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Saturday, October 28, 2006


The Great Shiny Woven Tie Explosion of 2004 (referenced in my October 8 entry) trickled down to the discount stores in 2005. Burlington Coat Factory had (and probably still has) a wide selection of these cheaply luxurious ties, and was the source for this Adolfo Gold grid of circles in black, blue, purple, and silver.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


It's taken me nearly a week to get last Friday's tie up because I couldn't come up with the larger connection for it, but it finally hit me on the way to work. This tie from "Garber's" (presumably a menswear store) has the colors and abstract patterns of a Hundertwasser painting. Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was an Austrian painter, sculptor, and architect, a genius, and a true original. His passion for the environment informed all his work, which included many posters promoting conservation and awareness of environmental issues (e.g. Save the Seas, Conservation Week, Save the Whales, Save the Rain, etc.). His buildings incorporated organic forms (and organic matter) and his paintings freely mingled the living with the built, all highly stylized in vibrant, multicolored palettes. This tie (from the polyester era but surprisingly made of silk) is a mere echo of Hundertwasser's creativity, but even an echo of Hundertwasser is something special.

I've just picked up John Hodgman's funny book of fake triva, The Areas of My Expertise. Hodgman is fascinated with hoboes, and one section of the book consists of a list of 700 hobo names (all made up). The list merits a mention here because hobo name #207 is "Genius L. Cravat, the Gentleman." Two illustrations for this hobo name can be found here; all the names are listed and illustrated at

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Reign of Frogs

These frogs would have had a field day at last Saturday's Insectapalooza at the Cornell University Department of Entomology. Our whole family went; after the cockroach races right at the entrance, we went upstairs to the exotic insect zoo to see live tarantulas, scorpions, whip spiders (perhaps the nastiest-looking creatures on earth), black widows, praying mantises, grasshoppers, millipedes, beetles, and many more assorted creepy-crawlies. Come to think of it, some of those creatures could probably turn the tables on a frog. We skipped the bug and worm cuisine room...

Australian Aboriginal artist Doris Gingingara designed this tie for Desert Designs. Mike over at Knot a Blog is featuring all Australian-themed ties this week, so I figured I'd hop on that bandwagon today. (Not to mention that this tie was near the top of a storage bin, a prime consideration these days.) Be sure to read to the end of Mike's October 14 entry to learn an interesting, little-known fact (i.e. not known by me) about koalas!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

That Guy

I didn't want to go another full week without wearing a tie, so here's one six days after the last one. This tie is by Guy Laroche of Paris. Laroche was born in La Rochelle, France, in 1921, and opened his own couture house in Paris in 1957. Perhaps his most prominent achievement was producing the ubiquitous smell of the 1980s, Drakkar Noir for men, in 1982. (Or maybe I just think it was ubiquitous because one of my college housemates doused himself in it all the time.) Laroche died in 1989; the design house continues as a subsidiary of YGM Trading Ltd. of Hong Kong. (They seem to be between head designers, Herve Leroux having just left to start his own house.) This tie touches on two of my favorite themes, stained glass and "heavy scribbles." I'm not so crazy about the colors, but you can't always have everything in a tie.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Just one this week

I only managed to wear one tie last week, on Wednesday. This tie is from my favorite line of polyester ties, the Christian Dior Monsieur line with the oval CD logo on the front. I have previously presented one other tie from this series, and I have one or two more to bring out eventually.

In seeking out quirky music in Ithaca I discovered Inverse Room, the music project of Ithaca novelist J. Robert Lennon. The CD 100 Songs: Pieces for the Left Hand contains 99 (short) songs (I haven't found the hundredth one yet) spanning just about every genre of pop music. Relevant to this blog is the one entitled "That Tie," the lyrics of which are:

I was stakin’ out a gin joint in a rented Cadillac, when I heard a roscoe coughin’ and everything went to black. Next thing I know, Saint Peter was lookin’ me in the eye. He said, “Sorry, I can’t let you in, but where’d you get that tie?”

Maybe that tie looks like this one.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another birthday

(Wednesday, October 4) Seems like I just had a birthday last year, and now another one arrives. I didn't have another birthday-themed tie like last year's, so I picked out this wild silk patchwork Robert Talbott Best of Class tie more or less at random. And what a lovely birthday it was: a surprise party in the office with a luscious Wegman's chocolate cake. My boss even made orange chocolate ice cream! My favorite combination of sweet flavors! Mmmmm....

At age 41 I have finally joined the iPod generation: as a birthday present I got a Samsung YP-U2J portable mp3 player, so now I can listen to music on my walks to and from work. In fact, it's made me even more attached to the brisk half-hour walk at the start and end of each workday. Unfortunately, brisk half-hour walks are not quite compatible with wearing neckties, so I'm going to cut back on the tie-wearing. That means the tie blog will no longer be daily, but occasional. I still have plenty to trot out! If you need to see more ties, please visit the other fine tie bloggers using the handy links in the right sidebar.

Finally, in case you were wondering: no, the Onion article "Man Required To Wear Tie Decides It Might As Well Be Wacky" is not about me. I prefer the wild to the wacky, and I have not actually been required to wear a tie for a few years now. But some of the observations in the "article" are a little too close for comfort!

Mr. Beene

One day in 2004 Mrs. Veneer and I took a trip out to Annapolis Mall so I could ogle the Duchamp ties at Nordstrom. The big surprise was when we went to Hecht's and found hundreds of Duchamp/Ted Baker/City of London-style ties being offered by nearly every tie label there. So I picked up a couple by Geoffrey Beene, and this is one of them. (We were even more surprised to find similar offerings at JCPenney.) These woven-patterned ties of brilliant silk thankfully found their way into the mainstream, were they remain today. Hooray!

Catching up

I had a busy week and fell behind on the blog, but here I am again. The tie for Monday, October 2, is another Exotic Silks tie from Pamper Him of Chicago. The silk satin is a real joy to handle, the shape is perfect, the knot effortless. I think there are six Pamper Him ties in my permanent collection, which I am now getting a chance to rewear, as they have not been blogged yet, and they are new to my new workplace.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Once emerged from the gray of night

Today's tie is from the Gallery Collection by Christina Desiree, and is based on Paul Klee's 1918 painting (and poem) Once Emerged from the Gray of Night. The painting itself has a gray band in the middle, which I take to represent the gray of night, and which was dropped from the necktie design. I think I would have kept it, but the tie is still special. In this one piece Klee has created not only beautiful pattern of letters and colors, but a work which ties in the sounds of the words and the meaning of the poem they assemble. Translated into English, the poem reads:

Once emerged from the gray of night,
Then heavy and precious and strong from the fire--
In the evening filled with God and bowed...

[gray band]

Ethereally now rained round with blue,
floating off over mountains' snowcaps to wise

(And if I can find again where I found the translation, I will give credit for it; it wasn't me.) A fine testimonial to this painting's influence is the fact that it is still used as an art exercise for children.