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

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Monday, September 30, 2013

A Testimonial In Praise Of A Suitable Wardrobe

My style is very different from Will Boehlke's of A Suitable Wardrobe and yet we have many cross overs where I am so happy with the wares he puts on his website. From braces to perfume atomisers to rare deer skin gloves and ox horn clothing brushes, I constantly find myself trawling his website for the obscure that everybody else left off their website. To call him a curator would be incorrect. Because I know he spends a great deal of time developing products from scratch, as he has done with us at Le Noeud Papillon. I guess what I am saying is, it's nice to know he is across absolutely everything he sells you. This is not some slapped together website where someone is trying to make a quick buck. This is more like building a long term relationship and that is why I like to shop his haberdashery.

Pictured here I am wearing a pair of limited edition silk Albert Thurston braces that I received late last week. I decided to take a chance. I was used to wearing bone with a light blue shirt, but instead I opted for a black and white contrast. So, here is the ensemble broken down.

A Le Noeud Papillon bone coloured suit using Holland And Sherry serge in wide notched lapel. A Le Noeud Papillon white breathable 170 2 ply Canclini Platino shirt with concealed button down. A pair of black and white limited edition geisha braces from Albert Thurston via A Suitable Wardrobe, a white with black polka dot Charvet pocket square and pair of BV thatched suede loafers that I hand-died black. For the Sydney spring which was heading towards summer temperatures of 30 degrees celsius, this was such a breezy summer ensemble and I felt light and easy all afternoon.

If you are interested in having us make your shirts, or for that matter, your suit, please do not hesitate to contact us on our contact page. Shirts are done metro Sydney by appointment only. Click here


This image can be expanded to 2500 pixels

It was a very ambitious project that had it's genesis in an iPad app called Procreate. As I was doodling I thought that I shouldn't be the only one to enjoy it. So I set about creating a portrait competition surrounding this idea and I wasn't sure if anyone would submit. 10 MAGNIFICENT portraits later I am so pleased to see that there is so much talent out there and that you aren't afraid to put yourselves out there in a competitive environment which is so unfair on artists since you are all so brilliant for even putting your hand to canvas to begin with.

Now to the ugly part, which is in picking a winner. I am going to deliberate for a week before I make the announcement so that I can digest everything. In the meantime, if you have watched the competition unfold, let us know your thoughts below.

Do you have a favourite?

Doe anything stand out amongst the crowd?

What portrait has the most character?

Which one is the most well crafted?

I would love to know your thoughts.

And again, THE BIGGEST THANK YOU to those that made submissions.


Self-Portrait Submission #10, Julian Meagher, Pen On Paper, Sydney, Australia

We close the self-portrait competition with this entry by Julian Meagher of Sydney, Australia. Julian is one of the talented up and coming artists in Sydney's contemporary art scene and it is very nice of him to submit for our self-portrait competition. Some of Julian's earlier work is featured below. He has a unique understanding of clean vibrant colours.

Self-Portrait Submission #9, Gabriella McVeigh, Watercolours And Ink On Watercolour Paper, Adelaide, Australia

Gabriella McVeigh submits this watercolour and ink on watercolour paper from Adelaide. Although Gabriella doesn't own a Le Noeud Papillon bow tie, she has purchased one in the past for her friend overseas. When she wrote in she mentioned that her favourite bow ties from our collection had been the Sevi, the Romeo and the Memento Mori series bow ties. I share her sentiments so I am thrilled to have her self-portrait as part of the competition. Her work was submitted in 1500x1500 pixels but I didn't want to lose her top portrait which I think is just fantastic. 


Self-Portrait Submission #8, Kieran Davis, Watercolours On Paper, Finley, NSW, Australia

This image comes from Kieran Davis, a regular Le Noeud Papillon customer from Finley, New South Wales. He says of his self-portrait:

"This image is a twin portrait of myself recently in one of your 'standard' bow ties and navy blue two button suit at a formal dinner and also dressed up in a faded and beaten up tails suit as a theatre ghost in a local musical. I was stuck when choosing which to draw for the competition. I have completed the work in watercolours."

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Self-Portrait Submission #7, Ong Jing Wen, Hand-Painted Acrylic On Paper, Brisbane, Australia

Submission #7 comes from Ong Jing Wen (Jing) in Brisbane, Australia. Jing said of her work:

"Drawing is one of my passions and I am so happy to be submitting my work for this contest. This piece was hand-painted with acrylic on canvas. It features a Le Noeud Papillon Javier bow tie which I find really lovely. I think girls can rock bow ties too!"

You can find more of Jing's work at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Self-Portrait Submission #6, Tomás Molina, Digital Drawing, Bogota, Colombia

This comes from Tomás in Bogota, Colombia. Tomás is a classical guitarist and some of you may have seen his work already on this blog. If not, see his work below.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Self-Portrait Submission #5, Bernard Karamazov, Watercolours And Indian Ink On Paper, Somewhere In France...

