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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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It Can Still Be Had

We have a few requests come in for the silk above but it was sold out. There are still one or two left at The Mens Shop which you can purchase here:

A Suitable Wardrobe On Carlo Riva Fabrics

Renowned for its lightness, breathability and subdued character, Carlo Riva shirting is the principal offering of the best Italian shirtmakers (including Kiton, Mimmo Siviglia and Anna Matuozzo) but very difficult to find in North America. Except at the ASW store.
Carlo Riva's 100% Cotton Superoxford shirting is probably the most refined cloth of its type in the world. The oxford cloth texture is visible, but the cloth itself is suitable for more formal occasions than conventional oxford, and looks perfectly appropriate after 6PM. Light blue or white.
Our Carlo Riva shirt service is available by contacting

Lawrence - A 7 Fold Tie Hand Made In Sydney

Last week when I entered a store I was holding my new ties to show the staff when one of the salesmen took the tie out of my hand, paired it with a jacket immediately and sold it under my nose to a customer. I hadn't told them my price, I didn't say to him that it was for sale, but it just walked out the door in front of me. 'If you don't want it sold, don't bring it in here' was the response from this extraordinary salesman. It was the silk that was the tipping point. This particular repps comes from the same people who make Carlo Riva cotton. It had a lovely handle, fairly heavy on the hand but yet supple for a repps. There is one more I then cut which is on the website .

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Glasses Sold Separately...

Something we also finished today is this little number, a silk jacquard sample of a sunglass bag using some remaining silk we had left over from a customer we worked with in December. I love the contrast between the orange silk twill inner and the blue woven jacquard exterior. Not for sale at the moment but definitely something we will endeavour to get to you in the near future. If you are interested in securing one early, please don't hesitate to contact us on

So, Say I Become Famous

Experiment # 1 -

A journey of great distance starts with a single step. I have begun experimenting (though this is a side hobby to add to the existing collection of pocket squares we make) to hand-dye, distress and paint on silk pocket squares which have been hand-rolled in Sydney. Through a process of drying, steaming, heating and so on I am spending my quieter time of the year researching the art of painting on silk. It has been a lot of fun so far. These are not to detract from our normal range of pocket squares which will be finished over the coming weeks, but they are one offs, made by me, and I will put them on the website. So, say I became famous, you could say one day 'you know, I once paid near nothing for that guys first designs. I paid for his R & D, but look what it's worth now!'

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It Is Called Trial By Error For A Reason

Hand-painting dyes onto silk at home. Not something one can master easily.

On Friday I received a package of French dyes for silk fabric painting. I was bent on getting very artistic over the weekend coupled with, and riding off the back of, my recent self-delusional 'creative spurt' which saw me re-inventing the hat band, making shoe bags, wallets, card holders and tobacco pouches out of silk whilst also spending a great deal of my evening quilting by hand. I firmly believed that in my mad little sun room, with just a sewing machine and some creative thought, I could set about making absolutely anything. I was able to now hand roll stitch a hem confidently, I had all the right silks on me, my dyes and paints were here, I had a sewing machine - what could go wrong?

What went wrong is that my skill set had not yet caught up with my imagination. Often we forget as designers that everything is a process. It is as much about trial by error as it is 'creative flow'. Or, as Einstein so aptly put it- 2% inspiration, 98% perspiration. By the end of the weekend I had therefore achieved half of the work I set out  to achieve on my quilt, my shoe bags were not yet nearing the quality I aspired to and, above, you can see that painting on silk is not quite as easy as first anticipated. The 'sky' was no longer the limit, it was more the earth that I was crashing into.

My advice to you creatives out there is as follows. Just because someone else has talent, don't fool yourself into thinking it is easy to match it with a little time up your sleeve on a Saturday afternoon. Just because someone makes something look like they knocked it up last night, doesn't mean that they knocked it up last night. There is planning, there is trialling, there is re-visiting, there is re-calibrating. It is just like learning to dance. You can pretend to do one or two of the key tricks, but unless you slog it out, eventually people will catch you out. This weekend, I was caught out, by myself. And so Monday brings more of what I know is needed to achieve anything. Hard work. As a friend of mine, sagacious and modest, said to me over the weekend 'Nikki, the spivs aren't winning anymore. Real business is being done by those who work hard and know what they are doing, not by young dreamers hoping to catch a silver bullet by doing some one in a million deal'. I owe him a great deal of thanks for the comment. It is as he said.

The shoe bag. Something that has been made very cheaply for far too long. If you are going to spend that much on shoes, I felt you ought to get something a little more opulent to carry them in.

