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

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Giorgio Moroder On The World Of Digital - 'That's The Instrument I Want To Use'

In music as in fashion there are many voices which argue that the Old Way is so much more authentic and original than the New Way. It is a sort of nostalgia for the past and the way it was that reminds me of the Woody Allen film 'Midnight In Paris'.

Interestingly though, a friend passed on an interview with Giorgio Moroder on his collaboration with Daft Punk. Moroder is considered to have revolutionised electronic music with his contribution to the song 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer and subsequent work in this field. The song is brilliant and if you ever were a dj playing to a crowd, you will know that it can send your audience into a trance like state (though you can't play it too early on in the evening, you have to wait for certain things to kick in).

In the interview with Moroder he makes a point which I think is often looked over by those that are nostalgic for hand-made, hand-printed, live gigs, vinyl music, hand-cut, tailor made, hand-sewn and hand-drawn; namely that the advent of digital technologies meant that anyone with a passion and love for music could have a chance at applying themselves to a craft without all the necessary requirements that might have been needed previously. As Moroder says in the interview "I like digital because it's so much easier, whoever has a little bit of talent and some passion can do great music while twenty thirty years ago it was much more difficult".

The same can be said of menswear. My usual cutter for our silks has been ill for some time and so accordingly I have been doing the majority of our cutting for some weeks. A rather large wholesale order of 80 bow ties in one fabric came through and so I was forced to look for alternative ways to cut the order. In my pursuit of a faster means I approached a digital cutting specialist with a plotter and flat bed cutting table. It was something we had never done before, at best we had only ever needed the services of a flat table and rotary blade. Suddenly I was in front of one of my patterns being translated into a digital drawing, no different to the way we design silks. It was laid out across a flat bed table and not long after my work was cut perfectly with very few imperfections, better than my best cutter on his best day.

I applaud and revere those that continue to work by hand and with passion, but there is an argument for the wonderful nature of everything digital has contributed to both our work flow and our production capabilities. There's still no chance anyone can sew one of our bows together with a robot, a human hand is still a necessity. The same can be said for roll stitching a pocket square. But to those who have merged the talents of one with another, who bring together the best of both worlds, I take my hat off to you. You lot are the Giorgio Moroders of your time.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Alternative Style Icons - Howard Hamlin From Better Call Saul Is Quietly The Best Dressed Man On Television

Bugger Don Draper and Harvey Specter, they can disappear into the archives for all I care; the most elegant and stylish man on television is Howard Hamlin from the television series 'Better Call Saul' although I am starting to fear he has one trick and there are some minor problems in his dress sense.

For those of you who did not indulge in the television series Breaking Bad, you are unlikely to have started watching Better Call Saul unless by accident or on recommendation. For those of us who did watch Breaking Bad, it was the spin off that was much anticipated.

The series begun by showing Saul Goodman ( played by Bob Odenkirk) as a man with a new identity following on from the aftermath of the carnage created in Breaking Bad. The series starts out slowly and is less action packed than Breaking Bad but in that less intense and less dramatic series you find yourself lulled into the slower cadence and differing style of television, the difference between say a lively road house diner (Breaking Bad) and a slow cooked Italian meal (Better Call Saul).

The journey that the writers take us on is one discovering how Jimmy McGill becomes Saul Goodman over time and the process, much as life is, is not clear cut, it's a slowish journey of a man who doesn't fit into the world of the 'good' , or at least society's conformists,  but who is not 'bad' either. The characters that the writers create are more Chekhov than Tolstoy, offering us a layered pastiche of emotions and encounters which show just how complex human beings can be.

Many of these emotional and psychological traits play out in the wardrobes of the characters, primarily in that of the main character, Jimmy McGill.

