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

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Friday, January 29, 2016

His Majesty - How To Add Bling Bling To Your Bow Ties - The New 18k And 9k Rose Gold Clips Inlaid With Diamonds From Le Noeud Papillon

Some months ago a patron of Le Noeud Papillon offered to make for us a set of 18k and 9k solid rose gold clips after I showed him our rose gold plated versions. He then suggested if we wanted to go all out we could add diamonds. I am the sort that doesn't refuse such extravagant offers and so I dove into it head first and prayed and prayed it would turn out looking elegant and not gauche. Taste is of course subjective and to my taste these are perfection but to others, well, let's just say that our more conservative customers might snub their nose at them. Whilst they are not large in size and for the most part they will remain  hidden under a turned down collar so that nobody will 'roll' you for your bow tie, they are a tiny affectation that might just win you the favour of the person you wake up next to who see yours bow tie draped over the divan or valet. 

If you have just the smallest inkling towards a Versace kind of life, you will enjoy these. I know I do.

His Majesty, now available on

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Some Time Ago You May Recall Us Talking About 3D Fashion ? Monocure 3D - Advanced 3D Printed Resins

A while back I referred to a Dita Von Teese dress on the blog of Joe Kucharski, a costume designer in the United States. That article is here. I have been fascinated with 3D printing for some time though I have no experience of it first hand. Recently, however, I met an interesting fellow who was in the business of making coloured polymer resins for digital printing. The company is called Monocure 3D and specialises in making resins used in 3d printing. My hope is that we will find a way to make new and exciting designs for our clips and potentially some applications for our bow tie shapes which might sit on lapels. As it stands I have a lot to learn about the process. Take, for example, the explanation on how it works on their website:


Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process which employs a vat of liquid ultraviolet curable photopolymer resin and an ultraviolet laser to build parts' layers one at a time. For each layer, the laser beam traces a cross-section of the part pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the ultraviolet laser light cures and solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and joins it to the layer below. After the pattern has been traced, the SLA's elevator platform descends by a distance equal to the thickness of a single layer, typically 0.05 mm to 0.15 mm. Then, the build platform & model moves up out of the resin, re-coating it with fresh material. On this new liquid surface, the subsequent layer pattern is traced, joining the previous layer. A complete 3D part is formed by this process.


Seems like either I better do some more background reading or else I better find an expert in 3D printing who can do the job for me.

Read more on Monocure 3D

The future of fashion and accessories most likely lies in 3D printing and companies like Monocure 3D offer premium coloured resin solutions in this space. 

Cufflinks? Bow Ties? Lapel flowers? This is the future of accessories in my opinion, even if for creating samples for moulding alone. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ziggurats - An Exploration In 2016 For Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney

If Roman purple defined 2015 for me then my hope is that Ziggurats form the basis of my designs in 2016. Ziggurats originally derive from Mesopotamia and western Iran. They are essentially a pyramid built up on layers of inter connecting and receding structures of rectangles, oblongs and squares. According to the first historian, Herodotus, at the top of each one lay a shrine. It is believed that in low-lying areas prone to flood, these structures gave priests a chance to escape the flooding.

Ziggurats as we know them today are often related to art deco period architecture, interior architecture, furnishings and jewellery. Seen from the prism of that period they can sometimes be associated with industrialism, fascism and in some instances with the excesses of the roaring 20's and extreme wealth. 

An image that is often associated with that period is that of the artist Tamara De Lempicka whose painting of a woman driving a Bugatti often graces the cover of Ayn Rand's seminal book 'The Fountainhead'

So far we have produced three designs, two of which are below, and we shall work on them continuously throughout 2016, hopefully exploring multiple facets of ziggurats from their ancient to their contemporary forms.

Perhaps one of the reasons I have been enamoured with these structures is that it takes a mathematical, geometrical and spacial mind to understand them well, none of which I am particularly gifted at. So, accordingly, you will find that each of these designs I will work on will be in conjunction with people more gifted than myself.

