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

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Michael Stahl's Book On Kerry Packer Is A Page Turner And A Nice Light Easy Read For The Train

In my post the other week on the late Australian businessman Kerry Packer I mentioned that the folklore he left behind was legendary and most probably will outlive his money. Eventually. It came to my attention from one of our blog readers that a new book had just been released on Packer. Michael Stahl, who worked for ACP Magazines for many years has recently written a book titled Kerry Packer: Tall Tales & True Stories. For anyone interested in the business folklore left behind by Packer this is an excellent page turner which you can easily digest on a train or in a cafe. You can purchase the book from Booktopia here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Interviews: The Long Term Pursuit Of Quality Shirting - An Interview With Mauro Canclini - Head Textile Designer @ Canclini

On my first trip to Como I was fortunate enough to make a detour one day in between visiting silk mills to arrive at Canclini HQ. Over the small number of years since I have been working with them I have noticed a marked increase in the number of new weaves, blends, printing and finishing techniques that have been employed by the company. Although it is not nearly as big as some of the other mills producing shirting, and although a great deal of production in shirting is done in all sorts of lower cost countries, Canclini remains one of the beacons of light for European shirting weavers. By using technological and design advances they have remained ahead of the game when it comes to shirting. It is with great pleasure that I offer our readers a chance to meet Mauro Canclni, the brains behind Canclini's design team.

Mauro Canclini, head textile designer of Canclini,  at a desk in the archives studying designs and swatches
Mauro, can you tell our readers a little about shirting production? For example, how many metres of shirting does each loom produce per hour and how many different types of yarns do you turn into warps?

Producing shirting fabric is a very long and complex process. For example, you have to consider that regarding the weaving component only, a loom can only produce about 5 metres of shirting fabric per hour, which equates to roughly 2 or 3 shirts, depending on the size of the shirt of course.
We are usually trying to use only one kind of yarn in the warp; but for very special fabrics and effects, we can use up to 3 different kinds of yarns in order to obtain a richer look and/or touch/handle.

Shirting fabrics being weaved at the Canclini mill

Does Canclini make the yarns that goes into it’s cloth or are they produced by outside makers? Can you explain to our readers the difference between single ply, 2 ply and 3 ply yarns and what quality fabrics are usually constructed of?

By tradition, Canclini is involving the full textile chain industry of our area in the North of Italy. When my grandfather started Canclini he was sourcing the yarns directly and then he gave them to subcontractors for weaving -  managing therefore all the individual steps of the process - from the yarn spinning to the finished fabric. Nowadays, we are mostly working with the same spirit: we buy the yarns from 3 suppliers - which thanks to our long term business relationship, grants us the upmost continuous quality of the yarns that go into our fabrics. We are then dyeing the yarns in 2 specialist yarn dyeing mills close to us and that we’ve been working with for many decades. For over 50 years we’ve been then taking these dyed yarns and weaving them into shirting fabric. The finished woven shirting fabric is then sent to the finishing mill which is also less than 1 hours drive from our company HQ. We employ the exact same methodology for our printed fabrics. By taking this position as a weaver and not taking on the additional infrastructure of the other processes allows Canclini to forge strong partnerships and thereby allows us to be quick and reactive in a manner that no other weaving mill can match.

Once yarns are spin they are ready for dyeing

Yarns are spun very close to the weaving mills of Canclini so that there is a synergy between all aspects of shirting cloth production which allows Canclini to take advantages in new technologies offered by yarn weavers through to dyers and cloth finishers.
To answer your question about yarn plys the difference is really quite simple. A single yarn, as per its name itself, is a single thread yarn. A 2-ply is made of 2 single yarns spun together to create a single thread with 2 yarns. A 3-ply is made of 3 single yarns spun together to obtain a single thread with 3 yarns. The dimension of the thread can vary a lot, from a 40/1 for example which is quite thick, up to a 170/1 which is very thin, but you have a lot of different thread sizes. Each single size gives the thread different visual aspects (less or more hairy, less or more shiny) and different strengths. So it’s not just the ply of yarns you look at but the dimensions of those yarns too.