It Pays To Be On Our Mailing List

Inside these two boxes are bow ties which normally go for $275.00AUD and $145AUD respectively which were bought at half the price from our website because the customer is on our mailing list and we offered the first 6 people on Friday morning that purchased a bow tie from us to enter a code giving them 50% off the RRP on the website. It is our way to say thank you for supporting our brand and for putting up with our rather long-winded but very informative newsletters. If you feel like joining too and reaping the benefits, just click here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Press Release For Our New Hat Bands At Strand Hatters

Click To Enlarge

We Are Family - Bow Ties Shapes

If you cannot find your ideal shape on our website, you are more than welcome to request it be made through our contact page at . What you see above are 5 of the 19 shapes and patterns we hold on file for bow ties.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ABC 702 Interviews With Dom Knight - Silk Dyeing And Printing

Tonight on ABC 702 with Dominic Knight we talked about the methodology behind dyeing and silk screen printing and how they are being made slowly redundant through the advent of digital printing. We also talked about hand-dyeing and silk painting.

Sara Aniton's  hand-painting on silk work : Source: Dharma Trading

The art of silk painting is as old as the weaving of silk fabric. The first known examples of silk painting come from India around 200AD and were later found in Indonesia where many of the modern day techniques for dyeing and painting have remained unchanged.

Around 300 years ago silk painting became popular in Europe. It was originally believed to have been an art form that was instructed to the French by members of the Russian court who had been informed of the technique from contact with the East. 

Silk painting was a precursor to screen printing on silk. Both are done effectively with a combination of both dyes and paints. The difference between dyes and paints is that whilst dyes chemically bond to a fabric, by contrast paints attach themselves to the fabric and do not chemically bond. This means that when you print there is often a change in the 'handle' (the way silk feels in our hands) of the silk. With a dye, there will be no change to the handle of the silk.

Silk dyeing is often a technique which is best employed using steam fix dyes. Although it is possible to use dyes which can be set using chemicals, the best results for bringing out brilliant colours is to set the dye using steam. This is often done by blasting the fabric with steam for a period of 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the silk and the quantity of fabric that is being set. In the case of home artisans, silk is often set by steaming devices they use on either a home pot or else a home steaming machine where they roll the fabric between sheets of blank news print. 

Indian dyes in a market. Source: Wikipedia
Once a silk has been dyed it is often possible to print over the top of dye the design of the alternate colours. When dyeing one colour over another or printing, often a discharge is applied to the fabric so that the dye will be released and the ink paint will replace the dyed area. In the case of printing, the fabric is cured by ironing or heating the paint to fix it to the silk, in the place of dyeing the fabric needs to be once again steamed to set the fabric.

Hand painting and screen printing on silk can also be done using a 'gutta'. Gutta is a a solvent based product which comes from Indonesian rubber trees (Gutta Percha). Gutta is what is known as a resist. By applying it to the silk, the dye will not go where the gutta has been applied. This allows artists to create the distinct shapes and designs which will be used when hand painting silks and is one of the most widely used materials for the French Serti Technique of silk painting.

In order to make a great silk design into something like a scarf of a pochette, it is important to know what kind of base cloth you are using. Different printing techniques will work better with different cloths. Printing on 12 mommes silk habotai (pronounced 'mummies' - a Japanese silk measurement which refers to the weight in pounds per 100 yards of a 45" wide cloth) will give a different result to that of a silk twill versus a georgette. Knowing your silk fabric to start with also means that some methods, such as digital printing, will work great and give a vibrant and deep result with one silk, but will work poorly in others. You also need to think about the application you wish to make your silk. Are you going to be making a cravatte? A pocket square? A scarf? A Tie? Each object will differ in what parts of the fabric will be seen. In the case of the pocket square, both sides need to be visibly seen in order for it to perform its function well. This is not the case for most cuts of a regular tie.

Source: Better Workwear Australia - Screen Printing in motion
The fight for the survival of screen printing and steam dyeing fabrics is now well and truly underway with the fast pace at which digital printing technologies are attempting to catch up to traditional printing techniques. Many brands, even the top ones you would never suspect, have already moved over to digital printing. As one contact in England told me last week, you are hard pressed to still find traditional Italian screen printing and dye houses anymore. The digital era has been so fast in it's rise because the designers are used to working with programmes such as Photoshop and Illustrator which lend themselves to digital printing more than they do to screens. Furthermore, screen printing is far more laborious and there are much higher minimums often required by production houses which means that only large companies with big distribution channels can undertake the MOQ of 100 -1000 metres of fabric depending on where the companies produce their silks. By contrast, digital printers are often happy to produce anywhere from 2 metres so long as they are paid their design set up fees.

Given that we are currently seeing a widespread drift towards digital printing, it is likely that over the coming years the price of screen printing, hand-painting and steam set dyed silk will only increase in price.


