Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties
Monday, November 16, 2020
Friday, November 6, 2020
Bespoke Bow Ties Can Be Ordered Through Our Sydney Studio Or By Whatsapp +61413140994 - Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney, Australia - Dedicated To The Craft Of The Self Tying Bow Tie
www.lenoeudpapillon.com or Whatsapp directly on +61413140994
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Monday, November 2, 2020
I am not politically left or right but I don’t like what Donald Trump is and what he stands for.
For me, the United States after the second World War, was the land of the righteous. Even if deals were being peddled between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, even if Harry S Truman might in fact be a war criminal, it didn’t matter. You guys were trying to stop wars and coming to the rescue. You were the world’s Superman.
But what about now? Donald Trump is a wonderful mirror as one person wrote. He reflects all that is wrong with people these days. He uses fame and money for all the wrong reasons. He appeals to us for all the wrong reasons. He appeals to Australians for all the wrong reasons too. If I could tell you the sentiment I hear all the time which is ‘he did what he said he was going to do’ to ‘he calls it like it is’ to ‘well, against Joe Biden, they’re both shitty candidates but at least Trump talks up the economy’ to finally ‘he’s anti-establishment and that’s really driving them nuts’. Little sheep all bah bahing the same thing they heard somebody else say but in a manner which makes them look like they did their own research and came to their own conclusions.
The weirdest part I find, is that he doesn’t just appeal to white people here, he appeals to migrants and the children of migrants. That is what really alarms me.
Have you ever met a really good con artist? I have. He was so good at his craft. When you are in the presence of one you rarely have a chance to think clearly because you are moving with their line of thought and dialogue almost mesmerized. In the case of Trump, I sit their mesmerized that so many people are mesmerized by him in the background of his rallies and as I listen to what is coming out of his mouth - I get it. He is telling you some things that resemble truth in a pastiche which will be part truth, part bullshit, part hearsay, part fact, part statistic and partly an outright lie. The problem is - it is enthralling. You have to pull yourself away from it, or, as journalists do, keep a notebook and keep writing it down so you can fact check it on the fly or later that day.
Which is exactly how I dealt with a con artist many years ago. I took a notebook and pen to the meeting and I listened and wrote notes. Then I went to a security company and asked them to do a background check and, as you can imagine, he was exactly that, a con artist who had been involved in all sorts of criminal behaviour.
By making a judgement call on this man and listening to my gut I did not see it as a victory on finding out I was correct – I saw it as an aversion to a great calamity - which is what I see a vote for Joe Biden being for the US elections.
The United States is of cultural and strategic importance to Australia. Without you guys, we don’t really have anyone else we can rely on anymore. We also house some of your key military assets in the South – with our Harold E Holt naval communications providing your ability to control ships and talk to your submarines under the Antarctic ice (not a bad place to hide right now, but for how much longer???? ), and Pine Gap – which allows you to control and utilise satellites effectively outside of the Americas. Then there is the cultural influence you exert and how many times your issues become our issues in our social media feed. We used to feel like the USA might be our 2nd home, more welcoming than England where we would always be from ‘the colony’.
To be fair, your country is not a place I’d like to live in anymore – unless I was very rich (which says something no?). When you arrive in the United States these days it feels less that welcoming. It takes a second flight to somewhere else to start to feel like you are safe(er). Then of course, you want to 100% be sure that you have travel insurance. The last time I was in Los Angeles my cousin got sick and it cost him $11,000 aud with a doctor to come to his hotel just so that he could try and get home on the next plane. It is a land now that feels like this – if I don’t have money, if I don’t have insurance, this place will swallow me up whole if anything goes wrong’.
That’s not a place I want to visit anymore. That’s not the United States I once revered. After my own national Anthem, the only one I ever bothered to rote learn was the Star Spangled Banner (maybe also the La Marseillaise but it never sunk in). It tells the struggle against the British, of a people who would fight for their right to exist free from their British masters at all costs.
What part of Donald Trump represents that spirit? To me he represents none of that spirit. He instead plays to your every weakness. Your belief that someone is going to come and take away what is yours. Your belief that you are better than the other person or country. Your belief that there are dark forces out there that are controlling what’s really going on. Your belief that what you know is all you need to know. Your belief that you are right.
