Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties

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Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Rise Of The Luxury Travel Atomiser

Whilst we sell our own travel atomisers , it has been almost a passion of mine to find and purchase the best quality travel atomisers around. Some part of me has hoped that eventually we would put into production a luxury one for our own website and of course I had hoped that over time we might have developed a signature scent for our bow tie wearers, something of a micro international fraternity that would have a wink wink nod nod when you smelled it on another human being. These are long term goals I guess. One of the romantic notions behind it was inspired by the scent of Charvet that Boy Capel wore, but that I shall write about in a another blog post.

Of all the travel atomisers I have no collected in my hunt for the best of the best, two are the stand outs. They belong to Creed and Hermes.

Recently I had my Creed account taken away from me and I was probably their biggest buyers of their travel atomisers until it was taken away. I had been selling them with the bottles of perfumes we had in stock at the Studio, though we kept a small range skewed towards my favourite scents that we used when sending out packages. The customers that took on the travel atomisers loved them and could immediately see the benefits of having the ability to travel with them. The Creed atomisers carry 10ML (there is also a 50ML version), but it is the hard casing and protected bottle insert that makes them so alluring. No only are they handsome (or sexy depending on the colour) but they really can be rough and tumbled in luggage and handle wear and tear very well. The problem that Creed has is that they don't make the product accessible or practical. In the box they include a funnel, but the only way you can use the funnel is if you buy the larger 500ML bottles of perfume which are roughly valued at closer to $2000AUD or there abouts. So if you own a 100ML bottle the only way to atomise the perfume (for your average Joe) is to spray manually the bottle from the spout into the atomiser cylinder. If you are having trouble understanding what I wrote then you are obviously new to the atomisers world. The solution, which Creed doesn't advocate nor make implements for, is to syringe out the perfume to ensure it does not oxidize or at least, oxidixe substantially less. There is also the spill factor, you obviously lose a lot more perfume if you manually spray or try to use the funnel (this I can tell you from experience). 

Then on the internet some months back I found this video and I kind of love those strange human beings that put those extra practical You Tube videos up which show you workarounds. A simple syringe from the local pharmacy coupled with a ball point pen and I was happily siphoning out all my large bottles of perfumes into atomisers to make them so much more practically available to me. I now had multiple bottles in my car, in my carry bags, next to my bed and so on. I got so into the groove that I placed a large order with a Chinese manufacturer and stamped our logo on them. And honestly, they are the greatest little crowd pleasers. I give them to customers that visit the Studio, I send them out to our best customers when they order bow ties and occasionally we sell the atomisers from the website.

As for Creed, I highly recommend they manufacture an implement that allows you to properly siphon perfume from their 100ML bottles into their atomisers.

Fast forward to January and now I am in Maison Hermes on the Fauborg St Honore looking for perfumes for my customers along the strip. I wanted to make a few surprises for 2019 and I found one at Serge Lutens which some of our customers will smell in the coming weeks. But at Hermes, I found what is probably the best looking and most elegant and functionally sound travel atomiser I have ever seen. It was not cheap, in fact quite a jump up from the cost of the Creed ones which are a little more razzle dazzle. But it had an elegance in it's simplicity that trumped the Creed atomisers. It was made of proper dauphin leather and sewed by hand. It had that heaviness about it that suggested that it would last a life time. And when you closed the atomiser it made a proper heavy click and stayed shut, something that can't be said of the Creed atomisers of which sometimes the caps fall off in your pocket, which can be annoying.

So, whilst we sell entry level atomisers on the website and whilst we have not set about to make the best atomiser in the world along with our own signature scent, in the interim, I implore you to buy either the Creed or the Hermes atomiser if you are looking for an accessory that is so rarefied that when you pull it out, those around you become rather curious.

Creed travel atomisers at the Double Bay Creed boutique which now holds the atomisers exclusively in Australia.

Hermes travel atomisers - available at Maison Hermes on the Rue Fauborg St Honore.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Charvet Of Paris - Second Shirt Fitting - What An Experience! Thank You Jean-Claude For Sitting In On It

As far as shirt fittings go I don't think I have ever been more thoroughly looked over than my recent experience in Paris with the team at Charvet.

A year ago Mintou and Sabrina looked over my first fitting. If I recall correctly there were over thirty measurements taken and it took a considerable amount of time. You might have a read  of that initial post here.

