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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm back!

I took a few days off to entertain our guests from England (including a trip to Philadelphia for a great Josh Rouse concert), which was quite delightful, but now I'm back with more ties. It looks like an airbrushed geometric pattern was used as the basis of this tie pattern. I've always thought the airbrush is best suited for specific genres, such as monsters on van murals (now that "custom choppers" are all the rage, I'm eagerly anticipating a van mural comeback), or rippling muscles and bodice-straining bosoms on fantasy novel covers. But there's always an exception, and this airbrushed rendition of a jumble of overlapping shapes fits right in with the Burl Veneer aesthetic. This is a Modaitalia tie of Italian origin but unknown maker; it has an unusually stiff lining, but makes a beautiful triangular knot. Which leads me to address the issue of dimpling. To dimple or not to dimple? In my mind there are three reasons to dimple your necktie:
  1. The tie is insufficiently tapered to prevent bunching up as it emerges from the knot. In this case dimpling keeps the symmetry of the tie, instead of having unsightly bunches at one or both edges at the blade/knot intersection.
  2. To show off a particularly rich and lustrous fabric. Ties don't drape, they just fall flat, so you don't get the play of light and shadow (a.k.a. chiaroscuro) that shows off a really fine fabric. The dimple provides a little bit of that.
  3. You like wearing a dimple. That's a matter of taste. I try to avoid a dimple whenever possible, but I was unable to with the last tie.
If you ever look at tie auctions on ebay, you have probably seen a "dimpler tool" very prominently placed. You don't need a tool! All you need to do is this: pull the blade through the knot; as the knot begins to tighten, press into the middle of the blade with the index finger of the pulling hand to create a dimple; with the other hand, squeeze the knot; then continue pulling the tie through while continuing to squeeze the knot. That will preserve the dimple until the pull-through is complete. And voila!

(In case you're wondering what I wore to the Josh Rouse show, it was this Pucci-inspired Kenneth Cole shirt:)

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