Saturday, December 31, 2005
So much for 2005. After a week off of work, I am looking forward to wearing ties again, starting Tuesday! Have a safe and happy New Year!
Friday, December 30, 2005
Efforts to extend the Coogi sweater look to other articles of clothing have produced mixed results. The Coogi golf suits in pastel tones worn by Jack Black and Ben Stiller in Envy are especially silly-looking, and I saw some matching sweater-pants suits on ebay a couple years ago that I can't imagine anyone wearing. In a continuation of a troubling trend, neckties seem to have been dropped from the lineup.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
You can't go wrong with circles and spirals, as in this tie from Londonderry. Others don't share my enthusiasm, though; it took several listings on eBay before someone bought this tie, and then for just 99 cents. On the plus side, at least it will get worn again to brighten another corner of the world.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
(Presumably the red tie is a Prochownick, while all the others are not.) This tie starts with a multicolored grid, a simple but fun design, and then overlays another grid with a hand-drawn look at a 45-degree angle. Hand-drawn images always tend to look whimsical, so the overall effect of this tie is festive indeed, as befits the season.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
But I digress. The moon being such a powerful image, it was inevitable that it would find its way onto neckties, such as this one from Perry Ellis. The traditional man-in-the-moon motif has been markedly feminized in this depiction, giving it a vaguely art-nouveau feel. I like it. Clever tie designer Josh Bach has designed an exceptionally clever moon tie called Moon Phases; I think I'll get one one of these days.
Monday, December 19, 2005
In my house there is an ongoing debate over which variety of apples to buy. My daughter prefers the green Granny Smith apples (a fixed-mutation variety originally found in Australia), but they are too hard and tart for me and give me a headache. Mrs. Veneer likes Gala (developed in New Zealand from Golden Delicious and Cox's Orange Pippin) and Fuji (a Japanese hybrid of American Red Delicious and Ralls Janet varieties) apples; their skins are sprinkled with yellow, they have a nice, sweet flavor, and the meat of the fruit retains its crispness for a good while. They both look down on the Red Delicious (not bred but discovered in Peru, Iowa in 1874, and orginally called Hawkeye), the workhouse of the apple world, but too common for them, and prone to mushiness. But I think it's the best of them all; its skin has a rich, full flavor that is lacking in other varieties, and at its freshest is even crisper than the fancy-pants apples without being too hard. Some say the Red Delicious is not the apple it used to be, as in this Washington Post article. On the other hand, there is evidence that Red Delicious apples provide more health benefits than other apples. But in the end, any apple is better than no apple.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Georgina von Etzdorf fabrics are invariably praised for their "sensuality," which I think means that they drape well and have exceptional printed patterns and/or fancy weaves. I'm quite happy with this tie, with its colorful polka dots and swirls and multipatterned jacquard weave, but it's marred by that bane of necktie collectors, the pulled thread. Silk is so fine that if it gets snagged, a thread will pull right out. All it takes is a fingernail (and just try to put on a tie without touching it with your fingernails!), and zoop--pulled thread! Sometimes it's not noticeable, but when there is a lot of contrast between the thread color and the print color (or, in the case of a woven pattern, between the threads themselves), the absence of a single thread can be glaring. This tie has two long threads missing, forming a giant X across the middle of the tie. It's too fine to show up in the photo, though, and maybe too fine for anyone else to notice in person. I'm very picky, apparently (according to a certain Mrs. V.). This tie was made in England, but the latest batch of Georgina von Etzdorf ties was made in Italy. I don't know if that says anything about the state of British manufacturing, but it seems vaguely forboding.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
So check out this tie (I only got half a snow day), I managed to wear one that's not only representational (a rarity for my abstract aesthetic proclivities), but topical as well. Snow-covered rooftops! Exotic ones, at that: Russian and Eastern European, by the looks of them. It's the onion dome and helmet dome, particular to Eastern Orthodox churches, that give it away. I wondered why anybody thought to make roofs in that shape in the first place, and it turns out it's to keep snow off the roof. And sure enough, the helmet dome and onion dome depicted on the tie have very little snow on them! So chalk one up for the designers at Andrew's Ties for verisimilitude. Now click here if you're interested in learning all the symbolism behind the coloring and placement of onion domes.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
This cartoon appears in Glen Baxter's 1999 collection Blizzards of Tweed (Bloomsbury Publishing), though to call his works "cartoons" unjustly minimizes the grand scale of their drollery. And many of them are actually paintings or prints, exhibited in galleries worldwide as capital-A Art. They have been collected in a score of books which are readily available from just about every online bookseller. (Yet another thing for me to collect!) Better yet, there's plenty of stuff available for free viewing on Baxter's own website (in the Gallery). His primary subjects are eggs, amateur science, modern art, cowboys, and the tweed lifestyle, and his books are self-indexed by subject. This particular work is indexed under "Dishevelment, confessions of" and "Knitwear, unwise choices of". Though I personally find that tie pretty sporty-looking.
Friday, December 02, 2005
(Yes, that is a Fast Show reference.)
