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Pagoda Red

James Andrew at the Pagoda Red satellite store, NYC. photo by Matthew Dean

James Andrew at the Pagoda Red satellite store, 1stDIbs, New York City. photo by Matthew Dean

Getting ideas for our WIJW Shangai HQ, I’m pictured (above) at the stunning Chicago based Pagoda Red satellite gallery located at 1stDIbs, 200 Lexington Avenue here in New York City.

As you may know we here at WIJW are huge fans of Asian art and antiques—supremely versatile, Asian work can bring that perfectly exotic touch to a wide range of interiors—from modern to transitional to more traditional interiors; in fact, I incorporate Asian pieces in nearly all of the interiors I create for my clients.

For a rather remarkable selection of Chinese art and antique, Chicago based Pagoda Red is a fantastic go-to resource. They have a rich selection of 18th and 19th century Chinese furniture and art as well as contemporary Chinese and Asian work. Regarding the latter, there is a noteworthy emerging base of designers and artists that are now producing some spectacular contemporary Asian pieces like the lovely lucite chair with Ming porcelain-style joints I’m picture sitting in, or the marvelous meditation stone writing table with a modernist metal base (also pictured below)—a super chic conflation of old and new.

Lucite and porcelain chairs. Each blue and white porcelain joint is hand-painted with a Ming lotus pattern and fired in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. Beijing, China, 2010

Lucite and porcelain chairs. Each blue and white porcelain joint is hand-painted with a Ming lotus pattern and fired in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. Beijing, China, 2010

Meditation Stone Top Writing Table, Liaoning Province, China, Contemporary.

Meditation Stone Top Writing Table, Liaoning Province, China, Contemporary.

I’m making room for this phenomanal 18th Century Japanese “Arctic Falcon” painting (below) either for myself or one of my lucky clients.

Kano school painting of an Arctic Hawk on its stand rendered in ink and colors on silk. Japan 18th century Ink and Colors on Silk

Kano school painting of an Arctic Hawk on its stand. Ink and color on silk, Japan 18th century

Photographed at Pagoda Red here in New York City by the uber talented Matthew Dean, I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in amethyst wool silk tri-color windowpane and a mauve cotton micro check shirt with French cuffs, Charvet chartreuse silk tie and pocket square, antique moon stone cuff links, vintage Rolex watch, Gucci chartreuse python belt with silver double horse head buckle, Yves Saint Laurant aubergine suede “Eton” boot and my fragrance, for a touch of the exotic, is Creed Original Santal.

Making a Grand Entrance – La Mamounia

Grand entrance at La Mamounia - photo Gabriel Everett

Grand entrance at La Mamounia - photo Gabriel Everett

One is not likely to forget one’s first steps through the spectacular entrance at La Mamounia. Fabulous doormen in pristine exotic dress await there to assist in every way possible—it’s grand theater really, and choreographed to perfection. Of course, the impeccable service extends throughout the hotel making it quite difficult, as we mentioned in our previous post, to find a compelling reason to leave the confines of the hotel’s beautifully tiled walls.

La Mamounia - photo Gabriel Everett

La Mamounia - photo Gabriel Everett

My obsession with the work of the legendary Bill Willis, however, did provide exactly that compelling reason to venture off the grounds. As many of you may know, Willis was an American designer who settled in Marrakech in the 1960’s—his take on Moroccan design and a revival of its decorative arts won him some quite notable clients, including Paul and Talitha Getty, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge to name just a few.

Bill Willis interior at Dar-Yaccout

Bill Willis interior at Dar-Yaccout

I made a point to see as many in tact Bill Willis interiors as I could. One example was the restaurant Dar Yaccout, which was originally a palace and later converted to a restaurant. Sadly now, it is but a ghost of its former Bill Willis splendor—only a die-hard Bill Willis fan might appreciate the current space. Alas.

On my way from La Mamounia to make a pilgrimage to the Bill Willis Dar Yaccout, I’m sporting a Tom Ford lilac rose silk wool linen melange twill Snowdon suit, a Yves Saint Laurent white cotton voile tunic with silk banding, Tom Ford brown suede tasseled loafers, brown and lavender silk polka dot pocket square, “Cyrille” sunglasses, vintage Rolex watch, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

Bringing back the Ascot Scarf

James Andrew, NYC

James Andrew, NYC

Inspired by the impossibly chic ascot-wearing assassin played by Edward Fox in the 1973 film adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s “The Day of the Jackal,” (which I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve only just seen), I’ve revisited my ascot and scarf drawer, and have been wearing them with some fanciful delight. I’m also happy to see quite a resurgence in men wearing ascot-style scarves (aka “day cravats”), including high profile trend setters like Brad Pitt and David Beckham. While it’s been rather neglected, and, in some cases, outright rejected (particularly by some, shall we say, less than secure men), a cravat/ascot really is just the perfect accessory when wishing to add a touch of semi-formal panache to one’s ensemble—a note of color and pattern to pop things up, or simply to soften an uncomfortable collar! I look forward to incorporating many more into my wardrobe and encourage our reader’s (if they do not already wear them) to try out this super chic accessory.

I’m sporting a purple foulard and paisley silk scarf (worn in ascot fashion) by Gucci as well as a Tom Ford era Gucci camel top coat, gray flannel pants and peccary gloves, Amber cashgora sweater and white cotton shirt both by Tom Ford, Rolex oyster perpetual watch and YSL aubergine suede “Eton” boot. My fragrance is Creed Bois du Portugal.