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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Joe Kucharski - A Man Of Many Talents - Shares With Us Some Insights Into Costume Design

Assistant Professor In Theatre – this sounds highly specific, can you tell us a little about how you came to this point and how you came to start writing Tyranny of Style?

The title of Assistant Professor in Theatre is a bit misleading.  I teach in a theatre department, therefore that is in my title.  I, however, have a varied background in a variety of entertainment fields.  I have worked as a costume designer and project manager for theatre, film, theme parks, and special events.  The things I have experienced and learned in each of these different fields have made me a better designer across the board.  I have always worked with clothing, since I began pulling costumes for theatre as a teenager.  Throughout my career I have always enjoyed working with assistants or interns and helping to teach and guide them.  After completing an MFA in Costume Design, academics seemed like a natural fit.  I have a passion for history and research, so I started Tyranny Of Style as a place to share with others the types of things I was working on in my spare time, from the latest on the runway, to advancements in technology, to history of costume design for film.

As a costume designer you must have career markers set out for you when you start such as ‘Oh, he did such and such Opera at the Met’ – as an American can you tell me what some of these more fabulous high points might be for a costume designer?

There are so many incredible fields that use costume designers, so markers for a successful career truly depends on the designer.  If you go the classical route, designing somewhere like The Met or American Ballet would be an incredible success.  For those with a passion for film, a blockbuster period or action film would allow you the freedom to really do incredible things with costume. For me, some of my proudest career moments involve design for Disneyland.  Having grown up vacationing in Southern California, there is nothing better than seeing something you have worked so hard on dance down Main Street.

Recently the Great Gatsby was filmed in Sydney and I saw a number of the pieces going through workrooms I use myself and I was quite shocked at how cheap and nasty some of the fabrics that they used were. One of the things the average movie goer doesn’t realise is that there is a budget. Can you tell us a little about budget as a constraint on materials and how a costume designer might cut a corner here or there on set? For example, if the shot is from the waist up, is the guy just wearing underpants?

I think the number one misconception about costume design is that it is glamorous.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It is an incredible field to work in, and sometimes you get to create stunning pieces out of beautiful materials with world-class artisans, but often you are faking it on a giant scale with cheap fabric and time-saving solutions.  In theme parks almost everything is made from synthetic fabrics because of the length of time they need to last.  For theatre, it often means using modern or cheaply made pieces with fake fronts, seaming, or details made from trim or other inexpensive materials.  For film, it can often involve incomplete outfits, like omitting shoes, pants, etc. if they won't be seen.  Another movie trick, especially for large scenes, is placing more expensive or period accurate garments on the actors in the front, and progressively less elaborate or even accurate pieces towards the back.  Once you have a hundred people huddled on a tiny city street, the only thing the camera will ever see of the people in the back is from the shoulders up.
The trick across all fields of costume design is knowing what will be seen, either by a live audience or the camera.  If a gentleman never takes his coat off, why buy the finest silk brocade fabric for the back of a vest when muslin will do?  If a period gown will only be worn in a tight shot, why bother with yards and yards of beaded trim for the hem?

What is the most elaborate and painstaking piece of costume design you yourself have made and can you share it with us?

Easily the most time-consuming costumes I have been a part of working on are the elaborate walk-around characters for themed entertainment.  Any given costume can take a team of a dozen artists working on it for several months to take it from animated character to a realized, functional garment.  As Project Manager for Custom Characters Inc. in Los Angeles, I oversaw the build of the How To Train Your Dragon characters.  These larger than life characters feature hand carved pieces, digitally printed fabrics, and hours of airbrushed details.
For theatre, one of the most elaborate pieces I have designed would be a beaded and feathered 1920s evening gown for the character Queenie in The Wild Party.  This bias gown was ombre dyed from white to pink, and then four shades of ostrich feathers were individual pieced and applied to the dress as individual tufts to mimic the ombre dye work.  We finished with a bottom layer of hot pink feathers that were only visible when the actress kicked.  It made for an incredible surprise pop of color in show numbers. I also love this 1920s era pink plaid suit I had custom built for the alcoholic Vaudeville clown Burrs for the same production.  Quality menswear is often overlooked in theatre because of the expense of creating custom suiting.  I love to have a suit tailored for a main character whenever possible. Nothing helps a man look more polished, or gets him moving with proper posture quite like a good suit.




