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James Andrew at Vizcaya Gardens

James Andrew at Vizcaya Gardens

While on our recent marvelous Miami retreat, I just had to pry myself away from the pool for a bit of tropical splendor. Vizcaya was calling me! I hadn’t been for years and years and I was quite curious to see the restored gardens. Diego Suarez’s exuberant garden – designed for James Deering – is absolute heaven. There you’ll find an abundance of architectural structures and details, elaborate fountains, and antique and commissioned sculptures.

Vizcaya Gardens

Vizcaya Gardens

The use of aged sculptures and of soft porous coral stone resulted, quite intentionally, in a weathered appearance that along with planting of mature trees immediately lent a feeling of a garden that had been there for many years.

Vizcaya Gardens

Vizcaya Gardens

Vizcaya is one of those places one never tires of – I could return again and again and never get enough. It’s a must-see in Miami.

Vizcaya Garden

Vizcaya Garden

With a merging of Latin chic and Caribbean glamor, my exquisite friend Debra Torres’ gorgeous guayabera shirts were the most perfect choice for the elegant tropical setting of Vizcaya (top). The “David” model is my favorite and can be ordered in a slim fit for a more tailored look. The shirt goes perfectly with a pair of linen chambray shorts and royal blue suede espadrilles. I’m also wearing Tom Ford matte dark blue “Sergio” sunglasses. A spritz of Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi completes the look.

Eau d’Italie, Paestum Rose

Paestum Rose from Eau d’Italie’s founders Marina Sersale and Sebastien Alvarez Murena and built by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour.

While on our South Beach escape, we had the great pleasure of dining with our very dear friend and hotelier, Antonio Sersale of the incomparable Le Sirenuse Hotel.

Over a fantastic meal in the tropical settings of The Royal at the Raleigh Hotel, our conversation turned to our magical stay at Le Sirenuse last summer, and excitedly the seeds of an immanent return to Positano were planted!

Until such time as we can revisit, however, I’m comforted by the very next best thing to being there, and that is the Sersale’s Eau d’Italie, Paestum Rose.

Like everything that the Sersales do, their line of fragrances is utterly exquisite. With a captivating punctus contra punctum of luxuriant rose and warmer, spicier elements like pepper, coriander, patchouli, myrrh, and exotic woods, Paestum Rose is unusually versatile—suited well to both men and women alike—and while it possesses a deep and undeniably ancient underscore (Pasteum refers to an ancient Greco-Roman city known for its roses), its innovative complexities speak unquestionably to the present. Of course, words fall short, and so I urge you to experience the fragrance yourself!

Another way that I stay in touch with Le Sirenuse is through their lovely Le Sirenuse Blog. Established by the Sersales as an ongoing conversation with those who have come to stay at Le Sirenuse, as well as with those who dream of going there, you’ll find pieces written on many varied topics related to Positano, Le Sirenuse, and family life—recently they’ve been publishing a truly touching and oft times humorous series by John Steinbeck written about his visit to Le Sirenuse in the 50’s. Do click over for a delightful read!

Brian Gorman – Hotelier

James Andrew and Brian Gorman - photo Scott McBee

On our recent trip to Miami, my dear friend, the super chic hotelier Brian Gorman, and I co-hosted a fabulous cocktail fete at his ultra glam Lords South Beach Cha Cha Rooster Bar. I had the great pleasure to connect with old friends as well as some fabulous local WIJW fans over drinks—do try the Cha Cha’s mojitos when you go, they’re simply superb! While there we took the opportunity to chat with the brilliant Gorman about his latest venture, Lords South Beach Hotel.

WIJW: What do you mean when you say Lords is “an appropriately orientated hotel?
BG: The hotel is a place for all to feel comfortable, relax and have a good time. It means you don’t have to be something for us; we will be something for you.

WIJW: What were some of your core design concepts when creating Lords?
BG: We wanted the hotel to encourage people to have fun and for this to be communicated in the spirit of the design. The décor is deliberately playful with bold colors, cabana stripes, and quirky details throughout – such as our lobby polar bear and the vintage photos in our restaurant of the old ladies of Miami Beach. We liked the idea of mixing-in these unexpected touches.

WIJW: I also liked what you said about bringing your own cool to a place – can you elaborate on that? You had likened the idea of a studio 54 kind of place where people felt free to be themselves- gay – straight – etc.
BG: Being different, being happy, being comfortable – this is cool. It’s the people that make a place cool and we like to celebrate their differences. That said, we do seem to have an unusually high demographic of handsome people hanging out by the pool and eating in the restaurant! (Laughs).

WIJW: What are some of your aspirations and fantasies as a hotelier?
BG: To continue creating environments where people enjoy spending time and feel part of a community. We believe the Lords brand could work in many cities throughout the country and we are actively exploring these opportunities.

WIJW: I’m sure it would please our WIJW audience if you’de tell us a bit about what you are wearing.
BG: Jeans, always Prada. Jacket and tie, YSL. Shirt, Charvet. Shoes Louis Vuitton.

Glitter Stairway at Lords South Beach Hotel.

A kiss with the super chic Brian Gorman (top), I’m sporting a “Spencer” sports jacket in rose silk linen basket weave and a white cotton shirt with french cuffs by Tom Ford, Seaman Schepps coral and shell cuff links, shocking pink jeans by Dior, silk floral print pocket square and ivory suede loafers both by Tom Ford, python belt with silver buckle by Gucci and my fragrance is fragrance is Creed Erolfa.