In Sydney there is never a time of the year where it is absolutely essential to wear one weight of cloth or another –but I gather in Europe there would be many men who prefer to have heavier weight shirting cloths and blends for winter and lighter ones for summer. For example, I know that Canclini produces blends of cotton and cashmere for winter and cotton and linen for summer. Can you explain to us what types of blends, constructions there are for the seasons and the basic types that Australian men might consider given the climate conditions Down Under?

Yes, it's true that in Western countries, but also in Japan and China for example, where temperatures goes down several degrees under freezing point during winter time, our customers are using much different weights of fabrics respecting to the ones used in the Australian market. Therefore, we can talk about different blends (cotton/cashmere for example) but also flannels in 100% cotton, that thanks to special finishing techniques pretty much give the end product a cashmere feel which is really appreciated by our customers in winter. On the other hand in summer, beside playing with different light weights from a yarn and structure point of view (like our cotton mousseline ULLALLA), or our light and compact popeline SKIN and micro weaving structures DANDY range); we make 100% cotton fabrics but also blend fibres such as cotton / linen fabrics to keep the freshness and breathability needed. However, in modern office environments that are centrally heated in winter our customers still choose our light weight ranges to keep their consumers comfortable and push a more layered style of clothing to allow for changes in temperatures between inside and outside.

Canclini range of striped cottons from their skin range.

I wrote a few weeks ago that a baby blue cotton shirting fabric is for cotton weavers what the fruit bowl is for painters – every company offers some form of this cloth. In Canclini I particularly like your Rothschild baby blue twill 200 2 ply. Can you tell our readers what are some of the staple cloths that you produce which are timeless and what kinds of staples we might find in an Italian man’s wardrobe? (Eg: white twill, blue herringbone, pink, white popeline etc)

We are making each season (each 6 months) a full collection that is respectful of tradition but which also pushed the incoming fashion trends, textures and colours. However, the truth is that most men prefer a white or blue shirt in all kinds of weaving structures and weights. For this reason we have a Stock Service book which is available year-round with over a 1000 swatches of fabrics with a great deal of variety in both micro structures, blends, printed fabrics, linen, flannels, denim – every conceivable staples that a man might have in his wardrobe.

Finished fabrics on the roll at a Canclini mill ready to be sold to luxury shirt makers around the world.
My understanding is that a lot of cotton shirting weaving production has moved from Italy to India, Turkey, Eastern Europe and many other places where wage costs are lower. I imagine that cloth weaving is not a labour intensive business as it mostly relies on machines does it not? What are the benefits of moving cloth production for these companies and does Canclini produce any of it’s range outside of Italy?

As I said earlier, our production has been focussed on Italy for over 50 years, where we have also our partners like the yarn dyeing mills and the finishing mill not far from us. However, to contain the increasing costs of running a mill like ours a small part of our production is weaved less than 600 km away from us, in Eastern Europe. This has been a logistical and economic decision. Consider that Rome is even further than 600 km from us here at Canclini. In our Eastern European mill, with our Italian looms, Italian managers and Italian technicians, we take advantage of a cheaper labour cost which compensates the huge increase of the costs of the materials that go into the fabrics.

This is where warps are made - warps are the base roll of yarns from which the shuttle will weave the weft threads. Many of the subtle differences created in shirt weaving begin with the warp.

Yarn spinning - this is the imperative process which gives Canclini the base threads from which it makes the warps above.

Moving through an operating mill is very loud. Don't be fooled by the picture, you would need ear muffs to walk down this aisle.

In the last few years laser printed fabrics and jacquards have been more prevalent in shirting cotton. Can you tell us about the rise of technology in fabrics and what as a designer are your constraints when producing shirting on classic looms and what are your constraints on producing shirting using new technologies?

The market is requesting more and more ‘fantasy’ in patterns and designs. Thanks to the use of Jacquard looms and inkjet printing machines, I have the possibility to push even further my creativity and we have made innovation in fabrics we would never have been able to produce in the past. The only problem is that the machinery used is not as widely available as our traditional looms and therefore we are not able to achieve the same kind of capacity that we could from traditional looming which means production at this stage is limited.