I just love this portrait. It comes from Bernard Karamazov in France. The work has been done on paper using watercolour and Indian ink. Bernard is an artist himself and you can see more of his work on his blog: The Trademarked Vacuum.

I think Bernard has earned himself a diamond point bow tie regardless of whether he gets the first prize of $500.00AUD. The portrait submissions are now down to the last 7 days. See how to enter: .

Self-Portrait Submission #4, Daniel Jean-Baptiste, Painting On Silk Habotai, St. Lucia, Carribean

You may be asking why I accepted a self-portrait without a bow tie. Well, in this instance I think a bow tie would have been completely out of place and I am very happy for the authenticity of this work, which comes from Daniel Jean-Baptiste and his island home in the Carribean - St. Lucia. The art of silk painting has fascinated me for some time because of the way inks and dyes flow on silk which is so different from any other type of canvas that you could use. See for yourself by clicking here.

Friday, September 20, 2013




Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hat Bands, The Best Way To Put A Spring In Your Step

This morning there was a lot of chirruping from my neighbourhood birds. There are the ones that sing songs like they are talking to one another, then there are the ones that let out that long whinge of a tone that sounds like you are being nagged by your girlfriend for leaving the towel over the door. Then there is that one bird that sounds like a boomerang coming back. It is merely nature telling us that it's spring again and it's time to start the mating ritual...

One of the smallest yet effective ways to attract someone is by a hat band. In a world where grosgrains in a small variety of colours are the only options to accentuate your hat, our hat bands are a refreshing new take on something very old. Made from our Como Italian silks, these bows on bands are highly luxurious and are  made in a similar fashion to how we make bow ties. The added advantage is that you get no sweat marks - that awful white crust which forms on the black grosgrain of your existing hat. Our hat bands, once properly fitted at your local hatter, or at home if you have a spare five minutes, also mean that your hat is your signature. You won't have to worry about losing your hat because nobody else will have that silk on it.

My pick of the bunch is the one on the left. It is a baby pink and baby blue repps silk. Of all the hat bands I have put on my hats, this one is the most fun for spring. After that, second from the left is a royal blue mogador with white polka dots. The bands are $60.00 each. They will probably not go onto the website as we don't make many of them. But if you are interested in them, you can log onto and let us know via the contact page.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

They Don't Make Jazz Like They Used To - Jon Hendricks - A Master Entertainer

Years ago I was given a CD by my Uncle Michael. He wasn't really my Uncle, it's just that in my family, anyone who was close to my father was called Uncle. Don't worry, I don't come from any Godfather like family, just one that was reasonably tight knit when we were kids. So, this Uncle Michael, he took a liking to me over my brothers. Perhaps he could spot my taste early on. Taking me under his wing he taught me a few things. He taught me to fly fish. He taught me about girls, most of which I cannot write about on this blog, and finally, he taught me about jazz. The latter has left on me the longest lasting impression.

Years later Uncle Michael died of cancer. I remember seeing him at the hospital and I remember him asking me to help raise himself up in the bed, and lifting him was like lifting a sack of potatoes. It was a very foreign feeling being that close to death. Two weeks later at his funeral a trumpeter played 'When The Saints Go Marching In' in a very slow melancholic cadence. It was the first time I cried at a funeral.

It wasn't for a number of years that I truly appreciated his role in my upbringing. In fact, it was when I couldn't find a Wynton Marsalis song in my car, a song called Multi-Colored Blue that I recalled meeting him at the Opera House in Sydney so he could take me to the concert of Wynton Marsalis and his band. I was a little restless shit and I didn't want to stick around after the concert and when he began talking about the battle of Thermopylae I too busy texting my friends and feigning how tired I was... Ah well, life lessons often come after the event, not before....

Tonight a big smile was brought across my face. Because beyond all the sadness of his death, I glimpsed all the cheeky excitement he held in his eyes when he was living and two jazz songs reminded me of that period and I thought I would post them below. Jon Hendricks - Watermelon Man & Wynton Marsalis - When The Saints Go Marching In.

The inimitable Jon Hendricks, now 92 years old, Time Magazine referred to him as 'The James Joyce Of Jive' 

Gosh I Love Americans!

Following on from my recent thread about Cole Porter I was looking up the song 'Anything Goes' and I found this video on Youtube. You really have to love a nation that is so big and dazzling that it can have shows like these running throughout the year and attracting people from all over the globe. Since there has been a renaissance in television, let us hope the next wave is in the Broadway musical. For a thoroughly entertaining 6 minutes, click on the video below.

