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Romantically Rococo

James Andrew at the Frick Museum Boucher room - photo Lars Stefan.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you are anything like me, most of your thoughts are typed, texted, or sent via instant message! And while it is nice to be in constant contact, sadly I think receiving an electronic note today just doesn’t have the same impact that opening a crisp envelope had.

François Boucher (1703 - 1770) The Arts and Sciences: Poetry and Music, 1750-1752 Oil on canvas 85 1/2 x 38 in. The Frick Collection, New York

To all of you lovers out there wanting to convey your heartfelt and undying love, why not take two steps back in time, pick up some gorgeous hand laid and engraved Benneton Paris stationary, clean and fill your lovely virtually abandoned vintage gold nibbed Cartier fountain pen, and ink BY HAND a few thoughts to that most deserving person in your life! Yes, you may feel completely shot with novacaine while using those long forgotten writing muscles, and your penmanship may have really suffered from years of disuse, but we at WIJW promise that the gesture will not go unnoticed, and the effort will far overshadow your perhaps less than coordinated scrawl. In fact it probably doesn’t matter what you say, as long as it is honest and from the heart – and if you HAVE to quote, then perhaps a well chosen verse from Rumi or Neruda will do the trick.

Now, when discussing love and the art of woo, you must surely think of Boucher and Fragonard and their pink cheeked suitors all ablaze in passion’s glow – we at WIJW do, and if you aren’t sure what we’re talking about, then may we strongly recommend that you take your Valentine on a mid day stroll to visit the Boucher room at the Frick Museum – a high Rococo enclosure studded with perfumy Boucher panels. Be sure and stroll through the Fragonard Room as well. Originally commissioned by Madame Du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, the paintings therein are some of the most intoxicating odes to love on the planet, and will surely have your lover thoroughly seduced in no time! – Indeed, it’s likely that the place will have you both heading right back to your room at the Four Seasons for an afternoon romp – so please do have some chocolate and bubbly at the ready.

Diamond cufflinks, Raj Tolaram

Thanks to the Frick, WIJW is finding the Boucher room a perfect setting to channel Cupid’s arrows. I’m reclining in a Tom Ford shocking pink silk dressing gown from the Tom Ford boutique at 845 Madison Avenue, white cotton voile and lace tuxedo shirt, black and white polka dot silk bow tie, tuxedo pants and black patent leather opera pumps all by Gucci vintage Cartier gold fountain pen and platinum and diamond cuff links and shirt studs from my dear friend private jeweler Raj Tolaram.

“I don’t know why

It always comes as a surprise

To find I am here with you

You smile and I am rubbing my eyes

At a dream come true …”

-Pet Shop Boys


  1. This could be a Vogue shoot with Grace, James!

  2. Mary says:

    Of course, you are right (write). Yes, e-mail and blogs are fun, but beautiful stationery, a gorgeous pen and a loving note just can’t be replaced. That’s why we save them.
    And The Frick, ahh! Fragonard and Boucher are deee-vine. I hope you get lots of marvelous truffles and treats this year… and to keep that gorgeous dressing gown!

  3. Eline says:

    That picture of you is so amazing and perfect, I can’t even bring it into words.

  4. Dean says:

    James mon cher !

    One of your best pieces ever ! Love the Frick, and I really like your Edwardian looking smoking jacket…you look fantastic and so handsome. This is a very iconic image of you, in a very iconic setting… GREAT JOB !

    Dean Farris

  5. Foby says:

    This outfit is absolutely fantastic! Less in words! Highest pilotege…

    James, one wish…
    It would be nice, if there was some opportunity to see this (and other images in future) in largest resolution for smallest details of the outfit. It’s so exciting to see materials more detailed! 🙂

  6. Gorgeous picture but didn’t the guards at the Frick take issue with your photo shoot?

  7. i love the Pink, is very powerful.
    love it james, as always.

    happy valentine’s day!

  8. Jerry Kraft says:

    You are so right on about the notes. I totally agree with you. The pic of you is wonderful. Love the Frick. Happy Valentines Day James! xo

  9. Pink Cinnamon says:

    I wish I had someone to write some nice words for me on valentine´s day…….

  10. Christian Fuchs says:

    Love the Boucher room at the Frick, it´s a very romantic place, really inspiring…….



  11. suzanne says:

    This is the best post I have seen of you yet! Love it!

  12. James Andrew says:

    Thanks All! WIJW has been having hiccups today – some malicious hacks into our system – we’ll do our very best to keep things running smoothly!

  13. Aaron says:

    The setting and pose certainly are striking, but I find myself most curious about the logistics of this photo shoot. How exactly does one pitch something like this to the Frick?

  14. Karen says:

    I’ll never think of the Frick the same again! Love the dressing gown — very handsome photo.

  15. david mann says:

    Great picture and great post on the art of letter writing. I especially loved the Pet Shop Boys quote. I copied it on paper to post and to ponder throughout this week. Well done!!!


  16. Christiane von Könemann says:

    Valentinstag das kommt ja bald, ich muss mich um meine Karten kĂĽmmern…….

    Du siehst sehr gut aus, und das Foto ist sehr schön!

    Alles Liebe


  17. Maria Juana de Esquivel says:

    Hola James,

    Tienes toda la razón, escribir una carta es mucho más especial que mandar un mail o un mensaje! Iré a comprar papel y lindos sobres para mandar mis cartitas en ese día tan especial!


    MarĂ­a Juana

  18. Dagmar von Schwarzenberg says:

    Frick Museum ist eine sehr gute “Location” fĂĽr dieses Foto, schönes Motiv mein Lieber!

  19. Lola Montes says:

    Wow, increĂ­ble, no dejas de sorprenderme mi querido James!

  20. Brad Sumner says:

    What a super fantastic scene!

  21. matt says:

    You look divine!
    Always thought of you as a Tom Ford person over a Gucci one.
    Happy valentine!

  22. Bruno says:

    What a luxurious place, as your beautiful pink Tom Ford gown!

  23. Pearl Hammond says:

    you look absolutely lovely in pink!

  24. Tom Cavendish says:

    These cufflinks are really amazing!

  25. Maria Paula says:

    Ese color te queda divino, es una hermosa fotografía, realmente romántica e inspiradora!

  26. Happy to see you! says:

    I love it!

  27. Maria da Gloria says:

    You have chosen the perfect environment for that picture! Love the way you look!

  28. Amanda says:

    Ok. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’ve never read your blog before and I just have to say that the premise is so fab. Love it.

  29. Secret Admirer says:

    you are my wildest dream…….

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