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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One last tie for 2007

Yesterday was the office holiday luncheon; readers of this blog will not be surprised by the pants in the picture at right, because they know that that's when I perform my annual Wearing of the Bright Red Levi's Cords. The accompanying tie is the last of my polyester Christian Dior Monsieurs with the CD logo in an oval near the bottom. That particular line is hard to match in terms of imaginative patterns and vibrant color combinations. Not impossible, though, so when it warms up (April? May?) I'll return with another batch of ties. Maybe. Happy holidays and best wishes for 2008! I'll leave you with a new take on a classic Christmas song from my music blog:

04 - Do You Hear What I Hear

04 - Do You Hear What I Hear from

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Jimmy Pike

Monday's tie was another Jimmy Pike creation from Desert Designs of Australia.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another Halloween

There is no way I could top last year's Halloween tie (there's no topping a Pucci), so I didn't try to. This year, as usual, I went with Halloween colors rather than Halloween content. This Oleg Cassini tie started out wide, I think, and at some point was surgically altered to create a more modest silhouette. The design is wonderfully 70s: clouds, colored with silver-to-burnt-orange (and back to white) gradient stripes. (I can visualize it enlarged to wall size and placed on a white background to accent a dining room or den, with shag carpet in shades of orange and brown.) And the fabric? Polyester, of course, as indestructible as clouds are ephemeral.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Special Saturday Edition

Not only is today's entry on a Saturday tie, it has two ties! I took my son Pierce to his friend's bar mitzvah today, and we both wore ties. I wore the one on the left, a black Format tie of luxurious crinkled silk with woven red and gold pattern. Pierce, making his modeling debut on the tie blog (pause for applause), wore the tie on the right, a Save the Children tie called "Schwiggles," designed by Shantai, age 8. Does he look just like me, or what?

We each were handed a program and prayer book for the ceremony. Pierce was a bit befuddled by the book, not knowing that it starts at the "back" and goes in the opposite direction of a standard English book. As he sat there struggling with it, I whispered to him "Manga style," and he got it instantly. A piece of knowledge of one foreign culture helped him grasp another one in no time; I couldn't have planned a better demonstration of the importance of knowledge and understanding.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Here's a favorite theme of mine: a design underneath, in this case stripes in shades from white to orange to brown, covered with another pattern (plain brown here) that is then peeled away strategically to create yet another pattern. Well, not really peeled away, it's all woven of a piece, but that's the effect. The different stripes and layers have contrasting weave patterns as well, adding one more design dimension. This is a vintage German offering from Juka's Spitzenklasse line, made of "Dralon, 100% Polyacril." It will outlast us all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Missoni Impossible

Though this tie is from Biella, I could almost swear I've seen the same pattern on a Missoni tie. I inadvertently robbed it of its color impact by wearing it with a shirt that matched the dominant color; if I had it to do over again I would wear it with an off-white, or ecru, or eggshell, or pale yellow shirt. But I don't, I've worn it once and that's that. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Nope, nothing smutty: Eros is the maker of the tie, as proclaimed on the very classy label, which also tells us "London Paris New York." This is a vintage tie of 100% wool, and at four and half inches wide it's a lot of wool, and it is heavy. Leslie named their superwide tie the Bellywarmer; Eros should have named this line the Millstone. I got it in the same ebay lot as my birthday tie; that must have been one groovy guy who owned both of them. There was a third one, too, and maybe I will remember which one it was.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Corduroy weather

Ah, it has cooled off enough to break out the corduroys, which for me marks the official start of autumn. Today's tie is from my favorite line of polyester neckties, Christian Dior Monsieur (previous entries here). The ribbons in the pleasantly busy pattern are disturbingly sinuous (as in, like sinews), and the flesh and blood color scheme doesn't help matters. If I keep my mouth shut maybe no one will notice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mid-Century Modern

With our so-called "Mid-Century Modern" home, gradually getting filled with Mid-Century Modern furniture and decor, it is only appropriate that I have some Mid-Century Modern ties as well. I don't think this one dates back that far, but the design fits comfortably with other textiles of that era. The label says "Nino Orsini," but this tie is obviously a home-made job, with the fabric behind the tip finished using the "scrunch it all up and then iron it flat" method. But who cares about the back of a tie?

