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

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Monday, February 29, 2016

The Ides Of March Sale Is Coming - Join The Newsletter

The Ides Of March Approach - And In That Madness We Wish To Have Another Sale

As March arrives so too come the Ides Of March on the 15th of the month when many religious events occurred in the Roman Calendar as well as the famous assassination of Julius Caesar which spelled the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.

It is not without reason that this event took place in March as it is spring time in the Northern Hemisphere, when people shake off the winter blues and life renews. Good or bad it is a time of change. For Christians it is a time that we observe Easter, which never seems to make sense in a country like Australia where Easter is observed going into Autumn. Easter must therefore make a lot more sense to Northern Hemisphere inhabitants where the the ascension of Christ to heaven and the breaking of the fast must coincide well, in an agrarian historical sense, for the time of year when food was most scarce at the end of winter whilst waiting for the first spring vegetables to come off the land.

I digress, it's time for a sale, it's time to clear off more stock and make way for new ideas and new products. The Ides of March approach, we promise you there will be blood on the doorstep and you will get your pound of flesh.

In the interim, join the mailing list.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Spare A Thought For Autumn

One Sydney season does not like to let go of itself and make a smooth transition from one to the next which is why I figure we always get strange weather patterns running through Sydney just before one season back doors it. It has been so hot and humid these last few days that when the wind started howling last night I thought to myself that it must surely be a sign that the seasons will soon change. The funny thing is, you can't really ever narrow it down to a particular day or week that it changes and if you do say 'oh, here is the first day of the big change' you are sure to have to eat your words a few days later when a hot spell returns. The only thing I go by is that the year will surely pass and you will experience four seasons, as to when they happen, that's a very fluid concept.
Anyway, it's time to start thinking about autumn and Easter. What are you going to wear? Time to polish off your boots. Time to start thinking about muted colours and changing tones.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Look For Truth And Beauty In This World And You Will Find The Golden Mean - So What Are We To Do About Trump?

The golden ratio or golden mean is nothing new to mathematicians, scientists, quantum physicists, musicians, artists and architects. It's a relationship between two spaces, a and b, where the sum of a and b, divided by a, is equal to the the sum of a divided by b. In a nutshell, there is a sort of natural symbiosis between the spaces which, when you work out the ratio of the sum of the two spaces they come to the number 1.61803398875 - which in turn is the relationship in ratio between one Fibonacci number to the next as you extend the Fibonacci number sequence towards infinity. 

We see this shape repeated throughout nature in geometric patterns such as sea shells, snail shells, snowflakes, weather patterns, waves, sun flowers, pine cones and so much more. In fact, almost every where you look in nature and into space you will find the golden ratio in almost everything from our DNA to the constellations above us. Some say, including ancient Greek philosophers and mathematicians, that if we follow the numbers we will eventually find God. I do believe that, to an extent, mathematics is a language which will bring us closer to that which governs us. 

What about who governs the Americans? Recently a meme popped up in which the shape of Donald Trump's hair-do was made to be in perfect form with the parabolic shape of a snail shell emulating the golden ratio.

The meme is an excellent talisman for Trump in my opinion as it rightly or wrongly attributes an element of truth to him. Where previously he has been labelled everything under the sun, it seems rather interesting that the two voices which have resonated the loudest in this presidential race are the two that both tell two versions of truth. Bernie Sanders from the left, Donald Trump from the right - although Trumps version of truth is hotly disputed by the majority of Americans. What nobody seems to be buying is the 'seasoned statesman' with a lifetime of politics behind him/her which leads to a character ruled only by pragmatism.

Sadly, whilst Bernie Sanders speaks a truth, as Larry David pointed out whilst impersonating Sanders choosing an envelope on an SNL interview 'I'll take the left one, the one so far left in your hand that nobody will vote for it'.

This blog does not wish to be political and sits, most often, on the fence, but there are times when we wish to make a comment and on golden ratio  hairdos we just could not resist.