An example of an ancient ziggurat structure
Tamara De Lempicka - art deco period man in a bow tie.
Radio City Hall, New York City

Le Noeud Papillon - ziggurat number 1 - copyright 2016 Le Noeud Papillon

Le Noeud Papillon - ziggurat number 2 - copyright 2016 Le Noeud Papillon

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hand-Made Neck Ties With Various Finishes Such As Hand-Roll Stitched Tips

A lot of the standard neckties we make are for groomsmen when the groom decides that he wishes to wear a bow tie and put the remaining groomsmen in a long tie. Especially as the day wedding market in Australia evolves, we seem to be doing more of this for navy suits than ever before. However, the wedding market is very rarely 'experimental' , opting mainly for conservative neats like a grenadine or garza. 

Because neck ties are ubiquitous we rarely attempt to add anything into this space although we have the ability to make neck ties to a near enough quality to our Italian friends. Below are some neck ties we are currently holding on the website. They are all 8.5cm neck ties as I have come to believe that the more classically and elegantly a man dresses, the fewer 8 and 7cm ties he will hold in his wardrobe (with exceptions to the rule). The two centre neck ties are produced by a workroom we have a relationship with in Italy, they are flanked by our own hand roll-stitched tipped ties in our most recent 'time' silk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Farewell Glenn Frey

Beethoven 2nd Movement, 7th Symphony - Growing On Me Rapidly

Whilst I am no authority on classical music I have always been a fan of Beethoven's Ode To Joy, in part because of it's film references (Die Hard / A Clockwork Orange) but also because I love a good build up and the exhilaration that accompanies it.

Recently on a morning walk I was discussing Beethoven and I asked a more learned man what he thought was his most inspiring piece of Beethoven after I declared Ode To Joy my favourite, which, to the trained ear, must be like hearing someone say that 'Stairway To Heaven' was their favourite rock song... or some such thing ... anyway, he returned with this 'I think you will find Beethoven's 7th 2nd movement has more substance' he said with quiet confidence.

As I am prone to do, I quickly emailed myself and thought to come back to it later in the day. It is growing on me. I can't say that it will become my favourite, but it certainly has a real subdued power to it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Our Valentine's Day Portrait Competition - Australian Customers Only

The people at Luka chocolates , an Australian hand-made chocolate company that offers preservative free chocolates of very fine quality, have extended an offer to our bow tie blog readers as part of our Valentine's Day portrait competition. 

It's very very simple to enter, simply add your LNP bow tie portrait onto your instagram wall between now at the 9th February 2016 and we will reward the top 5 portraits with a box of hand-made Luka chocolates as well as a hand-made silk bow tie from Le Noeud Papillon delivered to any address in Australia by Valentine's Day.

When adding your portraits onto instagram, facebook or google+ , and this may include wedding portraits, simply add the hashtag #lenoeudpapillon #lukachocolates onto the post. 

Below, watch the enjoyable video inside the Luka chocolates factory to see how these preservative free beauties come to life.

To shop Luka chocolates for Valentine's Day gifts for your lady, shop their website here.

Post Script: As part of our agreement in working together towards Valentine's Day the people at Luka chocolate sent me a box of chocolates and what I didn't eat myself I offered to the local business owners near our Studio. The feedback, including my own, was that they are superb - especially the Yarramalong Valley honey truffles which are exquisite. 

The Passage Of Time Means That None Of Us Should Take Today For Granted

When we set out to design this silk my graphic designer and I, sitting side by side, were working on trying to create an element of chaos to the orderly nature of time keeping. The genesis was that I had a wonderful vintage Rolex from 1973 that got salt water in it and had to be repaired, requiring the replacement of many different components of the watch, which, when handed back to me in a tiny little plastic tub, held me captivated for days. 

Growing up there were no skeletal chronometers with windows in them giving you conceptually an understanding of the mechanics of time keeping. That is, to my understanding, a relatively new concept from makers like Roger Dubuis etc where you get to really see the elements of the watch working together. So, for me, the first time I saw these components of a watch was when my watch came back from repair. 