Designing costumes for the World Premiere of Re-Animator The Musical, starring George Wendt, presented a world of challenges as I had to dress a headless doctor that carries his own singing head, and a chorus of dancing zombies.  This involved close work with the actors and special effects artists to accommodate movement and prosthetics.

What are the toughest aspects of working on set? Who are you answering to and can you describe the pressures of day in the life of?

Working on a film set can be exhausting to say the least.  A short day is usually 10 hours, with an average day lasting closer to 12-14 hours.  The biggest challenge is just staying ahead of the action on set.  You are often given actors for a very short period of time, with little time before they are needed for filming.  So you come to set with as many options as you can possibly afford and transport, and you work quickly to make any needed adjustments.  You are working to meet the requirements of the script, make your actors feel comfortable and look their best (or worst depending on the part), fulfill the director's vision, and do all of it in a timing that never holds up filming.  It requires you to be a calm, polite, and very quick problem solver.

If you could work with one film director before he dies, who might that be?

I love J.J Abram's work because he always creates these really elaborate worlds where he places beautifully complex characters.

Tyrrany of Style is a particularly interesting blog, can you tell us how you trawl for material? Are you using libraries? Google? Tell how you conduct research?

I try to keep all of my posts current to what is happening in the fields of fashion or costume design at the moment.  For my fashion related posts, it is just a matter of keeping up with the latest images from the runway and the red carpet.  When it comes to new release films, it is a matter of seeing the film, and researching images that the studio has released online.  For the series of film costume history posts I have created, I scour online sources like IMDB, studio websites, and interviews from older publications.  When possible, I reach out to designers or companies through email or phone to ask questions or conduct interviews.  I rely heavily on viewing and analyzing the original source material, be it film, television, or theatre.

I first came across your blog after seeing your Dita von Teese article on 3D Technology printing in fashion. Is this something you have experimented with?

3D printing for fashion is something that I have just begun working in.  I have been researching this new technology, interviewing cutting edge designers and leaders at Shapeways 3D Printing Company.  I have started to order products and will be writing reviews of some of the different materials.  I am presenting on the topic at a Costume Society of America symposium in the fall.  I have yet to design my own pieces to be printed, but hope to move into that by this time next year.  The possibilities with 3D printing, especially for the world of costume design, are almost limitless.  I truly believe that in the not so distant future, 3D digital modeling is going to become a high demand skill for top costume designers and their teams.  It stands to revolutionize the business.

Amusement park characters, one of the most lucrative roles for costume designers where there is consistent need of work.

Meeting The Man Behind Pasotti Umbrellas

Nicola, when did you start in the business of umbrellas?

Pasotti is the surname of my grandmother (mother of my mother) which founded the company 60 years ago

She started producing umbrellas herself, alone, in her bedroom, selling them to local people and friends…. And step by step she founded the company.

{Red flower umbrella. This is the very first design my grandmother designer herself over 55 years ago. We changed the shape of the umbrella, the handle, we made new colour options, but this red one if the very first!}

Mario Begotti, the father of Nicola,
working fabric
Now we are a bigger company, but not extremely big, 15 persons in total.

We do not wish to be bigger actually, we like it this way. Our goal is keep producing luxury umbrellas selling them in very good boutiques all around the world.

What is your education background? Were you raised in this industry? Did you arrive at it by chance or was it something you sought out?

Well, my parents have always been working in the company, and my house is just next to the company, so all my life I had umbrellas around me.

However, I wanted to try something different and decided to graduate in telecommunications engineering, I thought that maybe I would have liked telecommunications better then umbrellas, but it seems I didn't, as I love my job now.

Hilary Duff holds a black Swarovski Elements umbrella by Pasotti.