McGill is seen as an upstart and confidence man by his brother Chuck and to a lesser degree by Chuck's law firm partner Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian). In fact in the first series, as McGill tries desperately to set himself up and antagonise the establishment (Howard Hamlin and his team at Hamlin, Hamlin, McGill), he spends much of his time trying to replicate and mimic the personal style of Hamlin. After he comes into some money McGill finds a tailor and whilst choosing his outfits he says 'I want the Tasmanian wool' for his suit and that he would prefer 'West Indian Sea Island cotton' for his shirts, clearly verbalising what he understood of Hamlin's own wardrobe. It is a delightful moment of television where the under-dog is trying to match up his armour to that of his nemesis. In fact, the show makes it clear that these men consider their suits as armour, which is why Hamlin's character is so well dressed.

According to ET online , the brains behind Howard Hamlin's look is the costume designer Jennifer Bryan. She apparently said to the actor Patrick Fabian at the beginning of the show 'Oh, I am going to make you look good' and begun by putting Fabian into 'the finest Italian suits I've ever had on my body' adding that whilst he was reluctant initially with the tie bar and the knit ties, he realised that this was only because he lacked any fashion sense as a native of Los Angeles.

So why do the clothes matter so much? Because they create the tension that's needed between the powers that be (Chuck and Howard) and those that are on the make. We see how Jimmy McGill can't quite catch Howard Hamlin, whose trade mark white club collar with golden tie bar locks down a finely knitted silk grenadine tie on a slim notched lapel suit in greys, pin stripes and more recently the internet sensationalised 'Hamlindigo' blue (the blue Hamlin wears). When McGill tries to emulate Hamlin he looks cheesey and more and more like a confidence man. It's only when McGill starts experimenting in his own suits and tie combinations that we start to see the character of McGill form which we know will eventually have a metamorphosis into Saul Goodman. We know from the beginning of the show that eventually McGill must become Goodman, but that journey stylistically is made even more enjoyable seeing the ebbs and flows of menswear as McGill starts wearing wider lapels, more vibrant colours, more contrasting shirt combinations, loud silk choices for his neck tie and so on.

This transformation is made even more powerful as it is a reaction against his older brother Chuck whose conservatism is more like a father like figure to Howard Hamlin than as an older brother like figure for Jimmy McGill. In effect, the use of costume and the theatre that goes with it aligns Chuck the elder statesman with Hamlin the upright establishment against everything spivvy, which is Jimmy.
Jimmy's colleague and friend Kim Wexler (Rea Seehorn) then wears clothes which do everything to fit in. She plays a role which appears conformist, like the non descriptive garments of slaves under the ruling masters. Jimmy McGill's role is to then also appear to Wexler like a non-conformist who tries to seduce her to join the revolution against the establishment.

All of this of course is just my opinion. It is well worth watching the series to form your own view. What this show lacks in a body count it makes up for in subtlety and slow characterisation.

My only reproach towards the wardrobe of our new silver fox sex symbol, Howard Hamlin, is that his suits are too narrow in the lapel and the jackets cut too short. Either this is an error on behalf of the costume designer or else it is offering us a kind of 'mid life crisis' look into the world of Howard Hamlin, that perhaps beneath his smooth but tough countenance lies a man who is trying to fight not to lose his youth. Time will tell what direction the writers will take his character. It just seems that two of the best dressed characters on television ought to be switching out their lapels. Harvey Specter from the television series Suits looks like he would be more aligned to Howard Hamlin's lapels and vice versa. The same I might add, I would have thought for his trousers. It seems incongruous that Hamlin's character would choose to wear a belt considering how fastidious and tidy he is elsewhere.

Anyway, regardless of of lapel sizes belts and jacket lengths, we have a new style icon in Howard Hamlin, and may his rise continue.

High club collar, tie bar, silk grenadine tie, 'Hamlindigo' blue... Patrick Fabian's character 'Howard Hamlin' is a new menswear style icon.

Sky blue shirts with white club collars are a real characterisation point for HH's character
Two peaks on the pocket square, Tasmanian wool, West Indian Sea Island cotton for shirts, HH's character enjoys the best materials but in a conservative manner refraining from vibrant checks, patterns or hues and maintaining a clean look at all times.

Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) tried to emulate Howard Hamlin by ordering similar materials and cuts of his suit so that he might poach his clients. 