The technological improvements in machinery also allows us to use thin yarns and make very light and compact fabrics, something that was impossible 30 years ago when fabrics were much thicker and the weaving was not nearly as dense. Modern machines have allowed us to innovate to create modern fabrics, and the improvements are only just being seen with many more technological advances coming.

Innovation in shirting fabric can come in the form of yarns, blends of yarns, weaving techniques or, in finishing techniques. Above, shirting fabric being finished.

Can you tell us what some of your favourite Canclini cloths are which you think are signatures of the company? 

Unlike most of the other shirting mills, Canclini has heavily moved into the use of 80/1 compact yarn, and this a strength in versatility for our fabrics range. For example we have our DANDY range with micro weaving structures, our MC KENZIE which is a light brushed flannel, but also once weaved with a 140/1, we obtain our SKIN quality, which is both light and compact but also breathable and still very elegant.

Over the years technology has meant that shirting fabrics can be woven more densely with greater colour, more innovative print techniques and lighter handles.
Please tell us a little about your own fashion taste and what brands you follow? Lastly, can you please tell our readers if you were to cut a suit which Italian tailor would you use?

I am rather simply in my dress – always a shirt of course – a pair of jeans or light trousers (I prefer Jacob Cohen or PT Torino). Then I add a simple cashmere sweater in the winter time and a pair of sneakers or Churches shoes depending on my mood.

If I need to dress up I prefer to wear a Paolini suit, which is modern with a young cut and fit and, on more formal occasions, I will naturally tend towards Zegana Sartoriale.

Mauro Canclini overlooking work in progress

Dressed simply for work - Mauro Canclini prefers Jacob Cohen jeans, a Canclini cloth shirt, a cashmere sweater and sneakers for day workwear.
To find our more on Canclini visit their website on , their Facebook page or their Instagram account.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Bow Tie Portrait Winner Is Declared

It took some consideration to declare the winner of our #lenoeudpapillon portrait competition. The winner had to be wearing one of our bow ties and preferably the shot should show off the outfit - the combination of how the bow was tied, as well as the shirt, jacket and accoutrements that accompanied it. 

The winner is Ifeoluwapo Adenigbagbe from Nigeria. It wasn't a clear win but there are a few reasons why I chose him - for one it was how he tied his bow tie, secondly it was the fact that he chose to offset a more elaborate silk design with a subtle striped wool suit. And thirdly, I like the fact that he's from Nigeria - it seems rather exotic that our bow ties should find their way to Africa and I am very grateful for his patronage. Ifeoluwapo wins $1000.00 AUD wired to his bank account.

I have decided that the runners up all deserve a free bow tie of their choosing. They are:

1. David Meisenburg, who wears an orange diamond point bow tie whilst contemplating a martini.
2. James Andrew, New York interior designer and fashionable blogger, who wears our limited edition Antoni silk bow tie with a beautiful Tom Ford Prince Of Wales check three piece suit and also working on a martini. 
3. Jonathan Edwards, a menswear writer from the UK who wears a custom made oversize black grosgrain silk for his black tie ensemble that's classic and elegant. 

Many thanks to all those that participated. They were all great portraits and hopefully in the next round we will see some equally stylish photos.

The winner of the portrait prize goes to Ifeoluwapo Adenigbagbe of Nigeria.

Runners Up: David Meisenburg, Iowa, USA

James Andrew, New York City, USA

Jonathan Edwards, Liverpool, UK

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Do You Want To Write A Menswear Blog Post?

Are you a young writer who wants to show off his talents to a new audience? Do you have a story to tell about menswear that previously hasn't been told? Found a new tailor that everybody should know about? Are you designing something which will interest our readers? Got a film you want to discuss the wardrobe of? Met an artisan on your recent vacation?

What we are looking for:
  1. Authenticity
  2. Depth Of Knowledge
  3. Eccentricity
If any of these questions light something up in you and you meet the above criteria, feel free to contact us on . We are interested in hearing tales of menswear - from film to fancy, from texture to tailor - if you have something you want others to know about in the loose sphere of menswear, we are happy to post your content.

