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

With over 1.7 million page views, Le Noeud Papillon's blog continues to provide lovers of bow ties with unique stories and content relating to menswear through interviews with industry icons and vignettes into topics relating to suits, shirts, shoes, ties, designers, weavers and much more.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alberto Vargas, Himself A Pin Up For Bow Ties!

For those of you who were born after 1980, Alberto Vargas was a painter who specialised in nudes and pin-ups. His work has inspired many a man in times of loneliness and his idealised paradisiacal forms have entertained the imagination not only of the single heterosexual man searching for a mate but also for the discontent and bored  that were already joined at the hip. In the realm of the unreal, Alberto Vargas must truly be a God. It came as a great shock when I got to know women that they weren't built quite like Vargas had made them out to be. In fact, and I do hope that women do not read this blog, in a strange way I was upset with Vargas for a while, I felt he had sold us a product which could never live up to the description on the packet.  Anyway, it is nice to note that he looked great in a bow tie, who would have thought that in the end, he would become a pin up himself.... Well, at least on this blog.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Black Tie - Silk Mogador Bow Tie And Matching Cumerband

Black Silk Satin Mogador bow tie and matching cumerband - available online through

Mio Capitano - A New Limited Edition Anchors Design Silk Bow Tie From Le Noeud Papillon of Sydney

Mio Capitano - A new limited edition exclusive silk from Le Noeud Papillon of Sydney. The bow is a very deep navy,  almost a midnight blue with golden anchors. Buy it online from 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Portrait Competition II, Entrant #3 - Tomás Molina - Bogotá - Colombia

Tomás Molina of Bogotá, Colombia wears a locally made bow tie with a tailor made black jacket.  Tomás is a classical gutarist and a political scientist 

Portrait Competition II: Entrant #2, Matthew Hinton, Chicago, United States Of America


Please be advised that by entering the portrait competition you are willing to have your portrait published on our blog as this is precisely the medium by which we communicate with our readers.

Regards, LNP

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

What Is It About Armani Suits?

Have you ever heard the expression come past your ears 'oh, he thinks he is all that, walks around in an Armani suit'. Then there are all the variations of this expression. 'I mean, you could have mistaken them for having money, she drove a Bentley convertible, he always wore an Armani suit - but everything was borrowed. Go figure'. Sometimes it can come in another form - 'they were always decked out in Armani, head to toe, they just bought it because they heard somewhere it was trendy'. Whatever the compliment or insult, it seems to me that the general mass of people out there use Armani to quickly convey a single point, as though the word Armani conjures up several images and is like distilling an idea in one word.

This obviously must upset Giorgio Armani to no end. The reason being is that he probably feels hemmed in by now. Once the word goes into the parlance of a generation it perhaps means that the brand and the identity is inflexible although, in saying that, I have offered the term in multiple uses myself.

I would love to hear from any of you readers out there. Is this just an Australian thing? In Italy do they say 'Zegna' or 'Rubinacci' instead of Armani or do they use the term Versace? I am extremely interested in hearing from you so please do not be afraid to leave a comment below.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

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The Bow Tie Portrait Competition - Entries Close 21st June, 2012

The inaugural bow tie competition was won by Danny Hsu, above, who wore a Le Noeud Papillon 'Candy' bow tie and  was  photographed whilst in an amateur photography course in Kings Cross, Sydney

The Bow Tie Portrait Competition - Round 2

After the success of the first competition and the more appropriate colder weather we are having here in Sydney, I thought we ought to embark on a new competition to capture all that wonderful unique style that is out there and which is best summed up by a picture. We have decided this time to widen the ambit a little and loosen the reins on what we will accept. So, without futher ado, here are the criteria for Round 2. Submissions close 21st June 2012 5pm AEST.

