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Sunday, November 27, 2011


I like the colors and pattern in this silk tie from Linea Moda, but I can't help thinking that it looks more like a vinyl tablecloth than a necktie.

Mystery Marble

The label on this unmistakably hand-marbled tie is for "Martin K, New York." I can't find out anything about the mysterious Martin K, but I suspect the tie was actually marbled by one of the half-dozen professional marblers I have featured here in the past. I'm guessing it's the same one who made my x'Andrini branded marbled tie, whoever that may be. If I had to wager on it, I'd wager on Cosette.


Today's woven-patterned polyester tie is a relic of a Washington, DC menswear institution: it's by Bronzini, "made expressly for Raleigh's, Washington". The Raleigh's at White Flint is where I bought my first serious necktie. While the Raleigh's name went defunct in 1992, a group of employees bought it out and continued the business as Boardroom Clothiers in the White Flint location. There is now a second location at Tyson's Corner.

Monotone floral redux

This monotone floral necktie is of fairly recent vintage from Liz Claiborne. Practicing brevity to expedite backlog processing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Patchwork print

Bear in mind it was summer when I wore this tie, so its summery look was fitting at the time. There are six different patterns printed onto one piece of silk, in seven colors: three blue foulards, a muted gold paisley, a cartoonish yellow floral, and a red pattern that may be going for an Indian look. Tie by Club L'Uomo.

Deco nightmare

Most of the ties I wear I actually like, but some of them I wear in the spirit of saying, "Holy cow, can you believe they actually put this on a tie?!" This art deco/op art mishmash from J. Blades & Co. is an example of the latter category.

All eyes on me

Here's another tie that I am posting sans maker information in the interest of working through my backlog. More to come when I locate the tie.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Nadia Roden

Nadia Roden is a painter, animator, textile designer (e.g. this tie), and author whose advertising work includes a campaign for Beano, a product near and dear to my heart. I think it's fair to characterize her style as "whimsical."

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

The blue boxes on this tie from Jacques Ploenes harbor foxes (though their bushy red tails break out of the boxes). That makes me happy, as (1) foxes hang out in my back yard, and they are cute; and (2) The Fantastic Mr. Fox was a terrific movie, a strong return to form for Wes Anderson after the awful Darjeeling Express.

Tropical blend

Identification of the maker of this fever-dream of a tie depicting...tropical leaves and fruits?... must await such time as I find the tie again.

Found it: it's by LDM.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright's Confetti

The Boxelder company of Milwaukee is the premier maker of neckties from historical fine art designs. Their Frank Lloyd Wright line is mostly adapted from stained glass windows, with designs certified by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. This tie's pattern, "Confetti," is based on windows in the Avery Coonley Playhouse of Riverside, Illinois, built in 1912.

Spanish Gold

In 1977 (give or take a year) my family got a new car: a Dodge Aspen station wagon in "Spanish Gold", the same color that predominates in this paisley tie from Robert Stewart of Hartford, Connecticut.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Isn't this a joyous tie? It's perfect for a sunny June day and reconnecting with old friends I hadn't seen in years. (Yes, this photo is from June--that's how far behind I am! But this blog provides me with one little luxury: deadlines that can be blown without consequences.) Tie by Teo Grimaldi, Milan.

(P.S.: My microcheck shirt sure plays havoc with the camera!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


"You know what would be a great idea for a tie? A kaleidoscope of psychedelic linoleum tiles!" That is how I imagine this necktie from Marcello Tarantino came about. It is every bit as subtle as the films of another Tarantino. Some days I don't have to worry that people won't notice my tie.

Double Flower Power

The pastel-toned impressionistic flowers on this tie from Mimmo Messineo are printed on silk with a jacquard-woven floral pattern for double the flowers of a print alone. Worn with a burgundy shirt and black slacks, my neutral-toned silk sportcoat looked like a dinner jacket: very dapper, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This tie with a vaguely "atomic" design is by "Royal Club", which sounds like a department store house brand, but I have no idea what store it might be. Made in U.S.A. of Italian silk, it was most likely produced by one of the two major suppliers of U.S. neckwear, Randa or Superba (now PVH Neckwear Group).

Monotone floral

Not all floral prints are colorful, but the joy and beauty of flowers are transmitted even in a monotone. There's no label on this tie, and while it is definitely not a Liberty of London, the fabric is a fine cotton in the Liberty tradition.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


A few entries back I wore a Van Heusen necktie with a pattern that looked as if it had been drawn with felt-tip pens; the colored strokes that make up the pattern on this Valentino tie look like chalk marks, appropriately enough on a field of slate gray. In the realm of logos on the fronts of ties, the Valentino "V" near the bottom is pretty unobtrusive; it's the next best thing to not being there at all.

