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


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Friday, August 31, 2012

I Found Something Really Cool On Suit Supply

I really like the look of this suit on Suit Supply. I don't think I have trawled their website in over a year so I was pleasantly surprised at some of the looks they were running. I would venture to say that they had more direction than some of the more talked about men's online retailers out there. If you haven't been on their website for a while, perhaps check it out. Unfortunately, as I do not own a Suit Supply suit, I have no idea what the quality is like. 



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Smoking Jackets - A Guide To Choosing Your Own


Smoking Jackets By Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney

For some time now we have been interested in smoking jackets. Our first one started in late 2008 / finished early 2009 using tailors in Sydney and then we cut some for private customers – maybe a total of three. At around $2500.00 AUD a jacket they are not exactly cheap which is why we now offer from Le Noeud Papillon's website. Our first formal smoking jackets were made using Holland And Sherry velvet with Mogador satin silk lapels and blood red lining. These were being worn by men as an alternative for black tie. However, there is another type of smoking jacket which has come back onto the scene and it is known more commonly as the ‘at home’ smoking jacket. The origins are oriental and it is commonly understood that the English used them after dinner when smoking cigars to avoid putting cigar ash on their dinner jackets. These days smoking has died out as a tradition after dinner and is often frowned upon in most cities other than Paris....
The ‘at home’ smoking jacket is obviously therefore a niche market product that has very few genuine manufacturers left in the world. We have been working with one of the few remaining workrooms (outside of tailoring houses such as Charvet and those of Savile Row who make bespoke versions for their esteemed clientele) for about 3 years. These workrooms provide a less expensive way to own a smoking jacket. For starters, they have rolls of quilted fabric which they produce rather than the traditional hand-stitched quilting which costs a fortune to make in terms of man hours. They keep a variety of ropes, tassels, frogging and piping on hand to make sure the client can, to an extent, design their own smoking jacket. All in all, it is a wonderful process which I thought I might elaborate on.

Quilted Silk Versus Velvet

The two most popular materials for smoking jackets are velvet and quilted silk. In my opinion, the velvet is the most popular smoking jacket material and it is best achieved by having a contrast quilted shawl lapel. The velvet is an easy fabric to wear around the house, wears rather easily and is less ‘slippery’ than a full silk jacket, providing a very relaxed homely feel. However, it is absolutely stunning to own a fully quilted smoking jacket with both body and lapel in quilted silk. The greatest example I have seen is from Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heroes which was the inspiration for my own quilted smoking jacket.




Quilting Colours

Most tailoring houses which make ‘bespoke’ smoking jackets will hand-quilt the silk. In order to bring production costs down, some manufacturers such as the ones we work with, produce rolls of quilted silk in order to bring some economies of scale to production. In essence this is a much smarter way to make a smoking jacket. It ensures uniformity and consistency where hand-stitching fails and it makes jackets more economical to manufacture. The process of quilting is done by sewing on the bias a layer of wadding fabric to a layer of satin silk. It is a balance between the right wadding and the right satin silk. Because each manufacturer will have minimums to produce, say 100 metres per roll of quilting, the number of colours available to the consumer is often limited when not hand made. 






Belt sash versus frogging

Both have their merits. Frogging is a traditional clasp which, from my initial research, came from the orient. Frogging clasps can be somewhat cumbersome and are reserved from the more formal smoking jackets, ones which can be worn to dinner but are not necessarily for lounging around the home in. Smoking jackets with belt sashes made of quilted fabric and tassel ends or using velvet belts with tassels, are the most ‘homely’ smoking jackets because they are more like robes than jackets. My suggestion is that if you are looking for something to wear around the house, smoke in, wear slippers with, watch films in, your first purchase would be a belt sash smoking jacket or ‘robe’.






