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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.