Here comes the Express

At first glance this tie from Express looks like a luxury woven-patterned silk tie as purveyed by Charvet or Ike Behar, but upon handling it the difference becomes apparent at once. Its thin, stiff interlining (possibly cardboard) is no match for the heavy, supple wool used in better, more expensive ties. It looks good enough to wear once, though.

New to me

The keeper label on this "Swisster" tie is from a haberdasher, Foley and Bonny "Distinctive Men's Wear"; it evokes bygone days when haberdashers still existed. But guess what? Foley and Bonny still exists in El Cerrito! They are celebrating their 65th year! Imagine this tie in shades of blue, purple, and pink, and it would fit right in with the British Woven Tie Invasion of the mid-twenty-aughts. It's about 30 years older than that, though, and hand made of 100% Dacron polyester instead of silk. It still has the manufacturer's price label on it ($7.50) and I do believe I was the first person to wear it.


Those are little Motorola "batwing" logos (officially, the "Stylized M Logo") on this shiny silver silk "Motoriginal" tie. It's pretty high-end for a corporate tie. The Motorola logo was introduced in 1955, from a design by Morton Goldsholl. It must be considered one of the most successful logos of the age for its sheer durability. Here's hoping it survives the move to Google. (I wish Larry Page would do a Victor Kiam-style commercial: "I bought a Motorola Razr, and I liked it so much I bought the company!")


The prominent jacquard weave on this tie from Luca D'Altieri (a house brand of the Italian-based Coin department store chain) gives it a palimpsestuous look, while the unusual 50/50 blend of silk and linen gives it a luxurious feel. The colors make it suitable for any earthtone ensemble; not that versatility is an issue for a guy who wears most ties once, but I just might wear this one a second time.

Jimmy Pike's Unknown Creeper

I had hoped to be impressive and identify the species of vine depicted on this Desert Designs tie by Jimmy Pike, but I couldn't find a source of Australian native vines with enough pictures to make a positive ID. So you will just have to enjoy this one for its aesthetics alone; it was much admired by colleagues and random people downtown.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Return of The Other Pierre

Hot on the heels of the Pierre Cardin tie from three entries back, here is an old favorite from the other Pierre, Pierre Balmain. The pattern is obviously part of a large-scale floral print, but the "flowers" featured on it also bear an unsettling resemblance to crustaceans or crinoids.


Hickok brings us this reasonable pastiche of a 70s-era Liberty floral print. It's a rather exuberant print that proved quite popular among officemates and the public at large.


Outside of novelty ties of famous paintings, it is not often that tie patterns are printed to convey artefacts of the pattern's original medium, e.g. brushstrokes. And so far I have seen only one example where the original medium appeared to be felt-tip pen: this tie from Van Heusen. You may have to click through to the larger picture to see what I mean.


Does this tie just shout out "Burl Veneer!", or what? The wavy jacquard weave is almost a woodgrain, even. I can't say a Pierre Cardin tie has ever turned my head in a retail store, but the handful of vintage Cardins I own, of which this is one, are among my favorites. This tie would be perfect to wear in a room that has a photomural of a woodland scene.

And now for something completely different

I still can't decide whether I like this Gianfranco Ruffini tie or not. I like wavy stripes, and I like florals, but I'm not sure this is the best way to combine them. I am not conflicted at all, though, about loving the jacquard weave, which deftly combines wavy stripes and polka dots. Click on the picture for a better look at it. That weave would make a great print in its own right.

Still marbling

Today's tie comes from one of the less represented marblers in my collection, Michael Kensinger. This variation on the traditional "peacock" pattern stands in contrast to the freeform extravaganza on my other Kensinger tie.


Brian O'Malley of Australian tie maker Marblesque takes marbling in directions I haven't seen anywhere else, such as the marbled stripe pattern on this tie.


The label on this hand-marbled necktie is unhelpfully blank, but I am 99% certain it is from Moth Marblers of Sausalito, as the pattern is very close to another one I have from that studio (in different colors). The shapes here look almost tornado-like.

More tracery

Like the tie of two entries previous, the pattern on this Fashion Affairs tie resembles Gothic window tracery. But it more closely resembles carved wood instead of stone; the kind of carved wood you would find on a three-paneled screen/room divider at Pier One. Also like the previously-featured tie, this one has patches of different colors printed over the pattern, though this one goes one better by adding two-tones scales at top and bottom.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tiny pattern

The graphic pattern on this tie of mysterious origin (no brand label, just a content label--100% silk) is very tiny and intricate; you will have to click through to the bigger image to see it properly. Despite the quality of the materials, the construction is such that the tie lies crooked, no matter what you do.


Gothic window tracery makes a good pattern for a necktie print, but if you find it too boring I suppose you could saturate it in gaudy colors and add some snowflakes or something. Tie by J. T. Beckett.


With a pattern evoking tickertape, IBM punchcards, and magnetic tape tracks, this tie from Pierre Balmain embodies the state of the art of technology... circa 1968 (probably its year of production, give or take).