Foster Brooks Roasts Don Rickles And Reduces Him To Tears

One of the benefits of our writing our blog is that it keeps us in the loop with our customers, most of whom share some common interests, notwithstanding menswear and bow ties primarily. They also share a similar taste in art, literature, cinema and comedy. It is therefore a privilege to get an email from one customer in Idaho the other day who had enjoyed my Don Rickles post and suggested that I ought to watch Foster Brooks reduce Don Rickles to tears. I then on-sent that to a comedian in Miami, another customer, who said that he and his wife were in fits of laughter watching said video - as I was too.

I don't imagine that in my formative years when I kept pen pals that we ever had such a quick and effortless way of communally appreciating anything in the same manner. My old letters would start with 'Dear so and so, it has been some time since I last wrote you and my life has taken some funny turns since then. In April I ....' blah blah blah.

Anyway, I hope you are amused by this superlative roast from Foster Brooks who manages to get the master of roasting to lose it himself.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What If They Hadn't Gone To War?

It's somewhat pointless asking the question 'but what if' because until such time as we manage to slip through the tapestry of time I fear we are only able to have an influence on the present and only a slight influence on the future at best.

However, as I drove around Sydney today to run my errands in the blustering wind and rain which thrashes and thrusts it's influence across Sydney today I was caught in one of those moments when sunlight is hazed by the droplets of rain falling from heavy grey clouds, the red traffic light diffused in the windshield and for reasons I don't question, in popped the thought of the Anzac soldiers that laid down their lives for Australia - then.

When I think of Anzacs I think immediately of the Ode Of Remembrance, red poppies, old timers, trenches, the movie Gallipoli and the The Last Post . However, today, almost 100 years on since Gallpoli, I was roused by a different kind of gratitude. I realised that in those men dying they freed up people like myself to pursue career paths that previously might have been completely inaccessible.

How we speak, what we wear, the jobs we have, the freedoms we take for granted have all got some lineage to do with WW1.

Until WW1 society was stuck in a reasonably strict hierarchy where there was not much fluidity in the labour market, people were never given much opportunity to rise in society, what you wore was dictated by your social position in society and most importantly, you rarely married up or down in society. You effectively stayed put all your life and were told what you should think and what God you ought to fear.

The end of WW1 brought about a massive wave of change which doesn't ripple in today's society, it swells it. We read whatever content we want to on the internet. We dress in whichever manner we wish to and form social tribes by what we cloak our bodies in. In fact, fashion for men changed forever as before WW1 there was a lot more use of vests, cuffs, pleats and double-breasted suits. In order to conserve fabrics used in production many of these standards were relaxed. Before WW1 it was de rigeur to wear white tie in the evening for a man in society and often he would dine in an all male club. It wasn't until the end of WW1 with all those men lost that the rigid glue which bonded society would be relaxed so that today there are very few places that someone can't go to - in fact, most clubs (which aren't really clubs anymore) , restaurants and hotels would be happy to take your money if you are willing to pay the price for the experience.

Until WW1 most men wore fob watches if they could afford one and checked their time by dipping their hands into their waist coats. Soldiers on the front line of WW1 preferred to have their watches on their wrists in order to synchronise the time before going over the top. That trend over time means that the vast majority of us today wear a wrist watch. Almost every company in the world from Rolex to Swatch owes a debt of gratitude to these men. So too this year will Apple.

And it doesn't end there either. You are able to wear black tie of an evening because standards regarding menswear relaxed after WW1 so that between WW1 and WW2 the dinner suit went through a Golden Era when production processes and a rising middle class meant set new standards in menswear. You are able to buy shirts with collars on them because the industrialisation processes that sprung from WW1 meant that with time the average man could afford a shirt (until then collars were very expensive things which were stored in their own boxes). You drive a car because of those same changes in industrialisation. The foods you eat, the planes you travel in, the way in which we communicate - so much of this has origins in WW1.

So, on the 25th April this year, or this Saturday, spare a thought for everything around you and ask whether or not, if they hadn't gone to war, would it still be there or in the same form as it appears today?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don Rickles - May Someone Grow Big Enough Balls To Make The Same Jokes And Wear The Same Gigantic Bow Ties

The Don Rickles Tribute last year was both entertaining and sad at the same time. Rickles who is now in his 90's has outlived pretty much every person he has worked with apart from Scorsese and De Niro (Casino).