A year on I was ready to try on my mock up shirt. This time I had established a relationship with the head of Charvet, Jean-Claude Colban, and I had asked him to lunch so that I might be able to talk to him about things other than business. It was a privilege I won't forget any time soon - what began with me reading out a small passage of text I'd written into Google Translate and then written out by hand, was met with that general mirth of the French who love it when you try your very best to be one of them and is reciprocated with good will towards the tourist. You see, in all my years of going to Paris as a tourist I had learned one thing - do not approach the French with your guns blaring English like the Americans, for you will be met with resistance. Show a deference towards the language and culture and you may very well be met with a congenial Frenchman who speaks English perfectly well.

So there I was talking to Jean-Claude about my Greek lineage and my first Christmas in Athens (we lunched just after Christmas Day) when contrary to my expectations he told me he loved Greece and often travelled there and that he was inspired in many respects by the travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor who himself was a hellenophile; and suddenly we were talking about the Peloponnese and his inspirational tour of the Byzantine fortress of Mystras and whether or not some of the things he saw would filter into his own design work. And that's why you take someone like Jean-Claude to lunch, because in my experience, all the greats of menswear are so much more than fashion or even artisan skill. They are often poets, writers, widely read, immersed in hobbies and running passions on the side.

At the end of the lunch I was invited to my fitting for my mock up shirt. The fabrics chosen were still sitting on the bolt and it was my first chance to glimpse my own pattern, one which will now sit in their archives so long as Charvet stands. This time around I was being handled by Antonio and by Jean-Claude himself whose discerning eye was able to catch so many more problem areas on my shirt than I was able to see.

You see, my own bespoke programme only runs ten measurements and once the measurements are made, a pattern is altered only on a hard drive CAD system, never in cardboard. The advantage of this is you can alter the shirt pattern on every shirt order with a few clicks of the mouse and some entering of data. Many tailors do this too. But not Charvet. They have patterns only in cardboard and each one is meticulously altered based on changes agreed on by customer during the mock up shirt fitting.

As I put my shirt on I was for the most part happy. The shoulders fit well, the length seemed mostly fine, the cuff finished where I wanted it. I have never wanted a taught shirt in any part of of my body because I was not intending to become a regular of their shirt service owing to distance and budget. Charvet shirts are not cheap but this is something I completely understand. In a digital world an analogue service as they conduct should be charged accordingly, and more importantly, you are paying them to store and hold such a wonderfully wide range of shirtings that frankly I think is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

With my friend Corinne De Conti holding the camera, I tried to document some of the process but I will admit, I think I did not do such a fitting the correct service by using a phone's camera. In this new world of travel and writing it's getting harder and harder to carry and SLR and a phone makes you to much more of a guerilla operative for content but at a price.

As Antonio continued on through the fitting I listened to Jean-Claude give instruction from the sidelines - the shoulder seam might need to be dropped because it was affecting the chest, the chest had slightly too much fabric on either side and could be brought in, the arm hole could be slightly reduced and there was perhaps a slight amount of bunching across the shoulders in the yolk. But I saw and recognised very little of this. I was Australian and generally speaking we were just happy to have a shirt that fits. At 126 kilograms with a big stomach and hips, these days if roughly a shirt fit I would not casse the couilles of a shirt maker. I had been on the receiving end of customers like this, the ones that are perennially unhappy with their tailor and shirt maker. Here, however, it was Jean-Claude who would not permit me to proceed without fixing the small details.

At the end of the fitting I went and frolicked around the shirting bolts, though much of it was lost on me. As I aged into my middle years I had come to believe that shirts were now comprised of only two colours that really worked for me, white and baby blue. The third, the right shade of baby pink, would be the only other shirt I might occasionally don. When Jean-Claude suggested I get a second shirt whilst we were at it I told him my opinion and so he took me over to a bolt of 70cm shirting in a voile that I instantly recognised as Carlo Riva but which lay on an unmarked bolt (I am quite sure that not one of the bolts in Charvet has the weavers mark on the bolt).

I gave him a wink wink and said I thought I recognised the weight and bolt and of course he was charming enough to acknowledge me but at no stage admitted to the provenance of the cloth.

So, here is my assessment - I have been making bespoke shirts for a decade and I have engaged the services of a dozen different shirt makers over the years - none have been as thorough nor as enjoyable as the one I experienced with the team at Charvet. BUT, to be fair, it is an extra good experience when the head of the company sits in on your fitting and you are allowed to take him to lunch prior. So, in fairness, not everyone may have the very same experience.

For all those of you looking to have your shirts made by the world's first shirt maker, especially for those of you travelling to Paris, make sure you call ahead. And please, try to at least start the conversation in French and you will find everyone much more congenial. Their details are listed here.