Missoni Earthtones

Sometimes earth tones are so earthy they can barely be differentiated from each other. Missoni's foray into the dark side is a far cry from their characteristic vibrant palette, but the intricate geometry of the print makes up for it.

Marble scrumble

Brian O'Malley's patterns are to marbling as scrumbling is to crochet. Tie hand-marbled for Marblesque of Australia.

Delaware Tie-Wearing Man

In light of recent scandals in which bloggers were revealed to be not what they said they were, you might be wondering, does Burl Veneer really live in Delaware and wear all those ties? Yes and yes, I assure you. (The preceding is in lieu of any information about this tie, another one misplaced somewhere in my tie closet. But if you like this pattern, you should check out graphic artist Matt Lyon, who works in a similar exuberant style.)

Update: I found the tie! It's by Splendore, from Milan.


I lucked into a cache of hand-marbled ties on eBay five or six years ago and I still haven't worn them all yet. Here is another one from Cosette Originals of Austin, Texas, with a layer of traditional marbling on the bottom and a larger-scale, "peekaboo" layer on top of it.


Here is my seventh and penultimate tie from Pamper Him of Chicago. The fabric came from Exotic Silks, and features a freeform polygon tile print which is similar to, but predates, Tim Biskup's direction in art for the last few years. My only quibble with these ties is the bar tack (the knotted loop of thread that holds the two sides of the tie together in back, at the bottom): it is of black thread, which shows through light-colored silk, sort of like an ingrown hair. White thread would have solved that problem.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Tundra was Canada's version of Australia's Coogi, purveying wild "Cosby sweaters" and equally colorful neckties. Whereas my previous examples of those brands were actually knitted or woven with a complexity similar to that of the sweaters, the "knitted" texture in this Tundra tie is just printed onto silk, a textural trompe l'oeil as it were.

Carlos Falchi

Brazilian-born, US-based designer and leathersmith Carlos Falchi is known primarily for his handbags. In the 60s he was a manager at the seminal New York rock club Max's Kansas City; in the 70s he designed stage outfits for Mick Jagger, Miles Davis, Tina Turner, and Elvis. I can only find references to handbags and other women's accessories, but at some point Falchi had a men's necktie line, as evidenced by this Carlos Falchi tie right here. It's certainly an unconventional print, and the jacquard weave has a pattern that references the grain of animal skins so prominent in Falchi's handbags.

Ectomorphic paisleys

Have you ever seen paisleys so slender and sinuous? Marja Kurki of Finland has fashioned this richly-colored silk print into a similarly slender tie.

New Modules

Some ties languish in my closet for years before being worn; some may never be worn; others arrive in the mail and get worn two days later, as is the case with this Modules of Japan tie, the latest addition to my Modules hoard. Interesting prints, funky jacquard weaves, tiny knots... I just love 'em.

George Machado

George Machado's Zylos line is one of the top Art Deco tie brands; this tie, however, is from his Machado line, which may simply be Zylos fabrics in an extra-long size. (Don't be afraid to wear an extra-long tie even if you don't need one: you can use up plenty of length in the knot.)

It came from the past (and Belgium)

Scoff if you must, but this monster was a premium necktie in its day. Offered by Roland (London, Paris, Madrid), the shell is made of an unusual blend of polyester and wool (70/30), but the crowning touch of quality is the fact that it was hand made in Belgium. (To see how a necktie is made by hand, go to The Necktie Series, Part II: The Manufacturing Process on Put This On.) That makes this the perfect tie to wear while enjoying fine Belgian ales, chocolate, and waffles.

Not that Paul Smith

This tie is from Paul R. Smith, not to be confused with British designer Paul Smith. Paul R. Smith may be based in Germany, as the label also says "reine seide", or "pure silk" auf Deutsch. And that's all I can tell you.

The Countess' Labyrinth

Too bad Countess Mara insisted on putting her logo on this tie, which has an otherwise elegant, vaguely industrial minimalist pattern woven in gold thread on a field of navy. I think I have some more surprisingly good CM ties stashed away somewhere, which will appear here if and when I locate them.


From Solo (Surakarta), Java, the batik capital of the world, comes this tie from Danar Hadi of ikat fabric. Ikat differs from regular batik in that the resist-dyeing is performed on the threads which are then woven into a patterned fabric, as opposed to resist-dyeing already-woven fabric. Danar Hadi may be the most popular batik maker in the world, based strictly on availability of batik shirts in secondhand shops and on eBay. I have some good ones to wear on the days I don't wear ties.


I've hit a bottleneck again, as I can't find this tie in my closet to take down its particulars. If memory serves, it's made of Dralon polyester, and a prodigious amount of it. Such a generous serving of a petroleum-based textile could only have originated pre-Energy Crisis '74. And that brown....!

I found the tie! It is "Distinctively Styled by Lancashire" of Imported Trevira. (Not Dralon... memory did not serve.)