And now I must be off to Syracuse to see the Chicago Afrobeat Project at Funk'n'Waffles!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Is it loud enough for you?

I said, is it loud enough for you?! This narrow tie of intensely-colored barkcloth comes from Virgin Island Ties, probably of 1960s vintage. I wore it in honor of the Dalai Lama speaking at Cornell today. Well, actually, I did wear the tie today, and the Dalai Lama did speak at Cornell today, but the two events are unrelated. However, the tie is just as colorful as the Wheel of Life sand mandala that the Namgyal monks constructed at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum in honor of the Dalai Lama's arrival.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Another year, another birthday, yippee! As of today I am twice the legal drinking age, which means from here on out I will have been drinking legally for most of my life. So I will use this milestone to list some of my favorite beers: Unibroue Belgian-style ales, especially Trois Pistoles (which I drank with my birthday dinner); Weyerbacher Quad; Pork Slap Pale Ale and Snapperhead IPA from Butternuts Beer and Ale; Ommegang Abbey Ale; and Ithaca Beer Company's Double IPA. Some favorites from our trip to England in August are Inniss & Gunn Oak Aged Beer, Badger Golden Champion, Robinson's Old Tom Ale, and Sharp's Chalky's Bite. I recommend seeking them out from your local beverage emporium and enjoying them in moderation, preferably while wearing a big, bold vintage tie like this one, "made in England for Bloomingdale's" with the thickest lining fabric ever made, I do believe.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Clifford Possum

Desert Designs is best known for reproducing the works of Australian Aboriginal artists Jimmy Pike and Doris Gingingara on neckties, but I have turned up a third one. Today's tie features a design by Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (c.1932-2002), one of the founders of the modern Aboriginal art movement. Susan Allan provides some background on his introduction to painting in an obituary on the World Socialist Web Site:

In the late 1950s he was employed, along with his older brother Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri and other Aborigines, to assist in the construction of Papunya settlement. This was the last Aboriginal settlement built under the Menzies Liberal government’s racist assimilation policy. According to the government, Aborigines were not ready to live as “white Australians” and had to be re-educated. This meant removing them from tribal lands and herding them into settlements.

In 1971, Geoffrey Bardon, a young teacher, arrived at Papunya. Bardon, who later described the settlement as “an unsewered, undrained, garbage-strewn death camp in all but name,” won the respect of the older men and encouraged them to paint their ancestral stories. In contrast to Namatjira’s realistic watercolours, Bardon supplied them acrylic paint and discouraged references to Western images. This approach help give birth to the unique Papunya Tula style, which is an abstract representation of tribal myths and legends that is derived from traditional ceremonial designs.

Tjapaltjarri's art gained enormous popularity and he was ultimately awarded the Order of Australia.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Jimmy Pike

It's perfect tie weather now, around 60 degrees (F) for my walk to work. Today I dipped into my stash of Australian Desert Designs ties for this Jimmy Pike design on the coveted "crab weave" silk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I heard you missed me

Well, I'm back! For today, at least. The weather is getting temperate enough that I can wear a tie and walk to work (1.6 miles, as it turns out) without feeling miserable by the time I arrive, so I jumped back in today with a Verner Panton-inspired tie from IMM. Panton was what first sprang to my mind; on the other hand, a colleague took one look at me today and said, "Viva Las Vegas!" The tie does indeed have the shapes of poker chips and the colors of playing cards, so I think he called this one better than I did. (Please pardon the quality of the picture, I am still adjusting to a new camera that takes huge pictures, and new photo editing software (GIMP) that is not the same as what I am used to.)

Over on the music blog: Zillatron, Flight of the Conchords, Simon Shaheen, and more.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just popping in to say hello

Nope, still no tie, but I just had to share this label from a vintage tie box:

Yes, that is silver foil on glossy black! "Cosmo's, for men who are." I am, I cried! I bet they carried Sex Panther!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The last tie?