Can you tell us a little about the production of an umbrella - where are your umbrellas produced? What are the main components of the umbrella and how do you assemble them?

Everything we do is 100% made in Italy, all our suppliers are Italians, and so all materials are.

All work is handmade; there are not many machines in our company, just sewing machines, although some stitching is handmade.

Finishing a bamboo handle

What sort of material is best used for the umbrella? Is the cloth made in Italy? What is the process of printing onto the fabric is it digital or screened?

Yes, the fabric is 100% made in Italy, near Milan.

Or evergreen fabrics, the classic designs that we always have in collection (the big flower for example) are screened. This requires a big production but quality is better. By the way, there are exclusive patented designs.

Production Of Umbrellas At The Pasotti Factory
For other designs, which are seasonable, fabric is printed digitally. Quality is still very good, just the design doesn't look perfect because we have the beautiful design on one side, but on the other side of the fabric it's not looking at its best.

Your handles are a signature of your products, especially your skulls; can you tell us how they came about?

We have an archive of thousands handles, much more than what you can see on the website.

And all of them have different stories:   some of them were designed by my grandmother, some by my father, and some by me.

Some has been suggested by our supplier, some from our employees…. We are a small company and we like to work as a team. So if one of our workers has an idea, or want to try something new, they know they are free to do this.

Your range of women's umbrellas is a lot more vibrant and playful than the men's umbrellas. Are men generally very conservative with their choice of umbrellas? Do you have plans to make a range of more vibrant men's umbrellas?

Yes, normally our Man customers are a lot more conservative.

Not all of them though, sometimes Man customer order umbrellas from the Woman collection!

Design trade shows are a very important part of the Pasotti business.

Are we able to get a sneak peak at a new design you are working on?

Below you will find a picture of a new Dragon handle we are developing these days

Can you tell us a little about your own personal style? What sort of clothes do you wear? What sort of brands of menswear do you follow?

I always dress quite casual, except for shoes…. I hate sport shoes and I like shoes with a bit of heel

My favourite designer is definitely Giorgio Armani.

Nicola Begotti's personal favourite umbrella.

Limited Editions - Why We Do Them....


We run so many of our limited edition silks at a loss when you consider the cost of the design set up fees and then amortise them over the number of bows we will run in each silk. But they are so much a part of the personality of our brand. Each limited edition silk has a story and a reason for being. Whether it be a design such as memento mori that pays homage to the namesake art form, the Alhambra which drew from our investigations into geometric repeats, the Eugene, merely a change in spots from circles to rounded rectangles, the Amanda, a set of hearts tattooed on a young man's arm which inspired me to create a silk, Gaudi's Family, those wonderful stain glass windows in the Sagrada Familia, Il Gattorpardo, a tile on the floor of the manor house in the film adaptation of Lampedusa's masterpiece, Tanaka, a pavement or coy scale, Mio Capitaine, paying homage to my family's merchant sailing roots or Marriage, the tongue in cheek poke at the institution that it is until death do us part. When you buy our limited editions, you purchase more than a silk bow tie. You purchase a story, small or tall.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Future Of Fashion - 3D Printing Technology Charters A Course Into High Fashion

In a recent article by Joe Kucharski; an Assistant Professor Of Theatre, costume designer and writer, which appeared in Guise Magazine, Kucharski talked about a recent dress designed using 3D printing technology for Dita Von Teese. The dress was a collaboration between a famous dress designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti.

3D technology is only starting to emerge as a tool for architects and industrial designers and perhaps anarchists attempting to make their own guns at home, but the vast majority of us would perhaps have no interaction with that technology on a daily level. So at a recent conference Schmidt was ask to collaborate with architect Bitonti to turn 3D technology into something which could be worn by burlesque sensation Dita Von Teese. The dress is ground-breaking in what it is set to offer mainstream customers in the near future. It is a chance to move away from traditional thread warp and weft weaving of cloth to a new medium of fashion which has even more limitless potential. Well, not entirely limitless. 3D technology is based on polymers and in this instance Dita is wearing a series of Nylon panels which otherwise might have been used in an iPhone case. We should not get carried away just yet, there is a lot of work to be done between now and then, but this is perhaps one small step for man, or in Dita's case, a feminine woman.


