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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Urban Tribal

The graphic style of this Embassy Square tie is easily pegged as "tribal" (which I have qualified as "urban" due to the graffiti influence), but the subject matter is less easily identifiable. A centipede? Lightning? A river flowing through a mountain range? A mouth full of teeth? Or simply a designer's concept of a random "tribal" pattern?


Here's a palette you don't see every day! The almost day-glo inks on this tie from √Čtienne Caron are printed to resemble a coarser, more textured fabric than the rayon they're printed on.

John Henry swings

While a good proportion of swing-era neckties featured abstract Art Deco patterns, another major theme was stylized leaves. This modern-day John Henry tie fits that theme, and inasmuch as the red shapes vaguely resemble calla lilies it could plausibly be called an abstract floral as well.

Hallucinatory plaid

J.T. Beckett occasionally has some pretty out-there designs among its more mainstream offerings. This pattern has some similarities to fused glass, or could be a mod geometric print viewed through a wet window, or a tile mosaic at the bottom of an ornamental pool. It's rather inspired, I think.

Satellite of Love

I have a Jhane Barnes tie that looks like a satellite photo of Lower Delaware; this tie from Peacock looks like a photo of science-fictional land use, perhaps in a generation ship or other arcology.

Friday, October 22, 2010


If I had to choose an official tie of my tie blog, what could be more perfect than this one of colorful guys wearing wild ties? The tie is from Ralph Marlin's "RM Style" line, with art by Paulette Lust.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tiffany Twisted

I couldn't pass up an eBay lot of four colorful silk ties from Tiffany, even if I couldn't make out what the designs were from the photos in the auction listing. They turned out to be large-scale prints with an Egyptian theme; this one has an upside-down Egyptian dude with a couple plants, depicted in what I will call a "fanciful" color scheme.

Lands' End

Before neckties became an obsession for me (roughly ten years ago, when I bought my first tie on eBay), I had a modest collection of ties that took me about a month to rotate through. This autumnal floral from Lands' End was one of them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Stuff of Nightmares

What is the fearsome creature depicted on this wide vintage tie from Grenada? Based on the big ears, semi-upright stance, and long, wavy tail, I'm going to guess it's a jerboa. A demonic jerboa that will eat your face.

Out on the Tiles

Pauline Trigere makes her fifth appearance on the blog with this black and white two-shape tile pattern. The larger of the two tiles (the one with the convex edge) looks almost like one of today's reductionist glyphs for a professional sports team; a frontal view of a wolf looking sideways, perhaps. Alternatively, it could be a vulture's beak, and the other tile the vulture's head overlapped by the next vulture's beak. Or they could just be random shapes. The pattern is woven, not printed, and the weaves of the fabric within the two shapes are different from each other.

Before there was Warcraft...

There was JCPenney Towncraft, and it was made of polyester. There really are a lot of interesting shapes and textures going in here that don't show up very well in the small photo on the left; click through to the bigger picture to better appreciate its richness.

Neckties Are My Aeroplane

Jimmy Pike moved away from traditional Aboriginal subject matter to make some colorful airplanes on this Desert Designs tie.

Again with the Modules

I have more Modules ties than I thought I had; here is another one. This is probably the busiest design of any of them, featuring:

1. Horizontal bands of gray and light blue;
2. Scribbled white waves in the gray bands, horizontal and vertical in alternate bands;
3. Polka dots behind the scribbles: dark blue dots behind the vertical scribbles, black ones behind the horizontal ones; and
4. A highly-textured, almost ribbed, silk fabric.

I would have stuck with a single color for the polka dots.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More Modules

Modules of Japan specialized in Art Deco Revival designs, but they also brought a flair to older patterns. Polka dots have been a design staple since the polka craze of the mid-19th century; Modules packed the dots a little closer than usual for a bolder look.

Dress Like An Egyptian

On my birthday I wore this ancient-Egyptian-themed tie from The Museum Company, just like the ones worn by office workers in the time of the Pharaohs.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Bob Timberlake made a killing selling reproductions of his rustic kitsch realist paintings of subjects such as old barns, cabins, farmhouses, flowers, and woodland creatures. It is not surprising that he branched out into other forms: furniture, lighting, tableware, luggage, etc., and for a time, neckties. This Bob Timberlake tie looks like a modern abstract graphic at a distance, but come closer and you will see stitching represented, and the pattern reveals itself as an antique quilt. I'm not a big fan of rustic kitsch, but I do like the way this pattern can slip across centuries.

Third-Best Neo-Deco

My third-favorite Art Deco Revival ties are those of Martin Wong's Screenplay line, designed by Robert Taliver. I see an oceanic theme here with seaweed and pearls, perfect for an Enchantment Under the Sea dance.