What happened to the United States? What happened to decency? What happened to Superman?
I do hope that Americans get their act together and vote him out. I am a strong believer in the United States of America as a transformative and dynamic country. And let me say that some of the smartest people I have ever met were Republicans. But Donald Trump doesn’t strike me as a Republican. He strikes me as the USA’s greatest demagogue, and an effective one.
As an Australian, as the descendant of migrants, I would love to know that the country that in many ways resembles ours, that was also a colony of the British, that we could rely on in a case of emergency, was a robust democracy with a pursuit of equality and fairness that inspires not only myself, but my child as she grows up. Because right now, from where I am standing, Superman has bolted.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
It has been such a delight to see these printed velvet and pure Scottish cashmere reverso cushions come together. We sold so many last week that I had one of those moments where I had to check myself so that I didn't get too overwhelmed in the moment and start buying up more fabrics to make them. They are so so unique. The velvets we sourced from the UK and the cashmere from Scotland. They offer you the chance to have a feature cushion on one side when you have guests (though you can lie on the printed side I do believe you would want to dry clean these as infrequently as possible) and then the cashmere on the reverse which is a delight against the head. The best news of all is that we can only make a few of each, which means once they are gone, they are gone, never to be repeated again. Before they go, come and see them at www.lenoeudpapillon.com
There are some things which are hard to get right and the way you want them exactly. I have struggled over the years to find sheets that are to my taste. Once I was only ever interested in finely woven Egyptian cotton and I would try to find the highest thread count and the best price but it was always a compromise / trade off. The right price but not the design or details you want. The right product but not the fibre you wanted. Over the past few years I have been far more interested in linen than in cotton. In the Sydney summertime it just gets way too humid for cotton and it becomes uncomfortable. Anything against your skin makes you sweat until you get to 3am when finally, somehow, in the wee hours, you pull your sheet up unbenownst to you and you find yourself under the covers when you wake up.
Then I discovered linen, which is slightly less crisp and far more relaxed which means you don't quite get the Ralph Lauren 'home' look when you finish making your bed, but what it doesn't give you in terms of aesthetic it makes up for in practicality and breathability in terms of getting a good night's rest. I am now sincerely a converty and even in winter, I still prefer linen. In fact, I am quite particular with my sheets and the layers on my bed, such that I would rather have a quilted coverlet on my bed and no duvet and no blanket, using throws that I leave at the end of my bed in case I get cold. That's about all you need for a Sydney winter save the coldest month between late July and late August.
We have teamed up with Ginger Dream - a company which specialises in bed linen. They have certified French linen which gets shipped to their workroom in mainland China. The sheets can be custom made to your size and colour specifications and finished with your own embroidery so that they are uniquely yours. I will add one other benefit of embroidering your sheets - you don't forget which end goes where!
I hope you have a chance to look at our new selection of linene sheets and if you are searching for bedding that is affordable, comfortable and chic, plus it's personalised so that they are most definitely your sheets, consider our new line at www.lenoeudpapillon.com . And one other thing, they won't go missing when they have your name on it!
Friday, October 16, 2020
I don't know Mike Cannon-Brookes nor his business partner Scott Farquhar though in fact Cannon-Brookes is my alumni and perhaps I passed him once when I walked past the computer room not looking back. I love computers but I also loathe them because you can get lost in them and the kids that were in the computer rooms were often lost in computer world. I can recall one time a kid in my class who was into computers being asked by a teacher to solve something that was going wrong with a computer and he sat down next to the PC, pushed his glasses back and said with great relish "welcome to my world now" and the comment never left me. He is probably hacking somewhere today as I write this, I hope it all went well for him.
As for myself, I have a relationship with computers that reminds me of marriage. You would love to break free of them but you know you need them so it's a bit of tough titties, you just gotta suck it up and get on with it.
Yesterday I was moving stuff around my studio when I saw an old copy of GQ magazine and I only keep the copies where we are mentioned. I opened it up and I found this article which was on the two friends from University who started a computer software company that's been so successful that nobody can make a decision in our fair country now without asking them their opinion. Energy, finance, technology, science, government debt, covid - they seem to be the go to guys with all the answers. In fact, I feel sorry for them. I could not think of anything worse than having to shoulder all that responsibility and field calls from every journalist looking for a quip. I just hope they have built themselves some zen room in their houses that shuts out absolutely every sound and visual with a sentinel on the outside just so that nobody can get to them for meditation time.
