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James Andrew in L.A. - photo Gabriel Everett

James Andrew in L.A. – photo Gabriel Everett

With wildly beautiful days and wonderful people, our time in Cali simply evaporated—and so it was that our western expedition came to a close.

We were treated on our last day, however, to a scrumptious final L.A. luncheon at one of my all-time favorites, The Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge, where we dined al fresco with our super chic hostess, Gabrielle Williams Choo. After spending some time with her, I’m convinced that she should have a style-blog to showcase her distinct and sophisticated aesthetic—she has some particularly well considered thoughts on style, grace, manners, metaphysics, and everything in-between, and I know the world would be a better place if she shared them!

After our delicious lunch, we rendezvoused with our dear friend, the photographer, Gabriel Everett, who set about creating the epic L.A. photograph you see here (top). Upon a successful shoot, we unwound with a refreshing bottle of rosé before gathering a fabulous collection of friends for a poolside dinner — what a gorgeous way to end our stay!

I just want to say that I was thrilled with everyone’s positive feedback and comments, and it sounds like we may have even inspired some of our Californian contacts to investigate a few of the perhaps overlooked sites in their own back yard. In any case, now that we’ve done a pretty broad sampling of California, we’ll be sure to make a much more targeted visit next time. Can’t wait!

Captured in the “golden hour” light by the brilliant Gabriel Everett, I’m sporting a Tom Ford ivory linen sateen jacket and white cotton shirt with French cuffs, abstract floral silk pocket square and “Nicolo” sunglasses, shell and coral cuff links, Rolex, Ralph Lauren orange silk shantung pants and orange suede espadrilles. My fragrance is Tom Ford Lavender Palm—a scent which was created for the opening of the Beverly Hills Tom Ford boutique—how apropos!

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James Andrew at  Therien & Co.

James Andrew at Therien & Co.

Interested to see what LA had to offer in terms of fine interior decorating resources, we can thank our dear friend, Philip Bewley, for suggesting that we visit the tremendous Therien & Co in LA. It’s a glorious oasis of chic interior design with Therien & Co, Therien 20th, Studio Workshops, and Quatrain, all connected by spectacular courtyards. There is absolutely something for everyone — top quality, and all selected with exquisite taste. Needless to say, I found some exceptional objects for several of my clients!

A visit to Los Angeles would not have been complete without seeing our dear friend, Alex Hitz, who as you know is the author of My Beverly Hills Kitchen, my go-to cook book. An understated yet chic entrance to the Hitz house is the most perfect foil for the jaw dropping interior—a fantastic modern take on Hollywood Regency with a minimalist Beverly Hills Hotel kind of vibe—including spectacular views of course. I was terribly dissappointed to miss a dinner Hitz was preparing…we certainly could have spent hours with Hitz, but our itinerary had us on the move again.

Alex Hitz at home.

Alex Hitz at home.

We lunched at the old school Beverly Hills favorite, La Dolce Vita. Preferred by presidents and celebrities alike since the 1960’s, it serves delicious Northern Italian-style cuisine in a club-like atmosphere. We were pretty thrilled to be seated in Nancy Reagan’s favorite spot.

The Huntington Art Gallery was something we also were curious to see, with its 55,000 square foot Beaux-Arts French/Mediteranian style mansion architecture—set on 207 acres of botanical splendor and housing a world class art collection, one could spend an entire day there, but alas, an hour was all we could afford (we shall return).

At the Huntington Art Gallery

At the Huntington Art Gallery

Our dear friends, Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson, were so divine to prepare an enchanted dinner for us at their new home. The Wilkinsons (with Tony Duquette influences of course – Hutton Wilkinson was Duquette’s protege and business partner for 30 years after all) have developed a richly layered aesthetic, and the home is strategically located on the property to take full advantage of Dawnridge just beyond the pool and down a flight of stairs. After cocktails, we dined in its magical gardens. This is a memory that I will savor for a lifetime. After a visit there, I’ve become convinced that more is certainly more! I only wish I had been able to get a photo with the Huttons—perhaps on our next visit….



Enjoying one of the lush courtyards at Therien & Co. (top), I’m sporting a Tom Ford tangerine silk herringbone suit, orange suede tasseled loafers, silk chiffon paisley shirt by Etro, orange and white retro print silk Tom Ford pocket square, vintage Rolex, Gucci sunglasses, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Lavender Palm.

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James Andrew at the Getty Villa

James Andrew at the Getty Villa

On our way from Santa Barbara to the City of Angels, we seized the opportunity to drop in at the Getty Villa in Malibu. In 1945, J. Paul Getty purchased the 64 acre site and in 1954 he transformed his home into the J. Paul Getty Museum to exhibit his art and antiquities. In 1968 he created a new museum space next door to handle his constantly expanding collection and modeled it after the Roman Villa dei Papiri. Ever since the nautical protraitist and storyboarding artist, Scott McBee and I toured the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum a couple of years ago, we had it in our mind to visit the Getty Villa to see how it compared. Seeing Getty’s pristine incarnation of the place was indeed a bit of a trip.

The Getty Villa

The Getty Villa

After Getty’s death, the Getty Center was built in Brentwood and Getty’s collection of art was split between the two locations, with the Getty Villa now housing the ancient classical collections. Needless to say, the property now affords one a pretty authentic sense of what it must have been like to wander through an ancient Roman Villa. It’s a true marvel.

The Getty Villa

The Getty Villa

From Malibu, we were off to Beverly Hills where the Thompson Hotel greeted us with a lovely suite of rooms. We lounged roof-top by the pool sipping rosé and recuperated from our journey.

We were thrilled to re-unite with our beloved Gabriel Everett for a fabulous dinner at the Grill on the Alley and plot out the remaining two days of our journey.

Dressed to celebrate J.Paul Getty and his great cultural gift to the world, I’m sporting a Tom Ford jacket in grey linen, silk and hemp, hot pink silk and cotton pants, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, abstract floral print pocket square in pinks and white suede lace up shoes with saddle leather cap toes, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle, shell and coral cuff links, hot pink cotton socks from Turnbull and Asser, my vintage Rolex, and a spritz of Tom Ford Lavender Palm cologne.

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