As for the other stuff Jean-Claude and I talked about, I will be writing more about that later.

Jean-Claude Colban, head of Charvet and a man of many other interests as I discovered over lunch at Paris' Clover Grill

Attention to detail and final changes to pattern being made for production of my first shirts

Shirting bolt in voile weave and my name on the shirt pattern. How a parvenu like myself managed to get his pattern into the archives of Charvet and convince its head to have lunch with me is testimony to the charms that come from being an Australian with nothing to lose.

You can only do so much with my body shape and the team did their absolute best. In fairness to myself I had just sunk a big lunch and it was two days after Christmas. Probably ideal since now I will have room to move if I put on weight. 

There you have it, so long as Charvet stands, and it's stood for 150 years, my pattern and name will be somewhere in the joint. 

Rummaging around the shirting bolts. 

Shoulder seam changes to release tension on the chest causing bunching of fabric. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Who Wore It Better - I'd Say Prince Charles....

Right now departing Como, Italy are our new silk squares at 90x90cm hand-roll stitched. It's the first time I have taken the plunge in producing anything larger than our 45cm squares as kerchiefs. My first Hermes scarf was what caused me to make the jump. I wear them skiing, tying them around my neck and tucking them beneath my t-shirt or sweater beneath my ski jacket.

The look is, for me anyway, very dashing. I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it added a certain flair. I thought I was the first to do it you see, that sort of ridiculous idea that you sometimes get that you are the renegade, the outlier, the man who is pushing the boundaries of menswear...

Only it turns out, like everything else I've ever had a nudge at in menswear, someone's already done it before you. It makes me feel a little let down, like some screaming Mugatu who says to Derek Zoolander 'I invented the piano neck tie Derek, I invented it, what did you ever do?'

It was an image on The Rake Online's Instagram that deflated me. There was Prince Charles wearing what appeared to be Dunhill sunglasses, hair parted at the side, still a full mop of brown, dressed impeccably in a onesie in a solid colour contrasted by a yellow skivvy and a silk kerchief tied, well, not as I'd tie one, but still, definitely letting everyone know he peacocking on the slopes.

As for me, you can't see mine as much when it's tucked in, but as I duck in to get an espresso at the bar down comes the zipper and out comes the silk.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ristorante Sant'Anna In Como - A Truffle Prawn Dish You Will Love

Growing up in Australia there was no such thing as a truffle. Certainly I don't think I knew anything about them until I was well into my twenties. In fact, I recall as a kid being so ignorant about certain things that at a brasserie in Paris I ordered a steak tartare thinking it was steak lavishly covered in my most favourite thing - mayonnaise - even better still, mayonnaise in its form as tartare mayonnaise.... It seemed dreamy to me. I could not wait for chips and a medium cooked steak and I was going to ask for extra tartare mayonnaise if they didn't bring me a good enough serve. I believe I was ten years old. I believe I also cried when the waiter brought me out of chunk of raw meat. These days I would gladly slap my former self silly and and say 'wake up your mincer, that's delicious, years later you will salivate just at the very mention of it' , but that was then and this is now. I cried. I cried so much I think I caused a scene at the restaurant, which is probably some of the reason my father didn't like me too much back then. 

Ah mayonnaise. Even to this day we still are in the midst of a love affair that never seems to grow old or dull. And recently at a restaurant in Sydney called Charlie Parkers I noticed that the steak tartare was served with a crisp baked bread and mayonnaise. 

But I digress. One of my contacts took me to a restaurant this trip called Sant'Anna in Como. It was by some very strange railway line and they parked next to a pilon with pretty strange graffiti. I thought they were going to knock me off for taking photos inside one of the weaving mills but then I remember, wow, it's 2019, the Chinese don't get agents like me to do that work, they just hijack your computers and steal the schematics online....

So there we were figuring out what to eat on the menu and I usually just follow any line that says 'tartufo' and say yes and somehow we all ordered the same starter and we really did hit the nail on the head. 

What was presented on the plate looked to me like cabaret dancers on stage at Radio City Hall about to start flapping feathers and parading themselves around only these little suckers were going to have  a party in my mouth.

And they did. The softness of the prawn crudo was met with a sort of dry counter balance of the truffle that was so enjoyable that for the first time in the longest time I could recall, I stopped to savour the taste. It alarmed one of my fellow diners who only knew me to eat like a small hand-held vacuum.