Post script. Since watching John Oliver's piece on Donald Trump I was going to pull this post down but Ive decided to leave it here since we are only referring to a meme referring to his hair do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Where To Get Good Quality Australian Made Shirts Made To Measure For A Reasonable Price

We recently developed a new collar and a new working relationship with a shirt maker in Sydney and we believe we have developed a superior, more robust and more cost effective shirt service for our customers. Until the end of March 2016 we are offering those who wish to try this new service the base price of $160.00 AUD for a made to measure shirt using this new collar and front.

This white shirt, which may appear no different to the rest, is in fact a combination of block, collars, cuffs, fronts and details in stitch work that I've found to be the most versatile shirt I have ever produced. Underneath the collar is a concealed button which keeps the collar looking sharp if you are without a tie. The collar is also on a higher stand and sits taller and in greater proportion for those men that have more generous lapels. On the front we have concealed the buttons so that you can easily wear the shirt in the evening for both cocktail and black tie without feeling under-dressed. The cuffs are a one button curved cuff which, whilst not traditionally working for a black tie ensemble, is perfectly fine for those that don't like to wear cuff links. 

This is a practical, functional white shirt for all occasions. For jeans and a tweed jacket with no tie and the casual coffee house meeting. For your best navy suit and the power lunch. For the cocktail party and your colourful bow tie and, finally, for a black tie affair with a luscious Majestic Black bow tie

We believe in this shirt, it is tried and tested. Why not book an appointment by calling +612 8001 6684 and organise a time to come and get measured. 

Whatever Happened To James?

It has become a little disheartening at how far away from us the nineties have got. I recall, as though it was yesterday, purchasing my first and only 'Nirvana Nevermind' t-shirt with it's twisted but funny baby diving into the water chasing money. Then there was Radiohead's 'Creep' and listening to 'Under The Bridge' at it's loudest on my stereo, stereos which nobody seems to have any more. I could not tell you of a single home I have visited in the last five years apart from those of my parent's generation, where two tall speakers and an amplifier were present. It brought to mind a song which I cherished from the period but which I hadn't listened to for some time - the song 'Laid' by James. I had always assumed that James was one bloke and the reason I remember 'Laid' so well is that it was on the soundtrack to Empire Records. I was therefore surprised to see it was a band from the early eighties that struck it in the nineties. At the time I heard it the song resonated with me with respect to all the crazy girls I spent time with in my youth, who were usually the most passionate - and the song still resonates today :) .

Once the nineties passed I thought that the period was uneventful and that not a great deal would be remembered and yet now I look on the nineties the way I once looked back on the seventies and eighties. Oh the nineties, where did you go?

This bed is on fire with passionate love
The neighbours complain about the noises above
But she only comes when she's on top

My therapist said not to see you no more
She said you're like a disease without any cure
She said I'm so obsessed that I'm becoming a bore, oh no

Ah, you think you're so pretty...

Caught your hand inside the till
Slammed your fingers in the door
Fought with kitchen knives and skewers
Dressed me up in womens' clothes
Messed around with gender roles
Line my eyes and call me pretty

Moved out of the house so you moved next door
I locked you out, you cut a hole in the wall
I found you sleeping next to me, I thought I was alone
You're driving me crazy
When are you coming home?

What The Past Doesn't Show Us

An observation that stuck recently with me from costume designer John Dunn , was that when he was researching the clothes for Boardwalk Empire he was surprised to see how much colour was in the wools and the silks worn during the Jazz Age after rummaging through wool bunch cards from the period because he was so used to seeing sepia monochromatic images from the 1920's. Those images can roughly tell us texture and pattern but not colour. The resulting wardrobe on the television show was a pivotal change, certainly in my mind, as to how I viewed the clothes of the period - they had always seemed so sombre but now they had an energetic vivacity when brought back to life in this relatively new production.

Recently on a weekend I was left home alone and so I indulged in a Netflix show "World War 2 In Colour". Whilst the colour improved my experience of the period it was still rather flat to a certain extent as there was only so much you could do to the footage. It still doesn't do the cloths and the colours of those cloths enough justice. For most of us that didn't experience the period first hand, we are still often left considering the period in monochromatic terms. To make my case, I post below a sample of what we might have seen had we had today's technology then. 

