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Bahamas

India Hicks

India Hicks and her dogs, Samson and Olympia, with James Andrew at the entrance to Hibiscus Hill.

A few months ago I was thrilled to receive the most fabulous note from India Hicks suggesting a Harbour Island visit to photograph my wardrobe. I’d of course seen India Hicks from afar – gracing the pages of glossy fashion magazines, while modeling for major designers like Ralph Lauren. And recently I was enthralled with her appearance on the popular program, “Top Design.” Needless to say the prospect of meeting her in person in combination with a longed for pilgrimage to her father’s Savannah, had me giddy as a school girl.

And of course I DID meet India, and now I’m madly in love – India Hicks is a SWAN – “attractive, alert, and au courant” as Capote defined the term. And we do love that absolutely Englishy wit – always served like the very best dry martini.

A pair of gorgeous stone whippets flank the entrance to Hibiscus Hill.

As might be expected from the grand daughter of the first Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and daughter to one of the most original designers of the twentieth century, India marches to her own utterly unique drum. I think Anna Wintour put it most beautifully – “whilst we might all dream of that great escape from it all on a magical island, India Hicks and David Flint Wood have made the dream a viable, working reality for themselves and their young family, bringing their own dynamic, modern touch to a legacy of high style.”

Several brilliantly realized examples of the above mentioned “working reality” can be seen in India Hicks’ enterprising endeavors. Take for instance her line of scrumptious Island Living products for Crabtree and Evelyn – In her own words, “…natural through and through, all [the] nasties have been removed. All [the] packaging [is] reusable – a true reflection of an island life, drawn from my memories of growing up on Windermere as a child. The Casuarina trees, with their clean green smell, the Spider lily flower, a true survivor which needs little nurturing.”

And prolific? Yes. In fact India has authored two books – Island Life in which you’ll get an intimate view of her homes – these are particularly meaningful she tells us, as they are “…a reflection of a living archive that holds the treasures of our personal life.” – And Island Beauty in which she shares her holistic approach, demonstrating how “island wisdom” can help women everywhere to rejuvenate both their outer and inner selves…Beauty in the Bahamas comes in all shapes, sizes, and colours,” she tells us. “It opened my eyes.”

Sign for The Sugar Mill.

Also should you find yourself on Harbour Island, do visit Linda Griffin and India’s super chic boutique, The Sugar Mill – where you’ll find what India describes as an “…accumulated collection from wanderings around the world….” Now that has got to peak your interest. We’ve included here a picture of The Sugar Mill’s edgy logo – and yes, you’ll undoubtedly find a must-have hidden treasure here!

Suffice it to say the list of India’s doings extends well beyond the scope here at WIJW, and perhaps we have gone on a bit – Its just that, as you will recall me mentioning a few paragraphs back, we at WIJW are terribly in love! Certainly you can look forward to future posts and updates regarding all things India Hicks!

James Andrew in front of The Cricket Pavillion at Hibiscus Hill

Posing in front of The Cricket Pavillion at Hibiscus Hill, I’m sporting a smashing straw hat with black grosgrain ribbon trim from The Sugar Mill, white linen jacket by Gucci, white and pink silk retro print pocket square by Charvet Paris, heavily embroidered white cotton voile Kurta from India (thanks to Kuki), white skinny jeans from Uniglo, Christian Louboutin black leather sandal/espadrille – and my fragrance is Royal Water by Creed.

Bliss

James Andrew and the beach at Savannah.

Savannah's dining room acts as a wonderful screened porch from which all rooms can be accessed.

As if experiencing the brilliance of David Hicks’s Bahamian house were not enough, just down a little path is quite simply the most spectacular five mile stretch of powdery pink sand, crystalline water, and unobstructed horizon one could imagine! – really the most sublime beach I’ve ever seen! It’s no wonder rock stars and royalty have made the private sands of Windermere Island their destination of choice for decades. As you can see, I’m having a bit of a royal/rockstar romp myself (above), and for the occasion I’m sporting Gucci hot pink surfing jams, white and pink striped cotton seersucker hoodie by Michael Bastian, and Gucci sunglasses.

Savannah Inside

James Andrew at David Hicks' Savannah.

David Hicks’ concept of Savannah was far from the usual colonial fare so prevalent throughout the Bahamas. In fact a first encounter with Savannah was, and still is, a bit shocking. But of course, being the brainchild of David Hicks, it actually makes perfect sense that he drew upon the Egyptian aesthetic for his fantasy Bahamian retreat – the sun, the sand, and palms all lend a shared context that make Savannah perfectly at home on Windermere Island.

And then there is the interior – Hicks’ interior is typically hyper stylized with a signature sophisticated look, yet through his highly considered choice of local materials and finish, Hicks makes sure we never lose a sense of place. All the interior walls and floors were constructed from a rusticated mixture of local pink sand, cement, and marble dust. The ceilings by contrast are highly polished with almost a lacquered appearance, lending them a certain weightless quality – this buoyant effect is further enhanced by a painted black gap between the walls and ceiling. Floor to ceiling windows accentuate the vertical and were made to slide into the walls, inviting an easy interplay between interior and exterior. Two scroll top pictures specially painted by the artist Bruce Tippet in a vibrant Caribbean palette anchor the seating areas in the living room – the rest of the artwork at Savannah is by David Hicks himself as well as by Ashley and India Hicks.

Following the ravages of Hurricane Floyd, India Hicks lovingly undertook some much needed renovations to Savannah. But “there was no improving on the master,” she tells us, so thankfully virtually everything has been restored to its original specifications.

While a visit to Savannah is primarily reserved for family and friends, it is available for a week or two on occasion for those seeking a truly unique experience. Are your bags packed already?

I’m pictured (above) enjoying the super chic living room at Savannah. Dressed in homage to the master I’m sporting a white linen jacket by Gucci, pale blue Glen plaid cotton French cuff shirt by Tom Ford, Seaman Schepps silver pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, shocking pink cotton jean cut pants by Dior, yellow ribbon belt by Club Monaco, yellow and white silk retro print pocket square by Charvet Paris, white leather Gucci loafers, and my fragrance is Royal Water by Creed – Incidentally Creed’s fragrance Royal Water was created for the young house of Windsor, and as chance would have it Prince Charles and Lady Diana spent time at Savannah on their honeymoon in the summer of 1981!