The Looms Rarely Stop Working

One of the most interesting things I got an inside look into on this trip was the organisation of looms and owners of machinery to share factory space in order to ensure maximum efficiency of any loom at any time.

I stumbled upon this concept when I was speaking to a silk merchant who works with multiple looms. Over coffee I was asking him about the cost of capital associated with each machine and he was referring to one particular weaving company and their equipment when he explained that a deal was done between the owner of one company and another to merge all the equipment into one building.

The basic gist of it was that if all the machines were under one management then the likelihood of one machine ever sitting idle was diminished.

In many instances the loom will produce around the clock in many of these factories located around the hills and back country of Lake Como. And from my understanding the machines in most instances run seven days a week although it was explained to me by another contact that they have Sundays off.

And if you thinking weaving is a set and forget problem you are mistaken. Since most companies produce a limited number of metres in any given design, artwork needs to be constantly revisited and the contrast threads chosen need to change on the loom too. Then there is the warp, which, if any single thread breaks, a needle drops and the machine comes to a halt until a technician repairs the broken thread. 

My appreciation for the Italians that run these facilities only increased the more I thought about the time and energy that's required to keep a factory like this open for business. Warps need to be prepared, machines need to be calibrated, weft threads need to be loaded and prepared for the shuttles. Even after a decade of going back and forth to the looms I do not in anyway presume to know exactly what is going on as I watch the fabric coming together line by line. It's fast, it's noisy and though it seems rather simple when you think about it conceptually, there is a lot of work going on to make it look that simple and fast.

And of all those machines that I witnessed, it was perhaps the darling of Otto Mantero, his triple warp grenadine silk weaving machine, a piece of machinery that was built one hundred years ago, which was clacking away with it's timber frame producing the most exquisite grenadine, that fascinated me most. It was like watching someone who had finely tuned an old Ferrari and it had such a gracefulness about it as it clanked back and forth that it was visually mesmerising.

If you go to Como, it's worth stopping in to the silk museum where many earlier versions of these machines as well as visual histories of sericulture and weaving from the area give you a real understanding of an industry that's been in operation in this area for hundreds of years.

Silk weaving textiles machine, this is the warp behind the weaving machine. 

Silk warp threads are on spindles waiting to be loaded onto the machine to provide the weft designs on the warp.

These will be warps that have either been used up or are waiting to be loaded with a new colour of thread. Each warp is very expensive to produce and requires approximately 15,680 threads to be laid one after the other which then get thread into the loom. 

Meeting Andy Poupart In Milan - Another Great Chance Encounter With A Patron Of Le Noeud Papillon

I rarely get lonely these days but there are times where I do a considerable amount of time without any direct interaction with customers or suppliers. Days when you are just cutting silks, just dispatching, just doing social media. Nobody will tell you on Instagram how lonely they might feel at times, we are all so busy trying to look occupied by our lives.

But when I travel I get a chance to lift my head up and take a look at a bigger world and visit cities where I have customers - hopefully happy ones. 

I had arrived in Como and unpacked my bag, I lay down in a towel on my bed after a shower and checked my Instagram to see I had a direct message from Andy Poupart - known on Instagram as Style After 50). He was in Milan, could I meet with him during the week. 

I could, and I made it happen. I worked Sunday and Monday and in the afternoon I took a short nap before I pulled out my smoking jacket which I'd had dry cleaned after it was saturated in champagne on NYE and I jumped in my car and drove into Milan to meet up with Andy at his hotel, the Westin Palace. 

I will be honest, I was slightly nervous. One of Andy's packs of bow ties had gone missing in the post a few months back and we had come to exchange a few curt words trying to figure out what had happened. In the end, we were all fine, but the very fact that we'd had a misunderstanding was still on my mind.

Andy turned up at the bar so meticulously dressed that I felt on the back foot. The only competitive advantage I had was that my peacocking was a distraction from the details. His studded shirt looked beautifully pressed, his shawl generous and sweeping. His bow tie, not exactly how I might tie it myself, was still very well put together. Plus he had a waist covering. By contrast, my jacket was crumpled, on realising that my other shirt was poorly pressed I ripped a new Moth Of Sydney ready to wear one out of the packet but it's sleeves were too long for my particular torso, something I had overlooked as I normally only wear bespoke shirts. Even as I approached Andy he felt compelled to adjust my shawl which seemed too narrow on one side. 

I will put down my wardrobe malfunctions to 'sprezzatura' - it's the best way for me to come to terms with the fact that I was less meticulous and in many respects, possibly less knowledgeable that my customer in terms of formalities of evening wear. 