I'd invite them down for a morning swim at Bondi but I wouldn't want the publicity and then they'd be ask by the press as to how to clean up Bondi and make it carbon neutral.
In my own way though I am super proud of their achievement. They did it from a country that's often referred to as the 'arse end' of the world. They did it from a 10k investment, according to one article. And they are world renowned. They remind me of my own struggle, only they really did make it. Like really.
As a journalist wrote the other day on the rise and fall of the Packer dynasty and the unfortunate demise of James Packer and his mental health, challenging his right to govern or influence a corporation applying for a casino license (of which my personal opinion is give it to him but with handcuffs on as Crown is a good brand for Australia and did wonders for Melbourne), the journalist suggested that Packer was out of touch and should be more like the Atlassian wonder kids. I have to agree. Like I said, I have never met Mike Cannon-Brookes, but I have heard friends say they see him round the local shops in bare feet. That's a tick for me. And they don't seem to rub all their wealth in your faces with Kardashian chicks drinking champagne off the back of their boats with nighttime condiments below deck.
In fact, it's kind of nice that two of the richest Australians in history are nerds from the computer room. It's much less aggressive than newly minted property developers and the like.
In fact, who better to own the new Sydney casino than these guys. Perhaps they should do some meditation with James Packer and come up with a solution. It would kind of be nice to know there were bean bags in the breakout area between black jack and poker.
Any of you who have read this blog will know I have been a lover of Air Jordan shoes since I was a kid and couldn't afford a pair. To this day when I think about my childhood I can always recall my best friend's bedroom with that looming poster of a young Michael Jordan travelling through air with the flash bulbs of cameras going off and a beautiful pair of, now let me think, I think they were Air Jordan 3's. Fastforward 30 odd years and now I have more Air Jordans than I will ever admit to, especially my mother. It is an indulgence that sometimes comes over me. Buying Nike products is my weakness. I love everything about Nike. Firstly, it is attached to my name. Nicholas. The name Nicholas is derived from two words - Nike - and - LAOS . It means victory of the people or something quite similar. Nike was the embodiment of victory, a goddess no less. Sometimes when I am doing anything well, from throwing a strong punch with my boxing trainer Les, to striding out on my evening run as I hit my groove, well then, I sometimes feel like a goddess (wink emoji).
But in life, anything of the same thing done over and over, eventually tires us. We are all looking for the next thing. I don't think I will ever grow tired of Air Jordan shoes, it's just that now and then you just want to try something else. The jumpman symbol is now everywhere, it's been done to death. It's not that I don't still appreciate the creativity, the use of new materials or the changes in details, it's just always going to be an Air Jordan attached to Michael Jordan, who, one day soon, will age like the rest of us.
I must also be honest here and say I know little to nothing about basketball. I haven't played basketball since the mid nineties. I have no desire to play basketball and I don't really wear my basketball shoes for sport unless I am doing weights training. For me, basketball shoes are an aesthetic shoe for casual wear - nothing more. I train in running shoes and when I am dressing up I wear penny loafers, chelsea boots or whole cuts. But what a good basketball shoe does is make a funky outfit come together. It allows you to wear some velvet tracksuit style trousers with a hoodie, a pair of Nike running pants with a t shirt etc etc.
As I have often said on this blog, when I am cutting silk I am not interested in dressing up as a tailor. When you cut by hand using a rotary cutter you get fabric everywhere. It's not glamorous, it's not the prestige of chalking up a suit on the cutting table of a Savile Row tailor wearing a three piece. So athleisure is perfect for it. You have unrestricted movement, you have materials that don't seem to hug bits of clothing like wool does and you can add and remove layers as needed. As for how basketball shoes fit in to that analogy, well here's the thing. If you unfasten the laces you can get the shoes on and off very quickly. Which comes to the next point, I like to spend as much of the day as possible in bare feet. From the moment I get to the beach in the morning my feet love touching the earth as much as possible. And the same goes for when I am cutting silk, if I can avoid wearing shoes I will.