Times have changed, 
And we've often rewound the clock, 
Since the Puritans got a shock, 
When they landed on Plymouth Rock. 
If today, 
Any shock they should try to stem, 
'Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock, 
Plymouth Rock would land on them. 

In olden days a glimpse of stocking 
Was looked on as something shocking, 
But now, God knows, 
Anything Goes. 

Good authors too who once knew better words, 
Now only use four letter words 
Writing prose, Anything Goes. 

The world has gone mad today 
And good's bad today, 
And black's white today, 
And day's night today, 
When most guys today 
That women prize today 
Are just silly gigolos 
And though I'm not a great romancer 
I know that I'm bound to answer 
When you propose, 
Anything goes 

When grandmama whose age is eighty 
In night clubs is getting matey with gigolo's, 
Anything Goes. 

When mothers pack and leave poor father 
Because they decide they'd rather be tennis pros, 
Anything Goes. 

If driving fast cars you like, 
If low bars you like, 
If old hymns you like, 
If bare limbs you like, 
If Mae West you like 
Or me undressed you like, 
Why, nobody will oppose! 
When every night, 
The set that's smart 
Is intruding in nudist parties in studios, 
Anything Goes. 

The world has gone mad today 
And good's bad today, 
And black's white today, 
And day's night today, 
When most guys today 
That women prize today 
Are just silly gigolos 
And though I'm not a great romancer 
I know that I'm bound to answer 
When you propose, 
Anything goes 

If saying your prayers you like, 
If green pears you like 
If old chairs you like, 
If back stairs you like, 
If love affairs you like 
With young bears you like, 
Why nobody will oppose! 

And though I'm not a great romancer 
And though I'm not a great romancer 
I know that I'm bound to answer 
When you propose, 
Anything goes... 
Anything goes!

Bow Ties Shipped Inside The USA As Quick As You Can Say Jumpin' Jack Flash - The Hanger Project

Well, they are finally up on the website in Texas which means that you can now have them shipped pretty quickly if you are inside the USA. Kirby Allison's Hanger Project is stocking a unique range of bow ties which are very different to what's on offer at our other USA resellers websites. There are also some models which we don't even have here in Sydney which they have on their site. So, head on over and whilst you are there you can pick up some really fabulous products from hangers to shoe trees to shoe care and grooming items. It's great to have a browser of the Hanger Project:

New range just in at Hanger Project:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Testimonial / Review From An Old Customer Who Has Once Again Returned To LNP

Dear LNP,

It has been remiss of me not to be in contact sooner.  I have had two excellent evenings of late, made all the better by being accompanied by two of your signature bows and pocket squares.  I enjoyed a terrific evening celebrating Christmas in July this year, and most recently my father in law’s 70th birthday, and on both occasions stole the show with your fine silks.

I sent you a photo some years back of me in one of your original bows in action at a wedding – if you recall, a bright beauty sporting horizontal stripes of red, gold and blue and pointed ends.  It did the trick at the 70th this past weekend, the mature crowd enjoyed every bit of it.

Many thanks, it is always fun to have something positive and distinct to talk about at a special event.

All the best,

H. Toll
Sydney, Australia

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's A De-Lovely Bow Tie On Cole Porter

Cole Porter, A stickler for quality attire and accoutrements

Oppenheimer recommended that I ought to watch De-Lovely which tells the story of Cole Porter's life from the Paris years until his death. It's not an amazing film I must say. It is very enjoyable but it doesn't hold the weight for me that films such as 'The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers', 'Walk The Line' or 'Behind The Candelabra' do to portray the lives of famous entertainers. But none the less it brings you up to speed on Cole Porter's life very quickly.

The thread I was looking for with Cole Porter is to try and understand the tapestry of Paris in the 20's. Films such as Midnight In Paris suggest that everybody in Paris that was creative at the time all congregated at the same parties or perhaps all read books to each other in Gertrude Stein's salon, but it is fair enough to assume that just as today not all film directors in Hollywood go to the same bars, it is a fair enough to assume that many of the creatives in Paris in the 20's passed each other like ships in the night.

The difference between Cole Porter and say Josephine Baker was, I imagine, money and class. Cole Porter was from a wealthy family from Indiana. In fact, his maternal grand-father was known to be 'the richest man in Indiana'. His wife, Linda Lee Thomas was also from a wealthy family. Although they were most likely going to the same bars and taking coffee in similar areas, I am not entirely sure they all congregated together as Cole occupied a house near Les Invalides which was said to be decorated rather opulently. I am quite certain that they used Montmatre like Alexander Onassis used the Bois De Bologne.