I took to photographing them under a magnifying glass and hoped that if I tried to capture their essence on Illustrator that the mills would be able to show up the definition on these tiny little pieces. Once that was done I wished to lay them out in a manner which looked chaotic. That something which in the form of a clock is so ordered, when broken down and placed in a plastic tub looks chaotic and disorderly. I thought it was a very fair assessment of time. If we look at events singularly or if we isolate them and try to put them in one container by banding certain things together, we always see life as chaotic. It's only when we give ourselves enough space and time that all those individual elements and events seem to come together in their natural fit and show us the passage of time rather than chaos.

I am not entirely sure that my thought on this subject is quite yet distilled enough, but for the moment that is all I can offer you in terms of words and, with hope, the silk will provoke it's own dialogue. However, if there is one thing I do wish to say is this, don't take today for granted. Time is taking it's toll on everybody. Today included. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Is There Life On Mars? If There Is They Must Surely Adopt His Style

I am quite sure that across the world right now Vevo is getting hit with millions of requests for Bowie video clips and this one, Life On Mars , which was one of my favourite songs, features a suit very reminiscent of that Tommy Nutter / Edward Sexton period which we emulated last year through Leng Bespoke . 

Of course, a lean David Bowie makes for a better silhouette but the principal of that sweeping lapel and tapering from the shoulders to the waist in that elegant curved V-ness is something which is from a period that is part glamour rock 'n' roll, part Savile Row, part of a period now passed, like a blink of an eye and it is done and gone. Tommy Nutter departed in 1992 due to complications from AIDS, his cutter and partner Edward Sexton is still going but how many years of work does he have left in him? 

Life will renew and new creative energy will come to life, even Bowie was aware of that in his final lyrics in Blackstar:

"Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar"

Regardless of whether new creativity comes to light, it is the marking of something in time, of a movement or a period which no longer exists, like listening to the jazz music of Sidney Bechet and thinking fondly of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Stein wandering the streets of Paris during the Jazz Age.

David Bowie wasn't just a stand alone artist - he was emblematic of a period of time and space, of a geo-political landscape, of social change and upheaval but which, like most of what transpires in life, signifies in the end, nothing. It reminds me of Fellini's Toby Dammit and the reference to Macbeth:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Ultimately, I agree with this sentiment, that our lives are insignificant and meaningless in the scope of the Universe but I am happy to say that his life and his music has had a significant meaningfulness in my life, even if that is just to teach me that life has little to no meaning in such a beautiful and elegant manner. That has some meaning right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

David Bowie's Modern Love - Tips From The Master Of Style On The Untied Bow Tie Look

I must admit, I am not coping very well with the passing of David Bowie. That a juggernaut should fall and in the manner of which he did it, was like the immediate amputation of an arm. For one reason or another he had the kind of personality on late night talk shows, on radio, in interviews, that made you feel like somehow you might just bump into him some time soon and that he would be perfectly fine with conversing with you. Whether that persona was manufactured or not, it is probably the reason that so many people around the world are extraordinarily sad right now. He was everyone's David Bowie even if his journey was a very personal one. Watching people pay tribute to him on social media made me realise that almost everyone had a personal relationship with his music and as such they all thought they had a personal relationship with him through his music. All the more kudos to him for creating that culture.

He leaves behind some of the most extraordinary music which to my ears resonates more than the Beatles, more than Bob Dylan, more than Marvin Gaye. A man who painted a visual canvas for us to accompany the music and perhaps in many respects gave us more of an existential and futuristic outer worldly view than those artists that got bogged down on planet earth.

And for those of you who missed his wonderful cameo in David Lynch's 'Fire Walk With Me' I have posted the video below. I still can't believe it. David Bowie is dead.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Farewell David Robert Jones

Life often teaches us not to take things for granted, but usually at the expense of losing something great. I am indebted to David Robert Jones, or David Bowie or The Thin White Duke or Ziggy Stardust, or whatever it was he was as you peeled back the hundreds of layers to his onion. He walked amongst us and now he is gone, and none shall ever be able to replicate him again but merely to listen or watch and to be inspired.