Join The Mailing List - Just Do It

For the past two weeks I have employed someone to catalogue and measure the silks that we have in our archives so that we can start producing a batch of bow ties and ties incorporating new and old silks, the last pieces of fabrics from limited edition silks, unusual silks we acquired which we never did put into production, samples, remnants, experiments and more. Accordingly, we are going to cut batches of it and release it onto the website over the coming months with short but generous sales to encourage our customers to mop up all these older silks which have been sitting in locked plastic containers. Opening them up was quite exciting because you could see the changes in design that have occurred over time. For example, when we began making bow ties we did a lot of preppy repps silks which we very rarely do these days. So, consider joining the mailing list as we will definitely make it worth your while and our silks are so much better on your necks than hoarded in plastic tubs.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Top Places To Buy Silk Bow Ties And Neck Ties That Are Hand-Roll Stitched In Sydney, Australia

Typing in the blog title in a search bar in Sydney should come up with zero listings. There are no other places that offer what we offer in Sydney. You can buy Italian made hand-roll stitched ties from menswear retailers and the sort of uber hip 'made to measure tailor come store' but they won't be able to make you anything on the spot. That's because Australian manufacturing is dead. Added to that, our proximity to China has meant that anyone who does come up with a good idea jumps on a plane straight up to China or Hong Kong with a digital Gerber copy of their sample patterns and a bag full of ties they've bought and after two weeks all they need to worry about is sales and volume of sales.

To my mind, sales is only as good as product - certainly in our trade. You can fudge your product for a while, some get away with it a lot longer than others, but eventually it catches up to you. Besides, I have never had the confidence in selling something I know to be inferior, for me it prevents me from doing sales well. 

So here's the thing - if you want a hand-made silk neck tie with hand-roll stitching and it's made of the finest silks both in woven jacquard and printed, you kind of have to come and see us in Sydney because as far as we can tell, we're the last group still standing. That's not a good thing - for in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king - so we'd rather we had more competition.

Below is a densely woven English jacquard silk on a navy warp with a bronzed silver floral arrangement. It's been finished as an 8.5cm tie (we're a bit over the 8cm at the moment) with hand roll stitching on both the front and rear blade tips and finished with a slip stitch. It is proudly made in Australia. The tie rests on the recently arrived Marguerite silk which is printed on 16mm silk twill. The design is inspired by Belle Epoch artist Alphonse Mucha. 

If you want to find a shop where there is still some authenticity and a relationship between art, artisan and product, come and see us at our Studio in Vaucluse. We guarantee you you will leave more informed regardless of whether you purchase anything.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How I Miss Malcolm McClaren

Lately I have been having that reverberation in me that time is passing. It is a difficult feeling to really describe, it's a form of melancholy but it's also merely a recognition or an inner understanding of things evolving and recognition that time has elapsed. We are young, then we are not so young any more, then one day we are older. At each stage we experience different things - the recklessness of youth, the dazzling showmanship of your twenties, the sobering thirties, the solemnity of your later thirties and so on. I say 'and so on' because I have yet to experience my forties but I am damn sure they will be even more of a wake up call.

Just last week I read a scathing review of Zoolander 2 by the film reviewer Richard Lawson who declared it badly out-dated, poor in humour, lacking in plot and that Derek Zoolander was as much of a lost little lamb in this film as Ben Stiller was in this new world. In a nutshell he accused Ben Stiller of having a form of a mid life crisis and expressing it through Derek.

How did Zoolander become obsolete and old hat? It felt like yesterday I was watching the VH1 prelude and was overwhelmed with excitement when I heard it was being made into a full length film. It felt like yesterday we were being introduced to Mugatu and Will Ferrell was as fresh as a brand new day.

The whole thing reminded me of a piece of music, Malcolm McClaren's 'Jazz Is Paris' . Why? Because Malcolm McClaren at the time that I first heard his music was so enthralling and new and it held such a lofty sway about it that when I recalled his death and the somewhat bitter speech he made before his passing about artist authenticity, it left a funny feeling in me. He spoke of the prime of his life, of being avant-garde and offering the world something brand new in those early Sex Pistol days, but then his moment had passed and all the things to do with that period. Distilled, remembered, revered; but the world moves on.