Nothing says "mod" like eccentric circles. This vintage polyester tie was custom made by the William M. Frazin Company, Custom Neckwear Makers, Chicago and Los Angeles. I wore it on May 14, and I haven't worn a tie since. Perhaps when the students return to campus in late August and we go back into "business mode" I'll tie one on again, but during the summer I'm just wearing open-necked shirts. I have some pretty wild ones, so I don't feel completely bereft of adornment.

In the meantime I've started a new blog devoted to music, on Vox. I hope you will visit it and hear something you like.

The patterns I've displayed here are but a blip compared to the patterns displayed at the print & pattern blog, a veritable orgy of fantastic graphics. Visit it frequently for an awesome design fix. And for neckties in particular, Mike and Will's excellent tie blogs continue unabated. Carry on, gentlemen!
I won't say goodbye, because I still have a few hundred unblogged neckties; even if I don't wear them I may get around to posting pictures of them sometime. So I'll sign off for now with "Until we meet again..."

Saturday, May 12, 2007


It's hard to pin down a time period for this tie; the fabric is acetate, which was widely used for ties in the 40s and 50s, but the pattern is more late 60s/early 70s. It is safe to say, however, that it is not recent.

The past weekend was quite eventful: on the first day of the semiannual Friends of the Library Book Sale (with its own dedicated building, no less) I spent a couple happy hours perusing the shelves, and ended up with a stack of modern art books and a few novels, all on the cheap. Then on Sunday I finally got to try out my new cordless electric lawnmower. From studying product reviews on the web, I understand that the biggest problem with most cordless mowers is that they just aren't powerful enough to be practical. One reviewer noted that when he modded his Black and Decker mower from 24 volts to 36, it worked just fine. I took the easier route and found a 36-volt mower on eBay. It's by MPL and it cost about 40% less than the Black and Decker. It does weigh 90 pounds, and the body is made of resin rather than steel, but it's much quieter than a gas mower, it doesn't shake my arms, it cuts my grass, and it holds a charge long enough to mow the whole lawn. Hurray for eBay! I closed out the weekend by taking the kids to Cornell for the outdoor World Percussion Festival, with performances by several student percussion groups: the Percussion Ensemble, the World Drum and Dance Ensemble (with distinguished guest Bernard Woma of Ghana; and the women of the group wore skirts with amazing patterns!), the Steel Band (with their own distinguished guest Liam Teague, of Trinidad via Northern Illinois University), the Boogie Band, and the "Inline" Band (I think), a non-marching subset of the marching band. The high point was when Bernard Woma got the whole crowd up and dancing, his energy was infectious!

This tie is now off to Mississippi, to one of my former eBay customers. He just outbid me on several lots of vintage ties (which reminds me of a story, for another entry), but we worked out a swap for some of the duplicates. Thanks, Blake!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Look into my tie, look into my tie, the tie, the tie, not around the tie, don't look around my tie, look into my tie, you're under. You will marvel at this black-and-white op-art vintage polyester necktie from Pauline Trigere and admire its wearer for his keen fashion sense. Three, two, one... You're back in the room. (Or, as our three-year-old says, "What you want... you're back in the room.")

(Patter lifted from Kenny Craig, Matt Lucas's stage hypnotist character from Little Britain. A new Little Britain series is in development for HBO's fall season! Yippee! I might have to get HBO for that.)