When in the mass market we are presented the 20's in Boardwalk Empire or Midnight in Paris, we are often lead to believe that everyone in each of the spheres of government, the arts and crime all interacted with one another on a weekly level. I think this is farcical to the point of comical and often we need to put everything into perspective. Yes, I am sure the 20's was a swell time in Paris, but I am also quite certain that Sydney Bechet didn't catch the morning train with Cole Porter before he had lunch with Hemingway and dined with Picasso. It's not always the case that 'Anything Goes'.

But please, if I am wrong, let me know in the comments below.

Self-Portrait Submission #3, Christian Tölg, Pencil On Paper, Cologne, Germany

The attached self-portrait drawing comes from Christian Tölg in Cologne, Germany. Christian Tölg is also a graphic designer. This is a particularly charming submission, as have all of them been so far. You can see more of Christian's work here:

Self-Portrait Submission #2, Yoann Durand, Digitized Pencil Drawing, From France.

Today we received our second submission. This is of Yoann Durand. He sketched the drawing using a pencil and then digitized the image using software. He has said of his submission that he doesn't own the Leo bow from Le Noeud Papillon but he thought it quite beautiful. I think he's earnt the real thing. I love this drawing. Click to enlarge it. You can see more of Yoann's work by clicking on this link:

The portrait competition continues - to submit, click here

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sydney Contemporary 13 Showing Timothy Vernon Moore, 19-22nd September

KALIMANRAWLINS will be showcasing some of contemporary artist Timothy Vernon Moore's work at the Carriageworks as part of Sydney Contemporary 13, an initiative to showcase and sell contemporary art in Sydney. Timothy, as some of you may know, is the proud owner of some of our Le Noeud Papillon bow ties and was one of the first ever customers to purchase our rather eccentric butterfly shaped bow ties. It's worth checking out TV's work at Booth PC103 but I have no doubt that you will naturally find your way to it because it is some of the most vibrant and striking work I have seen in contemporary art.

The vibrant work of TV Moore's recent collection is a must see at the Contemporary 13 exhibition. 

Self-Portait Submission #1, Tom Rose, Coloured Pencil On Paper, Sydney, Australia

Our Le Noeud Papillon Self-Portrait Competition is now under way with this first submission arriving today from Tom Rose in Sydney, Australia. It is a fabulous drawing and I can already tell it will be one of the most cherished. Although it strictly was not in the 1500 x1500 pixel format we requested, I'm happy enough to have our first submission that I have let it slide. Are you going to submit too? See the details here:

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Flurry Of Digitally Printed Pocket Squares With A Machine Hem - Buyers Beware

Dear Readers,

Today I was in David Jones Market Street in Sydney as well as a variety of other menswear retailers in the city and I was somewhat upset by the overwhelming amount of pocket squares that were on display as part of every fashion brands push to join the foray. Some of these pocket squares, one by a reputable brand out of the UK, were made from digitally printed silk with machine rolled hems and attracted a price tag of $109.00 AUD. Now, whilst I don't want to throw too much bad light on digitally printed silks, because there are some applications where there is no added benefit of having a screen print (eg: a silk tie where you cannot see the underside of the fabric), one exception is pocket squares.

Pocket squares should ideally be made by traditional screening through a dye and discharge methodology OR else they should be woven on a loom OR else they will be hand-painted. They should also be hand stitched on the hem with a roll stitch finish. The reason why they are done like this is because a) there is very little difference as you fold the square into the pocket between the top side of the fabric and the underside of the fabric and b) the hand roll stitching is that fineness of detail which one would entertain on the details of an accoutrement such as a pocket square. We may not always be able to afford to have our suits all hand stitched, but our pocket squares, well, we can afford this luxury.

Why is there ghosting on the underside of a digitally printed square? The simple generic answer is in the technique. Generally, printing means that pigment bonds to the fabric, whereas when we dye and discharge we are chemically bonding the pigment to the fibre instead of having the pigment sit on top of the fibre. This is the key difference and it creates a very different 'handle' when you touch the fabric. On dye discharge you will not feel the difference in your hand, in digitally printed silks, there is, often, a small but perceptible difference in handle.

Whilst I am not saying that digital pocket squares are bad, I am saying that they are not a premium product because in many instances they reveal a ghosted underside. The positive flip side of a digitally printed pocket square is that you can print any digital image onto the fabric. So, for designers, this is a much faster/easier/more accurate way to translate their work into a realisation. A screen printing process requires you to a) make screens (up to $175.00 per screen) which is a finiky but rewarding process b) dye the ground of the fabric and c) manually print each square. This is a very different process than pressing PRINT and watching the silk come out the other side. It is labour intensive, far more tedious and there is more waste of textiles. BUT, when a screen printed square that is hand-rolled correctly comes out properly, well, there is no comparison. It is the difference between driving a ratty tatty small car and driving a large saloon.