Are you interested in knowing more about screen printing or hand-painting or do you want us to show off your own artisan work? Let us know by contacting us on

The Gentleman’s Supply Company – A New Webtailing Experience

The Gentleman’s Supply Company has just launched Australia wide. The basic premise of this new webtailing experience is that if you give them a small amount of your time, say five minutes or more, they will understand who you are as a customer and better orchestrate your web shopping experience. The store is a hybrid between online and bricks and mortar but running behind it is the latest technology in web shopping.

At the Gentleman’s Supply Company the data you give the website then feeds out to a select group of stylists who then curate your experience of the website from the online store pages you see to personalised emails and more. How much you disclose is up to you the customer.

What happens next is that the curator then prepares a shipment of goods for you in a crate which are then sent to you in a funky vintage box at which point you try it on, select what you like and then ship back the box with whatever it is you don’t need or don't like.

Curated looks designed to fit to your lifestyle and choices with options put in your crate to make sure you see all angles.

The benefits, from what I can see are that you:

a) don't need to pay for the stuff upfront and 
b) you don't have to pay courier charges in either direction. 

This allows you to take it home, try it on, make sure it's what you thought it was, and then send back what you don't need or didn't like. Brands such as Gieves & Hawkes, Valentino, Paul Smith and ours of course, are already partnered with this brand. The only problem I had with the site was that they needed to store my credit card details. As for the rest of it, I like the concept and I like the idea of more personalised service.

Jump across now and have a look:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chefs Ola Rudin & Sebastian Persson By Photographer Magnus Omme

Magnus Omme  is a Swedish photographer who resided in Sydney but has since moved to Copenhagen. Every now and then I pop over to his blog to see where his adventures have taken him. And whilst there this morning  ( I discovered a photo I had not previously seen which shows up all the wonderful colour of the silks we used in a recent portrait commission.

Source: Magnus Omme Blog -

Photographer Magnus Omme captures two up and coming chefs of Sweden: Ola Rudin & Sebastian Persson 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Now On The Website... 7 Fold Ties In Tiny Runs Of No More Than 5

Because of the cost of manufacturing a hand made tie in Sydney coupled with the amount of silk a 7 fold uses, we are only going to make very small runs of our ties. This 8.5cm number is for example 1 of only 3 made. I dare say we will probably not make more than 5 of any given fabric until we can get our costs down.  You will love them though. They have that handle, that feel in the hand, that really feels like luxury at its core. They are now uploaded to the website and they will certainly not be available in retail stores -

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Finest Hand-Made 7 Fold Silk Neckties In Australia

It is a very big call to make, and I am making it on my own product, so you should obviously take whatever I say with a pinch of salt because my ties are like my children (not that I have any that I know about). 

The process to make a tie is like a pocket square, like a bow tie and like a scarf. It takes a long time to develop and it takes many elements to come together. The silk has to be made just right for the application (weight, handle, weave and design). The lining must have the right consistency to match the silk. The pattern needs to be created. Then you need the right hands to fold it together, pin it and sew it by hand. If all these elements come together, which they don't always do, then you get a superior tie which is what we got today. I am so proud of it, not myself, I had very little to do with it all, I oversaw each element but I didn't do any of the needle work. This is the culmination of an investigation that took place at the end of 2008 when I was wondering why you could not buy a decent bow tie in David Jones and when people laughed in my face when I said I was going to make my products in Sydney. 'You'll never make money' they said.

Well, I stand by quality and I am still standing. Many thanks to any of you who have purchased a bow tie. You have validated my journey so far and I owe it all to you.


Le Noeud Papillon Sydney 7 Fold Ties Hand Made In Sydney Australia - Limited Runs Only

Monday, February 11, 2013

Harry Truman - A Treasure I Found In Life Magazine 1951

This is possibly the best find I have had in some time. A friend of mine suggested I go back and look at Truman and so I did a google search tonight and pulled up Life Magazine from December 10th 1951.  Really, truly, honestly, I believed that I was probably one of the first to make a horizontal striped bow tie, but look at the image below for 1945. I do believe that is a horizontal stripe. What a collection of ties and bow ties. I will feed of this for a few days.
The fashions of President Truman

Kerry Packer Had Style

I adored the interview with James Packer last night on Channel 7's Sunday Night. I thought James Packer came across particularly well regardless of whether it was a puff piece to spruik his Barangaroo casino plans. When he remarked from tear filled eyes that his father was a 'fuckin' big man' you could really feel the rawness and the reason behind the mythos of Kerry Packer. He held so much weight, so much brutal force in people's minds that the mere name being said can still drive a conversation on a new tangent despite the fact that he is now 7 years departed from this earth. What surprised me was how much James Packer seemed to have matured, seemed more like his father and seemed to show himself as much more thoughtful and insightful than what he has been portrayed as in the media. Whether this maturity has come from age or his recent experiences, I think it is nice to finally see a human face to someone who has been so widely scrutinised and media shy. Back to the reason for this post....