Over the weekend we took the new Veneer family minivan (a Nissan Quest, surely the most stylish of all minivans and a vast improvement over our lumbering old Plymouth Grand Voyager) to Corning for a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. What a fascinating array of historical glass, art glass, and practical glass exhibits! The paperweight exhibit includes Josh Simpson's record-setting hundred-pound Megaplanet. (An eighty-pound Megaplanet is available for purchase in the museum store for $44,000.) The intensity of color and sinuous shapes that can be achieved in glass are remarkable, but I think I will leave the crafts that involve melting glass to the pros.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Enrico Coveri

Catching up here, the tie for Wednesday, April 25 was this paisley-like floral print from Enrico Coveri. Coveri was born in Prato, Italy, in 1952, and established his own fashion company in 1978. His clothing was known for a more youthful orientation than most fashion houses, and his extensive use of vibrant prints. Coveri died young, of a stroke, in 1990. His sister hired new designers and took charge of the company, which is still a going concern. Coveri's use of color is sometimes likened to Pucci's, but I have yet to see any similarities in their neckties.

Rainbow Plus

Tuesday's tie is another one from stockbroker-turned-fashion-mogul (now turned consultant) Pat Argenti; it features a baroque-style floral pattern in all eight colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and... taupe (over the yellow). I have never seen a dull Argenti tie; I've seen some ugly ones, but they weren't boring.

We had another musical weekend: I took the kids to see The All-American Rejects at Cornell. Their brand of melodramatic pop-rock is perfect for teens and tweens (and college students too, apparently), though the lead singer's "clever bad-boy" persona is rather grating, and not clever. (He must have just learned two cuss words, which he used in every sentence between songs. Ooh, naughty!) But the kids enjoyed it, and they were thrilled to hear one of their favorite songs live ("Move Along", saved for the encore). (Q: What's the cheapest way to get an encore? A: Don't play your biggest hit during the regular set.)

But it wasn't all tedium for me: second opening act OK Go was quite enjoyable, with catchier hooks, genuine cleverness, and a kickin' ELO cover ("Dont Bring Me Down"). But the best thing about them is their dress schtick: they wear neckties!* Gnarly, vintage neckties. (Not only that, in their video for "Here It Goes Again"--one of the best low-budget videos ever, and YouTube's Most Creative Video of 2006--lead singer Damian Kulash wears red pants, just like mine!) I've ordered a CD for family listening pleasure and I hereby grant OK Go the Burl Veneer Seal of Approval.

(First opening band The Whigs might have been good; I couldn't tell from the muddy sound in the cavernous gymnasium. But they wear some old-fashioned ties on their website, so they must be all right.)

* Actually we were pretty far back, I don't know if they all wore ties for the show but Damian definitely did. That's still cool.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Thursday's tie, made in the US and sold under the British Allen Lolly label, seems to be an attempt at an Australian Aboriginal-style design like those produced by Jimmy Pike and Doris Gingingarra for Desert Designs. Or it could be a psychedelic pattern rendered in boardroom-friendly colors. Either way, I'd buy more if I found them.

And now for some necktie news: for aficionados of 8-bit computing, gaming, and music, there is now an "8-bit necktie" from ThinkGeek. Originally conceived as an April Fool's Joke, the delightfully lo-res cravat is now in production as something you can actually buy and wear. Eight bits is enough! (Thanks to my brother for bringing this to my attention.)

Mrs. V. and I have been watching Action!, the short-lived comedy on FX that starred Jay Mohr as a hilariously slimy movie producer, Peter Dragon. In the episode "Mr. Dragon Goes to Washington" there are some tasty textiles on display, if only briefly: in one scene a waitress sports a Gene Meyer tie, and in another Illeana Douglas appears in a Pucci shawl. Maybe one day I will figure out how to do screen grabs of .avi's and post them here.

Deja vu

There we were, thinking spring had finally arrived (again), then we get another foot of snow. Ai-yi-yi, an Ithaca winter has more false endings than a Starcastle album. So I started the week reverting to the purely functional, but spring had returned by Wednesday and I wore this tie by Principe. It has lots of the geometric design elements I love, but in the process of being chopped up, repositioned, and given a rather lackluster color scheme, they've lost a little something. Good enough to wear once, though!