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Why do so many ties have diagonal designs? Ah, there is a good reason: the pattern is usually woven or printed horizontally on a roll of fabric. But in order for the tie to hang properly (i.e. not twist around from the torque of the knot and display its backside), the tie material is cut out of the roll at a 45-degree angle, or "on the bias." And thus the pattern is tilted, and thus endeth today's lesson. Class dismissed.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving! I won't be wearing a tie on my days off from work, but check back on the weekend for a special tie from the vault.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Yes, a mighty wind's a blowin’, 'cross the land and 'cross the sea,
It’s blowin’ peace and freedom, it’s blowin’ equality.
Yes, it’s blowin’ peace and freedom, it’s blowin’ you and me!
Does Banana Republic even sell ties like this any more? Remember when it was mainly a travel-themed clothing catalog business, before The Gap bought it? Do they sell anything other than rebranded Gap clothing now? Remember when the Gap was primarily a Levi's retailer? And when they brought out their own brand of jeans, it was a cheaper alternative to Levi's? How times have changed!
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
I was going to write that it's interesting that a craft born of necessity, i.e. the reuse of fabric scraps in lean economic times, has become such a popular hobby today, with hundreds of bolts of brand new fabric, made specifically to be cut apart and sewn back together, stacked on the racks at fabric stores such as Jo-Ann's. But it turns out that I was wrong in my initial assumption; it has always (since at least the sixth century!) been about creating works of beauty, and not about recycling scarce material. There's a great deal about quilting history at this History of Quilts website on womenfolk.com; especially on the page entitled Facts vs. Myths About America's Quilting Past. Some of the most stunning "new" quilts I've seen are constructed of marbled fabric; they display a glorious riot of color!
Friday, November 04, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I've just noticed that I'm about three months into the tie blog, and I haven't worn a paisley tie yet. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I don't like most of them. Paisley fans take heart, I'll get to one eventually; watch this space!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
(Yes, that is a David Johansen reference.) Luckily the Indian Summer held out for one more day, so I could wear off-white pants, a pink shirt, and finally, this enormous tie by Funky of California. Was ever a brand name so right on? Unlike so many ties of its size and vintage, it is all silk. Very nice! I'm thinking of taking it apart and making it into a parachute, then using the leftover material for a tent.
OK, not every day is Halloween, but today was! Not having a bona fide Halloween tie, I chose this one since it has the two colors of pumpkins in it. (Orange and green, you know.) The tie is "Le Chevron, all silk," from 1972 plus or minus five years. The variably-spaced parallel lines have a bit of an op art effect, but a little more tame. Maybe I'll find something more scary for next Halloween. (You might find tomorrow's tie scary...)
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Speaking of Bauhaus, the band of the same name, the godfathers of Goth, has regrouped for a "The Resurrection Tour," and Mrs. Veneer and I are going to see them at the Strathmore Music Center in Kensington, Maryland, on the 22nd! We were fortunate enough to see singer Peter Murphy with his new band earlier this year, and now this! Bauhaus comes to the suburbs! WOW!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
You will be excused for thinking this is a Gene Meyer tie. It's not, but the designer, Chris Coleman, used to work for Gene Meyer, and obviously absorbed some of his design sensibilities (even down to the polka-dotted tipping). Coleman's line of ties was produced by the Harmony Ball Company, whose primary business is cutesy figurines and home decor. They had a good thing going with these ties, though, too bad they stopped making them. Their Shakatiki vessels are pretty cool, at least.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
This tie is branded I. Magnin, and thus must be over 10 years old, as that chain fell victim to the Great Department Store Consolidation of the late 20th century (still ongoing). I. Magnin began in San Francisco in 1876 and expanded throughout the west coast. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, I. Magnin catered to the top stars, and wowed everyone with their opulent art-deco stores. They eventually went nationwide; in the Washington area, there was an I. Magnin store at the high-end White Flint mall in Kensington, Maryland. When the chain was bought by Macy's in 1986, most locations continued under the I. Magnin name; but when Macy's merged with Federated Department Stores in 1994, the Magnin name was scrapped. And now that Federated has bought out May Department Stores, they're scrapping my beloved Hecht's as well. Boo, hiss!
But about this tie: in its red field, light black vertical lines, and even lighter ovals, I see trees, viewed through a mist, on Mars.
And now for something completely different: a good slogan for Google would be, "No, you didn't just make that up." Because if you ever come up with a clever phrase or idea, just Google it, and you will learn that no, you didn't just make that up, about fifty people before you already thought of it and put it on the internet somewhere. But--when I began this tie blog, I found no such history, and so believed this to be the first. However, I have just discovered that over at flickr, bjohnson has been posting photos of his daily neckties since May, 2004. D'oh! No commentary, though. And I don't want to sound catty, but I think my ties are better. ;-)
Pucci Alert-- Check out all the sweet vintage Emilio Pucci ties on ebay right now, somebody has a real treasure trove! (The link should last forever, but the auctions I'm talking about here end on October 25.) With starting bids of $99.99, these pictures are as close as I'll be able to get to them! (I will accept donations if anyone is so inclined.)