What struck me style wise about the interview was that in nearly every frame that Kerry's photograph was present, he was wearing a white pocket square. Black tie or boardroom, this 'mercurial' man seemed to exude a great level of style despite his huge frame. He was classically suited with what seemed to be a Savile Row cut in conservative tones. His son, James, seems to be evolving in much the same manner but for some minor changes to the cut of his suit owing to changes in fashion.

And so, I set about finishing my first Carlo Riva pocket square in royal oxford and I have decided to name it 'Kerry'. I think it is only fitting that we used Carlo Riva cotton cloth. Whilst conservative, it is regarded as some of the most opulent cotton cloth in the world.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

I got up again this morning to try out my new roll stitching technique on a different cloth. This time I used a Carlo Riva royal oxford I had left in storage. I have to admit, I think I will need to do at least 40 pocket squares before I get a grip on the technique. This one alone took me two hours and there is A LOT of room for improvement.

A Blog Interview With Grant Harris From Image Granted

Grant, please tell us about your work and how you go about helping your clients?

It’s a pleasure to be here with you and your readers.  Image Granted, LLC is a Washington, DC based image consulting company founded in 2009 dedicated to solving the complex image, style & fashion issues of today’s professional man. IG provides local and international corporate branding, market research and other value-based services for corporate entities and individuals in need of practical & affordable style advice.

From 2012, what were the main highlights you saw in men’s fashion?

There isn’t much use in looking back in time but there were a few things that stood out.  

Green was a big color this past fall, more specifically olive.  

Suits and sport coats continued to get shorter much to the dismay of people like me who would rather not see a man’s rear end.  

On the retail side technology continued to push the envelope with mobile shopping and the launch of dozens of online web shops.  E-commerce was a winner. 

 In footwear color was the game.  Bright soles and contrast shoelaces from Cole Haan and innovation from Grenson livened up the footwear industry.  

The demise of the handmade product continued to be an issue.   Tailors aging without apprentices, consumers demanding more fast fashion and high street collaborations with big box department stores like Target and H&M took a huge bite out of the custom industry.  

These are just some of the happenings in 2012.  We’ll see what‘s in store for 2013.

In 2013, what do you think we are going to see?

I’m no crystal ball and my opinion pales in comparison to more learned men but I believe E-Commerce will continue to be big.  More web shops will open.  Integration between shopping platforms and mobile devices will continue.  

Emerald has been declared the official color of 2013 for the ladies, but I believe Indigo will be the unofficial color for men.   
Manufacturing in third world nations will increase in prominence especially in Africa and the Pacific Rim.

If you could go back to any period in time to have a week wearing the clothes of the period, what period would that be?  

I admire the 40’s and 50’s when men wore a uniform, and not just for the military that consisted of a jacket, tie and hat.  Men weren’t seen without one of these if not all three consistently.  Having a dedicated uniform seems rigid, but when you know the rules you have to play with, you find ways to express yourself within them, which is what dressing well is all about.

Grant Harris, a patron of Le Noeud Papillon, wearing a velvet Roger M bow tie using Holland And Sherry Modal Velvet

What is the most prized item in your wardrobe?

My class ring from the Virginia Military Institute.  No matter what I’m wearing it always shines the brightest.  I wear it proudly.  It would most likely be the first and/or only thing I’d grab if my house was on fire.

Can you rank for us the importance in your wardrobe of the following items and why: Suits, Shirts, Shoes, Watches, Ties, Cufflinks, Vests, Hats, Jeans, T-Shirts.

I own three times as many sport jackets s I do suits.  I’m more comfortable in them and feel like there are more options.  I have suits because I should, but wear them sparingly.

Shoes are important but the most expensive addition to any wardrobe.  I do my best.

Watches hold no place in my wardrobe.  I don’t wear them and quite frankly don’t understand why some men find them so fascinating.  To each his own. 

Ties are lovely, but I have all I need, which is too many.  I prefer ascots at this point.  

Cufflinks are gift better received than bought.  

I greatly admire vests and DB vests at that.  I wear them regularly all year round.  They keep a man looking clean and put together with or without a jacket.  I’ve never not received a compliment while wearing a vest.  

As I mentioned earlier I like the idea of hats and have acquired two recently.  They are harder to come by these days and therefore all the more reason to wear them.  

I own one pair of jeans.  I believe there are so many more comfortable and more creative options a man can choose to cover his rear.  