Where Do You Get A Great Personalised Uniform Made In Sydney??

An old friend today sent me this image of a new apron that he had finished. The company is called Robbie Barsman and they make some of the more upmarket uniforms you will see in hotels, bars and clubs across Sydney. About a year ago I was told that they were concentrating on making the best range of aprons to meet the growing demands of restaurants who wanted to create a personality of their venue by the aprons, not necessarily the shirts and the t-shirts. This particular look below fits in perfectly with the laissez-faire lifestyle of Bondi Beach and their patrons. It is mixture of leather and denim. Check out their website here.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Silks Have Just Arrived. Shop Them Now!

Just Arrived/ Shop Now!-

Learn How To Tie The Groomsman's Knot

Do you like the style of this knot? It has more of an even centre and it pulls together uniformly. It's actually one of the easiest knots you can tie. To find out how to tie this bow using just a pair of hands and a flat surface, click here

A Dark Day For Australian Politics....

Australian's Had A Big Day Yesterday

Last night the office of Prime Minister in Australia was treated like a part-time casual employment job as Kevin Rudd with a group of clandestine men ceased control once again (though last time he was at least elected by the people) of the Labor party through a caucus ballot to topple the leadership of Julia Gillard. No doubt it was seen as a comeuppance on the part of Kevin Rudd who was deposed as leader by Julia Gillard three years and three days ago in the exact same manner. The events of yesterday appear to be a Pyrrhic victory for Rudd as it has once again destabilized the government so close to an election date.

Julia Gillard spoke very eloquently and directly to the cameras in the same stoic manner with which she conducted herself as Prime Minister. She had poise and grace under fire as the mounting pressure of opinion polls continued to dog her leadership. Her farewell, now her legacy, will continue to enshrine her not only as a great woman, but as a great political tactician who laid down the gauntlet but unfortunately the tide had turned within her own ranks. What is very sad about this bloodshed in the Australian left is that the people had very little say in the bloodbath except for the data they provided in the polls.

Now we are forced to endure a Rudd government, with Rudd being akin to Napoleon returning to France for his hundred days. Whilst I don't necessarily like Tony Abbott's vision for Australia, I would have to say that there will certainly be no Labor vote from this small business owner. In fact, I do not look forward to the next three months of Australian politics at all.

I would actually prefer to see myself as Prime Minister. I would declare the bow tie a part of national costume and wear one to parliament each day. At question time I would get very nasty if the opposition attacked my daily ensemble. When I was forced to cry I would do so into a bright silky pocket square and I would rule that bright pastels were to be worn for the summer dress code of parliament. If you think I might be a better Prime Minister than the rest of these sad sacks, please do leave a comment below!

Kevin Rudd returns for his 100 days a la Napoleon 1 OR in more recent times he is appearing more like a GOT character......

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

There Are Pocket Squares And Then There Are Pocket Squares....

Hand-roll stitched dye and discharge pocket squares by Le Noeud Papillon - Click here to shop
It doesn't surprise me that we haven't sold many of these squares to Australians. The Americans enjoy them because they know what they are. The English won't buy them because they covet their own brands too much. But the Australians? There are so few Australian men who wear bow ties but we have managed to increase that number. As for pocket squares, there is a rise in the number of men wearing them but they seem to prefer the digitally printed variety with the machine sewn hem. Ours, by contrast, are made by dye and discharge in the UK and are hand-roll hemmed. In the world of pocket squares, this means you are getting a Rolls Royce, not a slippery looking Chevrolet. When it comes to pocket squares, most people don't  notice the difference. But some do!