If you are buying pocket squares then I recommend the following materials:

1. SILK Twill
2. Cashmere And Silk
3. Wool And Silk
4. Woven Silk
5. Silk Habotai (sometimes ideal for lighter prints and black tie)
6. High thread count cotton


1. Polyester
2. Rayon
3. Viscose
4. Blends of man-made and natural fibres

So, I want to reward those stores I know in Sydney that stock the real thing and you will almost invariably have to ask the store to show you them because often even the high end stores will have some digital squares amongst the 'analogues'. Here is a list of stores I trust:

1. Hermes - 135 Elizabeth Street Sydney - +612 9287 3200
2. Harrolds Menswear - Westfields Centrepoint - +612 9232 8399
3. The Strand Hatters - The Strand Arcade - +612 9231 6884
4. Henry Bucks (stocking Drakes and Penrose) - +612 9232 4255

If you are going into the city to purchase a pocket square then ask the staff how it was made. If they can't answer you succinctly with what material was used, what print method was used and how it was stitched then I suggest you don't purchase it from that store.

My most prized pocket square, a red silk twill with electric blue polka dots, dye and discharged with hand-rolled edges circa 2007 from Charvet in Paris.  To this day the silk still holds its body, sheen and colour. Pocket squares like these are being replaced by lesser companies with digitally printed machine hemmed versions.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some Advice For The Heat Of Summer

It is spring time in Sydney and already you can feel the earth itching to unleash the power of rebirth and renewal. On the weekend, as I had offered earlier in this blog, I took to the country to escape the madding crowds of election day. As I walked the earth along the road I could feel the heat rising up from the road and I stopped  by a tree which was located next to a shed. I thought there was a wasps nest on top of the roof from the heaving dark and ominous murmur that was pulsating in that vicinity.

'Is that a wasps nest?' I asked my walking companion Wes, pointing to a small mound above the eave of the shed. 'If it is, we ought to keep the children away from it'.

'No, it's not coming from there, it's the bees in the tree above you'.

It was. The bees were busy darting around pollinating flowers. For a moment I stopped and pondered on how insignificant they must find our Australian election. A real sense of mirth overcame me and I shook my head like someone who had just stumbled across some rather simple yet resounding understanding of life. For the past three weeks we had been totally consumed by Australian politics and yet, whilst back in nature, it was evident just by passing your eyes across the green valley, that things were picking up based merely on the season rather than anything Tony Abbott or Kevin Rudd were saying on our television screens or any forum that was presided over by the ABC's Tony Jones. Here, amongst thriving pasture and hopping kangaroos, runaway hillbillly goats and craggy rocks, of crows and magpies, sheds and fallen trees and winding creeks, nothing, not one aspect of the place, gave one thought to who was moving into the Lodge the following week.

You are most likely wondering why such a long diatribe to arrive at a point about fashion?

 Well, this summer, I am not looking to trends. I have decided to be a little more like our Australian farm - unchanging in the face of change but changing naturally, and with the seasons. This summer I am going to wear only the colours that I want regardless of whether they are on trend or not. I am going to wear pink, which I think has been off menu for far too long. I am going to wear lilac. I am going to wear more collared t shirts in vibrant designs and I am going to start to make short sleeve shirts which don't look like they belong on a navy officer. I am going to wear bow ties with short sleeve shirts and no jacket. I am going to sew myself light weight woollen shorts. I am going to wear linen, a battle I have fought for years. I have hated linen with a passion for so long, but, I am not going to fight the heat of summer this year. I am going to do everything to enjoy the season as it comes and be more like an Italian and embrace those fabrics which are designed for the season. So, below, I thought I would post my palette for the Australian summer 2013/2014. These are the wools and cottons I am now going to search for.

Another Wonderful Testimonial / Review Of Le Noeud Papillon Bow Ties Was Well Received Today

I love compliments. There, I said it. I am not one of those people that doesn't want praise. Well, I want a certain kind of praise. Not the kind where you know someone is trying to get something out of you. I don't like being buttered up. No, the praise I love is that genuine stuff when you truly are appreciated. I like to give it too. If I have a great sandwich at a cafe, I want the staff to know. If you gave me excellent service when I came into your store, I will also want to tell you. And the flip side is, I like to hear a bit back. Today I was well rewarded. The beauty of the internet is that you are fortunate enough to cast a wider net than if you have a bricks and mortar store. So, from this perspective I have been blessed to have customers come from far and wide. One such set of customers are those in rural Australian towns where they wouldn't ordinarily be able to find a bow tie store on Main Street. So, without further ado, here is a rural based customer in New South Wales that sent me this lovely email today.

Thanks so much, LNP!