T-shirts should only be worn at home or at the gym.

What are your top three menswear brands and what are the go-to lines of each of them?

1. Bresciani for socks
2. Drake’s for ties/pocket squares
3. Pringle for cashmere

What is the one product that you can’t justify the money to own but if you had the money you would purchase in a flash?

Four Ply Cashmere Shawl Collar Cardigan by Drakes.  It looks like I’d never want to take it off, but $1100 (depending on the exchange rate) for a cardigan is astronomical.
Budd dressing gown from The Merchant Fox.  No one needs a dressing gown, but anyone who has one never takes it off.

Grant Harris, MBA 

It's Easy For You To Say.... The Pocket Square Dilemma

Some of you out there who know a thing or two about pocket squares will know that it is difficult to put a good one together. You may hear referrals to 'dye and discharge' by companies such as Drakes Of London or you may have seen the ultimate woven pocket square from Hermes which features a lovely little H in the jacquard, or it could be that you have heard of the painstaking time it takes to hand-roll the edges of a pocket square; whatever it is you have heard, it is true!

When I went around the silk mills in Como last year one company was offering to do my pocket squares digitally printed with a machine rolled hem stitch. I saw one of the companies that was mass producing pocket squares, a reputable Savile Row tailor to be more precise, and I turned my nose up at it. I was after the holy grail. The holy grail, in my humble opinion, is Charvet. Of all the production and design houses in the world, only one knew how to make a really great pocket square and that was the old shirt maker from the Place Vendome. The reason they had got it right was simple. They had the right silk twill weight, they had dyed the fabric beautifully and then they had printed the dots in such an authentic deeply rich ink that it sank through to both sides so that you had no 'ghosting effect'. 

(NB: Digitally printed pocket squares can be great for photos and complicated imagery on pocket squares and have really enabled designers to go all out on the offerings, however, the problem remains the ghosting effect of the underside because the ink does not bleed through)

The truth is, if you want to make a great pocket square, there are about 5 elements you really need to get right. They are:

1. The right kind of base cloth - usually a 12-16 mommes silk twill but this can alter depending on what you would like to achieve. One of my favourite pocket squares is a YSL white habotai with black edges.
2. The right kind of dye for the fabric. 
3. The right kind of screen printer / screens / inks / dye and discharge method that is available to you.
4. The right kind of hands to finish the edges.
5. The right kind of price so that you can still sell your piggies when they get to market.

Many in the industry that I work with think I am completely insane. I have relentlessly been searching for five years now to come close to Charvet (the benchmark). I should also say here that Turnbull & Asser, Drakes, and Hermes have lovely pocket squares. Every time I came close to completing what I wanted I was set back by the Italians who gave me a price for 100 metres of silk as a minimum order (roughly 400 pocket squares in the same pattern print but split between 3 colour ways). These people did not understand that if I owned an orange one with polka dots, the next guy wanted pink paisley to set himself apart. Pocket squares, for the aficionados, are like a good vintage car. You need to have something that nobody else has in order for it to really be admired. Nobody, so it seemed, was willing to print on anything less than that in order to do screen printing. The world, as I was told, was moving to digital, and I oughtn't get stuck in analogue at a time like this.

In truth, digital is remarkable. It has changed the world of fashion immensely. Now a kid can design clothes in a vector graphics programme like Illustrator, press send on his email and somewhere on the other side of the world his clothes will be cut and his fabrics will be printed right down to the fine detail. And, I for one benefit from this too. BUT, the problem then becomes, especially in the world of pocket squares where both sides of the silk count - what about the 'ghosting'? On a pair of shorts you don't care, but on a pocket square it is enough to make you cancel your order in the shopping cart.

Add now to this conundrum the problem with hand roll-stitching. It is the most magnificent way you can finish a pocket square. Although some say that the new machines are pretty accurate and much faster, there is, sorry to say this, something very idiosyncratic about each of the 'top' design houses and how they hand-finish their pocket squares. 

For us, it was a chance encounter in Bali last year that finally put me in touch with someone who could do the work. When we priced it in Sydney, the cost of having a seamstress hand roll stitch a pocket square in terms of time made the cost of production over $36.00. Even in Italy, the home of hand-stitching, I once said to one of my contacts 'can you finish these with a hand-roll stitch' and he just laughed and replied 'nobody will do it these days other than nuns in a convent or people from the South'.

For this reason we were forced to use our contact in Bali. BUT, tonight I made one big advance. Finally, after my stitching and quilting courses and having a chunk of time to myself, I sat down and finished a pocket square from start to finish. It was a little ratty in some areas, but I got there. Now that I have it almost down pat, I am going to try and work out how to get the time down so I can bring some of our production back into Australia.