The Rules Of Engagement
  1. Any of the following items will be accepted as neckwear: Bow tie, kerchief, neckerchief, bandana, scarf or a cravatte (ascot). 
  2. The photo must be in the format of an image no less than 200kb in size and not in excess of 2mb. 
  3. Entrants can come from any part of the globe and prizes will be sent to their home address provided it  can be delivered by Australia Post's parcel service (that means if you are in Antarctica, there is no need to venture outdoors for a photo).
  4. Entrants must be willing to have their photo published on and in the various other mediums with which Le Noeud Papillon of Sydney communicates with it's customers and fans. These include: email marketing, website, twitter and facebook pages.
  5. The image must be labelled with the name of the entrant and the country and city or town of origin.
  6. All photography must be submitted to bow at 
  7. Multiple entries must not be submitted, the onus is on the entrant to choose their favourite photo, please do not ask us to select from a batch.
  8. Please include in your description the brand of the products you are wearing. We are happy to support other brands, especially those that are from smaller ateliers or localised artisans.
What Are We Looking For?
  1. Your own unique style. We don't want anything which is styled or contrived, we want your essence, who you are, what you wear, how you wear it. Whether you look like Fabio or Montgomery Burns, it does not matter to us, so long as we see your personality in the photo.
  2. We will reward ingenuity in both photography and lighting conditions. So think about how you wish to display your neckwear and in what lighting conditions.
  3. The best photos which were submitted last time each had their own unique personality, so try not to use the same photographer for fear that they might put their own spin on your look.
  4. Let us see things we may not have seen before; maybe you have braces you made yourself, a jacket you made with your tailor, something your grandfather left you  -whatever it is, if it has a story and it adds to the photo, include it! We love the obscure, the personal, the rare.
The Prize

Aside from the usual prizes of limited edition bow ties, cumerbands, pocket squares, ascots, and kerchiefs, we will also be mailing the winner Carlo Riva shirting cloth lengths (enough for two shirts)  which they can take to their favourite shirt maker. 

The total prize package will be over $1250.00 AUD from Le Noeud Papillon and friends.

We will also be having gifts coming from some of our other key retailers who are also supporting our competition. We will post more when we know more!

1. Becker Minty Cufflink Box - Becker Minty have kindly offered the winner one of their ebony cufflink boxes valued at $175.00 AUD.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some Of You Were Wondering About The Cumerband Detail

The details.... Hand stitched label in the rear, 3 button silver clip, elastic and 3 silk fold front

Maison Corthay - The Shoes Of Pierre Corthay, Parisian Shoe Maker

I was fortunate to have submitted questions to Maison Corthay which have been so thoroughly answered by Xavier De Royere, President of Maison Corthay. If you don't know about Corthay, as I did not either, then the best way to get to know them is to like them on Facebook as their website does not do their product justice. Anyway, here is what they told us.

In your own words, how did this brand evolve from Pierre Corthay working for Berluti to having his own brand?

In 1990, the opportunity came up for Pierre to acquire the premises of a shoe maker who was about to retire, right next to the famous Place Vendome. The place had been devoted to shoe-making since 1947 (the year that Christian Dior founded his brand …). Pierre felt that he had learnt his trade - first through the rigorous training of the Compagnons du Devoir (a guild that dates back to the Medieval ages, and that trains young craftsmen for a period of 6 to 7 years, through a process of going from Master to Master to learn the trade. This guild trains stone masons, carpenters, jewelers, ..) and then through his time with some of the period's masters (John Lobb and Berluti). With this background and a lot of ambition, Pierre decided he wanted to express his own technique, his designs, his vision and embarked on a very ambitious project !

Pierre Corthay at Maison Corthay

How much is Pierre Corthay involved in the process of shoe making? Is this hands on workmanship from all that are involved in the business?

Pierre is very much involved in the process of shoe making, both for the bespoke shoes as well as for the 'ready-to-wear' part of the Maison. This is reflected in a 'typical day' for Pierre. He usually spends part of the morning in our Manufacture (workshop) just outside Paris, where 14 craftsmen work. He will oversee their work, spend she time to fine-tune a tool, to train a newcomer on the way to stitch a part of the shoe, or getting updated on the progress of a prototype or the durability of a new leather.
In the afternoon, Pierre will always spend some time in the Atelier (the bespoke part of the business - still based in Paris, where Pierre first started. In this capacity, Pierre might measure the feet of a new customer, work on a last, pass on his knowledge to apprentice … So Pierre is very involved in the process, and his influence is felt in the end product !
I would draw a comparison with other parts of the company, where everyone tends to be extremely detailed oriented and hands-on. Not much status, just hard-work and passion !