The elder like stateseman brother, Chuck, of Jimmy McGill, a brilliant legal mind, often wears clothes which match his social position and standing in the community. His button down collars are one such cue.

The modern office slave, Kim Wexler seldom steps out of conformist clothing for the office.

Harvey Specter, another style icon of menswear in televsion, might actually suit better the lapels worn by Hamlin and vice versa. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Wish I Was Going To Pitti Immagine - June 14-17 - Florence

Pitti Immagine - the summer round - takes place between June 14 and 17 in Florence. For those of you late to the party, it's the menswear fashion fair that used to be a litmus test for what is hot in menswear but now acts as something more than that, like a cultural fashion circus re-enactment of Walt Disney's 'It's a small world after all'.

Don't take that as a put down. Pitti is very important for menswear and it ought to be recognised as such. Not more than a fortnight ago I was trying to explain Instagram to a technophobe and quite possibly a misanthrope who was poo pooing everything new and technological and suggesting in his discourse that we should do away with our obsession for picking up new things. He was right, but then he was also wrong. After I explained to him the use of hash tags on Instagram he was nearly guffawing at the what he saw as the idiocy of a self-obsessed society perpetually engrossed in themselves and certain social media feeds.

"So if you were into say lizards you might follow say #lizards or #bluetonguelizards. For example, my daughter and I lie in bed some nights before bed time and search #puppydogs so that she can see all sorts of dogs around the world".

It hadn't won him over. We, which is to say the third in this conversation, tried to persuade him that his own interests might be satiated by such a medium.

"But that means nobody would go to the library and do any proper research or reading. Everybody just gets their information from these streams, do you see how dumb society would be becoming".

Both of us took his point. But by the same token we couldn't help but feel that he was very limited in commenting on society since he refused to come into the new century and use both a smart phone and access social media. He could postulate all he wanted on what Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook and smartphones were doing to the overall intelligence of people on this planet, but so long as he refused to engage he was like a Martian trying to describe Earth to humans - ultimately, his analysis was somewhat limited.

A little in the reverse can be said of Pitti. I have not been yet. That makes me limited. I want to go. Because after my observation of my friend the other day I realised I had such a limited view of the fashion fair and it's participants if all I did was digest the images of those walking in or out of the Florentine menswear fair.

So, I am suggesting this to all of those who knock Pitti: unless you have physically turned up, your comments should be somewhat discounted. As for me, I will do my best to make it to the next one. In the meantime, I look forward to what delights we will get as of June 14.

See a list of exhibitors here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two New Scents Are On Their Way To You In The Mail - And We Love Feedback And Testimonials

For those of you that gorged yourselves last week on our website you might be opening your bubble bags as we speak and be smacked by the fruity scents that take you to your happiest places on your best vacations. This time around for the Dutch Auction we used two new Hermes scents - mandarin and the green mangoes scent 'Un Jardin Sur Le Nil'.

Don't be alarmed - we never spray the bows with them, we merely spray the inside of the bag just once. It's always such a nice surprise to open up a bag that has a certain scent. It's romantic, it's fanciful and it's just one little gesture we can do to make your day that little bit more pleasant.

The staff at Hermes in Sydney explained to me that both scents were unisex and increasingly it seems that more and more scents are becoming that way, along with the recommendation to mix and match scents within a range to achieve your own personalised touch. I thoroughly enjoy the Hermes cologne sections and was particularly impressed with their red rhubarb scent which they said mixes well with the mandarin. 

If any of you readers can think of any particularly unusual scents, macsuline or unisex, that you think we ought to write about or consider for our packaging, it's always good to share that information with our other readers, especially since they are scattered around the world, so there's no chance you will be smelling the same as the next chap in the room.