And, it gives me a good chance to use up all those great left over pieces of Carlo Riva shirting cloth I had around which will make the ultimate pocket squares. 

So, here is my Saturday night below. A roll stitched pocket square with a piece of silk I had lying around. The first of many I hope.

Making a pocket square at home with a roll stitch. Not as difficult as it first seems. All you need is a needle and a thread and nothing better to do. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bresciani Socks - The Biggest Selection At Claude Sebastian

For those of you who didn't know about Bresciani socks - WAKE UP - here is an interview we did with Massimiliano Bresciani about his socks and how he makes them. CLICK HERE

We have now put in over 432 pairs of Bresciani socks into Claude Sebastian, those wonderful people in Martin Place, Sydney CBD that stock our bow ties. You can call them on +612 9233 6938 or +61412 532 654 or email them on  . Ask for Jerome Bowman.  There are over 40 different styles in every colour imaginable with every design conceivable, in various lengths and sizes. Yes, it is possibly the most comprehensive range of socks in the Southern Hemisphere all because I couldn't stop myself from ordering too much. My greed is to your advantage. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hat Bands... The First Glimpses...

Okay, so pretty much any silk that is on our website can be turned into a hat band. The hat bands come in two sizes, Small (56cm) and Large (59.5cm). If you are unsure as to which one you need, take a tape measure to your existing hat band. They are elasticated, so you will be able to stretch them out a little. They are so exciting, they really lift your panama or any hat for that matter. If you want a custom cut, you can order one by email and we will add it to next week's cutting list. The price is $59.95. I wish they could be cheaper but it's taken a lot of time to make each one. For the best result, remove your existing hat band and replace with ours. Otherwise, if you are looking for a band aid, you can hook it over your existing band. So far I have not had one sweat mark owing to the fact that the band is double sided. I have placed the two I like the most up top.

Copyright Le Noeud Papillon 2013

A Random Search Of The Internet...

I am always on the look out for people doing different stuff. This was one such company. It's no secret who they are to those in the industry, but for me it was a real find I stumbled on. They print on fabric any image you like, and so I fished through some old photography I took in the Blue Mountains, added some of my papillons and asked the lady to press print. It's all tricks you see... but I hope you enjoy them. As for who they are.... I will let that remain a secret for a little bit.

Last Days Of Summer - Make The Most Of It

Autumn Approaches....
Today I felt a little sadness because I knew that summer was still here but it would soon be leaving and that pretty soon the trees would be bare and we would start putting away the fans and pulling out the heaters.

Today was also the day that we finished our first batch of hat bands, one of which is shown on a boater hat above matching a bow tie called Tanaka. They will be loaded up onto the website in due course. For the time being they will be on the website but your best chance at getting one that you want will be to drop into the Stand Hatters to see Robert Carroll and his team that took delivery of wide selection of them today. Wishing you the best for the remaining hot days, and if you are up north, enjoy the well-deserved change in weather heading your way.

Fane Levy On Building An Australian Shoe Brand

 Fane, how old are you and how much does your age group determine the colour palette and designs you choose for your shoes? 

I’m 26 years old. I would say my age definitely affects my choice of colour palette to me. I like to be more bold and outgoing with some of the bright blues, greens and oranges. However, my business ethic takes this into account ensuring more subtle and conservative colours for the older age groups. My range covers all colours from the plain black, brown and navy blues, through tans, mustard, royal blue to the extreme spectrum of bright green, orange, lilac. I feel it is important to cater for the entire market to keep up with the changing trends and perception of style. 5 Years ago I would have never worn a green shoe, today its been one of our hottest sellers. 
With regards to my designs, I have a simple theory -  I keep to a minimum range of styles, but alter the design and feel of the shoes through colour. I believe colour is the most essential part to any item. Without colour you are left with blank canvas, a silhouette. 

Tell us about the construction of a car shoe – what are the basic elements and how are they put together? What kind of rubber are you looking for, fabrication methodology, qualities of suede etc?

1. The Upper material is prepared. This is checked to be free of wrinkles.
2. The toe box and counter is attached. The cement is applied evenly to the backside the toe and heel area, not to overflow. The toe and heal bottom is stitched to fix toe box to the counter. 
3. Upper material conditioning. Proper temperatures are set and steam gas or water spray is used to soften the leather to facilitate its form without damage.
4. Toe/board lasting process. The insole board is fixed by cement and/or steel pin. The upper heel is moulded followed by the toe moulding.
5. Heat Setting. This uses a heated chamber to set the upper shape of the shoe
6. Outter sole. The rubber sole is laid flat with cement applied. The sole is laid from the toe to heel and lateral to medial. This is rolled onto the base of the shoe and stitched in. A chloridize primer is used for all rubber soles. This is followed by a pressing gage to ensure bonding strength is achieved.
7. Quality control and cross checks are applied to ensure it passes.
We use a mid-high strength rubber to ensure longevitiy, however we don’t want it to be too hard or brittle to allow for sponge and absorption under the foot.
We review and approve all materials including leathers and suedes to ensure the quality matches our standards.

