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James Andrew -- early autumn ensemble

James Andrew — early autumn ensemble

I’m not sure what happened. I was enjoying my extension of summer and suddenly it’s Autumn!

And so I’m reluctantly retiring my summer ensembles — as well as the rosé I’ve been drinking, I’ll have to shelve it for something more full bodied – something that can take the chill out of the air!

Transitional times of year can leave one in a sort of no man’s land when it comes to wardrobe choices. Of course, this rather drastic meteorological shift toward darker, cooler climes comes with some emotional changes as well, but sorting out one’s wardrobe can certainly help one feel a bit better about the whole thing!

I’m thinking it may be too early for tweed, but perhaps corduroy, camel hair, and cashmere might provide just the right level of insulation for now — we’ll graduate to heavier fabrics as the season progresses. Time to break out some of my warmer/richer toned fragrance favorites as well! Tom Ford London and Tuscan Leather; Creed Bois du Portugal and Vintage Taborome; Jo Malone Amber and Lavender; all seem right for this time of year. Needless to say, I’m scrambling to put together finishing touches and track down pieces where there are gaps – the right ties, shirts, shoes, gloves, scarves, etc., to flesh out and complete a fabulous fall look.

By the way, eBay has offered some rather spectacular finds and I can’t wait to sport some of these new pieces for you. I’ll be mixing it up a bit with my tried and tested staple pieces, giving all new life and interest.

A perfect early autumn ensemble starts with this sublime camel hair and cashmere jacket with suede accents by Tom Ford, Turnbull and Asser purple gingham cotton shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren purple cotton corduroy pants, vintage Gucci purple foulard silk scarf and python belt with silver double horse head buckle, vintage orange, purple, and lavender plaid silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, Polo Ralph Lauren sneaker boots (an eBay steal), and my fragrance is Jo Malone Amber and Lavender.

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James Andrew

James Andrew

So often in life we are presented with problems – our initial reaction is to judge the situation as “bad.” We get caught up in the drama of it all and often end up in a downward spiral, adding fuel to that descent as we go. In the thick of it, it is rather challenging to take a moment to see that opportunities can come disguised as problems.

When I was in the employ of Ralph Lauren I was offered a situation working for both Ralph Lauren and Bloomingdales — the mission was to create more authentic Ralph Lauren Boutiques within the Bloomingdales stores. Well, it didn’t turn out well, and it was a torturous year for me. The position was soon eliminated and I was left without a job. The only position available was to work as a salesperson at the Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue. My ego was telling me that this was a real step down. To add to things, I had not done retail sales in years. Well, it turned out that the job was an absolute goldmine for interior design clients. New projects were constantly coming my way. One day I’d just totally burned out on the retail world, and I told myself that if I got one more client, I’d give notice. That very afternoon, I found a new client and thus began James Andrew Interior Design Inc., and a new chapter in my life.

Life is never perfect, there will always be issues. It really comes down to how we deal with them. The best advice I know is to focus on solutions and not “problems.” Take time to find the gift within — even if it is seems too difficult during the worst of things, trust that the opportunity will reveal itself soon enough!

James Andrew ensemble. detail

James Andrew ensemble. detail

To get a much needed dose of the countryside while remaining in NYC, I headed to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden. In 1826, the bustle of the city didn’t extend beyond 14th Street, and the Mount Vernon was considered a fashionable country resort! I am sporting a Gucci chartreuse suede safari jacket, Ralph Lauren Denim and Supply, chartreuse linen cardigan, Turnbull and Asser purple gingham cotton shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren khaki pants, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle, Tom Ford pale olive woven suede espadrilles, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a bit of a sun kissed glow and my fragrance is Creed Bois de Cedrat.



James Andrew

James Andrew

Having just read the two terrific tomes we shared in our last post, Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan and Lou Lou De La Falaise, I was struck by how Agnelli and La Falaise never concerned themselves with trends. Whether decorating or dressing themselves there is always a sense of personal style. Certainly both wore couture and Agnelli worked with the most brilliant interior designers, architects, and landscape designers – but all was selected to enhance a singular and quite timeless vision. In fact, after looking through these books, I’m convinced that it would all look just as fabulous today as it would twenty years from now. As Yves Saint Laurent was fond of saying, “fashions fade, style is eternal.”

My own taste in fashion certainly has evolved over the years; as a young man it was all very ivy league, and then as I started to work with Ralph Lauren, I became possessed by his hyper romantic world. Having worked there for almost 10 years, my closet was overflowing. My departure from Ralph Lauren left me at a stylistic crossroads. The cherished wardrobe I had acquired at Lauren started to feel a bit like a costume, and wasn’t very sexy. Tom Ford at Gucci came to the rescue, though I quickly realized that the mod 60’s vibe of some of his stuff would quickly become outdated. Thankfully Ford’s transition to a Savile Row inspired classical style coincided with my shift in aesthetic, which I added a touch of Italian flair to. I have continued to experiment over the years, and yes, made some hideous choices along the way, but that is always a chance one takes when trying to push the envelope a bit.

I really love the fact that La Falaise had such an elevated sense of style that she could wear YSL couture and still put her own brilliant twist on things — there was a spectacular creative reciprocity between muse and the master Saint Laurent himself — great stye informing great fashion. In this spirit, we here at WIJW hope you are courageously expressing your own sense of personal style while navigating the ever-changing fashions of the day!

Strolling the grounds of a grand estate-like park, I’m sporting a summer Sunday casual ensemble: Tom Ford era Gucci black linen denim jacket with suede elbow patches, Gucci linen plaid shirt turquoise and purple, Tom Ford lavender silk herringbone weave pant, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with sterling buckle and turquoise suede driving shoes, Charvet turquoise silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, straw hat from The Sugar Mill Trading Company and my fragrance is Creed’s Acqua Originale Vetiver Geranium.