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James Andrew at Frederick P Victoria

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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I am beyond thrilled to share my friend Susanna Salk’s latest Rizzoli tome, Decorate Fearlessly: Using Whimsy, Confidence, and a Dash of Surprise to Create Deeply Personal Spaces.

Of course I’m quite honored to be featured with the likes of super chic fellow decorators like Alex Papachristidis, Miles Redd, Mary McDonald, Jacqueline Coumans, Tom Scheerer and Jamie Drake to name a few. Just as I personally celebrate a bold sense of sartorial splendor, I’m also inspired by those who fearlessly express themselves when it comes to decorating houses.

James Andrew's Living-Room - photo by Simon Upton

James Andrew’s Living-Room – photo by Simon Upton

Knowing the rules of decorating is an integral part of being confident enough to break them occasionally—as Diana Vreeland once said “.. a little bad taste is like a dash of paprika..” When I was in the employ of Parish Hadley, my friend Albert Hadley would quite often add an odd thing or two that would add that perfect element of whimsy. He really new how to bring a space to life. Salk’s Decorate Fearlessly, celebrates our very different perspectives and points of view, while providing the reader with endless bits of inspiration and practical tips on how to boldly imbue a room with personal flair. Pick your’s up on Amazon here: Decorate Fearlessly: Using Whimsy, Confidence, and a Dash of Surprise to Create Deeply Personal Spaces

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When I was working with Parish-Hadley Inc., my mentor and friend Albert Hadley would often talk about his early influences — in particular: William Pahlman, Van day Truex, Billy Baldwin and the very elegant George Stacey. Hadley held George Stacey in particularly high esteem. It’s clear that Stacey deeply informed Hadley’s early development, and indeed had a major influence on the aesthetic of many other decorators, including (but in no way limited to) Baldwin, and Michael Taylor.

Somerset House in Piaget Parish, Bermuda

Somerset House in Piaget Parish, Bermuda

Yet puzzlingly — especially when one considers his influence — Stacey has remained somewhat of an enigma for many years…that is, until now! Thanks to my exquisite friend Maureen Footer who immersed herself in ALL things George Stacey for four years, we now have the most tremendous Rizzoli tome George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic celebrating Stacey and his carreer. It’s a brilliant journey through Stacey’s meteoric rise to fabulousness — an ascension that prompted Billy Baldwin to dub him “The King of Decorators.” Stacey was THE go-to decorator for the smart set and social elite, bringing his brand of “American chic” to projects for major figures like Diana Vreeland, the Astors, Paleys, Harrimans, and Whitneys.

George Stacey and Babe Paley antiquing in Paris

George Stacey and Babe Paley antiquing in Paris

George Stacey's Chateau de Neuville

George Stacey’s Chateau de Neuville

Among many other aspects of Stacey’s life, Footer delves into the development of Stacey’s aesthetic — a viewpoint rooted in the classics, yet infused with an impossibly fresh spirit. Well versed in many periods and styles, Stacey created a truly groundbreaking design gestalt. I particularly like his “Modernist Monticello” for Frances and Ward Cheney: a brilliant blending of “glamour, historicism and swagger.” Stacey’s work is a reminder to the Trade that we can only evolve when we’re well informed; It’s imperative to have a working knowledge of period furniture; art history; and of course, the use of color!

This is a must-read for up and coming designers, as well as for those of us who have been around a while!

Buy your copy at Amazon here: George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic

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