You have now branched out from just car shoes, can you tell us a little about your new products and where you think the market is heading for men’s shoes?

I launched my Boater Range in October 2012. These are a range of waterproof boat shoes. They have a spongy rubber sole for comfort and the upper material is a nylon/canvas mesh which allows the feet to breathe, eliminating sweat. They can be worn without socks, won't stain if drinks or food is spilt onto them and most importantly can be thrown in the washing machine. This range has proven to be most popular over the summer period. 
Our new line of loafers will hit our shores at the end of February 2013. These consist of nubuck leather loafers in a range of colours and styles. The inner sole has been engineered for comfort and breatheability. These have been mastered and improved from our initial batch last year.
We are in the production phase of our loafer slippers. These will include both suede and velvet slippers. This is a niche market but I feel if we produce conservative styles and colours, there is a large enough demand to satisfy the supply.
We are in the production phase of our brogue. These will consist of suede brogue shoes with a hint of colour and point of difference. Stay tuned for the launch of these
We are finalising our smart shoe range or leather both lace up and slip-on shoes. These will be fit for work, casual, night life and smart events.

Living in Sydney, do you see a big separation from harbour culture versus beach culture?

There is the happy medium where my range crosses over, however it’s safe to say the beach culture is more laid back and casual whereas the harbour culture looks towards more style, sophistication and the “image” side of style. I try ensure that my range caters to both, which to date it has.

Tell us about your most prized look for a pair of car shoes – are we talking summer shorts, the beach, a collared t-shirt or something else?

Pair of beige chino’s slightly rolled up
White shirt with buttons open midway, sleeves rolled up and messy
Black/tortoise shell wayfarer type sunglasses
Corona in hand
Big-faced watch on wrist
Pair of FANE’s on feet – a bright colour to make a statement – bright blue preferred!

When would a man swap a car shoe for a velvet slipper?

When entering FANE Footwear store in the next few months. We’ll have our new range of car shoe’s and velvet loafer slippers on hand. I wouldn’t imagine a swap, but rather and add on to the collection.

Before you started making shoes, you must have bought other brands. Can you tell us the top 5 pairs of shoes you have owned in the last 5 years?

You had to ask the question!
Louis Vuitton
Dolce Gabanna
What I’ve learnt from wearing all these brands plus more has been applied to FANE Footwear to ensure the perfect shoe in terms of comfort, style, quality and longevity. One wouldn’t imagine how many factors there are that contribute to a good shoe. And, ours are extremely well priced.

What is one thing you haven’t been able to purchase in the last 12 months which you wished you had the money to buy.

A new car, but this is on the horizon for this year!

See Fane's collection here:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Coat Hangers Which Can Double As Bow Tie And Tie Racks!

Just arrived today, our luxury hangers for your bestest jackets and trousers which can also make wonderful bow tie and tie racks. Available in black and mahogany brown, we have plenty of stock, so you don't have to rush at all. Gentrify your wardrobe and be the envy of your mates when you turn up to a wedding weekend holding your suit on one of these luxurious coat hangers with wide supporting shoulders and a felt bar. Exclusive to .

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Of The Great Songs Of The Eighties And Paying Homage To Errol Flynn

This was sent through today by my brother as a random piece of trivia to digest. It reminded me of the fact that I have never researched or looked at the clothes of Errol Flynn. Flynn, famous for being one of the great swashbucklers of Hollywood, is revered as one of the first Australians to make it in Hollywood. I am looking forward to reading up on him shortly.

Testimonial From A Custom Order Bow Tie Customer

Dear N,

I just wanted to thank you again for carrying the tie over last month. It tied a really elegant knot, with absolutely perfect proportions for the jacket and collar.  It was much complimented, and I'm extremely grateful.

Let me know next time you're in New York.

Best wishes,
J. Liszt, New York

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oppenheimer Strikes Gold

I got an email from Oppenheimer this morning, he doesn't even say what the email is about these days, he just sends me a link and expects me to open it and know why it is relevant....In this particular case he found a great article on shirts from the Wall Street Journal which you can read here: ARTICLE

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Landry Lacour - A Man Deep In Patina Design

NB: We now have all of Landry's answers. It was difficult to get this interview up because of the language barrier, but I think you can adequately understand what he is saying. A big thank you to Landry for making a super effort to get these answers to us, I know I would not be able to do the same in French. 