Piping or Corded Rope

Both have their place in smoking jackets. My preference is for corded rope, it adds texture and antiquity to the jacket. Piping has been used so often in mainstream fashion in the last two years that I am starting to tire of it. Piping has a place and its application is better for velvet jackets than those of satin silk. Either way, piping gives you contrast which enhances the visual appeal of a smoking jacket.






Printed Silks Versus Solid Satins

When it comes to smoking jackets, solid colours are best. However, if you are working on a silk robe as a smoking jacket, consider using a print instead.






How Long Should The Jacket Be? 

Approximately the same length that you finish your shirts + 2 cm. That is, measure where you end your shirts and add 2 centimetres. This is an approximate measurement and will change subject to how the individual wears shirts and the shape of their torso.






At Home Or Out On The Town

Some of my customers wear smoking jackets out. This is a new trend, a breaking down of rules. However, the most fun is to keep them at home for visitors. When you answer the door in a smoking jacket there is always something to initially talk about and coupled with a pair of velvet slippers, you can relax with friends whilst retaining an elegance of a bygone era. I advocate wearing a smoking jacket out only if it is made of velvet and preferably when you have frogging. If you are wearing it for any other reason it should be tongue in cheek and never with too much attitude. It is always amusing turning up to pay for your petrol on a winter’s night having ducked out in your smoking jacket. Just be prepared to laugh with those that laugh at you. 

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney - and don't forget, we ship worldwide.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Sneak Preview To Some Of Our 'Catalogue' Silk Swatch Choices For September 2012

Available from mid September onwards, these new silks which we decided upon in July, come from various silk swatch catalogue books we were able to look over whilst on our tour of the Como silk mills. As many of you will know, not all of our designs are designed by Le Noeud Papillon of Sydney and sometimes we rely on the directional designs of the mills we work with. Below is just one selection of the silks we have purchased for our customers. We hope you like them.











Nice Work Mr. Ford - Autumn Winter 2012

You can hear them over at Tom Ford slapping each other on the back, cracking open the champagne and saying 'we did it again'. And they have, it is a return to timeless elegance in terms of the cut. Whenever everyone zigs, Mr. Ford zags. I like the choice of cloth, the weaves, the tones, the style and with just enough direction that it's not just another remake.





A Great Documentary On Savile Row - Terribly Edited But Interesting Content



One of the things I will note from this documentary is that behind all the smoke screens, the pomp and ceremony, the names, the histories - really, it is broken down simply to be a group of people who make suits for a living who through time managed to wind up on the same strip of real estate. Although you might find tailors dotted in and around other cities, the English were smart enough to plonk them in one place. Probably so that they didn't have to walk too far when they fell out with one and wanted to use the other. In saying all that, I do hold a certain deference towards any business where the customer's lineage were also patrons of the same business. Is that correct english?

A Fascinating Video On Geoffrey Parker - Games Makers Of England

Geoffrey Parker Games Corporate Film from Elliott Williams | DOP on Vimeo.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ivan Crivellaro - His Shoes Are On Fire - You Can Feel The Passion

For those of you who are in the know, you will be able to tell that these are Ivan Crivellaro shoes without even seeing the second pair of shoes. His signature is that unique, his mark is that indelible - literally as you can see below with his herringbone chiselled into the leather. How does he do it? I don't know, that is why you pay him money to make your shoes and you concentrate on doing well whatever you do. And if everyone did this, the world would be better for it. 

As for the pair that Ivan made for Le Noeud Papillon, well, nothing but compliments flow whenever they are worn out on a bow tie delivery. In fact, when you stop at the traffic lights and people lower their heads, their natural gravitas is towards your unique shoes, they marvel for 30 seconds, and then you walk on. 

You will hear menswear journalists write that the phenomenon of a coloured shoe is relatively recent. You will hear menswear shop owners tell you that fifteen years ago the only colour shoes you could buy were black or brown. I am so glad that heavy fog has been lifted on the manufacturing of shoes and I for one embrace every single bright and fun colour that is starting to appear on the patina / made to measure / bespoke shoe market. I say, in that American kind of way, 'bring it on'.









