is up to us to decide!

I’m photographed here with a marvelous collage by Scott Houston McBee. Quite a Renaissance man himself, McBee is no stranger to diverse artistic explorations, with work ranging from monumental ocean liners and private yachts, to animal paintings, to top-notch storyboarding and illustration, to collage, and photography.

I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci navy cotton pique jacket, Tom Ford pale blue herringbone weave cotton shirt and pale blue silk knit tie, Charvet retro print pocket square, pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, Paul Smith light weight grey wool pant, Ralph Lauren Navy leather D ring belt, Gucci navy slip on shoes, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford Reading glasses and my cologne is Creed Original Cologne.