All this leads me to telling you about the Kevin Durant KD13 shoe I was shown the other day by a friend. They seemed to be a wonderful segue from the Jordan range, a really charming shoe that I hope has a strong life. And I hope that Nike pushes other lines of their shoes, especially in basketball, to experiment with new distinctive materials that have no reference to the Jordan. There is something about buying into a new story that is always exciting. The good thing about Nike is that they are probably already ten steps ahead and have thought this out themselves. I was so impressed with the company after watching the Tinker Hatfield episode on the exceptional series ABSTRACT on Netflix.
The pandemic has been for us a very interesting year. I loathe the word 'pivot' and I have done my best to avoid using the 'soup du jour' terminology that spreads just like a virus each year. Last year the world was 'disrupting' and 'reaching out' . It's global vom - and unfortunately we are all supposed to eat it.
But the pandemic did present a challenge. If nobody is getting married this year and if our surgeons are not wearing bow ties to the office - what then is my relevance to society? Things so often wax and wane in fashion but I always relied on the bow tie not fading. Silk neckwear had survived 400 years, why should it suddenly be done away with ? Wait it out, they'll be back... But what if they don't come back? And then you start to sweat at night wondering if everything you had set about doing over the past twelve years was meaningless.
That's when you really have to get creative. In March a lady who ordinarily spent her time in casinos playing black jack was found shut out of her favourite pass time and was upsetting her husband because she was getting cabin fever sitting at home. Through a common friend an introduction was made to me asking if I would be interested in getting her to do some work in sewing, as she had run a small fashion company twenty five years ago. I said ok, but at the time I wasn't sure if I would have anything for her to do at all - we were suffering at the time and concentrating solely on face masks.
There was one product I'd always wanted to do but never had enough silk to commit and nor did any of my other sewers (I feel seamstress is a word that might be needing an overhaul since males who sew don't fall under that umbrella - we need a unisex word that adequately conveys people who sew for a living with either machines or their hands) want to take on that work.
The first cushions we made were below par. I wouldn't write them off, they just didn't have the benefit of experience and the number of iterations it takes to get a product right, the same which could be said of our first self-tying bow ties. I think in life everything is a function of the refinement of process - which is why I have always loved the Japanese and especially their woodblock artisans.
So as we went along we experimented with materials, with piping, with linings, with zippers and more. What an enjoyable experience it has been to see it come to fruition. The first time I sold one I rang my seamstress and she was in a boutique in Sydney's Double Bay and she started crying. She went home and told her husband, I think he started crying too - now that he knew she was off his back and had something to put her hands to! And that was it - we didn't look back.
We have now added to our product range scrunchies, new kerchiefs, cushions, pillow cases and soon we will have poker table covers. This year we have also added into the website cashmere scarves, cashmere jumpers and hoodies, umbrellas, shoe horns, bomber jackets, dressing robes and more. But the push from now one, I hope, is that aside from our core business, self-tying bow ties, we will push for products that have a practical application in people's lives, ones that they can use everyday, like our silk eye shades, or as yesterday I was negotiating, lovely French linen sheets embroidered with our customers details.
And all of this I write because I want to tell you about the product below, the first of the new printed velvet cushions featuring a cheetah in the jungle with a bird perched on a branch which we then reversed with Scottish cashmere to make a dual tone on the reverse. It is in line with what we do, the same way we reverse silks in our reverso model bow ties. It is made of exquisite fabrics, made by hand as I pick up my left handed gingher rotary cutter and set a clear pattern over the cushion so that we find the exact spot required, and then once cut it goes straight to my seamstress (sewer) who then finishes it with a lining that is often used in ties and jackets which gives it a very robust body. For the inner we use a goose down that we can source locally and it gives it such a plush Old World feel about it.
We now have a comprehensive range of products we can offer you and unlike most other companies in the world, we can cut and make it for you in 24 hours (save the bomber jackets) and ship it to you anywhere in the world 4 days later. That's a good reason to engage me if you want something different, something for yourself, something that will stand the test of time. Whatsapp +61413140994 .