Hello Le Noeud Papillon Readers!

My name is Landry Lacour. I'm a French crazy fan of shoes first ,  after spending  these 15 last  years in Paris 9,  I joined  last year Brussels, Belgium  where I have founded " Bespoke patina". I'm working as patina designer; I prefer using this term instead the common one “patinist”. Because I’m not just giving colour on shoes … I’m bringing a shape and movement to the colour.

1. Landry, when you start work on a pair of shoes, how long do you estimate one pair will take you in man hours to complete?

High quality patina takes time , As you know working on a brand new shoes colourless take's a little bit less time than a pre worn ... it's takes me about 6/7 hours for having the result i want mirror effect included , but you have to consider break between the different operation , leather is an alive material and need respect.

Some of Landry's recent work, a pair of brogues in reds and browns

2. Is being a patina expert something you think the average Joe could learn at home or is it something you need to train at? How long would that training take?

The only way to learn how to make  patina is making  patina , again and again and again  it's that I have done … Of course all depends about  the natural skills you have about it  and more about the love of what you are doing .
Some will spend years for becoming a master and some won't never be even they spend years it's a question of technique for sure but more a question of sense of aesthetism. That's really different between wanting to create a new patina line having your own style and just be a follower of what the other have ever done before. The way is to find your own style, I’ll surely open a patina school in the future …

3. Can you describe to me how you come to mix the colours, what dyes you are working with and how you begin to achieve the marbling effect in the leather?

For all my work I’m using  only the primary colour  ( penetrating  ) dye or ink  ( red ,  yellow ,blue )  and black  ,  I’m creating  all my own colour and shade by myself  … once again it's a kind of  absolute  freedom.

4. Can a patina applied retrospectively be just as good as a new patina? If yes, do you think there is a market for bringing in old shoes to have them treated?

You are right there is a little difference on working on an ever worn shoes and working on a brand new one … For making what  I called  a " rebirth patina " I had to cancel  first the colour existing ,      it's  take longer  time due to the kind of dye colour ( penetrating or not ) used at the factory and the way how the owner had took care about his soulliers. For all ways I got the solution. Somewhere it's like a doctor work, I had to cure the leather shoes before going in creation mode. These both exercises are different in the way to proceed and in term of time spent on it, but the both are interesting.You know working on a brand new shoes is like  beginning from a white page , the only limit is  imagination , the possibility are infinite depends of course  what the  shoemaker or shoe fan  want , of course I love having a white card !
Like an impressionist skyline, Landry Lacour works tirelessly to bring the finish of a shoe to take on a life of it's own .

5. Have you ever tried a patina on a loafer suede as I saw Berluti do this summer?

That's depends, Patina is a leather story, there are different technics on patina … in fact each kind of leather had is technic.
 The technic of work are really  different  between working on a veg fast /mid / long or extra-long  tanned process leather and a chrome tanned process leather … each " Maison " had his  kind of  patina style … but if your leather knowledge allow it  you can  mix  these different technic .

The most amazing shoes that I used to work on was a beautiful bespoke brogues calf & crocodile from Berluti, that's really cool  to work on a 9000 $ pair of shoes.

6. Do you have a ritual before you start work in the morning, if you do, could you describe that for our readers?

Making  a real " gla├žage mirror effect  "   takes time and technique  but with experience it's going better and better even its won't never be fast ,   don't give up   !
 Your idea of a spit is not a bad one  but I don't … I’m giving you a tip … the best water  temperature  for making a real mirror effect  is around 37 degree Celsius  .

Some of Landy Lacour's most recent patina work
7. Have you experimented with the patina over patent leather treatment such as those done by Pierre Corthay in Paris?

All Maison have their own patina process, was fun for me to search and experiment the secret of patina on patent leather , you had to know Corthay's process is making first a patina on calf leather and then put the patent to cover the patina ...the result is really eye-catching ( photo below ) but to the detriment of the durability of the shoe . Was nice to mastered one more technic for me . In fact i'm a lover from the traditional handmade shinning mirror effect and patent leather patina deprive me from .

8. Apart from patina, is there anything else you have a passion for in men’s clothes and accessories?

The list is too long  , hard choice only five ,   but  I can tell  these shoemaker  :  Bestetti from Italy ( MTO & Bespoke ) , Clematis from Japan ( MTO ),  Vass from Budapest ( MTO ) , Graziano and Girling ( Bespoke )  and  Masaru Okuyama ( Bespoke ) from Japan ,  are today for me  ones of the most talent in design and in construction .

2013 will see little collaboration with several shoemakers and as you had seen on my Facebook page the sample of a new quality brand …