James Andrew and Matthew Niewenhous
When WIJW was in its infancy, I was incredibly moved by the tremendous support that I received from fellow bloggers — so I am always thrilled when I can promote a site that I think has a unique voice. When WIJW shared a visit to the event, “Mansions in May” at Blairsden (read here), Matthew J. Niewenhous, — who had done a treatment on Blairsden himself — nicely reached out to me to have a look at his site, The Gilded Butler. Needless to say, I became an instant fan. We eventually arranged a meet, and over a few martinis we decided to make this collaborative post!
Old Westbury Gardens
Niewenhous combines stunning photographs — mostly in black and white, which adds to the glow of nostalgia — with considerable research. He skillfully renders his finds into an engaging historical and personal account, giving one an exceptionally well rounded glimpse into both the past and the present. No one knew more about the inner workings of a house and its family than its butler—and we think Niewenhous, with his similarly penetrating insight, has created the most perfectly fitting rubric for his blog.
Old Westbury Gardens
I’m sharing here a few of my favorite aspects of Old Westbury Gardens as well as a pretty striking portrait of the dashing Niewenhous and yours truly – but do stop in over at The Gilded Butler – I am sure you will be as enthralled as I am.
Old Westbury Gardens
For an afternoon at Old Westbury Gardens my ensemble is inspired by the brilliant Italian film ” La Grande Bellezza” and the sartorial splendor of its lead character, Jep Gambardella. I’m sporting a Tom Ford red cotton jacket, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, white cotton twill pant and white suede cap toe lace up shoes, Charvet white silk pocket square, JKP woven white cotton belt, vintage straw hat, moon stone cuff links, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance Creed Windsor.* * *
James Andrew at Frederick P Victoria
No doubt, many of you are familiar with the genius that is Fredrick P. Victoria. Since the 1930′s they have played a rather important role in defining what is chic in the interior design industry. I became an instant fan from the moment my mentor Albert Hadley took me to their ravishing gallery on East 55th Street many years ago. The selection of both vintage and bespoke possibilities there have always been quite endless.
I recently paid a visit to my exquisite friends Tony and Freddy Victoria there to see what beauties I might add to both my own and my clients’ collections. I’m always able to find something, as they have an almost overwhelming selection of objects, and in every style imaginable! Their atelier is now located in Long Island City, and a preview of their current floor model sale can be found of the fabulous Peak of Chic site or visit F.P. Victoria’s Floor Model Sale. Of course, one doesn’t really need an excuse to visit and peruse their incredible treasure trove – it is always worth a trip for the inspiration alone. All this being said, I urge you to take advantage of some of the remarkable bargains you’ll find at the wondrous Frederick P. Victoria, and prepare yourself to be delighted!
Spending a sublime afternoon with the Victorias, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci white linen jacket, linen plaid shirt in turquoise and lavender and black leather tasseled loafers, Tom Ford lavender silk mini herringbone weave pants, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle, Charvet Paris turquoise silk pocket square and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.
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James Andrew, NYC summer
It often seems that when the temperatures rise a few degrees, all of the sartorial splendor that the city usually exhibits quickly goes to hell in a hand basket. Granted the summer heat can be quite unbearable and perhaps it might actually be a good idea to air one’s self and jacket whilst en route to wherever (we don’t want to arrive a total sopping mess), but I find that making a bit of an effort to maintain some level of decorum is usually fairly handsomely rewarded by the general approval of friends and strangers alike.
And don’t get me started on the summer entertainment front — no, red plastic cups, plastic knives and forks, paper plates and paper napkins just won’t do. The fact is, summer brings endless opportunity to entertain in style, and this doesn’t even have to be an over the top effort either. In fact, I love the paired down, fresh summer dishes that involve very little cooking or preparation — cold soups are always a refreshing treat, for instance, and one can pop these up with a fine table setting. I can’t get enough of cabbage and lettuce-ware complimented by D. Porthault floral napkins, bamboo flatware and simple glass goblets (rosé and lemon water fill these quite nicely).
My impossibly chic friends like Howard Slatkin and Penelope Bianchi are quite keen on summer slipcovers which are an easy way to add a quick bit of seasonal flair to an interior — changing up the pillows on chairs and sofas can also give an interior some needed summer umph, so even if you happen to be stuck in town you can feel like you have a place in the Hamptons and/or the English countryside!
Dressing for an elegant summer soirée, I’m sporting a Tom Ford palest pink silk suit, pale blue cotton shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs, navy and pale blue silk polka dot tie, cap toe white suede shoes, Charvet retro print silk pocket square in shades of blue, vintage pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne,. Tom Ford bronzing gel adds a bit of a sun kissed glow.