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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Storm on Jupiter

The colors, bands, and swirls on this hand-marbled tie from Cosette Originals remind me of everyone's favorite gas giant.

The final throes of pampering

I am nearing the end of my supply of neckties from Pamper Him, the short-lived Chicago venture that made perfectly-shaped ties out of printed silk charmeuse from Exotic Silks. This tie is an alternate colorway of the first Pamper Him tie featured here in 2006.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Like my previous tie from MBP, today's tie features a brocade-style print with borrowing from Aboriginal Australian motifs. Unlike my other MBP tie, this one is not labelled part of the "vintage" line, though they are obviously from the same design team.

Metamorphic paisleys

Some of the paisleys on this tie are just paisleys, some are actually ginkgo leaves, and some are stuck in a metamorphic phase between the two. The tie was made in India and branded as "Passports of Pier 1 Imports." (Click photo to embiggen, as they say, for a clearer view.)

Still Down Under

Of the ten or so silk marblers who produce(d) neckties, Brian O'Malley of Australia has made the most psychedelic designs. Here is one of his Marblesque ties.


Aboriginal art neckties from Desert Designs are fairly common in the United States; those produced Hollygreen for Balarinji are much less so. Here is an example of a Balarinji tie; the company claims to license its designs from Aboriginal artists, but they don't appear to credit the artists on the ties. I will therefore credit this design to "Unknown Aboriginal Artist."

The Bacon meme

I am so late to the internet bacon bandwagon that I didn't get to it before the backlash began. Fortunately I am posting about Francis Bacon the artist instead of bacon the meat. The idea of a Francis Bacon triptych hand-painted onto a necktie is so unlikely that it never entered my mind before I saw one on eBay a few years ago. It even came in its own handmade solid hardwood box, and I do mean solid: it's a chunk of hardwood with a tie-shaped cavity routed out with a drill. How could I pass that up? Even more unlikely is that there is more than one in existence, but such is the case. Andrew McKie writes in the Wall Street Journal about meeting Damien Hirst at one of Hirst's openings in 2009:

I turned up in a tie based on a Bacon triptych, bought from John Pearse, the tailor whose shop stands just across from the Colony Room and Groucho clubs. There, during the 1990s, Mr. Hirst's drink- and drug-fueled exploits became notorious even by Soho's bohemian standards. "Great tie," he says. "John sent me one, too."

For the record, there is a John Pearse label on my tie as well. So there, I have something in common with Damien Hirst.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Double marble, all the way across the tie

This double-marbled tie from Moth Marblers is a real tour-de-force! Now I finally have a name and a face to put with the label: Moth Marblers is the business of Ingrid Butler, who can be seen describing her passion for marbling in this YouTube video.

Shag redux

I am a great fan of the art of Shag (Josh Agle), and am the proud owner of a Mr. Lucky serigraph. However, I was disappointed with the neckties he designed for Acme Studios: they were novelty ties with his art on them, rather than artifacts from the retro world he depicts in his paintings. This polyester tie from Puritan is a good approximation of what I want from a Shag tie.

It really ties the room together

Q: When is it OK to wear a lavender shirt with green pants?

A: When the dominant colors in your necktie are purple and green, as in this hand-marbled tie from Moth Marblers of Sausalito.

High-tech ornaments

The baubles arranged on this tie from Goldlion, by some accounts Hong Kong's dominant tie maker, appear to be schematic diagrams of Death Stars in various stages of construction.


The huge bundles of thread used to make each stripe on this tie serve as a great visual example of how to weave patterns. Tie is branded Paul Fredrick, probably made by either Randa/Wemco or Superba as most ties in the U.S. are.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Growing up, one of my favorite games was Psyche-Paths, the object of which was to create pathways of the same color using hexagonal tiles with a variety of pathway segments printed on them. Pscyhe-Paths lives on as Kadon Enterprises' Kaliko; the cardboard tiles are now wood, and the price has increased accordingly (about 100 times the original price). Now Gopherwood studios has created an online Flash game called Entanglement with many of the same characteristics (hexagonal tiles, path creation) but some key differences (a single pathway color, twice as many path segments per tile, one-tile-at-a-time gameplay). It produces paths very similar to the pattern on this Saks Fifth Avenue necktie, and it has replaced Drench as my favorite Flash game.

Correction: Entanglement does not use Flash, it's all HTML5. So it's my favorite HTML5 game, and Drench is still my favorite Flash game. Whew!


For the day before Homecoming, the university community was encouraged to wear the school colors once again. I mixed it up this time: instead of wearing a blue shirt and yellow tie, I wore a yellow shirt and and blue tie (hand marbled, from Cosette Originals of Austin, Texas). (I am currently coveting Cosette's latest line of double-marbled ties.)

House brand

House brands can be just as good as, or better than, name brands. I am consistently impressed with the quality of Safeway and Wegman's house-branded products. This house-branded tie from menswear discounter Kuppenheimer hits all my retro-modern pleasure receptors.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I know it's a week after Halloween, but I actually wore this tie two days before Halloween. (Not for me the instantaneous publishing capabilities of the internet age!) I am nearing the end of my stash of Chateau et Cie, Ltd., deadstock; this is a version of a previously-worn tie in a different colorway that's just perfect for Halloween. Very scary, boys and girls!

Natural durability

Viyella, the wool/cotton blended fabric with the distinction of being "the first branded fabric in the world", is renowned for its exceptional durability. I'll bet the wool/silk blend of the plaid fabric in this Oscar de la Renta tie is even more durable, maybe even giving the long-lasting but completely unnatural Wemlon a run for its money.

UD Spirit

Had to dress in the university colors today for the office "spirit" picture in the lead-up to homecoming. Shirt provided the blue, tie by Finnish designer Marja Kurki provided the "gold" (which in practice is actually canary). I still am not sure whether the repeating pattern is a garland of flowers or ribbons, but there are definitely little hearts in it. I was in the back row and only my head ended up in the picture, so I could have worn any school's colors, but here is the evidence that I did indeed engage in the spirit of the thing.


The only label on this tie is the keeper, which merely identifies the retailer as Dunham's of Maine. It's a dead ringer for a Liberty of London, but there are no Liberty markings anywhere on the tie, not even in the tipping. I'm 90% sure it's Liberty fabric, but I will waffle and just call it Libertarian.

The Wemlon Tapestry

I wish I knew what cultural developments led to the popularity of polyester brocade as a necktie fabric in the early 70s. But I don't; all I can do is marvel at the artefacts. This brocade of gold, copper, and ever-lovin' chartreuse is brought to you by Wembley, constructed of their proprietary space-age fiber, Wemlon, for eternal durability.