There is now a great distance between the years when Rickles spent his time reducing Governor Reagan to tears of laughter through humour which was never politically correct but always funny - and the manner in which comedians in today's world walk a very fine line in terms of what they will make fun of.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Magnus Omme Photgraphs Janus Regel - A Danish Musician

Janus Regel photographed by Magnus Omme, Copenhagen, Denmark

Janus Regel

Singer/songwriter - got his first guitar at the age of 9.

Started classic guitar lessons at the local music school in Helsingør, about an hour’s drive north of Copenhagen.

“My interests now lie much more in the synthesizer than the guitar. I feel it gives me much more room in which to be creative. There is a certain nerdy aspect to synthesisers, especially the older analogue ones from the 70’s and 80’s – the ones where you manually have to turn all these big knobs to make the sounds. But then you can do so much to this music once you then get it onto a computer.

When I was younger I wanted to be like Slash from the Guns & Roses – everybody wants to be that sexy. But with time I have mellowed and I’m much more in my own skin being the nerdy type on the synthesiser or Rhodes. The good thing is I am now part of three bands which means I have three different ways in which I express my work.

In My French Friend I am the singer and guitarist. Fabrice Jacobsen is my other half in this band. It’s dark pop slash indie pop. Our first EP is called ‘1366’ and will be available on idiot disc records and also on Spotify and Wimp by May 2015.

The Late Bloomers is my second band, straight indie, I’m on the synthesiser. Then finally I have a new faster 70’s beat band called The Tennis Club which is a new project I started with songwriter Krisoffer Blom.

Come take a listen."

Late Bloomers:

My French Friend:

50Oz Silk Twill Diamond Point Bow Tie By Le Noeud Papillon

Top Things To Look For When Buying A Shirt Off The Rack

A number of my friends refuse to have their shirts made for them because they feel that with so many companies offering shirts at below $40 AUD there is no reason they should spend the money on a bespoke or custom made shirt when considering that, even with alterations costs included, the $40.00 shirt will never exceed more than $90.00 including alterations. A bespoke shirt, usually starting at around the $250.00 AUD mark, therefore equates to anywhere between 3 and 6 cheap off the rack shirts.

I can completely understand this logic. I have seen the volume based business shirts offered by some of these companies and in fairness the quality isn't bad. It's not great quality, not in fabric nor in stitch work, but it's a case of horses for courses. For a man who wears 5 business shirts a week and doesn't want to outlay a great deal for his wardrobe each year, it makes good financial sense. The prices of Sydney housing, food and education of one's children mean that there isn't a great deal of the pie left over for his wardrobe. I find it hard to argue against these men any more because they are calling it straight down the line and there is little pleading to a man with these kinds of financial concerns. In the seminal stand up comedy film 'Raw' by Eddie Murphy he asks his woman 'Wassup?' to which she responds 'the rent mother-fucker'. Brazen, yes, but perhaps these same men have wives with equal concerns about home finances.

So, if you were to buy an off the rack shirt for $40.00 what should you be looking for?


The most important aspect in my opinion to get right first is the collar size. It's very hard to find anyone that can make you a new collar and if they can it will only be in a contrast fabric since the shirt body will invariably be impossible to match. Collars can be altered up to about 0.5cm by repositioning the button without it affecting the way the collar sits and that's about all you will get before you need to have a new collar made.

How are the shoulders fitting on the shirt. This is the first sign of an off the rack shirt. If you can see the shoulder seam is a long way off the nub of the shoulder this shirt will always strike others as a sack of potatoes. The cost of altering this is probably not worth it so it's important to get the shoulders right to start with. Tight with no flexibility is no good. Too loose and the shirt will have no personality. The seam which runs across your shoulders from the collar to the armhole, which is what we call the front yoke seam, should sit comfortably on the ridge of the shoulders. The back yoke seam, which will either be split down the centre, or a single piece, should not billow and follow approximately the curve of the back and should only be taught when you curl your shoulders.

