Like a fit Buddha radiating benevolent energy with hand-made suits in every color of raw silk, Andrew is passionate about the importance of creating, experiencing, and consuming things that were made by human hands. “There are many diamonds in the world,” he says– but to him it is the vision of the person and the human process that ultimately touches us. One look at what Andrew refers to as his “alternative world” on a typical urban street in London, with glass rooms that allow the sun to pour freely over a proliferation of fantastical and awe-inspiring mirrored sculptures and jewelry and you can see the reflection of the god-like in ourselves. “People want something else in this world,” he says, and feels that his purpose here is to give them that dream, and to do it through material objects.
A dedicated yogi, comfort with his age is an understatement for Andrew, who is as timeless as the clothes that he has made by his tailor in a little place called Vrindavan. It’s a small Medieval city dedicated to Krishna, where his tailor has a little room near an open sewer where cows wander by. “You step back three hundred years,” he says. In an ensemble of rich marigold yellow silk, Andrew speaks of his love for crowns, orbs, scepters, and robes. They evoke a sense of ritual he feels man has lost. “Ritual is such an important thing because it denotes your passage through life. I’m fascinated by India because they still have these rituals.” Andrew started designing rings when he saw a traditional Indian wedding that he found magical: The groom arrives on horseback to meet his covered bride, and the first he sees of her is her reflection in a mirrored ring she wears.
Once rejected from entering the Ritz in one of this vibrant suits for not having a tie on – instead he wore one of his breathtaking jewels on his neck – Andrew claims that he is “kind of crafts” and “kind of performance.” As art should do, it challenges the norms and makes you wonder why someone would be rejected for wearing something as magnificent as Andrew’s cosmic egg necklace instead of some piece of fabric. It is meant to convey, with its opulent mirrored glass, where we have come from – and where we are going. “You can see in it eternity,” he says. He is a humble as the materials he uses – mirrors, he points out, are made from sand, or from the Earth, a material of the universe that extends light and is meant to be a window into the next world. Unfazed by the cracks in his pieces, Andrew sees those lines, like the ones in his face, as nothing more than graceful maturation. Of them, he says, “It’s a bit like life.” Fashion, for him, provides us with a means to transcend. “I’m very interested in taking something that’s in the gutter, like a rusty old bit of tin and making it look like a million dollars.