Vogue Featured A Ralph Lauren Suit For Hamish Bowles Paying Homage To The 1974 Gatsby Featuring Robert Redford

This is a terrific ensemble on Hamish Bowles below and you can see more of it at Vogue.Com but the reason why I mention it is because it was specifically designed for Hamish Bowles as a recreation of Robert Redford's 1974 Gatsby suit for his 50th birthday. It is an example of a wider notched lapel we see coming back into trend, the waistcoat which is featuring prominently at the moment and the use of pastels on pastels for summer. Here we see an apple-blossom pink paired with a lilac satin tie and softened by a baby blue cotton shirt with a white collar. This is a stellar ensemble.

An excerpt from Vogue.Com reads:

"For the party hosted by Anna Wintour to fete his birthday and 21 years at Vogue, Bowles decided to go to the sartorial source for Gatsby dress code: commissioning the men’s design team at Ralph Lauren to create a complete custom reproduction of the suit that Robert Redford wore as Jay Gatsby in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film (Lauren designed the costumes for the film almost 40 years ago). This translated to a fine-worsted wool gabardine three-piece ensemble custom-dyed an apple-blossom pink to Bowles and Lauren’s specifications. This was complemented by a lilac satin tie and antique fob chain and diamond and emerald Deco pin. Redford must not be accustomed to having competition in the looks department, but in this instance he met his match."

Monday, June 24, 2013

So What Else Can You Do With Silk?

Having returned from the Norman Lindsay Gallery a few weeks ago with a number of fantastic prints I was hoping to find some sort of manner in which I could use my silks as part of the framing process. Enter Margot from Ace Framing in Sydney's Rose Bay. My other posters I framed in a very modest manner, choosing matte black timber frames for my posters from the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition I visited in Canberra and matte white timber frames for my Norman Lindsay posters. Then, on the final poster, I turned to Margot and said 'let's go all out on this one'. The result is below, a white limestone looking frame with our Lucian zig-zag silk being mounted to the backing board. The poster has then been trimmed and mounted on a raised board too. All in all, I think the silk detracts from the beauty of the Lindsay print, but I would not shy away from this process again as the frame is phenomenally eye catching and the fact that it draws you to the frame initially, means that Lindsay's work will still be admired. You can contact Margot here.
Using jacquard woven silk to back a Norman Lindsay printed poster to create an eye catching frame.

Andrew McDonald - Bespoke Shoe Maker, Sydney

Andrew McDonald works from an atelier on the second floor of the Strand Arcade in Sydney’s CBD. The studio is part retail, part workroom with Andrew cutting leather with his assistant when I arrived. The store is rather dark and heavy and it completely corresponds to the personality of McDonald’s shoes which to my mind conjure up images of Mad Max and a young Mel Gibson. There is something very raw, and in some instances brutal, about McDonald’s creations and the essence of this personality translates to all the shoes.

A higher than usual pitch, a signature of Andrew McDonald
The first thing I had to ask Andrew was about the curve of his shoes. They always seemed to bend a lot in the front. He corrected me and said that it was known as the ‘pitch’ of the shoe and anecdotally he explained that his pitch was more in line with traditional shoe making from times when shoes were worn more for walking and less for aesthetics. 100 years ago people did far more walking on a daily level than they do today, with the greater pitch helping to roll the foot as you walked and giving you greater ‘toe spring’. This was the first little tid bit about shoe making I had not read about on another blog to date. Once I began thinking about the pitch of a shoe I realised that I was someone who preferred a flat pitch and had always enjoyed wearing loafers and slippers a lot more than a boot. When it came to boots, I had always preferred those without a pitch, such as the RM Williams chelseas I was wearing whilst in Andrew’s workshop.
McDonald’s business is made up of ready to wear (RTW) which is in store and then of course they have a custom order or bespoke programme. Whilst I know of a few shoe makers left in Sydney, I don’t know of any who create a last for their customers and this is perhaps one of the most unique parts of McDonald’s business. Depending on the measurements, the last process will take 8-20 hours and is done on site at the studio. Once the last is made, the final design is agreed upon and the work commences. The shoes are made in roughly six to eight weeks. McDonald says that whilst he has his own personal style, the studio will create whatever design takes the fancy of the customer. I asked as to whether this meant that he was able to create a shoe with no pitch and he responded that it wasn’t a problem. The McDonald shoe was made from raw, organic finishes and very rustic leathers, but there was not a problem with sourcing leathers of different kinds and they were able to apply finishes such as bleaching, patina, chalking, distressing and tie dye within a range of finishing techniques. In some circumstances, they were instructed by very specific clients merely to re-create their favourite shoe.
But whilst Andrew McDonald will take on this work, his own personality is important to note. Rather than having something that looks like any other shoe you can find in any other brand of shoe, McDonald prefers to use earthy rustic leathers and treat them in ways which are in many ways more 'ancien' (eg: tie-dye) but by today's standards are somewhat unconventional. Where a Corthay shoe was about bright reflective finishes and sleek pointed designs, McDonald’s shoes seem to be more in line with the Australian landscape. They are wider, solid shoes with finishes which seem to be inspired by naturally occurring processes. I had never seen tie-dyed leather, nor the chalking effect, all of which you could easily assume one might find naturally occurring in the Australian bush.
The leathers that McDonald uses come from a variety of countries. Some of the leather is sourced in Australia, leathers such as a vegetan kangaroo leather are sourced directly from Victoria, however, the vast majority of leather is sourced from Italy and the United States. McDonald explains that the reason that they must source the leather from overseas is very simple ‘ like anything, if you want the best, you have to go to where the best is coming from’.
“What about the English and the French?” I asked.