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
You GOTT Style - Emma Gott In Our Silk Face Masks Limited Edition Latte Coffee Cups Silk By Rocco Fazzarri For Le Noeud Papillon
There is only so much I can do to sell my own products, but when our customers share their images and their stories, it is so much more powerful than anything I could muster myself. Emma, you look superb and the silk really suits you. It's a limited edition coffee cups silk we designed with Rocco Fazzarri. We love your tagging us so please either do so on Instagram or send the images via Whatsapp to +61413140994.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
There is a discomfort I feel when I watch instagram posts of influencers I admire and follow when they continue to post images of suits and black tie and smart casual. I barely get a chance these days to don a suit and tie and I have instead been experimenting with athleisure and tailoring. It might sound odd but I have spent some time trying to work out if you can pair a tailored casual jacket with running tights - but not the tights you would suspect, and certainly not meggings. I am talking about those technical running pants by Nike, specifically the range of Phenom running tights which at times can be quite gregarious and one pair I found recently had a finish that on some angles and in certain light looked like faux leather. And what is more, between cutting silks and riding my electric bicycle, and because I swim on Bondi Beach in the morning, I find myself wearing sneakers in that kind of way that you'd expect a Californian to wear on David Letterman or some such late night television show.
It's not that I want to try to be "uber" or "progressive". Those words piss me off. I believe in classicism in menswear and there was a time not that long ago where I would seek out opportunities to wear a suit in the city with a bow tie and do it with great relish.
But my life has changed. As too, I envisage, the lifestyle of my customers. I spend the vast majority of my life chained to my Studio, either cutting silks or loading up stock or else working on a new design (and in fairness, a fair wack of time on my chesterfield watching Netflix series when it is quiet). And because of this I have no time nor need for high brow menswear. Which is why it is not surprising that my bow tie revenue has gone down and my face mask revenue up.
A ride (on my electric bicycle Cappucines - she's thirteen years old and still such a glamourpuss) into the city the other day to present myself for jury duty, I wore said outfit - I did not see a reason to dress up for court given the circumstances. At the Downing Centre I was greeted with security who took my temperature, pointed to a large board on what seemed like large easel and asked me whether I had been to any of the venues or places listed along with times and dates. Then I went through the security screening process. Most of the staff, most of the jury candidates, nearly all of the legals and some of the criminals were wearing face masks. It was surreal - as though I finally cottoned on to the reality of our foreseeable future.
What I wore to court was also something that to my mind would never have occurred to me in any other time. I am not that guy. I would have loved to have worn my grey birdseye suit and a more conservative tie. I would have liked to not take my bicycle either, but I didnt want to go into a car park or catch public transport. I didn't want to stop in a cafe. And I wanted to be agile and on the move and you feel far less likely to sprint in a suit.
So that's how I have come to try to pair athleisure with tailoring. Take a pair of sneakers, add some casual easy to wear pants in a technical fibre (my preference being Nike Phenom) and then add a loop back sweater and a sports jacket over the top and if you are feeling cold and a little adventurous, add a kerchief.
I know it's not for everyone. But I also know that we are in a time of change. Nobody is getting married right now (trust me, I do a lot of the wedding bow ties in Sydney and it's completely dead). Most of my doctors are doing far less elective surgery. Many of my bow tie enthusiasts that wear bow ties to work - have opted for a collared t shirt and jacket. In short, life as we knew it, is, for the moment, over.
So if you were used to wearing a suit and bow tie or if you enjoyed your evening wear, maybe it's time to be playful in a new genre under give the unusual set of times we are living in.
Friday, August 14, 2020
Saturday, August 8, 2020
The short answer is, by hand. The best way to wash them is in a hand-basin using tepid to hot water with laundry detergent. This apparently deteriorates the wall of the virus. Once washed, rinse and leave to dry in direct sunlight. The UV light from reading, also destroys the virus. Once dry, use a warm iron to re-pleat the mask and you are ready to go. Some are saying you need to wash the mask every day. I do not. I rotate my masks regularly (which is why I advoate buying our family pack) and I wait until I have used it a few times before I wash it. As I rotate them I leave them in direct sunlight so I always have a mask or two that have spent the day in the sun. Then I come back to them and wash them all together in one go save one mask. To me, this is common sense. But since we are in unchartered waters, I highly recommend you do your own reading and keep up to date with what is being published in online journals.
On a lighter note, the mask, if you fold it in half, and push the string elastic to the base of the breast pocket, allows the pleats to spring up and makes for quite a cool pochette. I will post an image I took yesterday.