Of course, as it always the case these days, we were the two most over-dressed in the hotel and caught the attention of a few tables nearby who were perhaps wondering why two men not heading for a winter ball were wearing smoking on a Monday night in Milan. 

I followed Andy in for a gin martini and as he told me about which particular gin makes the best martini I did my absolute best to retain the name in my head but by the following morning it was long gone. Suffice to say, whatever gin he did ordered did the trick just fine and coupled with those tiny little sandwich tasters they offer and a couple of olives, had to make do for dinner as we were all running out of time. Andy's wife had joined us and there were soon to depart for a dinner reservation whereas I was having to fetch my car and get back to Como pronto as I had meetings scheduled for the morning.

On the way home I considered that it was a great gift to be able to travel and meet my customers albeit, in this case, and as it was with James Andrew in May 2017, way too briefly. We all gaze at each other's Instagram walls and feel that we all know one another, but really, nothing replaces human conversation.

Andy, it was a pleasure to meet you. One day I hope we get to have that gin you prefer at that establishment you spoke of in London. Until then, see you on Instagram. 

Happy New Year From Verbier, Switzerland

Hopefully in the coming weeks we will have more photos from New Years Eve which we did in bow ties in the Swiss Alps ski resort of Verbier. Our social media team in Sweden, headed up by Sam Robertson, second from left wearing a limited edition tear drops silk bow tie, finished their first Instagram take over on the exact day, 31st December, and to celebrate we all met up in Verbier for dinner and drinks. It was an explosive New Years Eve, literally, with drunken Englishman amongst a cacophony of screaming and heaving nationalities, mostly European, all vying for a prime spot in which to witness the carnage of the rest of heaving mass as it danced to electronica and dance music as fireworks exploded in the cold night above.

One Englishman lit a firework which he did not release and its explosion miraculously did not hurt anyone around him but which was so alarming I figured a terrorist had made set himself off in the Place Centrale. Another, most likely English as well, as usual for the drunken that resemble a maraud, when there's nothing to steal or break, they climb flag poles. And all eyes must have held the same dread, that, should this person slip, it would be a ghastly beginning to the new year.

Still, and strangely, nobody seemed to get hurt despite many of the revellers purposefully pointing their fireworks at those on the balconies of hotels around the centre. Still, and strangely, I did not witness one fight break out. Still, and strangely, even as the bottles of champagne were splashed around on one another at the stroke of midnight and bottles were shared liberally amongst people that would ordinarily never share a glass, a palpable camaraderie gelled all nationalities together. 

The author of this post found himself two days later searching high and low for a laundromat that could dry clean his purple smoking jacket. It had been made by Leng Ngo and was well received in Verbier, in fact, despite being drenched in champagne, it was being touched up by many attractive women on the dance floor of a popular nightspot until the wee hours. 

It was a very nice way to end out social media campaign and I have been very privileged to work with Sam Robertson, Noel Eddling and Chee Yang who all reside in Stockholm, Sweden.

Happy New Year and see you on the website shortly. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

New Silks Are Online - Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney - The Finest Silks Make The Finest Bow Ties

A Bit Of Miami Vice For Summer - The Summer Suit Leng Bespoke Made For Le Noeud Papillon

Patch pockets, a hunter's tab, a wide notched lapel and a gently roped shoulder on a lilac gaberdine wool. That was the brief for Leng for our most recent suit collaboration. That, and a camouflage lining finished with our limited edition cherry blossom silk pochette. The suit now sits in the window of the Studio of Le Noeud Papillon in Vaucluse.

I posted it up the other night and one of my Instagram followers commented that it was very Miami Vice. It is, it's very Don Johnson, though the way I wear it looks a little more Pablo Escobar. I decided to wear it with a t-shirt, a pale pink one with gold foil and the name of my swimming club on it. It's not that I don't want to wear it with a shirt and bow tie, I do, but I am tired of being so hot in the middle of a Sydney summer that the simple act of tying my bow tie makes me swear profusely. There are those months in our country which come shortly after the spring racing carnival is over, that wearing neck wear is almost as dangerous as not taking my blood pressure pills. It's just as the French say 'trop'. 

The lighter wool I sourced from Barrington Fabrics and using the skills of their salesman Aman, I was sent a bunch of options by Whatsapp with their weights listed next to them. To be fair, I should have made it completely unlined but wanting to use one of our pochettes to line the jacket meant that I needed lining in the jacket to which we could affix it.

The process is now very much a smooth one with Leng - my pattern is pretty fixed in his mind and it's merely a matter of me drawing the style I want and providing image references and he's on his way.