Don't forget, we love testimonials and feedback. You can read some of our existing testimonials here or you can leave your feedback or testimonial by dropping us a line here

Two new scents you might get a whiff off in the mail, Hermes 'Un Jardin Sur Le Nil' and Mandarin. Lovely and fresh to be worn by men and women alike. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Notes On A Dutch Auction And The Real Reason I Am Shutting Down The Site In June

At the end of each Dutch Auction Sale my brain is a little nuked and the first day after I have lodged the last of the post I treat myself to something. Whether it be a half day off to spend time with my daughter or whether it is a massage or a long yum cha lunch, I don't normally have any exact ritual but it usually will include an early morning walk.

The sales we conduct are always times for pause and reflection. Especially a Dutch Auction, because it is somewhat a catharsis, all that silk and all those bows and things you have cut and made suddenly leave you and you are left contemplating the void and what's next. They are also a time for a very real and raw assessment of what people make of you and your products.

A lawyer ordinarily charges by the hour and has his rates on a card in his office. A doctor is usually the same. Accountants too. But people selling products, especially fashion, fresh food and technology, know that something has a window of which it's ripe for sale, and then the moment is gone and you can't extract the same price. We suffer from this to some extent. I could say we make 'timeless fabrics' and spend our time making 'products that will last for generations to come' but regardless of whether that is my ethos, the general public will make up their own mind. And a Dutch Auction, as my occasional walking companion Satyajit Das reminded me the other day, is the most honest way to establish the true value for something.

On that reasoning alone I am left with a somewhat unpleasant taste in my mouth. It doesn't matter that you designed the silk from the ground up, or how many hours you spent going back and forth with your silk mill contacts in Italy over phone, chat or email. Or how much time you spent with your designer to finalise what was your initial conception. The 5am rises to start cutting work so you could add additional stock to the website for the sale. The opportunity cost that you've spent your best years pursuing an art form that might very well die with the next wave of global capitalism and the next fervour for fast and cheap street fashion. Arrggghhhh! Pictures of Edward Munch's scream circle.... You watch, you wait, you listen and you wait some more.... to see how your customers will behave in the Dutch Auction. 30% goes by, it's uneventful. 40%, you start to sweat. 50% you finally get the tuna circling the bait ball. 60% the attack begins. 70% and what was once a frenzy is now much more calculated, more like a Great White Shark taking it's prey than reef sharks in a food frenzy. And then it's gone. Poof. Was it all a dream?

My late grandmother once said to me 'it doesn't matter how high you go, you must come down for water'. My Dutch Auctions are me coming down for water. A brutal reminder that you don't have the white heat of Tom Ford, you don't have the kudos and heritage of Charvet - you still have a great deal of miles to travel and no rest in sight.

In the end I opted to visit my Russian masseuse for my treat. I'll call him Boris. Boris is just about the craziest Russian residing in Sydney. I was tense from staring at computer screens for 3 days straight. I was tight in my abdomen and tight in my back. You spend half your day sitting in front of computers, designing and communicating, the rest of the day bent over a desk packing and sending.

Boris started pressing his fingers into my back in a way which felt like he was fingering dough on a chopping board, altogether not relaxing in the slightest. I was switching off only I had to start listening to Boris' world view, because that's the price you pay for a discount massage - you have to soak up the masseuse's ideology. Add Russian accent now:

' You see Nickolai, your body is like a city and right now your Harbour Bridge has four lanes, but sometimes in the evening they switch out one lane going this way to get more lanes coming opposite direction. This is the story! Now you get accident in Waverton but this affect traffic trying to come to North Sydney so Bridge might get clogged but maybe not. And maybe all that's needed is to clear car crash in Waverton so that traffic can all start to flow again. This is the story! This, you don't need to know what suburb I am pressing, but this is area causing blockage. Apifstato! Look you see, you hear the stomach. Right, turn over to your side".

Boris doesn't end there. In the forty minutes I end up spending there he tells me about the Rothschilds and their grip on global finance, the fact that the Windsors are illegitimate royalty which is known by many European aristocrats but they do nothing about it. He says the fact that they don't have passports is proof. He also says if you go to town hall in the city you see the traces of where the real city of Sydney once was and that someone altered history to protect us from a great tragedy that occurred some time ago during the Industrial Revolution. Honestly, by the time I leave I feel like I have completely forgotten what the fuck I was ever worried about with my own existence. It was well worth the money.

