James Creel and Christopher Gow have just opened their own cabinet (boutique) of curiosities on the Upper East Side. Here’s what makes them curious.
- What inspired Creel & Gow?
Gow: Basically, it’s Mother Nature with her extraordinary display of textures, shapes and forms. It’s like the ultimate fashion show.
- What are your favorite objets?
Creel: The narwhal tusks, which come from a whale and are extremely rare and hard to find. Like unicorn horns.
Gow: These beautiful Pierre Giraudon specimens of Lucite-cast flora and fauna from the Fifties that Jamie found. They’re a fab combination of art, nature and science.
- Favorite things to collect?
Creel: I’m more eclectic. There’s nothing specific that I collect. There are things I fall in love with. If you walk into my home, it’s a mixture of everything — minerals, fossils and contemporary sculpture.
Gow: I love objects that are deceiving. Flowers made of porcelain. Terra-cotta dogs that double as a candle stick. We have slabs of stone that look like islands surrounded by water. Things with a secret or double function so there’s a surprise.
- Fail-safe gift to give a hostess…
Creel: These fluorite candleholders we’ve been selling like crazy. They’re purple and green and, when you put a candle inside, you can see the magic of the mineral.
Gow: It has to be simple and natural. When you’re a hostess and given something so simple from Mother Nature, it has a calming effect. Silver-coated seashells remind you of that “aaahh” moment amid the craziness.
- Tips for budding collectors…
Creel: Buy what you love.
Gow: Follow your passion. You can make mistakes and it’s ok. Don’t hang on to everything. Upgrade and eliminate early pieces. Inspire and educate others. Share with people. It’s a win-win situation.
- Is it hard letting go of certain pieces?
Creel: Oh, yes. But we’re learning to let go.
- Describe your style (both fashion and home)…
Creel: I’ve always been more comfortable in colorful clothes. At home, it’s a mix of the old and the new and I like that. I can’t stand when you walk into an apartment and it’s one particular style. In décor, mix it up.
Gow: Eclectic, mixing old and new, and texture. That’s the predominant thing, more important than color.