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Old School – New School

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

James Andrew - photo by Gabriel Everett

Although, as many of you know, I hold a huge fascination for the worlds of certain bygone eras, I do consider myself quite forward thinking as well—far from being mutually exclusive, in fact I find these two outlooks to be quite perfectly complimentary.

Of course, I do realize life today presents some obstacles to living with style, but we don’t need to necessarily replicate the past to honor it. It does require a bit of extra effort and fortitude, for example, to travel in style these days (given what we are subjected to at airports!). However, looking good, especially in slightly more taxing situations, can help one to feel better, (and subsequently perhaps set things up to actually be better).

Many of my design and fashion favorites drew inspiration from the past without becoming overly sentimental. In the fashion world, Halston, for instance, fused a decidedly modernist sensibility with the free-flowing opulence of the ’30s to create a distinctly new aesthetic. In the decorating world, my own Albert Hadley was hugely conversant in the history of design and drew quite freely from the past to create interiors that still spoke in a very fresh and livable way to the present.

I am happy to see a wonderful shift taking place, especially with my younger friends who are celebrating tradition in a big way. Perhaps some of my contemporaries too, will bring the elegance and glamor back into life!

The very talented Gabriel Everett hearkens back to another, perhaps more glamorous time, in this black and white photo. I’m wearing a Tom Ford brown plaid suit in linen, silk and cashmere, with a brown end on end cotton shirt with French cuffs and a contrast white collar and orange and white retro print silk pocket square, cuff links in shell with coral beads, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle and sunglasses, Etro orange suede tasseled loafers, vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

9 Comments

  1. Brad says:

    You’re very right. A good design transcends the period of its creation. When looking through pictures of interiors of the past, it’s very easy to see which ones would work in the present day. They’re the interiors which stress functionality and precision over ostentation or trend, a thought which can be applied to many creative disciplines.

    As you say, it’s important to appreciate previous ways of thinking while continuing to work and think in terms of the present-to be forward thinking without being confined to the now and the future.

  2. Dean says:

    James,

    I also agree with you. Fashion goes in circles, and there truly is nothing new under the sun. Once that is understood, then we can create – inspired by the past, the present, and the future! This portrait of you by Gabriel is a perfect example.

    Dean

  3. jon k says:

    beautiful

  4. JES says:

    Yes! and, is that the entrance to the Institute of Fine Arts (Duke Mansion)?

  5. James Andrew says:

    Hello JES,

    Yes it is the Duke Mansion- keen eye you have!

    Cheers

    JA

  6. JES says:

    I used to work there, in the library– a heavenly place to go every day!

  7. James Andrew says:

    Dear JES,

    That is amazing!

    Do you have a connection there- I would love to do a photo shoot there for WIJW?

    Cheers

    JA

  8. JES says:

    Unfortunately, no– it’s been over ten years. But I will ask around. It would be an amazing place for a shoot.

    JES

  9. James Andrew says:

    Dear JES,

    It would be just beyond amazing!

    Keep me posted.

    Thanks and Cheers,

    JA

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