The process of patine is very sought after, are there techniques in patine that you specialise in, is there a signature patine  or colour dye which you claim to be ‘Corthay’?

The technique of patine is, as you rightly point out, much sought after. Maison Corthay is constantly trying new color combinations, new leathers and new effects. The limits are drawn by the technical constraints linked to leather and use, as well as … good taste. We are very proud to have so many customers and aficionados who are very keen on what we manage to do on patent leather. Quite unique !

Do you create lasts for all your clients? Could you explain to us a little about the last process. How many fittings are required and what is the basic step by step process in creating a bespoke shoe.

We create lasts for bespoke customers. A bespoke customer might come to us for any or a combination of reasons. They might desire :
- a shoe that only exists in the bespoke collection : to own something that is seen as the 'creme de la creme'
- a shoe that exists in the ready to wear collection, but that they wanted fitted to their exact measure. An existing product, but a very personal sense of comfort
- a shoe that is the product of their dreams, of their design. In this case, the customer comes up with a detail, a shape, an inspiration, a color, a material, … and asks us to transform their desire into a shoe ! This is personalization at its utmost.

In all of these case, the dialogue between the craftsman and the customer is paramount. It is important to understand the customer, his motivations, his style, his likes and dislikes in terms of fit, colors, materials ,… In some cases, if the craftsman doesn't think the shoe will fit the aspirations the customer … we will say so.

The process is relatively long, as there are quite a few stages :

- the measurement process. The craftsman - usually Pierre, his brother Christophe or Toulousain - the Chef d'Atelier - will measure the customer's feet.
- after that the last is created and a 'fitting' shoe is crafted. It is a shoe - made of leather and with a cork sole - which the customer will try. The shoe is the replica of the final shoe, but it is done in order to ensure perfection, fit and confirm design, material and color.
- a few months later, the 'find' shoe is presented to the customer.

At Corthay, we believe that the customer should interact with the same person throughout the process : measurement, fitting, delivery. It is key to the success of the operation, the customer's satisfaction and the quality of the interaction with Maison Corthay. All in all, the bespoke process lasts no less than four months.

Should a bespoke shoe, when finished, take some time to wear in? Can customers expect to have blisters or sore feet from the first few times they wear a made to measure shoe?

Bespoke shoes are made with the exact dimensions of the foot and taking any additional personal requirements in consideration. So we can confidently say that the fit is quite exceptional. After a few hours or uses, the shoe feels like a glove.

Are your shoes made in France? If no, are some of your shoes made in France? Do you support local artisan workmanship?

All of our shoes - every single one of them - is made in France, in our own workshops and with components that are made in France (shank, leather, laces, ..). We are constantly training (young) craftsmen and have created employment over the last 2 years - recruiting an additional 30% staff !

What is the most highly sought after Corthay shoe?
The Arca ! Pure design, fantastic comfort, timeless elegance ….

What is the most prized shoe that has been made by Corthay?

Bespoke shoes in 'exotic' skins tend to be the most expensive. The variety and choice is quite phenomenal.

To view our collection, it is best to like us on Facebook at ‘Corthay’
Xavier de Royere
President - Maison Corthay

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guerreisms - The Neckerchief

Guerreisms posted this photo of a neckerchief. I think this is a very cool look. The neckerchief, in it's various forms, creates a great deal of flair and character for a small amount of cloth and the tiniest bit of effort.

A neckerchief as photographed by K. E. Guerre on Guerreisms

The Shoe Snob - A Blog Worth A Visit

I stumbled across a blog called The Shoe Snob and I think it is one of the best blogs I have come across about men's shoes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nothing Is Ever As Good Or Bad As What You Make It Out To Be

As a blogger you write about things you love and when you see them you jump all over them. However, some words from an old friend, who I no longer remain in contact with, rang true today and I will share them with you. 'Nothing is ever as good or as bad as you think it is'.

What he meant, contextually, back in the day, was that no matter what the experience was, either the human mind made it more fearful or created more excitation around a proposed experience than it was in reality, when experienced. Some of those experiences might be surrounding an event like 'giving the best man speech at my best friend's wedding'. Whatever it may be, the truth is, we create either too much hype or too much fear around events.