I have yet to see Zoolander 2 and I will try and go and see it before it leaves the cinemas but for the meantime my melancholy is in the early 1990's when the world was full of Gianni Versace, Madonna, Malcolm McClaren, Vogue Magazine and supermodels still reigned supreme.


I wear black on St. Germain des Pres
Feelings in the air that love today
It's true I don't believe in love beyond the grave
But then I listen to a trumpet play

You wear black on St. Germain des Pres
I can still hear you miles away
I wear black you wear black
The trumpet answered back
Jazz is Paris and Paris is jazz

I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
Jazz is Paris and Paris is jazz

I wear black on St. Germain des Pres
Feelings in the air that love today
I wear black you wear black
Sat naked on your lap
Like a child I feel love coming home

I traveled miles and miles in bed
Miles and miles playing in my head
I wear black you wear black
Makes me cry to think like that
Jazz is Paris and Paris is jazz

I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
Jazz is Paris and Paris is jazz

I give you kisses
In all the secret places
Miles and miles of miles
You're profile, like an Egyptian queen
The best looking man I've ever seen
I give you kisses
In all the secret places

I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
I wear black, you wear black
Jazz is Paris and Paris is jazz

Monday, February 15, 2016

Masstige Killed The Pocket Square

I am so fortunate to have such interesting customers full of titbits that when one stops past my Studio or drops a line by email, I am bound to learn something new. This week it was a wonderful word I'd never heard of - masstige.

The word came up in conversation as this particular customer was telling me about how a particular brand of menswear was trying to re-target their audience and that during sales meetings the word 'masstige' was buzzing around in the air, being touted as the style of products with which said menswear company would strike a path forward in 2016.

Masstige is the combining of two words 'mass' and 'prestige' and is used to describe 'prestige for the masses' - products which are made en masse but targeted to the end audience as luxury goods. The word was made popular by Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske in their book Trading Up and Harvard Business Review article "Luxury for the Masses" according to Wikipedia.

Examples used by Silverstein and Fiske are items such as entry items from brands like BMW, where the 1 series cost $19000USD whereas the sedans of their more traditional series start at a price of $500000USD. Other items are such things as entry level accoutrements from brands like Hermes which offer bracelets for $400AUD as opposed to a 100KAUD crocodile Kelly bag.

For many luxury houses the first introduction to their brands were perfumes and colognes but increasingly customers want to get access to a luxury item without paying the big ticket price, so brands look for products that they can mass produce in such a volume that they can make a good margin and engage a new audience with an 'entry level' taste to the brand. However, whilst giving these new customers a taste of luxury, they inadvertently cause harm to their existing customer base which purchases said items specifically for the duality of both luxury and exclusivity. There can sometimes be a backlash to these new product lines if, whilst opening up your dialogue with a brand new customer base, you happen to piss off your existing ones. It can also kill a product category, and masstige, in my opinion, has taken out one product in particular in menswear - the pocket square.

When we began making pocket squares eight years ago there were literally no pocket square companies in Australia, it was hard to even define what one was because the portmanteau of the word 'pocket square' included in the vernacular handkerchiefs and bits of synthetic crap overlocked on the edges for the cheesey wedding market. It was a world in which Australian men not only didn't know what you were referring to but they'd never even worn one in public. There was, however, a cognoscenti of lawyers, barristers, professionals and weekend bon vivants who wore them, but it was almost like a group of freemasons, a proper hand-roll stitched silk or cotton pocket square was like a secret hand-shake.

Today the load of crap that is out there and which has been dumped on mass traffic shopping websites from big online retailers and department stores has flooded the local market with - well, what better word than 'masstige'. The ubiquity of these squares, often straight stitched on a machine or else overlocked and occasionally chain stitched by machine, coupled with the increased use of digital printing in cotton and blends of silk, has lead to the pocket square glut and a race to the bottom in price.

What once was a delicious hot tub in which nobody was soaking themselves has now become an over-crowded market space that has a bad smell about it, kind of no different to trying to hop in the communal sauna at the Bondi Icebergs pool. On first glance, it seems appealing, but when you really focus in on what's going on, you don't want to buy in.