And the t-shirt - well, I must be honest, as much as I know a shirt is ten times more elegant, in this particular instance I think it's so well complemented and so much more in tune with the look that I doubt I will be wearing this suit with a shirt until next April. We need more alternatives for looking elegant in the stifling humid heat of a Sydney summer and this for me is one such example. Roll up the sleeves, get a pair of sunglasses with presence, and put the roof top down is you have a convertible.

I have to thank Leng sincerely, he's never turned away from any request I've made of him and he really is a true bespoke tailor, one of the last of the Mohicans able to be dropped a bolt of wool with a sketch and a couple of texts with images and you don't need to say much more. He just gets it. To all those Australian men with a few extra dollars in their hip pockets that can afford to go one notch up from made to measure, consider visiting Leng and watch him turn something that was in your head into a reality. He is the most excellent conduit and it is just such a crying shame that the commissions he receives most often are for a plain navy suit. Where's the fun in that?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Transformation Into Dame Edna And How I Came To Love Cross Dressing


House Of Priscilla
Pablo Morgade Make-Up Artist
Paloma Salon
The Costume Shop 


I think I might be a transvestite... That's quite a big statement and not necessarily the truth. But I imagine that this must be a very refreshing thing to utter when you realise that you really are quite happy and comfortable in women's clothing.

I don't find women's clothing comfortable or enjoyable to wear other than for the vanity and humour of having people enjoy the effort that I go to. In fact, it's taught me to appreciate and also find ridiculous and impractical, the pursuits undertaken and the lengths gone to by women in order to make themselves look appealing (personally I've always found women in flat shoes, real lips and ... the last thing I cant say ... to be the most desirable). It's been now a decade since I first did Dame Edna for a friend's 30th birthday party out on a polo stud, where, three sheets to the wind, I found myself riding a motor cycle over a pit of fire whilst yelling out to the crowd "hello possums!" . And that began my relationship with Barry Humphries' alter ego.

When I opened my nightclub I did the same. I dressed as Edna and DJ'd all night long as Edna. I still have a photograph of me standing behind the gilded painting frame that formed the opening to my DJ booth where inside I am turning the wheels of steel and sliding a slice of Caffe Roma pizza down my throat.

I've probably done Edna four times before, yesterday being my fifth. But the difference was that yesterday I did an all out assault. I decided that rather than rent an Edna, given that the birthday, same chap that asked me as Edna to his 30th (now 40), was themed 'A White Party', I was ready to buy myself an Edna. So off I went to the House Of Priscilla chasing an outfit in white. I took one look at the white sequins dress and I knew we were made for one another. I then had the Thai manager running all over the store. I needed white shoes, white hot pants and a bodice to cover my upper body.

The following day I must have spent two hours shaving every hair I could reach with my razor. Then I went on the hunt for a wig. The one I found wasn't good enough, so my friend Paloma went about procuring me another from a wig shop on Oxford Street. Then she had it styled for me too. I owe her a great deal for that. She then organised me to have Pablo Morgade come and do my make-up. I still needed Edna glasses so I went out to The Costume Shop in Alexandria where I found them at a song - only six bucks a pair!

When it came time to Edna myself I was well prepared. The only thing I didn't go for was jewellery but I preferred the silk I chose, it went better with my dress and ensemble.

More than being Edna on the day, it was the process of becoming Edna that I loved. It was an adventure. And though I still find women's clothing uncomfortable, especially those high heels (girls I really cannot imagine what possesses you), I am in love with the concept of becoming a woman. And it is for that reason that I will not let go of Edna just yet, and, more importantly, I now own her top to bottom.

In the costume store House Of Priscilla, which specialises in transvestite clothes and sizes, the Thai manager said to me 'do you want to rent or buy?' and I responded, 'I think I will buy, though I'll probably only wear it once' and he then quipped in a camp voice 'I don't think so'. And I don't think so either, even Pablo said when he finished me  'I guess I will be seeing you soon.'.

To women, God bless you for trying to impress us all with your tricks, from hairless legs to high heels and bodices. To Barry Humphries, I salute you. To stay in character all those years and to be so uncomfortable, you are a comic genius and I admire you greatly.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Barrington Fabrics And Leng Ngo - A Match Made In Heaven

The one thing I crave in this modern era is customer service. I call it hand-to-hand combat. The idea that the customer is right in front of you and you are helping them solve a problem or bring a project to life. Aman at Barrington fabrics is like that. We use Whatsapp and he will guide me towards the wool I need. I am about to embark on a project for the window with Leng Ngo, that wonderful tailor in The Rocks of Sydney who also engages in hand-to-hand combat. I don't even need to ask these days, he roughly sees my vision straight of the cuff and sketches me details. Then we agree, he asks about the small details and we are done. With Aman, once the transaction is confirmed, I get an email, then a UPS tracking number an hour later.