“Well, they do, they do make good leathers, but not the leathers that I like. The English are good at soleing materials, the Germans are good at soleing. The soleing comes from the butt of the animal. It has to do with the grain and the density of the leather. The belly, the shoulders, these areas are better for the upper area. The sole is not split, the upper leather is usually split. It could be up to 8m thick, so they split it. This is one of the key differences. With upper leathers you have two types, full grain leathers which is the top, and the lower split is called the corrected grain leather. For the upper you want the full grain leather. Full grain leather, the ones that I like, are from Italy and the USA.”
I asked McDonald why he was not that interested in the patina process which seems so popular at the moment. He explained it very simply. Having spent time at Berluti as an apprentice, he felt that the best shoe companies created their own look and feel. Andrew McDonald says that he wants to stay true to his own look and feel and I think he certainly does this. Every shoe in the McDonald studio is unmistakably from the same source. It was a pleasure to meet Andrew and I hope that in the future we will be able to work on something together.
Ready to wear shoes start from 800 to 1000AUD and bespoke shoes are from 2000AUD upwards. The average time for custom shoes is 6-8 weeks. For more information see .

An example of a chalked leather from Andrew McDonald, a boot with a high pitch and a distressed raw look evoking images of Mad Max and a young Mel Gibson.

Raw earthy tones are very Andrew McDonald
An example of a raw patina which McDonald uses from time to time.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Liberace - A Bow Tie For Your Next Costume Party

This bow tie features Swarovski Elements embedded onto Holland And Sherry Cherry Velvet. Seeing is believing, this bow tie doesn't photograph in the way it dazzles your eyes in real life.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dress To The Season: Something I Am Better Understanding Now

The same way chefs and spiritual gurus will tell you to eat by the seasons, so too should you dress to the seasons too. Because most of us in Australia congregate in large coastal cities, it is not often possible to really get to know the season when the weather doesn't change drastically. The best way to know the seasons is if you spend some time amongst rural flora and fauna. Last week I really fell in love with my Harris Tweed jacket all over again. For one, it was the appropriate cloth for the colder temperatures and secondly, it blended in so well to the local surrounds. Having the right cloths, textures and colours can make you appear so much more in tune with your world. I am learning this more and more, especially when you spend more time in the country.

Autumn/Winter fallen leaves rural New South Wales: Courtesy of Sydney photographer Tyrone Lara
Harris Tweed by Holland & Sherry, Pig Suede Cuff And Lapel By Le Noeud Papillon, With Le Noeud Orange With Green Polka Dot Square and orange cashmere sweater from Saks 5th Avenue

Bow Ties, Dressing Robes, Smoking Jackets And More - Behind The Candelabra

Just when it might have been considered dead or that the trend might have died off, out comes a movie like Behind The Candelabra and gives us new inspiration. Behind The Candleabra is the story of Liberace's life in a period between 1977 and 1986 and the relationship that transpired between Liberace and Scott Thorson.