My big piece of advice for 2016 to the kind of men that buy good menswear is this, beware of masstige, it is coming to a store near you. You can buy it, it may serve a purpose, but if you want to collect something long term, it is unlikely to keep you happy and you will rarely have an emotional connection to it. I am certainly not advocating to pay retail if you don't have to, I am certainly not telling you to not snap up a bargain when you see one. I am merely trying to tell you that there is an inherent price to creating something of quality and in the end you get what you pay for.

For the time being, masstige has killed the pocket square.

Giancarlo Giannini As The Prince of Soragna Soaking Up The Good Things In Italy

The Products That Must Make Other Institutions Writhe

Across the city of Sydney there are so many glorious looking watch boutiques with their windows filled with evenly spaced out displays of one expensive watch after another. Tag Huer, Omega, Mont Blanc, Rolex, Cartier to name but a few watch brands, are housed in jewellers such as LK Boutique, J Farren-Price and in their own individual stand-alone boutiques such as Tag Huer in the Pitt Street Mall. When I pass these shops I often wonder who is buying enough product to keep these well-dressed security with their ear pieces switched on enjoying the controlled temperature inside the boutique wearing a fine woollen black suit. I can't help but imagine what the rents look like to the landlords such as Westfield and the other shopping centre managers. Then on top of all that I consider the cost of having so much stock sitting in the store. To me it looks like a giant headache. You must drive traffic to the store, you must create interest in your products in the magazines, your staff must speak multiple languages, you have to be innovative, you need to hold your prices and never discount and every other year you need to re-do your fitout. All of it seems to be in complete contrast to the manner in which I am accustomed to doing business.

After walking around the stores and soaking up the new fashion entrants that have set up shop in the Westfield Centrepoint, I decided to stop in at Swatch. About a month ago I had stopped wearing my vintage Rolex because the Sydney summer heat and humidity had caused it to fog up twice and I didn't want to spend any more money on another service. I asked the staff at Swatch what new products were on offer and she pointed to a range of automatic watches which looked superb. I had expected her to say that they were $500.0 or more each but it wasn't to be. Just $200 AUD! That's right, just $200 AUD got you an automatic watch that looked almost as glorious as an IWC but in a more sporty manner. I decided to try my luck and I took it back to the Studio and replaced the strap buckle with a rose gold deployment clasp. 

I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I am getting from knowing I have an automatic watch on my wrist that I can thrash around with, no worrying about fog and humidity, not worrying about scratching the face, easy to read, easy to change the date and time, in fact, easier than my vintage Rolex. 

Don't get me wrong, I love gold and diamonds, sapphires and platinum, crocodile and ostrich leather and everything that goes with the turf of the high-end watch brands, but sometimes in the thick of a sporty summer you just don't need anything more than an inexpensive knock around watch. And this one is just magnificent. Take a look for yourself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Take Every Indulgence You Can Get

In an ongoing and never to be resolved argument between myself and my other half I am accused of being 'indulgent'. Precisely the things that people have come to enjoy about my pursuits are precisely the things that singe the nostrils of my partner and give her cause and ammunition to mount many a campaign against the designer and blog writer behind Le Noeud Papillon...

However, the one thing that perhaps sets us apart in terms of what we do is precisely those things which someone else might consider indulgent. Further, there is not a day that goes past where I have not had someone benefit from these so called indulgences.

Being indulgent and curious reminds me of Steve Job's Stanford speech remark to 'stay hungry and stay foolish', it is about the enjoyment of exploring curiosities in this world and taking the time to sift over things. We don't know how long we are here for, we don't know what will be coming after we depart, so indulging in a free moment to stop, think and explore, that's a good thing. In my opinion, if an indulgence presents itself to you, take it whilst you can. When you close your eyes on this world it won't be the things you did in life that will fill your heart with regret, it's the things you didn't do.

There's A Square In There - The New Woven Silk Jacquard Pocket Squares From Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney

It's just the beginning of our foray into woven jacquard silk pocket squares. We must have done a good fifteen attempts to do them before but each time when you hand-roll stitched the edges it came up awfully because the underside of most woven jacquard silk reveals the mechanics of the design - so, often you might get a stripe of orange threads that run across the underside of the silk which form the basis of motif on the design, such as the star on the bottom right. The solution, I discovered, is not to hand-roll stitch them but to back them with fine cotton. Quality fine cotton is light enough to provide a wonderful contrast to the back of the silk and effectively means you get an ornate woven silk jacquard on the one side and all the benefits conferred from a cotton handkerchief on the reverse side.... such as cleaning your sunglass lenses... what else were you thinking?