It is for this reason I have less time to write my blog these days. I also offer hand-to-hand combat. I publish my Whatsapp number on the website, I deal with customers at all hours of the day and I entertain them in the Studio, not just with the ability to touch and feel fabric, but with my art, my stories and the Creed scents I often get them to smell after we are done playing with fabrics. 

To cut a long story short, this is a summer suit in gaberdine weave. It's a lovely weight for the Australian summer. I am using one of Barrington's more spunky linings in camouflage but as always is the case, when if the colour is light in the wool and if the wool is lightly constructed, the lining can come through, so we will have to check this off before we proceed.

Fun fun fun. And I will be doing more stories as we go on the Instagram account.

Barrington Fabrics Wool

Monday, October 8, 2018

Have Something To Talk About In The Lead Up To Christmas - Le Noeud Papillon - The Self-Tying Bow Tie Specialists From Sydney, Australia

I received a lovely email the other week. I will post it below. It served to remind me that there are few if any other makers in the world of bow ties that take the time to do what we do whether it be the number of patterns we hold on file or the kinds of silks and their designs that we take a risk on developing.

I am excited about the next batch of limited edition silks we are looming as I write but as has always been the case, there are no guarantees that they will come to life as planned. Nevertheless, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Or as one Australian television presenter once said when advertising the Northern Territory of Australia, 'if you never never go, you'll never never know'.

For those of you interested in seeing how our bow ties are currently being worn, see our instagram on 

And for those of you who wish to secure one of these new yuzen silks before they are 'sayonara' - log on now to 


Subject: bravissimo
Carissimo Le Noeud Papillon,

First of all, I am proud to tell you I am wearing bow ties from 1984, when,
thanks to my job, working with a "normal tie it was quite difficult". 

From that date, travelling quite a lot in Paris, there, I found my favourite
bow ties, let see, in the 3rd arrondissement. At that time I said this bow
ties is a good quality and I enjoy for many years.

One day, about 2010, I knew you and your articles, specially the top quality
of your bow ties.

It is not my attitude give for free gold medal to a brand, normally are more
than enough the commercial exchanges. 

I have watched your brand growing up from Italy and it was surprising for me
to see you progress given you were in Australia. 

Honestly, I am proud to say I wear your bow ties regularly and they are
better than the ones we find in France or even in my country even though you
use our silks!

As I told you in past: Or you was born top of a volcano, or you are the
Leonardo da Vinci of bow ties.

Keep follow your hart.

Carlo P.
Milano, Italy

Monday, September 24, 2018

Clearing Off All Stock By Wednesday

We have a delivery of new shirts coming this week as well as new silks and new products that need to be added into the website and to remove a lot the clutter we are offering you up to 70% OFF by Wednesday to entice you to consider a new addition to your wardrobe. If you are needing a wedding bow tie, now is the time to act, if you are in need of a new bow tie for a new suit, now is the time to act. I am available for our customers on +61413140994 for Whatsapp where I can guide you towards the right silk. I am on this channel roughly every hour of the day other than when my eyes are shut. Even then, I am partial to a 3am enquiry if my bladder gets me up at that hour. Good luck, I highly recommend the Yuzen silks. We are due to receive a new batch soon, so if you don’t see anything you like, just wait. Something will come along soon enough.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


Sex. Sexuality. Sensuality. It's so important. Touch, smell, feel, look. Exploration. Satisfying a desire only to see it rise again. Addiction, toxicity. Attract. Repel. The new becomes old hat, removed, only to be picked up again later. And then it follows with memory, something that can often be stronger than the moment itself. Watching Evita at the Sydney Opera House two nights ago I was reminded of a fling that was brewed over weeks, was exercised within a matter of two, and then was exorcised in a matter of days.

I think, in my opinion, I bring a certain sensuality to bow ties. Through colour and design and perfume I try to inspire our customers to engage. Of course, some of it might be considered perverted, but then I am a little perverted...

I was waiting for my daughter to finish ballet. A man I once spent a good deal of time with, I will call him Giles, he'd had a number of toxic relationships over the years. Highly intelligent but he somehow was always attracted to the nasty ones. We paid each other a compliment. He looked me up and down, told me I looked very healthy and vibrant. I said the years had been good to him.