Before the nor'easter bore down on Sunday night, the past weekend was quite musical. Arrived in downtown Ithaca to go to a record and CD show, I stumbled upon the spring concert of the Cornell Big Red Marching Band ("the only real marching band in the Ivy League") outdoors at the Ithaca Commons. I couldn't pass that up, so I stayed and listened to high-octane renditions of "Carry On, Wayward Son" (a Guitar Hero II favorite), "The Rockford Files", "Jungle Love" (Steve Miller, not The Time), and a slew of more traditional material. I love the pounding beats and cadences and brassy energy of marching bands. For a few months at the University of Maryland, my office was right across the street from the band practice grounds; it was almost exciting to work on databases with the band cheering me on.

And then on Sunday, I took the kids to see Alash, the Tuvan throat-singing ensemble. It is incredible to hear tuneful whistling over a bass drone and to realize that it's just one guy making all those sounds at once with his vocal chords! Put four of them together and you get a strange, rich soundscape like nothing else on Earth (outside of Tuva) (and Mongolia, and Tibet). That reminds me, I still don't have any music by Albert Mangelsdorff, polyphonic trombone master; I must get on that...

Friday, April 13, 2007

How about some more Klimt?

Klimt patterns are available not only on fine silk ties, but on durable polyester ties as well, such as this one from the Cabralli Collection. The pattern contains elements from Klimt's best-known painting, The Kiss (1908); in fact, it contains just about every element except the kiss itself. And the gold. All this Klimt lately has reminded me of the only Klimt joke I've ever heard, from Rodney Dangerfield's 1986 movie Back to School:
Trendy Man: Mr. Melon [Dangerfield], your wife was just showing us her Klimt.
Thornton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.
Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.
Thornton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.
Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.
Thornton Melon: Oh, the painting.
Heh-heh. (Exchange lifted from Unfortunately the joke doesn't really refer to Klimt's art at all, it just uses his name for funny effect, and as such could work for any number of artists (an exercise I will leave to the reader). So maybe it's really more of a "gag" than a proper joke. If you've heard a proper Klimt joke, by all means please post it in a comment.

Klimt remixed

Wednesday's tie comes from stockbroker-turned-clothier Pat Argenti and answers the question: what if, instead of gold, Gustav Klimt's favorite colors were dark magenta, chartreuse, and aqua? Maybe he would have come up with something like this for a background pattern on one of his paintings. (Or the more likely scenario: what if a modern fabric designer wanted to create a Klimt-like pattern in dark magenta, chartreuse, and aqua?) The tie fabric is sanded silk, which I think is the most tactilely sumptuous fabric of all: the silk is put through a chemical process that leaves it with the texture of the finest suede imaginable. Another sanded-silk Argenti tie I own has fingerprint stains on it, and no wonder, it's just so delightfully touchable!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Tie Fit for a King

The King of All Cosmos, that is. It's wonderful when my passion for neckties and my passion for Katamari Damacy come together in a tie like this one. It's a vintage cotton tie that I got on eBay, where the seller described it as "ugly" and even claimed to have won an Ugly Tie Contest with it. Obviously, some people just don't appreciate retro patterns in exuberant colors (that man's workmates, and mine too for that matter), but I declare this tie fantastic! It has all the hallmarks of a homemade tie, i.e. unorthodox construction and a lack of labels. What sets it apart from most homemade ties is the masterful approach to the problem of making a tie from a large pattern, which is finding just the right section to appear on the front of the tie. The maker managed to include the entire height of one psychedelic white flower as the central motif while still allowing a bit of a navy flower at the bottom and leaving just enough room for a piece of red flower to peek through under the knot at the top, and (this is the hard part) keeping it all in place while being sewn. That couldn't have been easy.

But speaking of Katamari Damacy: he probably doesn't know it, but Italian artist Franco Costa has created pretty nice approximations of Katamari Damacy-world in some of his serigraphs.

And if you can't get enough of "Kuru Kuru Rock" from We ♥ Katamari, check out "UMA" from OOIOO's latest album.