Such was the case surrounding Ivan Crivellaro's shoes. They finally arrived this morning. For a week I fretted about whether they would get here, whether they would fit, would I love them as much as I had thought I would, were they what they were said to be? All this nervous trepidation over..... a pair of shoes.

When the UPS man arrived, it was not when I thought he would arrive. It was far too casual. There was no 'is that him on the street, I better chase after him in case he has the wrong apartment block'. Instead, it was a casual knock when I just happened to be next to the door. I opened the door, he presented the dongle for signature, turned, walked away.  

I opened the box with my stanley knife and pulled out the shoe box, it seemed to be from a different company, which made sense, Ivan was an artisan, why would he invest in so many boxes? Then I unravelled the shoes and they were stunning, beautiful, elegant, timeless, but they were a little darker than I had expected and a very tight fit.... and then, well, they were a pair of shoes. The psychological hype I had built around the purchase meant that when the shoes arrived, I suffered the same anti-climax that a bride feels the following day after the wedding..... All that for this? Is this all there is to it? 

It wasn't as though I was disappointed, far from it, the shoes were superlative, but just like the bride after a beautiful wedding I was left with the empty feeling of 'So now what?'

NB: The socks are Breciani socks which I purchased from A Suitable Wardrobe. They are quite possibly the best pair of socks I have ever owned.

A silk covered seat using LNP 3 deers silk and sitting on the chair, the newly arrived Ivan Crivellaro shoes featuring patine brogue and crocodile skin.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Royal Mail Unveils It's Fashion Stamps

Royal Mail has unveiled their collection of fashion stamps which pays tribute to some of the better known designers of Britain. Below is an excerpt from the Daily Mail.

"Royal Mail said it wanted to pay homage to an industry which employs about a million people and contributes some £21billion to the UK economy.
Read more:"

The Tommy Nutter suit designed for Ringo Starr. This Prince of Wales check had to be reproduced by the wool mills of Holland & Sherry

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Next Two Pairs Of Shoes I'd Like Ivan To Make Me

I know exactly what I'd like Italian shoe maker Ivan Crivellaro to make me next - see the two pairs below. It is just a matter of filling up my piggy bank very slowly. 

It's terrible when you buy something and you are so happy with the purchase until the next day the same company brings out a new model and you are left with a pang of regret. I always feel that way about mobile phones. The day you take it out of the packet a friend like Oppenheimer will ring and say 'Gingerbread, why did you go for gingerbread OS when they are releasing Icecream Sandwich next week? You are such a wally sometimes.... you have no patience!'. Then you look down to your mobile phone which seemed so sparkly, so new, and from that moment on you carry it in your pocket much the same way you walk your old dog on a lead - praying that someone might run it over.... 'C'mon you old thing.... Show me you still have some life in you... Damn you, you are freezing up on me again you stubborn old mule".

That is tongue in cheek animal lovers..... I do love my old dog.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Good Read On Shoe Shines

'When you go to have your shoes shined in London or New York these days, the prices are very low (if you can even find the service in London - the only shiner I know of is in the Royal Arcade) and the shines leave your shoes looking about like they did before they were polished.  On the other hand, shoe lovers in Tokyo can patronize high quality shiners that remove your shoes and serve you a drink while they do work that is to the normal Manhattan shoe shine what Starbucks is to Dunkin' Donuts. '
A Suitable Wardrobe on Shoe Shines

Friday, May 11, 2012

On Woody Allen - ABC 702

The Brands I Love: Barker Black

Every now and then you stumble upon a brand you would love to know more about. This is one of them. Barker Black claim to be 'English To The Core', and if that means putting skulls and crossbones on all your garments then I say 'bring it on'. The problem I have is that the first likely chance I might have at seeing their stand alone stores , which are located in New York and Los Angeles, will not be until the end of this year. In the meantime I like to look at their web photography and dream of owning a pair of their Mansell Moccasin slip ons and a pair of their braces.

T V Moore - A New Bow From Le Noeud Papillon of Sydney

Named in honour of our contemporary artist friend Timothy Vernon Moore - now available on