Then he said 'my friend, you are bored. I can just tell. You need to find your Ikigai!"

"My what?"

"Your Ikigai, your reason for being, the thing that makes you zing".

And of course, there we both were rushing to Wikipedia to fact check it and he was right and I thought to myself 'Gosh I love those Japanese' and I immediately thought of Hokusai in front of a woodblock carving or Jiro making sushi.

What a culture! I have been meaning and threatening to go there over and over but I think my friend sitting down on the bench outside my barber's shop might have tipped me over the edge.

I do not consider my time on this planet wasted, but sometimes we hit a real comfort zone and I think I have been too complacent and I think I have been too complacent with all of you. There is a great quote, I think it might have been Marlene Deitrich, who said 'you can do anything you want to a woman, anything, but don't ever bore her'. I think that might tie in well to my concurrent desire to talk about sex and ikigai and find new meaning as we hit the next round of silks and product.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Winner Of The Portrait Competition Is David Andreozzi Of Rhode Island, USA

It was not a clear win. The truth is, all of the portraits submitted were great and some of them more dapper than David's portrait, for example, Andy Poupart of StyleAfter50 fame. But personally this was my favourite. David is such a character, so full of life and he and his wife always radiate a wonderful energy. All the other finalists will receive a bow tie from us. Please make contact with us via the website and we will ship them out to you in the coming weeks. David has earned himself a $1500 voucher to the website. We will do another competition before Christmas. Many thanks for all those that tagged us. See more on our Instagram on

Recent Feedback - We Love It, We Thrive On It - So Please, If You Have A Great Experience, Let Us Know


I've bought bow ties from all over the world, but Le Noeud Papillon makes the best.

Andy P.


Hello Le Noeud Papillon,

How have you been?  I wanted to thank you for the cologne you sent me in one of the last purchases.  It's one of my favorites.  The new boxes also look and feel incredible.   I've been planning a trip to New York City sometime soon as I keep being told at work I need to take a vacation :) I hope your doing well...

Thank you for your message about this beautiful 'broken bird' bow tie-  really incredible how you found the geometry, cut and folded it to make it all come together. I know I am not the only one to see the brilliance in your creations, especially the yuzen pieces - so please forgive my enthusiasm, and please don't ever misjudge it for boorish gluttony.  Each of the109 yuzen I have are special to me.

Now some 375 bow ties later I realize you have given me a lot of yourself and I simply have not reciprocated.  This is my own insecurity (which I feel is worsening as I get older), so please forgive me.

George T.


As much as I love my many LNP bows, I think your accessories are actually my favorite products. The bow-tie cufflinks are gorgeous. And the rose gold boutonnière is perfect for special occasions. But my favorites are your pochettes, which although I’m sure wear wonderfully, I think are best served by framing as art.

Please keep up your work, I am always excited to see what your next must-have objet d’art will be!

Ahmad D.


I had the pleasure of purchasing 2 silk bow ties and matching pochettes from Le Noeud Papillon and I could not be happier. The quality is without peer. I wasn’t sure what to purchase on their website. The range was almost overwhelming so I emailed them and they carefully assisted me  throughout my order process. The ties arrived within 2 days in beautiful packaging. The whole experience was delightful from beginning to end.

M. Penny
Sydney, Australia


Congrats on ten years in the biz and happy 40th birthday. I’m glad that I connected with your products, my collection is growing and my life has been enriched immensely.

Kevin D.


It was a pleasure to have Le Noeud Papillion as part of my wedding. Nicholas consulted with me and advised on the style of the bow tie to match the wedding styling, my suit and to suit my face shape – we chose a thirties batwing self-tie bow-tie. He made the tie from scratch and made the groomsmens ties as well. As well as making the ties with short notice, he came to the house and tied up my bow-tie and the groomsmens ties with a double four-in-hand and they all looked great! Thanks for a great experience all round.

C. Savva
Sydney, Australia


Ah LNP, I have regarded your white covert shirts as emergency evening shirts ("break glass in case of formal dinner event..."). Most recent usage was at Art Museum formal gathering in Charlotte, NC last weekend. Sad to see them go, as a result. Please note that I am headed tomorrow for SE Asia (may actually make it to Oz with girlfriend around late June to early July). What do you think, is the Great Coastal Road and biking to the Twelve Apostles too raw in winter? Pls note the shirts are going to my Singapore tailor's address.

D. Linnan
Charlotte, North Carolina