Finally, here are some links back to previous blog entries with other inadvertently Katamari-related ties :

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

First, second, third

Tuesday's tie is the first knit tie on the blog, the second Coogi tie, and the third flat-bottomed tie. It is also the only knit tie I have ever owned; knit ties are usually just a single color, and I have made my feelings about single-color ties clear already. (But I will repeat: I don't like them! They're a waste of prime display space.) Most Coogi ties that turn up are either silk ties with an approximation of a Coogi sweater pattern printed on them, some have intricately-sculpted patterns woven into the silk, but this one is the closest thing to a Coogi sweater you can get in a necktie. If that's what you're after (and today I was).

I have finally listened to The Decemberists' The Crane Wife to see what all the fuss is about, and I think I can sum it up in an equation: (Al Stewart - lovely voice - sincerity) * (The Divine Comedy - lovely voice - arch sense of humor) + art-rock fluorishes = The Decemberists. Or, alternatively, Robyn Hitchcock - mad vision = The Decemberists. Yet for all the minuses, I think they will bear at least one more listen.

Monday, April 02, 2007


It occurred to me after Friday's post that instead of directing readers to another site to compare the Modules tie with genuine vintage swing ties, I could wear one myself and post it right here. I do have a few, after all. So today's tie is a mid-50s Towncraft, worn for the very first time--I actually got it new in a box on eBay, along with "The Brown Whisper" by Wembley. Towncraft has been a J.C. Penney house brand since 1927, and continues today, though as with so many other long-established clothing brands there are no longer any neckties in the line. Tie duty has shifted to Penney's Stafford line, but you won't find anything as daring as this anymore.

I took the kids to see The Fault Line tonight, Ithaca's own "vocal rock band" (i.e. an amplified a capella quintet with a couple guys doing "bass" and "drums" and occasionally "electric guitar"). They did a fun mix of oldies, classic rock, 80s cheese, and more recent rock hits (most notably Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl") with some pretty wild arrangements. Not my normal syle, but they were a lot of fun, and they should be showing up on NBC's America's Got Talent in the near future.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Second Module

I was surprised to find that of all the Modules ties I have amassed, I have only blogged one of them before today. Modules of Japan created some of the best "swing revival" ties of the late 80s/early 90s (and for more on that, see my previous Modules post), and today's tie is a prime example: it stays true to the spirit of the swing years without a slavish imitation of its motifs. For comparison, see the bona fide swing ties on display at Will's Vintage Ties.

Another tie blog is online! It's actually more than that--The Great Coat and Tie Experiment is concerned with the whole coat/tie/shirt gestalt. Blogger "Coat and Tie" posts a daily photo of his V-Zone*, exploring the natty effects of different combinations of colors, fabrics, patterns, and textures. (I am particularly interested in seeing what he does with striped shirts, as I have never had much luck with them.)

Is there any band hotter than the Klaxons right now? I don't think so!

* Thanks to K.N.O.T. for the vintage ad!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mod Squad

This addition to my collection of Beau Brummell ties is my favorite so far. An acetate tie with woven pattern, it just oozes that swinging mod vibe that is being kept alive today by the likes of Shag, Tim Biskup, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, believe it or not--check out their line of rugs!

Spring has sprung again, it seems, and maybe this time it will stick. And I am ready, having unpacked the cream of my necktie hoard and hung them up for easy selection.

Just for fun, here is a picture of ice-encrusted trees at Beebe Lake falls just last week:

Today their bare limbs gleamed in the afternoon sun, so surely winter must be behind us now (I try to convince myself).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Just teasing

We had another springlike (albeit rainy) day on Wednesday, a perfect day (except for the rain) for a tie and sportcoat. The tie is from Seidenweber of Germany, which translates into the very descriptive "silk weavers."