Sleeve length

The most common reason customers come to us for bespoke shirts is when their arms are too long for the standard sizes offered by off the rack customers. Either that or they are too rotund in the belly. For sleeve length it's a lot better if the sleeve is a little too long than if it's too short. The only answer to too short is to cut a brand new cuff in a contrast colour which is not really an answer. So that's an easy one to remember, if it's short in the arms, put it back.

Chest & Stomach

There is very little room to let out a shirt from any fabric left in the seams of a price-point driven shirt. For this reason it's always better to buy a shirt that's too big because it's easy to bring it in from the side seems from the bottom of the armhole down to the hem than to try and squeeze anything out from the opposite direction.

Back & Darts

To be fair I don't have much experience with putting darts in shirts because we mostly never do them owing to the way in which we measure and fit shirts prior to cutting them. However, I am told that the fastest and most inexpensive way to get the balloon out of the back is to use darts. Darts can be on the front or in the back. The problem with darts is that they are a cheap way to get a fitted look and amongst shirt aficionados they are sometimes frowned upon.

Shirt Length

The length of a shirt is imperative for the use of a shirt. Never buy a business shirt if it's sitting on the line of which you wear trousers. There is nothing more displeasing nor downright uncomfortable as a shirt which continually lifts out above the trouser line. You do not want to be tucking your shirt in all day long. You do not want to have a scruff look around your waist. Be generous with your length because in business and in suits it pays to look tidy. Always separate your shirts for weekend casual from the shirts you use during the working week and don't try merge the two unless you plan to tuck your shirt in. Another point to note is that most trousers which are cut for suits will sit higher than your low cut jeans so there is even more scope to make your shirts extra long if you intend to tuck them in on the weekend. 

A Le Noeud Papillon Bespoke Shirt With High Collar Stand And Dual Function Cuff Using SIC Tess Fabric & Australian Mother Of Pearl Buttons -

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Versatility And Ease Of Diamond Point Bow Ties

Magnus Omme is currently putting the final touches on some wonderful images he took of musican Janus Regel. You will be hearing more about what Janus is up to on a blog post in the not too distant future. Janus is the Dane who splits his time between owning a barber shop in Copenhagen and making music. The last I heard he still wore bow ties every day to work.

Which brings me to my point - he prefers diamond points and lately I am tending toward that direction too. The reason diamond points are trending in my own wardrobe and in Janus' is the ease with which you can tie them and how comfortably they fit into your pocket. For this reason they work wonderfully for more casual wear. Yes they work for black tie just as well, but for one reason or another the diamond point is the go-to bow tie for jeans and a shirt and it can easily be untied and stowed if you change environments.

Consider a diamond point bow tie. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rest In Peace Richie Benaud - The Sound Of Summer

You always knew it was summer in Australia in the 1980's if you could hear in the background the trumpets of Channel 9's 'Wide World Of Sports' then followed by the inimitable voice of Richie Benaud. Summer in Australia will never quite be the same again.

Image from Getty Images via the Daily Mail

Some of you may recall the recent ad for Australian lamb that Ritchie partook in. Watch that video here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Scarf Knots For Evening Wear

Many men choose to wear an evening scarf merely by draping it around their neck. The finer evening scarves made of satin silks are ideal for this kind of draping but they tend to be slippery suckers that fall off your neck and often, as it has happened to me, you can find your most treasured evening scarf sitting in a puddle of water at your feet because you made two sudden moves to get out of the rain but the scarf could not keep up.

Evening scarves are a dying art form and it's on a very rare occasion that you will see a man invest in one. The ones that do exist, if they are made well, should cost a pretty penny. Ours, which we don't put on the website mainly because nobody seems to purchase them, are hand-made in Italy. Having just dressed the window I did some research on knots because I felt that the evening scarf, if merely draped around the neck, tended to take away the aesthetic value of the cut of your tuxedo or smoking jacket.