We don't envisage to sell a great deal of these straight away as were refining them as we go along but gosh they are a wonderfully bright addition to a breast pocket and the vibrancy of the silk can really liven up an ensemble. The downside, and there always must be one I guess, is that unlike a printed silk twill pocket square, there is not as much room to make flowery bud like contortions with the silk in your pocket. Mah -you can't have everything!

The Gods Must Have Willed It That Way

The Sale ended about an hour ago but when we went to shut down the website it seemed the website itself had shut down due to a technical error with our hosting company in the United States. We apologise for those that cannot currently access the website but we will be back up and running as soon as possible. See you soon. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Power Nap And Thomas Edison's Access To Ritam Or Theta Brainwaves

There is a state of conciousness that they say exists between being awake and being asleep which allows the human mind to tap into knowledge and spaces previously unseen and which, so they say, is a very rich soil from which creative ideas sprout.

Those that teach Vedic meditation often refer to this state as 'ritam' whilst others more scientific refer to it as 'theta' brainwave patterns, of which I am yet to do more reading.

This state, as it was once explained to me by a meditation instructor, is where the brain is neither in a 'no thought, no consciousness' state but nor is is in your 'awake and alert' surface dwelling functioning of the brain. It exists in a mid range between the two states, hovering as it were, where the brain can access things from a more deep level but can still cognize these thoughts. We often pass through this state as we head off to sleep, which is sometimes why you make some ridiculous smirk as you are just about lights out and you think 'my God, I ought to write that down, that would be a hilarious anecdote at my next dinner party'. But then, sadly, most of us go to sleep and can't recall it in the morning. If my recollection is correct, that's precisely how Jerry Seinfeld records his gags, with a pen and paper next to this bedside.

Thomas Edison, on the other hand, learnt to harness most of this power on a regular basis. He took to calling it power napping, but in actual fact he was training his brain to enter a state of 'ritam' or 'theta' by using certain methods to keep himself hovering in a state between conciousness and unconsciousness . Two anecdotes relayed to me of how he did this are quite easily accessible ways to try it at home. The first, it is said, was that he sat at his desk and raised a tea cup in his hand above the desk with a saucer beneath it. Then he closed his eyes and began to fall into a meditative state. At the point at which the cup touched the saucer he knew he was losing conciousness and the sound would cause him to awaken, write down any key insightful thoughts and then return to the process again. The second anecdote was that he kept a rocking chair and a rock in his hand and a tin bucket which sat beneath the overhanging rock. When the rock fell, same thing. Whilst this sound knocking you out of the state is very handy, meditation experts generally instruct their pupils to take a few minutes to exit this state to allow the benefits of the meditation to distill.

There is not a lot of great deal of scientific research on power napping that I have been able to find on google but it is a fascinating area for me. For it is only by being creative and renewing your energy and focus that we can find new pathways forward. After many years of making thousands of bow ties, I feel it is high time to search for something new to apply myself to. But what? Perhaps it might be time to explore the benefits of power napping, as the most lucrative margin of them all is found in the product of good ideas.

Illustration of Thomas Edison by Tim O'Brien : source: The University Of The Arts

Monday, February 8, 2016

Joseph Raskin x Le Noeud Papillon Initial Offering

If there is a type of person that I don't enjoy in this world it's the 'I'm gonnas' . They're the people that are always harping on about what they will do next or what they might do one day if they get the time off work, what they'd do if they were the Prime Minister etc. I am one of those that prefers instead the company of those that either are 'doers' or, in the case of  my underground informant Oppenheimer, I have always been partial to the company of 'knockers' and 'naysayers' as they are usually a great breeding ground for creativity - that is, work out what they say will never ever work, not in a million years - and then go ahead and do that very thing.

