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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Transatlantic pampering

By a happy coincidence, the colors in this psychedelic print tie by Pamper Him of Chicago match up very nicely with the colors in my multi-striped shirt from Moss in the UK. Whether it is tasteful to wear such a bold freeform pattern over a striped foundation is quite another matter, and one that does not overly concern me (obviously).

Return of the Green Shirt

I have been without a green dress shirt for quite some time now, which left a whole bunch of ties in limbo as they really demanded to be worn with a green shirt. Happily, I found a suitable light green shirt at Macy's over the weekend, so I was finally able to wear this hand-marbled beauty from Kriska. It's no Gail Mackenzie (who, by the way, visited the blog and left a nice comment today!), but they can't all be.

Bacteria II

Last month I wore a tie that looked like a colony of bacteria growing on a flat surface; this tie from Je Suis looks like particolored bacteria in a fluid. Or maybe they are small fish, which are more pleasant to contemplate. Whatever they are, it's pretty clear that they are swimming.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paisley Pond

Here is another paisley tie with an aquatic vibe: the paisleys on this Gabrielle Molteni tie resemble blue koi, swimming lazily beneath a pond surface covered with leaves and myriad reflections of colorful lights.

Big Top Bee Wee

I could not shake the feeling all day that I was wearing a clown's tie, and that maybe everyone thought I had stolen it from a clown. No, I got it from eBay fair and square, and I believe in its heyday it was actually considered fashionable. The giant label on the back informs me it was made by "Mister D", which may very well be an alias for the devil.

(Probably the strangest nickname I ever had was "Bee Wee", which I more or less brought on myself, but at least its usage never spread beyond two or three people.)

Liberty for Target

The Liberty of London for Target line was likely the best-looking set of goods ever to grace that chain. Of particular interest to me, of course, were the eight necktie patterns: imagine, real silk Liberty florals for just $17.99! They're a bit on the narrow side, but I suppose to achieve that price point you have to be a little stingy on the fabric, and they still look great. I thought I had missed them all, but I did find one on clearance ($4.49!) in the Meadow pattern. Here it is.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Butterfly pixels

This Jhane Barnes tie has its colorful silk threads woven into tiny squares, as if to pixelize the design. The high sheen and rich hues make the squares look almost like the colorful scales on a butterfly's wing.


Indonesian batik is the most complex in the world, and has been recognized by UNESCO as an Indonesian cultural treasure. The longtime center of the craft is Solo (a.k.a. Surakarta), on the island of Java, whence comes this cotton batik tie from Batik Semar. There is even a Batik Carnival in Solo every June; that's a fashion show I wouldn't mind attending.

Upstream migration

After spending their adult years in the Atlantic Ocean, mature paisleys enter the "grilse" phase of their lifecycle. They return to Scotland via the River Clyde, then swim up the White Cart Water--leaping some significant waterfalls--to the stream beds of their birth in Paisley to spawn. Pictured here is an artist's conception (uncredited) of that upstream migration.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Modules of Japan again; I keep feeling like someone is looking up at me when I wear this tie.

Incendiary Modules

Most of the ties by Modules of Japan were in a neo-deco style, but this one has more in common with comic books. Is that a heart (or a beet) holding a gun? One of those shapes looks a lot like a hand grenade. Then there are other shapes that look like explosions. All in all it's a very action-y tie, innit?

Not the Worst-Dressed

Mr. Blackwell's annual "Worst Dressed" list was quite entertaining to anyone who wasn't on the list. I believe the best defense against appearing on the list is to wear something with Mr. Blackwell's label on it, such as this polyester tie. (And yes, I know it's a moot point now.)

The Three-Color Theorem

"In mathematics, the four color theorem, or the four color map theorem states that, given any separation of a plane into contiguous regions, producing a figure called a map, no more than four colors are required to color the regions of the map so that no two adjacent regions have the same color. Two regions are called adjacent only if they share a border segment, not just a point." (Wikipedia) However, if all the shapes are rectangles, and each rectangle is either wholly contained within another rectangle or shares all of its vertices with adjacent rectangles, then three colors are enough, as demonstrated in this woven-patterned tie from Bachrach.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


When faced with the amazing range of fabric patterns in neckties over the decades, it boggles the mind to think that there are even more patterns that never got made into neckties. Thank goodness home crafters created neckties themselves out of some very alluring fabrics. While many homemade ties have a keeper label that identifies the maker by name, this particular specimen contains no information at all about the maker or the tie or the fabric. But what a print!

Windsor, April 2003

Here are two more bits of memorabilia from our trip to England in 2003 for Mrs. Veneer's sister's wedding. It was a real peacock year for men's fashions, and I had to get in on it, so I picked up this multi-striped shirt at the Moss shop in Windsor to wear to the wedding with a Pucci tie I had brought with me. But on the off chance that the shirt wouldn't go with the tie, I bought this Dehavilland tie with roughly matching colors. The Pucci tie was a match after all, so this one didn't get worn until we were back in the states, where for once in my life I was the height of British fashion. (And I do mean once: I was very strict about my wear-once-only rule back then, and British men's fashion has moved on since then. And not for the better, in my opinion.)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Dream City

In the early 90s it seemed that the ersatz Liberty floral ties from Max Raab's Tango company outnumbered real Liberties, which I can only attribute to lower pricing. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the Tango line also included a "Famous Artists Series," of which #3 was based on Paul Klee's 1921 painting Dream City. VoilĂ ! I also did not know that Raab was the founder of J.G. Hook, and had also been a movie producer, with A Clockwork Orange among his credits. Raab died in 2008, aged 81.


Italian designer Regina Schrecker designs theatrical costumes as well as fashion accessories for women. At some point she must have brought out a line of neckties for men; this is one of them. I'll date it at 1978-1980, to give the animal print and narrow width 2-4 years to migrate from punk fashion to mainstream(ish) menswear. They were still migrating well into the 80s, but I'm guessing Schrecker was on the leading edge, on the basis of her theatre connection and her cool name.

Vasarely redux

From decades past comes another tie inspired by Victor Vasarely's Vega series of graphic constructions (which are not paintings). The manufacturer is indicated in the tipping fabric as Reis of New Haven; the keeper label names Pomeroy's as the retailer. Reis of New Haven was a necktie specialist, founded by Ronald Reis in 1950. He sold the business in 1987, years after his son David left the family business to become a real estate developer. Pomeroy's was a Pennsylvania department store chain that was founded in 1876 and taken over by The Bon-Ton in 1990. But the tie lives on!

Airport Tie

This is the tie that I call my Airport Tie, because I got it at The Tie Rack at Heathrow on our way out of England in April, 2003. There is a whole rainbow in this tie! Shirts and ties in brilliant blues, purples, and pinks were all the rage at the time, a rage which has since subsided in favor of drabness. Pffft.

Disco Constructivist Houndstooth

The 70s was a great decade for updating historic styles into something cheap and glossy (could that be the etymology of "cheesy"?); for example, the appropriation of Art Deco for the Studio 54 logo. Thus I like to refer to this navy and gold Pierre Cardin tie as "Disco Constructivist Houndstooth." Mrs. Veneer, on the other hand, thinks it is more evocative of a 1970s airport terminal. What does it remind you of?