The search for a good knot for my evening scarf lead me to a place I have mixed feelings about. The Gentleman's Gazette is a blog written by a man called Sven Raphael Schneider. The German name schneider, by the way, means tailor (from the verb schneiden "to cut"), so it's not a bad name to have if you're setting out to write a menswear and style blog . The Gentleman's Gazette is an interesting blog - I must take my hat off to him. Schneider writes on unique topics and does a great deal for the advancement of menswear in terms of enlightening men on how to dress well, though slightly skewed towards Old World style. Sadly, however, something seems to make me recoil about this chap despite his knowledge and willingness to share it. I have never quite put my finger on it but regardless of whatever that feeling that he evokes in me is, I must admit that, grammatical and translation issues aside, he keeps a great menswear blog. And, I am grateful for the scarf knot below which I think is excellent for allowing you to look chic in the evening but which will ensure your scarf doesn't slip off your neck and into that said puddle, or dance floor, or the back of the taxi, or, as also once happened to me, in the middle of a country road where a lovely neighbour hung it on a tree for me to find the next day.

The two knots I recommend from the video below are:

1: The knot - as pictured below
2: The count - see video.

Considering we are coming into Autumn and that it's still rather cold up in the North, it might be advantageous to brush up on your scarf knots regardless.

Le Noeud Papillon smoking jacket with black satin silk shawl and turned back cuff, black evening scarf and Donald shape bow tie - all available from or by appointment with our Studio.

And, if you are looking for a nice scarf - here are three selections:

1. Henry Carter Neckwear 
2. Gentleman's Gazette
3. Le Noeud Papillon

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer Was A Pioneer Of The Power Suit In Australia

I don't think any man or woman ever flattered Kerry Packer by telling him how handsome he was. He was by all accounts a very unattractive man but what Packer did not have in looks he made up for in power, style, gusto, bravado, wit and charm.

There are a lot of journalists and businessmen in Australia that would know far more about the topic of Kerry Packer than myself. You can find a very small offering from Wikipedia on the big man and there are numerous books written by Australian journalists such as Paul Barry's 'Rise And Rise Of Kerry Packer' or Neil Chenoweth's 'Packer's Lunch' which will offer you a great deal more insight. There are the usual tales that he offered to flip a coin with a Texan for his entire wealth after the Texan told Packer 'You can't push me around, I'm worth a hundred million'. To this day you can sit in a cafe and if you hear Packer's name mentioned you can guarantee the punch line 'Well I'll flip you for it' will get mentioned at some point. 

The one thing the late Kerry Packer has never been accused of, which I am happy to finger him for, is being a style icon of the Australian business community. Although somewhat British and conservative in his dress sense, Kerry Packer is in my mind an icon of Australian style. From the board room to the polo field his sense of dress always matched his character. 

Today I leave you with a wonderful video from 1991 in which the House of Reps Select Committee on Print Media tries it's best to make Packer accountable to the Australian Government to which he rejects all their assertions that they constitutionally have a right to harass him about his business interests. It is now part of Australian folklore.

NB: Note a younger and somewhat deferential Peter Costello as part of the Reps Committee

Francesco Smalto Dies Aged 87 - Parisian Tailor To Heads Of State And Celebrities

You may have read once an article we did with the then cutter from Francesco Smalto in Paris. His name was Victor Hugo da Costa and you can read that article here . Sadly, on Saturday, the famed Parisian tailor Smalto passed away, aged 87.

Although there are many stories that float around about some of the more dubious things that were requested of Smalto over the years as a tailor, one thing is for sure, his clothes never lacked quality fabric, make and construction and were never short on details. And, even if you could not afford the price tags, entering the Rue Francois 1st store, across the road from Zilli, was always an enjoyable experience just to see what the rich, famous and powerful were wearing that season. In his time he dressed actor Roger Moore, French President François Mitterrand, King Hassan II of Morocco and to my understanding, a number of African dictators.

Read the Le Monde article here

Monday, April 6, 2015

What Happened To The Greatest Ever Ferrari ?

In the film Toby Dammit by Federico Fellini , part of the tryptych of short films in Spirits Of The Dead, itself based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe , Dammit, played by Terence Stamp, is battling alcoholism, depression and fame. In an attempt to rejuvenate his career he agrees to a film to be shot in Rome for which he names his price - a Ferrari.