Whoever did the wardrobe deserves a big Oscar because it's some of the most lavish and superb design I have seen in some time. Garish, yes, but in it's absurdity you can see the art and it plays so well to the character of Liberace and the private and public worlds he creates. This morning I pulled out my Swarovski crystals and I am going to play with one of our velvet bows to see what we can come up with. I think this is a must see film. Interesting to note, our Mayfair and Dicky velvet bow ties are an almost exact replication of the ones worn by Liberace and Scott Thorson in 1980 in the photo below. That was quite an amusing find.

NB: Looking up IMDB I found that the costumer director was a woman called Ellen Mirojnick . Here is a great interview with Mirojnick about her role in the costumes on set. Click here.

Dressing gowns, a comeback is on it's way thanks to Behind The Candelabra

Diamonte studded bow ties

Almost an exact replication of our Mayfair bow tie - this is a photo of Liberace with Scott Thorson

Ornamentation in the centre knot of a velvet bow tie. Very enjoyable.

Douglas and Damon
A fantastic performance by Rob Lowe as Liberace's plastic surgeon. Apparently the cosmetic changes to his face caused him migraines.

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Collection Of Bow Ties On Le Noeud Papillon Website

Shop the latest selection of silks on 

We concentrate on making silk bow ties, ties, braces, cummerbunds, waistcoats and shirts. All our items are made in Sydney, Australia. We also have a comprehensive custom made programme.  Book an appointment to come to our workroom through the link above. 

Shop them now -

More Silks Have Arrived!

Stop by to have a look -

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh The Places You Will Go, But Only When You Wear A Bow - Nobuyuki Nonaka In China

Nonaka in the LNP Arturo bow tie - available from

Nobuyuki Nonaka bought a bow tie from us a while back. He was very happy when he received the package in Tokyo but said that he was going on a trip for a while and wouldn't be able to purchase any bow ties until he returned to Japan but he did promise to send us a picture from the road. Here is Nobuyuki in China and what a splendid photo. He is wearing the Arturo bow tie and he had this to say:

Those days when I was wearing your butterflies in Japan, I couldn't avoid being asked where I have bought them and what a gorgeous styles they were. So I believe your next step can be to open shop in Tokyo Ginza Street. But what can I say about China: "Its not that people are just asking, people are stopping to take pictures of these butterflies". 

This is great news and hopefully one day I will have a shop on Ginza Street where Nobuyuki can purchase our butterflies. Until then, visit

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Silks Have Arrived At Le Noeud Papillon, It's Time To Have A Shop

New silks have arrived, log on to to have a browse

Been There, Bought The T-Shirt... Peacock Tweed Waistcoat And Trousers

I have to thank Luca Rubinacci for the inspiration for the high-waistband trousers I did using Holland & Sherry peacock range wool bunch in a wheatey tweed with blue box check. With this wool I attempted something which I don't ordinarily do, a 'vintage' feel. I can't even stand the word these days it has been so over-worked. But there I was, working with my tailor to create something for the Australian winter which could be worn in the cold, which I could wear in that old fashioned sense but in a kind of new way. I didn't make a full suit and there is a reason, one, I felt like saving some money and two, I wanted to pair it with a box check navy wool jacket I already had. I wore the ensemble on Friday and last night to dinner. I found the best way to offset the loudness of the wool is to have a contrasting jacket which is more subdued. That is, either go out there on your trousers or jeans but dull the jacket, or dull the pants and liven the jacket. You can of course liven the hell out of both or subdue the both, but I am enjoying at the moment the idea that if you go loud one end, go soft on the other. If none of this makes sense.....


Adding height to the waist band and finishing with LNP Corozo buttons
A waistcoat to match but not the jacket. For the jacket I will pair it with a navy box check from Hunt and Winterbotham