Joseph Raskin was, I thought, potentially an 'I'm gonna'. He came past my apartment one day looking for advice on how to make a silk neck tie with Swarovski elements. It wasn't particularly my style but in the end I loved what he was trying to create. It was coming from a different angle; Raskin was aiming to provide exciting silk neck ties for the New York Jewish scene (originally a New Yorker, now living in Australia). He wanted something more razzle dazzle for Bar Mitzvahs and weddings. I have attended a few Jewish weddings over the years and they are a riot and most definitely fun and funky like these tie designs that he had created.

After our initial dialogue I didn't see Joseph for a while until recently we got chatting again, randomly passing each other in traffic. We met up and he promised to come see me again with some samples. Well, today we managed to photograph them and put them on the website and in the coming days we will offer them out to our newsletter readers with an introductory offer. So many people peter out before the finish line, Joseph put his money where his mouth is and I am happy to report, the ties are fantastic. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How To Work Out Like A Star ....

When I work out I sometimes consider that for those unlucky enough to watch me, that I must resemble to them the landlord in The Big Lebowski that has his dance hall recital. I think you will need a visual image of that, so I shall post it below.

On the other side of the coin is my trainer, a handsome and muscular ex-NRL player who has a broad chest, good sized biceps and a slim stomach. As you can imagine, one of us fits the new Le Noeud Papillon limited edition t-shirts better than the other. I would prefer that I could be the model here but then I dare say I wouldn't sell many. By contrast, check out my trainer below and the lovely contours he creates with the t-shirt and how the star looks like it's well positioned on his chest, like something out of Captain America and the striking gold embroidery of the bow tie on the sleeve. Yes, my modelling days are over. My trainer's are just beginning....

New Limited Edition Le Noeud Papillon T-Shirts Are Online

We did a limited edition t-shirt of 25 of each colour. Just because. We wanted to make something a bit fun and funky along with our cool little metallic gold embroidered bow ties on the sleeves. They are very easy to wear and will certainly catch the attention of those around you. Nice for a high vis walk in the morning, you won't get run over by a garbage truck!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Careful, Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

In November 1978 Jim Jones convinced 900 members of Peoples Temple to drink a mixture of a powdered flavoured soft drink, what is commonly now referred to as the "kool-aid" owing to a popular brand at that time, and laced it with cyanide. It was a terrible scene. A mass execution

Today the expression is commonly used to humorously denote people changing their preference for something by persuasion, herd mentality, peer pressure, popularity and just plain old effective advertising (think iPhone).

Some time ago a fellow member of a meditation group that I sometimes go to happened to have a coffee with me and we began to stew over the real versus persuasive arguments for and against meditation. We both agreed that the technique worked but that we didn't wish to buy into the vast majority of hog wash and additional 'lifestyle' wacko-jacko that came with the group mentality of those that become lifelong followers of the practice. Neither of us felt the need to go bath in the freezing Himalayan Ganges waters of Rishikesh in India nor did we wish to give up butter for ghee. We loved our meditation but, as my friend aptly put it - "I'm not drinking the kool-aid".

In menswear it is about creating an image that people can buy into. It's lovely to create a sense of romance with those images but more often than not the consumer has absolutely no inclination to wear the look that if being offered as "this season's soup du jour". The most wonderful example I can think of is the turtle neck knitted sweater or jersey top with a woollen suit. It's been having a huge day across social media and on the styled looks of those that dress to be snapped by street fashion photographers. But is it genuinely a look you could wear in Australia?

To my mind the answer is.... maybe in Melbourne. Certainly not for Sydney. There are probably two months of the year in July and August where one might consider this a possibility but as a general rule it never gets that cold nor do men get that feminine. If you are one of the few that genuinely wears a suit to work then you will most definitely not have an office that will embrace a turtle neck switch out for a collared shirt. If you were going out Friday night for cocktails, this might be an option, though the moment you enter a bar and it gets hot you will find yourself being strangled by that turtle neck and pray for someone to bring you some scissors. 

To my mind the only opportunity you might have to wear a turtle neck is in the countryside or in the Alpine region of Australia coupled with a tweed jacket. The rest of it, all the romance and imagery created around this look, is an impractical persuasion to try and make you drink the Kool-Aid. Don't drink the Kool-Aid. 

A romantic but impractical trend - the turtle neck and suit look. Source: Pinterest