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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.