Bow Ties Should Only Be Worn For Black Tie Events....

It's mostly an English case put forward and often by brands which have a particular reason to push that mode of thought, but the bow tie is often maligned and relegated to black tie events only. 

Thank goodness that our customers have been wearing them more casually in the past few years and thank goodness that the Australian wedding market has evolved to the day wedding blue suit and bow tie - otherwise we might only hold black silks in our inventory and wouldn't that be a sorry state of affairs.

Below are two examples of wearing a bow tie in a manner which can be adopted as effortlessly as tying a scarf around your neck. And what it does for the wearer is provide a focal point for the eyes and it sets the tone for the entire ensemble by becoming the 'cherry on top' of the cake.

I disagree with the detractors of bow ties who say it's merely for black tie. For an Australian male on a light breezy Sunday afternoon, would you rather the weight of a heavy tie knotted twice around the neck and all that fabric pressed against the chest, or a small and light diamond point bow tie which, should you decide it gets too hot, you can fold and stow into your breast pocket at the drop of a hat?

To those men that might poo poo the day wear bow ties I say this : "you are not macho until you've tried it once and didn't like it" . 

A limited edition spots silk from Le Noeud Papillon

A very unusual honeycomb weave silk from Le Noeud Papillon

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Make It Lamb This Australia Day!

Lamb cutlets are almost a permanent fixture when I go to a party these days and for a good reason, they are delicious crowd pleasers and easy to serve. We hope you support Australian lamb this Australia Day and enjoy the video below, another wonderfully successful and lambtastic ad for Australian lamb.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Caulaincourt Australia - Continued

I wonder if the pleasure I derive from seeing a hand-made patina will ever cease or marginally diminish to the point that I no longer seek it out. In order for that to happen, perhaps, it might have to become ubiquitous or perhaps the retail chain Zara will find a way to emulate it or pay a team of thousands so little that it might become cost-effective enough for them to put it in the store; then the cheese dicks will get a hold of it - then - perhaps - it will lose its lustre.

For the time being patina, good patina at least, is something which resides only with the best artisans willing to devote a certain amount of their time to a pair of shoes, briefcase, holdall, wallet, belt or saddle.

You can't pretend to know how to do it, you either do it over and over until you understand and master the technique between the dyes, the brushes, the alcohol, spirits and strippers, the cotton buds, the waxes, the pomades and the nourishing creams - or you don't - something which prevents the large volume and margin chasing shoe makers from putting an SKU on patina. But, more importantly, you either have the time to do it or you don't. One small brush stroke with the wrong colour and you have finished a pair of boots or banished them to an unwanted darker shade to match that wrong stroke or daub or spill.

I love leather patina. In case you didn't work that one out. Yes, there are many new entrants into this space. It once was, almost exclusively to my knowledge, a space owned by Berluti. These days owing to the internet and the alacrity by which knowledge is passed on by way of new media, the craft is spreading much more rapidly. The new entrants into the market place are just as exciting as the older houses such as Berluti, but in turn they have forced companies like Berluti to evolve and create newer and even more exciting products, such as some high-top sneakers I recently spotted on Mr. Porter. 

Below is just some of the refreshing products coming to Australia by way of Caulaincourt Paris of which I had the chance to take a good look at some of the more recent samples this week which I photographed some for our blog readers below.

And still there is more to come!

A stunning patina briefcase  by Caulaincourt Paris for approximately $1500 AUD with a pair of matching patina chelsea boots for approximately $950.00 finished with patina and glacage to taste. 

Caulaincourt Paris is now in the gestational stage of making their own small leather goods. 

A selection of colour patinas being offered from purples to burgundies to browns. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Ghillie Brogue, Trending In 2016?

Dear Hipsters,

You are always on the look out for one way or another to funk things right up - whether it be pooper scooper pants or man buns - but here is a practically minded bit of kit that you might have overlooked - what about the Ghillie Brogue?

The term brogue originally derives from the Old Irish word bróg - which means"shoe" but which probably comes from the Old Norse for "brók" meaning leg covering.

