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Saturday, June 19, 2010

My New Filing Technique Is Unstoppable

I bought this Keio Select Cravat (of Japan) because I liked the boldness of its modified stripe pattern; it took my wife to point out to me that the irregularities in the stripes resemble the tabs and cuts of office file folders. Hence the reference to the office satire clipart comic by David Rees in the header. (Rees is better known for his political satire clipart comic, Get Your War On. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I made a clipart comic way back in 1991, in Harvard freaking Graphics. For DOS!)

Retro Modern

Today's tie is a big retro print from Exotic Silks, made into a perfectly-shaped tie by Pamper Him of Chicago. Similar patterns can be found in Jenn Ski's Pod Series of giclee prints.

Reverse Botanical Silhouette

Silhouettes are hot in the design world, in animation (both short and longer form), video games, and book covers. Reverse silhouettes (i.e. white instead of black) are also hot, in animation, book covers, and the blogosphere. This tie from Carter & Holmes anticipated all that (maybe).


Here is another Paul Klee tie from The Gallery Collection by Christina Desiree; this one is based on the painting Blossoming. I think this makes a case for Klee being the father of 8-bit art.

Same tie, different color

Here is another Liberty of London cotton summer tie, in the same pattern as my previous one, but in brown and peach instead of pink and aqua. Are there any paisley prints as delightful as Liberty's? I don't believe so.

Hubert redux

Often the difference between conservative and bold, sartorially speaking, is just a matter of scale. If the pattern on this tie from Hubert of Milano were much smaller, it would look pretty ordinary (see my Hickey Freeman tie), but blown up to this size it's a Retro piece. That said, its retro qualities are chameleonic: Modern Art 50s? Pop Art 60s? Tasteless 70s?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


The label on this tie reads "Simon," or maybe J Simon, or JG Simon, or even GJ Simon. At first glance the pattern looks like bubbles, but I think it looks even more like a bacteria colony. Ah, the beauty of nature!


This tie from Asutra displays the "stone marble" pattern of marbled silk, in which the dyes are dripped onto the substrate and not manipulated with a comb. Blood red is an interesting color choice for a drip pattern!

Republic of China

The label on this tie reads, "With the compliments of Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Republic of China." It was made in... Italy. The design does not strike me as very Chinese, but I guess that was not the point for this gift item. I wonder what audience it was meant for.

Go Blue Hens!

For working the University of Delaware Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Convocation on May 28, I took a cue from the university president's outfit in the new employee welcoming video and wore a shirt and tie in the university colors (roughly). The rather journeyman tie (the only yellow one I could find, believe it or not) by Giorgio Redaelli has a woodland-themed figural pattern with ducks, deer, rabbits, foxes, and flowers. Hermes and Ferragamo do the best figural ties, combining witty designs with precision printing. And luxury prices.

Gone Troppo

May 27: the official start of summer is still over three weeks away but we already have tropical heat and humidity. Now that's the good old mid-Atlantic climate I grew up with! What better way to celebrate the return of tropical weather than with a vintage Kanaka Tie from Hawaii* of wonderful lightweight crinkly cotton barkcloth?

* Supposedly... ;-)

Golden Peacock

I rarely see a hand-marbled tie under a fashion brand, but this modified peacock pattern bears a x'Andrini label and tipping. I like the way the tiny splashes of purple, pink, and white spice up the earthtones palette.

Back in Liberty

Nothing suits a sunny day like a pink shirt and a Liberty of London cotton paisley necktie. Target scored a real coup this spring with a line of Liberty products; I was too slow to get any of the neckties (I really wanted the one with cars on it!), but I did pick up a couple superb floral print shirts.

Hickey Freeman

There is a very little bit of Frank Lloyd Wright in the vaguely deco-ish pattern on this tie from Rochester clothing manufacturer Hickey Freeman, though it is more cluttered than anything Wright designed.