Although I am not particularly into cars I will say that the car that is given to Dammit to race through the streets of Rome in, is in my opinion the most beautiful Ferrari I have ever laid eyes on. Of course, the maestro Fellini helps sell the Ferrari by placing it in a dream like state outside a theatre with fog and low lighting. Dammit uses it to race through the streets of Rome to escape his existential crisis. I won't ruin the film for you but I will say that the end of the film focuses heavily on the Ferrari.

What I love about the romance of this existential crisis is that Fellini uses all the bells and whistles of cinema to create recurring imagery of fine fashion, fine cars, fine women and fine living to convey a world of false people living with false Gods in which Dammit sees the need to escape. The Ferrari, which is gold, has no top and and as Dammit speeds through the city he starts to feel a tortured freedom with the wind in his hair.

I often think of that Ferrari as the most beautiful I've ever seen and until recently I had never found any information on it. As with all things that look exceptionally unique, it was custom made for the purpose of the film.

I managed to find the history of the car on Coach Build amongst numerous other sites. It seems the car was originally a racing Ferrari model called a 330 TR-LM #0808TR. In 1963 after the racing model had finished it's career an Italian design team called Fantuzzi, who were known to customise Ferraris, pulled the original model apart and began to build the new golden Ferrari on the chassis of the old race car. The Ferrari was then offered for sale either as a Coupe or as a Spider.

After these first models were made in 1964 the Spider body was constructed onto a  #4381SA 1963 330 LM Berlinetta which was owned by a film company named Crossograph SpA. The Spider was finished with a golden paint job and was used 4 years later in the film by Fellini. Once the movie was shot, the Ferrari was then unused and sitting in a parking lot in Rome for several years. Later the original Berlinetta body was put back on the car. The Fantuzzi body was then sold on to a chap who put the golden body onto a 330 GT 2+2 #8733 of 1966-vintage and repainted it red.

So, sadly, you cannot own today the original Toby Dammit Ferrari , which was nicknamed by some as the golden shark owing to the mouth of the grill at the front. However, in 2008 an American businessman by the name of Edward Walson set about re-creating the Toby Dammit Ferrari by customising a 599 GTB Fiorano Ferrari using carbon fibre to remove the roof but keep the structural integrity of the car and then it was painted gold. The car, which is not quite as elegant as the original, is still a wonderfully sexy modern version of the Fantuzzi-Ferrari it was inspired by. It has, however, developed its own following and you can read about the P540 Superfast Aperta -  The Golden 599 - here.

So the Ferrari in the film was only that Ferrari for a short period - it was previously a race car and after it became part of two Ferraris but the shell was never made golden again. It did, however, inspire an American to  give rise to a new interpretation in 2008 with all the advancements of technology in between. In some ways it's a little like our love for cinema fashion - you can dwell on all your old great characters but unless you indulge in setting out to make a brand new piece using great cinema as inspiration, it remains about as much of a dream as Toby Dammit's little girl wandering the streets of Rome with her ball.

Consider your next project.

The unique front grill by Fantuzzi reminded some of a shark's mouth

Actor Terence Stamp plays Toby Dammit trapped in a world of alcohol, false realities, perceptions and Gods

Inspired by the film Toby Dammit, American Edward Walson creates this unique customised  599 GTB Fiorano which is then referred to as the P540 Superfast Aperta or the Golden 599.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Black Majestic Bow Tie By Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney

One bow tie which keeps turning heads each year is our Black Majestic. It is a winning combination of the right colour silk (there are many types of black), the right weave, the right handle, the right shape and the right details which seems to bring people back to it time and time again.

Shop one now. 

Did He Do It? A Sartorial WhoDunnit - Claus von Bülow

If like me you love a murder mystery, Old World elegance and a bit of courtroom drama then this rainy weekend in Sydney I recommend watching Reversal Of Fortune.

Whether Claus von Bülow was guilty or not of murdering his wife Sunny I assume we will never know the truth of it. It does however make for good drama especially as you get an insightful look into the life of luxury lead by the von Bülow family living in Newport, Rhode Island. Claus also has a very enviable wardrobe.