Brogueing, in today's shoe language, means small perforations in the leather detail either on the toe caps, heels, throat or vamp of the shoe but today's decorative brogue was originally derived from function.

You see, as a Scotsman who came past the Le Noeud Papillon Studio yesterday to pick up a bow tie for his wedding kit explained to me, these original brogues, which looked more like the Ghillie Brogue shoe below by English maker Loake, were made for Scots and Irishmen walking through bogs and the perforations in the leather were for letting out water. So too was the open throat with no tongue in the shoe. The longer laces were then tied up around the shin of the traditionally woven socks which perfomed the final function, like the lead on a surfboard. That is, if you lost your shoe in the bog, you knew how to retrieve it. 

All this may seem very relevant to bag pipers in kilts but what is the relevance to the Australian male and why might it trend in 2016? I will tell you why, we Australian men tend to walk around all summer in oscillating weather between humid heat, dry heat and humid rain. Having a shoe which you might easily put on and off with no socks and which might allow your feet to dry quickly, after the beach, after the river, the fairway or the harbour, might be a wonderful bridge between a full closed shoe and a suede mocassin or boat shoe.

I am not suggesting you go and get a pair straight way, I am suggesting the hipsters go first and we can follow later.

Read a little more on brogues.

A Loake Ghillie Brogue shoe. Noted the open throat of the shoe which allows water to leave the shoe, ideal for muddy Irish and Scottish bogs and the favoured shoe of bag pipers. 

Improving Wedding Portraits Across Australia And The World - The Seemlingly Effortless Elegance Of A Groom's Well Tied Bow Tie

What we offer is not brain surgery, nor scientific analysis, we don't offer you solutions that will change your life or make you happy. We offer, quite simply, elegant bow ties. 

Our role is not to save humanity from itself, nor to make you believe that there is a life after this one. We merely offer you the chance to look your most refined so that one day when your children's children pick up your wedding photo on the mantle and stare at your once dashing and dazzling self, you will be proud to know you were not wearing a pre-tied bow tie on that most special of occasions and that your bow was made from the world's finest jacquard woven silks and manufactured in Australia by Australians. 

We will not end global poverty, global debt, the global climate debate, pandemics, endemics, we have no intention to put a man on Mars nor return to the moon, nor will be re-write history or change the course of the future. We merely hope to improve wedding portraits across the planet. And maybe a few personal portraits too...

The groom wears a Le Noeud Papillon Majestic Diamond bow tie.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Number One Aspirational Menswear Item In 2016 - The Re-defined Sukajan Bomber Jacket

Sukajan (スカジャン) are, in their most basic and historic form, a synthetic bomber jacket which is either quilted or non-quilted and is usually a mixture of contrast colours between the sleeves and the body which has then been heavily embroidered on.

The nature of Sukajan was that they were originally post World War 2 "souvenir" jackets that were commissioned by American soldiers residing in Japan to commemorate their service in Japan. The vintage Sukajan jackets from this period still fetch a great deal of money on Ebay and on specialist websites which sell vintage Sukajan.

The jacket is also associated with subversive Japanese culture and is featured in popular anime and on characters that are often rebellious youthes. It was also the favoured look of young wannabe yakuza gangsters in Japan.

You may want to know what the difference is between sukajan and what we wrote about in July and in August last year, which are commonly referred to as 'bomber jackets'. The main difference between these jackets is that sukajan are usually constructed from cheaper polymer satin materials which give a brighter, more light reflective finish, but most of all, they are heavily embroidered, and in the case of the vintage ones, a lot of this was done by hand and features themes from cherry blossoms to sky dragons and the rising sun which runs across the panels of the jacket, making it exceptionally time consuming to have done.

Bomber jackets themselves are nothing new, and artists like Pharell Williams have been wearing silk Hermes and designing Adidas bomber jackets over the past two years, all of which are variations on a bomber jacket. These bomber jackets are also closely related to varsity jackets in terms of construction and make except to say that, as a general rule, varisty jackets are heavier and often feature wools and leathers and are done up using stud pressed buttons. 