I Could Do That - Art, Is It That Amazing?

Oppenheimer once said to me that he and his father walked through the Tate Modern and judged art by whether they could paint it or not. 'I could do that' they would say on one piece, then turning the corner the other would say 'I couldn't do that'. For them it was Groucho Marx slapstick comedy. For years this anecdote amused me and often I would say the same thing to anyone I happened to be strolling through a gallery with, but they never got the joke. However, there was one eye opener for me a couple of years ago, and that was when by friend Beatrice invited me to the opening of her Galerie BSL. Inside she had a whole bunch of stuff that not only could I not do, but I also had to ask myself how the hell they had done it. At the time she was showcasing some limited editions she had commissioned from an artist called Nacho Carbonell, a Valencian designer who tried to create objects and items for the home or communal space that looked as though they were in fact deep sea living organisms. At the moment she is showcasing an artist called Chales Kalpakian whose cabinets are themselves art and provide a huge amount of visual stimulation as you walk into the room. I will post some images below. However, if ever you are in Paris, just off the Rue Bretagne, opposite Cafe Charlot, sits Galerie BSL on Rue Charlot - where you can see it for yourself - it's a short walk, maybe twenty metres, but it's gonna stop you from saying 'I can do that' all the time.


Charles Kalpakian cabinetry currently on show at Galerie BSL -   23 rue Charlot
75003 Paris

Valencian designer Nacho Carbonell - famous for creating modern pieces which take on natural organic forms. The example above is a light which reflects light in the most unusual manner through the crust of rocks on the inside of this tube. It is said to recreate waves of light, light which plays like light within the leaves of a tree. 


The 0-9 ring - part of the limited editions on display at Galerie Bsl

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wise Words From A Trusty Old Friend

"Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal - that there is no human relation between master and slave"

Leo Tolstoy

Sketches From A City Lunch

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Four men had gathered at their usual lunch venue for their Friday Review as they often referred to it. The first, who wore his mufti day clothes of camel jacket with top stitching and patch pockets, coupled with a red and white poplin shirt, had secured a table for two and then pulled the neighbouring table together to make it four. He had then spent the time waiting for the remaining guests by texting them on SMS and WhatsApp to ensure that he did not look foolish having merged the tables. Eventually Francis arrived in his navy power suit and white twill shirt, his initials embroidered in his liver in white, his shoes black and well-polished. He was holding his Blackberry as though it was foreign to his hands, placing it in his inside breast pocket as he seated himself. The two were quiet as they waited for the remaining two to join; and only once all four were seated did a familiar rapport begin to take hold on the conversation.

“Yesterday lunch time at Ucello…” began Damien.
“Where, at the Ivy Pool?” interjected Rich.
“Yes, yesterday, we were there for lunch and the sun was out and already the girls were looking smoking hot!”
“Ahhahahaaha” chuckled the rest in unison.
“Not bad on the next table Franco” said Rich.
“Uh, Ivy pool bar is so trashy” said Simon.
“I hear it is because they have Men’s Gallery there that they just tell all the girls to come up at lunch. That’s what I heard” said Rich with quiet authority.
“Well, what do I care, I mean, it’s eye candy at the end of the day, I am not intending to take them home to meet my mother, or my wife for that matter” chortled Damien.

GNT Style - A Very Personal Look Into One Man's Life And Style

GNT Style is the life and style of Gian Marco Cominu, a self described architect, lover of fine clothes and motor cars. Gian left a comment on my blog regarding an Al Bazar jacket and so I followed his blog link and although I was initially startled by the number of photos Gian had with his car, I warmed to the blog after a few posts. Gian has a unique style and his attention for details is quite quirky and makes for exciting viewing. If you haven't seen this blog before, I recommend a trawl. 





An 'agnelli' cuff for the wrist watch 




An Al Bazar jacket