Our neighbors warned us that winter was not over, and sure enough, on Friday we got six more inches of snow, then another six on Saturday. Sunday was lovely, however, with a crystal-clear sky and temperatures just warm enough to melt the snow off the roads. So we took a drive up the west shore of Cayuga Lake, whose waters were an amazingly intense blue-green, and ended up in Trumansburg for dinner at the Woodland Roadhouse. They advertise "good eats," and on that they certainly delivered: I had the tequila-marinated brisket, while the rest of the family shared a "trash-can combo:" ribs, chicken, and pork barbecue served on a trash can lid! (Inverted, on a special stand.) I ate so much I had to take a nap. The Roadhouse will definitely become a semi-regular Veneer family dining spot.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya. Today was the first day in weeks that the temperature started out above freezing, so I decided to emerge from my winter cocoon (long-sleeved undershirt, turtleneck, flannel shirt, wool sweater, sometimes a second wool sweater, and a down coat) and get my tie on. This one is from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, though I don't know what work it's based on as it's no longer on the store website. (They do have a very cool David Hockney tie, though.)

Catching up on the comments that accumulated on the blog while I was tieless, I see there is some good news. Back in September, 2005, I posted a tie by New Orleans artist Grace Newburger to the blog, in which I wondered how she had made it through Hurricane Katrina. A recent blog visitor supplied this update:
"As a personal friend of Grace, I can tell you that they suffered some damage at the studio, however, nothing quite so devastating as the city of New Orleans itself. Grace is well and safe, and working on new paintings."

Yippee! Grace has a website on which she displays her incredibly vibrant art in several media, and sells some too.

So how have I spent all my time that I used to spend blogging? Reading (Glen Hirshberg, Rachel Ingalls, Mark Samuels, Kim Newman, Cory Doctorow), trolling eBay for woodcuts and serigraphs, listening to scads of music samples on emusic (the absolute best source for music downloads), improving our new house, watching the 2005 series of Doctor Who, playing Guitar Hero (I and II), remixing Duncan Sheik, and learning stained glass work at Serviente Glass Studios with my son. In other words, never a dull moment!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Light in Winter

(2/2:) Ain't it funny how time slips away? Here's my tie from last Monday (Jan. 22), a homemade item from 1970 or so. What wonderful fabrics abounded in those days! I wore this tie in anticipation of Ithaca's Light In Winter festival, which was held over the past weekend. I got to fulfill a wish that had been simmering on my mind's back burner for about 25 years, which was to see Pilobolus Dance Theater. I don't know a thing about dance, but the manner in which the Pilobolus dancers cantilever, roll, leap, hang, and interact in a myriad of other ways is fascinating. It was a glorious night out with the kids at the fabulous State Theatre, I just hope Pilobolus comes back again: I want to see them perform their piece Megawatt, which features music by Squarepusher!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Beau Brummell's Back!

Here we are halfway through January, and I've just now worn my second tie of the year; at this rate I'll never get through them! I'd better pick up the pace again (though it looks like turtleneck-and-wool-sweater weather for the next week). Beau Brummell returns to the tie blog today, with a 1950-ish ink-and-watercolor-style floral pattern. The upper part of the tie is a dark wine color, appropriately enough as bunches of grapes form its bottom border. Between each bunch of grapes is a curious little symbol (click the pic for a better look) that looks like it could be zodiacal, but I can't find a match; it's closest to the symbol for Uranus, but modified to look more like... well, I won't go there, I'll just say it could qualify for one of these naughty awards.

Do you wish you could listen to old video game music instead of "real" music? If so, then check out the treasure trove of new music on old machines at, most available as free .mp3 downloads!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year

I start off the new year with...another tie from the top of the box! This is a corporate tie by German corporate clothier Art di Como. The activities of a company presumably called AMF/APF (both are on the tie) are depicted with a decidedly European cartoon whimsicality. Strangely, though, none of the companies on the client list are called AMF or APF, so I really don't know anything about the company for which this tie was designed, except that they apparently bottle beverages, or make bottling equipment, or distribute or serve bottled beverages; they use or make PCs; they conduct their business in quaint-looking European buildings; they may also make or use CDs and/or vinyl LPs; and I don't even know what to make of the things that look like bongs, maybe they make beakers or something. Regardless of its incomprehensibility, this is one lively corporate tie.

My family rang in the New Year with an Ithaca tradition of recent vintage: watching the lights in the Ithaca College towers change from "06" to "07". Best of all, we can see it from our living room!