I just came home from work and found your delivery on my doorstep! I really can't get over how amazing your products and customer service are!
I've been a bowtie devotee for a while now. I'm 24 and there hasn't been a day in the last 3 years I've not worn a bow.
I discovered you by accident a little under 6 months ago. I'm now the proud owner of 9 of your bowties.
I've not bought a bow from anyone else since. And to be honest. I'm not sure if I ever will again.
I'm yet to find any other designer OR manufacturer with near the level of quality or pride in their product. Wearing one of your bows makes your whole day better. I work in customer service and am constantly complimented on how wonderful your ties are.

They make children happy, adults respect your sense of style and Doctor Who fans lose their minds!

In the end, it's all about looking good, and knowing it. And I'd just like to thank you at LNP for facilitating my style, awesomeness and eccentricity every day.

Your biggest fan,

Tom Carle
New South Wales, Australia

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Just 20 Days To Go Until We Close Submissions For The Self-Portrait Competition

Exclusive to Le Noeud Papillon. Enter here:

Macbeth Is All Around Us

Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare written between 1603 and 1607 and performed at the Globe Theatre somewhere around 1611. Shakespeare borrowed the story from a commonly found history book of England, Scotland and Ireland titled Holinshed's Chronicles. The story is similar to that of Anthony & Cleopatra. It is a tale of ambition, power, omens, fate and treachery and is considered to be Shakespeare's deepest and darkest tale. My favourite line of Shakespeare's comes from Macbeth. It is Macbeth's claim that life is 'but a a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more...." 

It seems that I am not the only admirer of Macbeth. The themes of Macbeth are universal and transcend generations. Ambition, power, the wrestling with one's conscience and the ability to achieve one's goals by employing evil methods is not something new to humanity but it is certainly being presented to us in a new light through quality television. And for this reason, I wish to recommend my two favourite Macbeths on apple tv.

1. Frank Underwood from the television series 'House Of Cards'.

Underwood is played by Kevin Spacey and his methodology and the framework from which he manipulates is openly discussed by Underwood as he talks in small monologues to the screen in between making decisions to play out his strategies. It is extremely entertaining and at the same time rather frightening. Just like Macbeth, despite his dastardly acts, you often find yourself not only understanding but in many circumstances agreeing with his mode of thought. Such is the quality of the writing of this show.

2. Walter White From The Final Series Of Breaking Bad

If you haven't watched the Breaking Bad series from A - Z then you will most likely need to watch series 1-5 before attempting to watch this masterpiece of television. Ever since the 1st series I have wondered how on earth the writing team will manage to craft a plot to keep me entertained in the next series and yet they manage to weave such remarkable, almost surreal stories that are so well crafted that they seem completely logical and acceptable plots. This series will engross even those that don't like the themes or topics. Every character is unique. Every scene has a function. Every subtle nuance is carried forward and the seemingly meaningless events find themselves meaningful somewhere along the way in the plot. This is television at it's best.

Tom Wolfe, The Clothes Maketh The Man

You have to hand it to Tom Wolfe, he's one of the most charmingly dressed men in the world and he is consistent. I can recall watching a documentary on Woody Allen and his ability to understand rhythm in films through his ability to play clarinet and his wider musical appreciation. Perhaps Tom Wolfe's attention to his own personal wardrobe, in the same manner, gives him an appreciation for the finest of details in his writing. Wolfe is impeccably dressed in almost any photo you find on the internet. His style is classical whilst having the great eye for colour, tonality and texture. If there is one man whose meticulous style I don't think I could emulate, it is Tom Wolfe's. His style is stamped with so much personality and detail that it is it's own form of DNA. 

I have not read any novels by Tom Wolfe but that is about to change. I am told his latest book on Cuban Americans in Miami, titled Back To Blood, is a great read. So this week, I am going to spend a great deal of time immersing myself in everything Tom Wolfe, from Wiki pages to novels to style photos. 

If there is one thing I would dearly love to know, it is the wool bunch number of the cream and navy box check below.... Well done Mr Wolfe, apart from leaving behind a body of literary work, you leave also behind a great deal of sarto-porn. 

A young Tom Wolfe -  style seems to have always been with him. 

Cream box check 3 piece suit in wide notched lapel - how cool

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Rake Magazine - Le Noeud Papillon Single Piece Grosgrain Bow Ties Featured On Simon Crompton


Photographed in Sydney for the Zegna Wool Awards: Paolo And Gildo Zegna

Simon Crompton, top, wears a Le Noeud Papillon single piece bow tie

Le Noeud Papillon bow ties featured in The Rake Magazine

If you read our blog from time to time ( then you would know that at Christmas time last year we created a made-to-order single piece bow tie in grosgrain silk for Simon Crompton of Permanent Style. Simon is one of the many new voices launched within the blogging sphere over the last 5 years and is Savile Row’s most esteemed ‘new media’ writer. Simon requested us to make him a single piece bow tie made from an Italian grosgrain we source from one particular mill which offers a better grosgrain than the rest.