The rise of the Sukajan is, therefore, merely an extension of the rise of the more casual 'bomber' style jacket which is occurring but it perhaps denotes the intention of designers to focus more on the vibrancy of colour and print technology across panels as well as embroidery and quilting, as part of the renewed interest in this area of bomber jackets. It will also be interesting to note whether they improve on the base fabric materials  being offered in the construction of these jackets, which are often reversible. In my own experience the most beautiful jackets have been made by Hermes and Chanel for women, whilst the best constructed ones have been made by Brioni for men.

An excellent example of pannelled embroidery on a sukajan jacket from Japan featuring traditional Japanese wave and cherry blossom art. 

A quilted sukajan
Often made with polymer man-made fibres, many Sukajan jackets offer a very reflective or shiny appearance.

Sukajan jackets are often favoured by youthful subversive types.

If You Are Lucky In Life You Will Get As Much Swagger As The Big Lebowski's Paederast Jesus

In one of my all time greatest scenes from any film, the Coen brothers use the music of The Gypsy Kings cover of 'Hotel California' to introduce us to the character Jesus Quintana, the purple suited paederast with netted hair and a flicking tongue, just prior to him taking his first superb strike and performing a little victory dance at the end intended to intimidate Lebowski and his crew.

He then goes on to say:

Jesus: Dios mio man, Liam and me, we're going to fuck you up

Lebowski: Yeah, man, well that's just your opinion man

Jesus: Let me tell you something pendejo, you pull any crazy shit on us, you flash your piece out on the lanes, I'll take it away from you, stick it up your arse, and pull the trigger till it goes click.

Lebowski: Jesus!

Jesus: You said it man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus.

Why do so many people I know love this scene? It is a combination of so many things,  of music, colour, dialogue, of a period. However, menswear wise, it is a lesson in swagger. From the moment Jesus places his shoe up onto the bowling ball receiver to pull up his socks we are introduced to a meticulously dressed man. Whether you find it greasy or sleazy or just downright ostentatious, you immediately fall in love with the character because Jesus has no shame and a great deal of swagger. He has poise, he pays attention to detail and he is thoroughly aware that not everyone may like what he is wearing, but he has little regard for their opinions. And, not for no reason I imagine, wardrobe dressed him in purple. Outside of his role in Anger Management, it is Joe Turturro's best role in my opinion.

When looking for style icons, this is perhaps the key for me. Men who are unafraid to step out of the confines of what is regarded as normal or 'fitting in' . To hold yourself well and shamelessly, regardless of what others may or may not make of your ensemble, that is the key, to my mind, of having personal style. Jesus, you are a style icon.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Notable Knots - We Would Like To Reward The Better Representations Of Our Product In 2016

Knowing how to tie a bow tie is one thing, knowing how to tie it well is another. In 2016 I would like to extend my invitation to all our blog readers and customers to send in photos, regardless of whether you wish to show us your face or not, so that we might see how you wore your bow tie, well. That is to say, perhaps with a certain level of snobbery, that we are looking for our Top Guns.

To start with I wish to share three photos that came in just prior to New Years Eve, each with a particularly well tied bow.

Please, we love to see our product in the field, so if you have a lovely shot of wearing your Le Noeud Papillon bow tie, please send it in to us and we will add it onto our Notable Knots threads for 2016.

The Snob Report wearing our Majestic Black - nobody can catch this man at the moment. :) 

David Campbell from Channel Nine sporting our Majestic Diamond at the Carols By Candelight with co-host Lisa Wilkinson

Nicholas Allen of Canberra, ACT

Another happy customer showing us his Majestic Diamond


I thought I ought to show you a photo of someone who missed their mark, which, sadly, was myself. In an effort to try something different for New Years Day I chose a navy blue mogador diamond point and wore it on one of our Moth of Sydney long sleeve t-shirts and a pair of boardshorts (see my proposed Ron Burgundy thread below), but unfortunately, in a rush, I did not check my collar and my bow dipped slightly below the first button, a sartorial no no. Perhaps next time I will take a little more pride in my appearance. Not a good start to 2016!