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Rooms With A View 2011

James Andrew Design - Illustration by Scott McBee

James Andrew Design - Illustration by Scott McBee

I’m quite thrilled and honored to be a part of this year’s Rooms With A View Design Show.

Founded by my mentor, the legendary Albert Hadley, as a venue to support the Southport Congregational Church, it has become one of the most important social events of the season in Connecticut.

There you’ll find a series of vignettes, or mini room settings, designed by some of the most celebrated interior designers from the Northeast. This year’s theme is being called “The Next Generation,” with, as you might have guessed, a focus on rising stars. Of course there’ll be a special tribute to the iconic Albert Hadley, and in this spirit I’ve been taking great pleasure in designing my room with a nod to Hadley, the man who’s been called the “Dean of American Design.” Scott McBee’s able hand has imagined my vignette (above) I think quite perfectly.

I’m being most graciously sponsored by the superlative Scalamandre fabric house and I’ll be using all of their luxurious fabrics and trims in my vignette. I’ll also be featuring a spectacular selection of old and new pieces from some of my favorite dealers and artisans, including Frederick P. Victoria, H M Luther, Topher Carnes, Tucker Robbins, Yale R Burge, French Accents, and the brilliant work of our very own Scott McBee to name a few.

Do mark your calenders! The opening gala preview party is Thursday November 3rd , 2011 6 PM, and the show will be open to the public Friday November 4th 2011 to Sunday November 6th.

I hope to see many of you there!

Madrid Me Encanta

Breakfast at the Villa Magna Hotel.

Breakfast at the Villa Magna Hotel.

Our last day in Madrid before heading to Ibiza had us wanting to see as much as we could without feeling rushed, and so we sorted out our day over a relaxing breakfast on one of the terrific terraces of the Villa Magna Hotel.

At the Museo Naval.

At the Museo Naval.

Our first stop was the Museo Naval, which was the perfect place for Mr. McBee to find a bit of inspiration for his upcoming portrait of the Spanish Royal yacht “Giralda.”

Next on our list was the the mansion of the Marquis of Cerralbo—it provides a perfectly preserved glimpse of the life of a 19th/20th century Madrileño aristocrat—essentially the Frick of Madrid. It was designed as both home and showcase to display the art and success of the Cerralbos. Needless to say, this is a must see!

Museo Cerralbo

Museo Cerralbo

Museo Cerralbo

Museo Cerralbo

James Andrew and Juan Moline

James Andrew and Juan Moline

After a stroll around the super chic “Barrio Salamanca” we popped into restaurant Oter for some “arroz con mariscos,” a Valencia style seafood rice flavored with saffron. We also managed to visit both the Museo Lazaro Galdiano as well as the Museo Arqueologico before meeting up with more fantastic friends and fans for drinks hosted by my dear friend, the gorgeous Juan Moline—what an absolutely lovely experience to be greeted with such warmth and hospitality!

Scott Mcbee and James Andrew - photo Ze Cabral

Scott Mcbee and James Andrew - photo Ze Cabral

On the way to meet Moline we were stopped on the street by Ze Cabral of The Lisbon Tailor. He is essentially the “Sartorialist” of Portugal and we were quite honored to be photographed for his brilliant blog!

Then we were off to meet my lovely friend Pepa Charlton for drinks at her stunning home before attending the most divine dinner party hosted by Marta Galatas. Do have a look at her lovely painted furniture. Galatas brought together the most fascinating and wonderful group of friends to celebrate WIJW in her rather splendid flat decorated with the help of legendary interior designer Duarte Pinto Coelho.

Sphinx at the entrance to Museo Arqueologico Nacional.

Sphinx at the entrance to Museo Arqueologico Nacional.

This was certainly the most spectacular send off we’ve had to date, and all set in this truly beautiful city. We’ll most definitely be returning for more and to reconnect with the wonderful people we’ve met along the way.

I’m wearing a Tom Ford “Spencer” sport jacket in rose silk linen basket weave, Etro silk chiffon paisley shirt, Charvet yellow silk retro print pocket square, Gucci python belt with silver buckle and sunglasses, Uniglo white cotton slim cargo style pants, Etro orange suede tasseled loafers and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

Billy Baldwin

James Andrew at home. Photo by Jory Clay Sutton.

My appreciation for the design work of Billy Baldwin began many years ago quite by chance when I happened upon his impossibly fresh and utterly chic designs in the book, “Billy Baldwin Decorates.” I can remember quite clearly being riveted by the Villa Fiorentina, a magnificent French Riviera home Baldwin decorated for Mr. and Mrs, Harding Lawrence—if you haven’t seen pictures of Baldwin’s interiors there, you must! The book is truly a master class in interior decoration, and has definitively shaped and informed so much of what I do. Albert Hadley, my own mentor, was in fact a student of Baldwin’s and they subsequently became lifelong friends. I feel that much of my friendship with Albert Hadley now was formed through our deep mutual admiration and respect for Baldwin’s vision.

Naturally I’m hugely excited about the new Rizzoli publication, “Billy Baldwin The Great American Decorator;” and doubly gratified by Hadley’s forward. “This is the first fully illustrated account of the career of Billy Baldwin..,” Hadley writes, whose “…style was a revelation-simultaneously classical and modernist, tailored and clean, yet dramatically colored and above all else, American.” It does seem that there is a need for exactly this today, and it should not surprise you that I aspire to the self same goals in the work I do for my own clients!

It might interest you to know that the book contains never before published transcripts of four 1974 lectures Baldwin gave at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum—a must read for every decorator and/or design enthusiast!

For today’s post, I’m channeling a Horst portrait of Baldwin, with a painting that actually once hung over Baldwin’s own sofa!

The fantastic photograph was taken by the bright young photographer, Jory Clay Sutton.

I’m sporting a smashing Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in a dark brown wide wool check and pale blue cotton shirt with contrast white collar, brown silk satin tie Ralph Lauren, brown and pale blue retro print silk pocket square by Charvet, silver pearl and pale blue sapphire Seaman Schepps cuff links, black wool flannel pants by Gucci, sunglasses by Lanvin, Tom Ford brown suede tasseled loafers (not shown), and brown leather belt with faux tortoise buckle, and my fragrance is Creed Vintage Tabarome.