Using Simon’s collar size we estimated the length required and cut him a batwing bow tie. Single piece bow ties are something we offer as a custom service because every shape we offer requires a unique length for a single piece equivalent. The length required for a batwing bow, for example, will differ to that of a diamond point. The length needed for a grosgrain, will differ from a satin, which will differ from a Marcella cotton, which will differ from a mogador. So, it is the last remaining item which truly must be made from scratch, cut by hand and then sewn by machine and hand. And you need to keep an eye on it to make sure the cutter and the seamstress both know what is going on, otherwise you have to start all over again.

You can see more of that single bow on Permanent Style’s blog:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Menswear Fashion Trends September 2013 - A Guide For Australian Men

If the European summer is a litmus test for what we might be getting Down Under, think again. It is quite often that the blogs we watch in Europe and the States do nothing to knock over the Australian summer trends which are frequently steering their own course these days. For spring and summer I could do the yadayadayada usual stuff about light weight suits, shorter board shorts etc etc but I would be lying to you. The truth is, I don't know where the trends are taking us at the moment but I am going to tell you what I think might happen.

Firstly, the economy is picking up. The GFC (what Australians refer to for the 2008 financial crisis 'Global Financial Crisis') is starting to feel like an old acronym. Always a good sign. When the economy picks up we tend to go back to more relaxed streetwear and less conservative tones. With people whispering that there is a bullish housing market and a shortage of supply in Sydney, this makes me think that pretty soon we will start to have an upward swing and people will shed more clothes as the summer comes and good fortune and better climatic conditions arrive. Also, you can be sure to expect more vibrancy in colour.

Don't be surprised if you start buying shirts of laser printed cotton or woven or printed designs of paisley and polka dots. Don't be surprised if you pay money for an expensively printed t-shirt or polo. I also would not be surprised if you see more people wearing very little on their feet. The loafer / moccasin / car shoe is ubiquitous at the moment and when something becomes ubiquitous it means the avant-garde can't bee seen wearing it unless there is something of a paradigm shift in craftsmanship (eg: P Johnson collaboration with Domodossola).

Looking at suits and the high tide of men wanting to own suits, you will see more box check which still has another season left before it becomes run of the mill. Now becoming more mainstream, expect coloured contrasts in box checks to be more commonplace with navy/red and red/white to be two combinations I wouldn't be surprised to see crop up. At the same time, don't expect to see much movement in black tuxedos as a lot of the gentlemen that make enquiries with our company are doing MTM tuxedos for wedding parties in either a midnight blue black shawl collar tuxedo ala James Bond or else they are doing plain navy suits. Expect that bow ties, predominantly the tie your own variety, will be still worn but less now as too many of the 'civilian' market are buying cheap pre-tied bow ties on websites. The flood of the market, I'm sorry to say this since this will hurt me more than anyone, of cheaply made bulk brand bow ties will have a detrimental effect on the 'status' of bow ties which have travelled a journey from 'nerdy' to 'outsider', into 'avant garde', through 'early adopters' into 'cool, over the hill of 'trend' and into a period of decline in less that five years. This won't be the case for the 'I always wore bow tie types' but perhaps some of the people that were late to the party will pull back from the trend once they realise it wasn't about pre-tied bow ties made en masse.....

With respect to trousers and pants...... I can only feel but can't quite put my finger on it, that jeans are going to be less important to us in the next five years. They are and always will be staples but there is a tendency amongst men I know to be making more of a foray into trousers even for casual wear. This of course is not the case for those that are into street wear, in which case, this passage is not relevant. I am referring to men who might have worn a blazer, jeans and shirt combination with loafers. More of these gentlemen will be running over to trousers. Recently I stumbled upon a brand of trousers called MMX from the Meyer brand. I think these will be really popular by the end of next summer (March 2014). They are very much a luxury trouser designed to replace jeans and in some cases are made of denim. The combination of a more traditional Italian looking trouser with really interesting choices in fabrics (eg: camoflage) and lighter weight wools (eg: Loro Piana silk wool mix) coupled with finer details on the inside linings and belt loops, offers a new way to look at trousers. Don't be surprised if high waist bands as well as a higher rise become 'soup du jour' and if the blazer gets left at home this summer to create a great trouser shirt no jacket look. Lastly, vests, usually MTM, will become the affectation to set off the summer look without a jacket. So, funky trousers, printed shirt, a vest if it gets cooler. I could be wrong, I could be right. Time will tell.

All images below sourced from Guerreisms and StreetFsn

When the guy on the right feels the need to don a bow tie, the trend is setting but those true to bows will continue to wear them.

Red leather bags - a very big yes. Any vibrant leather colours will be in. Note the box check summer weight suit. A trend not yet done with. 

I love this look. I think a high shoulder look like this is called 'shrouding' but I can't be sure. Expect personalised pocket squares will also be popular. 

A higher rise, a higher waist band more than likely to be a new trend

Women in suits, women wearing box checks, women wearing more masculine styled suiting attire - a definite trend Australian women could work with. The lady on the left is Janie Cai of Esquire Singapore - she is is one of the most avant-garde women to watch in fashion. I very much like her relaxed approach to suiting up in this image.

Elections Are A Lot Like Poker, Just Ask Kenny Rogers

This weekend I will be leaving Sydney. I have voted already at a pre-polling booth in Sydney's Bondi Junction and I can't wait to be out of here for election day. Australians are voting between two forms of government which are idealogically so close to the median voter that each candidate has to change his opinion on hot topical matters as frequently as he must change his underwear. The only added value we might achieve from a Liberal government is that there seems to be more 'team play' and less of a political Chernobyl that has been occurring inside the Labor party. 

Aesthetically, if we were to vote with our eyes, we would probably be more inclined to look towards Mr Abbott. He wears navy power suits in twill wools, light blue ties, crisp white shirts and he cuts a lithe figure in a suit. There is no sloppy fat, no jowls, no limping shoulders. If anything, this is a strong image to portray the nation. Someone fit, someone active, someone ready to take up the fight. It remains to be seen as to whether he will deliver but certainly, if we were voting sartorially, we would lean towards Abbott. What I am hoping for, though, is that one day we might find ourselves with a Harry Truman styled candidate that's not afraid of a bow tie and perhaps pastel suits and seersucker in summer. It may mean, unfortunately for Australians, that I will have to enter politics.

So, I will be spending the election weekend playing poker with friends in the countryside. And as I dust off my Geoffrey Parker game set I am reminded of how vastly similar the game of poker is to the election. Just like a game of poker, we saw Mr Rudd come out after decapitating Julia Gillard with a look on his face like he had a full bag of chips. Then after a couple of weeks in full swing he hit a muddy patch and you could see half the chips spill out of his bag and then a look came over him like he was going to cry and get nasty. Then Mr Abbott walked around like he was a confident little peacock that had just found where Mr Rudd had dropped all his chips. He then went from being scared to being a very happy little chappy until he made a remark about Fiona Scott being 'sexy' and you could feel at that point he lost a very big hand indeed. But he hadn't lost all his chips, which was certainly how I felt watching Kevin Rudd last night on QandA.

What am I saying? As Kenny Rogers once said, 'You never count your money, whilst your sitting at the table. There'll be time enough for counting, when the dealings done'. That is, the game's not over until it's over and you never know how the tables can turn on the last hand. Neither party should think they have this one in the bag.

Poker And Elections - A Lot Of Similarities

Monday, September 2, 2013

It's Getting Hot In Here....

Many of you around in the mid 90's will recall the swimsuit girls inside the tipping of a Dolce And Gabbana tie. In the mid 90's when silk ties were ubiquitous, this particular gold silk tie I had from Dolce And Gabbana always left it's mark.

Fast forward to 2013 and we have just finished our sample of our new screen printed pocket square La Belle Dame when we finalised the design with a digital print. We cut the samples into tie tipping and fortunately for us it came out wonderfully. These seductive sirens are barely seen unless you open the tipping out. But once you do, it is so inviting!

We will be adding more of these tippings over the coming months but for now, they will be appearing one by one on the website. So if you see one and like one, snap it up.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We Need You, We Really Do!

The Self-Portrait Competition - Still Awaiting Our First Entrant!
For about a month and half I have been pushing for people to enter our self-portrait competition using either traditional means to make art or in turn picking up an iPad or desktop and using digital software. Perhaps I over-shot my mark in estimating that bow tie lovers were the kind of aesthetes who loved to paint in their spare time. I have in the past been overly enthusiastic about our readers and their capabilities but I am still quite shocked that after a month and a half we have not received one entrant to the competition. This means that there will not be stiff competition for the $500.00AUD reward for the winner. At this stage, rather, it would be what is called a SHOO IN (See the reason I spelt it like this here )

"This expression purportedly comes from the practice of corrupt jockeys holding their horses back and shooing a preselected winner across the finish line to guarantee that it will win. A “shoo-in” is now an easy winner, with no connotation of dishonesty. “Shoe-in” is a common misspelling."

Alas, I await an entrant for the self-portrait competition like a federal politician awaits the latest polls. On the one hand I would like to see that you endorse my enthusiastic ideas, on the other, I am afraid of the results. But I wait, and wait, hoping that someone our there believes that this is not only fun but the opportunity to create something very unique that hopefully will transcend more than just the closing date of the competition on September 30th 2013.

Please, I almost beg of you, come join in! At this stage, you're a shoo in.