But amongst all the black coal I was forced to sift through in Boris' discourse about the world we live in, he left me with a superb diamond. It was as we were finishing the ritual of having my back and neck cracked that he said:

"You have to believe in what you are selling. Only the best bullshitters win in the advertising game. It is all false. Its bullshit. These days the make content to sell products. One woman was making You Tube videos, she is fitness guru, this is the story, but when she go on tv show they ask her how she makes the money but in the end 15 thousand a month comes from supplements. But if you can believe in what you are selling, then when you are advertising, even though you are bullshitting, you will be offering some truth to what you do."

I think I understand what he meant. We are subjected to a lot of bullshit and advertising and a lot of content these days, this blog included. But amongst the bullshitters there are those that are just bullshitting and those that genuinely believe in their bullshit. I would like to think that I fall into the latter category. And so, another Dutch Auction ends, and so I continue on, unsure as to whether we have a genuine mandate to continue. And rather than get a holiday I am booking into a self-help course to see if I can unleash more creative and dynamic thinking on this company.... in the vain hope that we will eventually be able to do away with Dutch Auctions completely. :)

The journey continues....

My morning walks in Sydney, a wonderful way to make a break from the day before and a start to the day ahead.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Limited Edition Ziggurat Silk Bow Ties From Le Noeud Papillon - A Delightful Way To Charm Your Way Through Winter

The Australian winter is extraordinarily charming for myself. It is a time where you can be so much more playful with your wardrobe. Our summers are too hot to be layered, too stifling to wear a bow tie. It's only when winter comes that we have the time to put more effort into our ensembles. Thankfully these new ziggurat designed silks, limited editions designed by Le Noeud Papillon, have arrived in time for a winter's afternoon or evening. We do hope you make the most of them as they are limited to roughly 24 units per silk design.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Argument For A Stylus Gets Even Louder With The Apple Pencil.

I have been a huge fan of the stylus for a long time, having written at least half a dozen posts on them; and when Procreate was launched I was right behind it too. The simple fact is that touch screens and styluses are here to stay and their interconnectivity with your work flow means that a pen and paper, whilst still the most enjoyable way in which to create things, is somewhat limited. There are things you can do on Procreate that would take you half a day of cumbersome activities, including going to the art store and office supplies store twice, just to get a result you can achieve in minutes on these new applications. 

I am grateful that not many people have yet picked up on this and that not everyone enjoys drawing, as it has given me a competitive edge for the moment. Sometimes I stop people in the street to show them the benefits and when they switch off half way through I just saunter off and think 'too bad, well, I did try".

Whilst I am myself in no way an artist, I have a keen eye for design and colours and over time I have developed enough skills using my stylus to help my designs along. Take the hand-clippers below for example, my local barber asked me if I could knock him out a logo after he wore one of my limited edition print t-shirts. Sure, I said, give me a couple of days. So I spent the weekend researching line drawings and sure enough I discovered the wonderful works of Pablo Picasso  and Keith Haring along with Henri Matisse and so many other artists that I don't have time to mention. 

Two inspirational artists that I reference in the style of images I created below are Australian artist Jasper Knight for the hand-clippers and Pablo Picasso on the exotic bird below. Picasso's work was particularly magical as it almost defied reasoning to my mind that a man was able to use his hand to create a single unbroken line to convey something as complex as a galloping horse. Steady hands? Tracing paper? Repetition? I don't know how he did it.

All this of course has been even easier to do now with the new Apple Pencil. No, I am not switching over to Mac - but admittedly, just when I was ready to move across to Samsung for my tablet, they go and invent something as magnificent as the Apple Pencil and set the bar for all others. I feel about Apple how Michael Corleone feels about the mafia.... 'every time I try to get out, they pull me back in'. Hear Jony Ive seduce you with it. 

Like I said, I am not an artist, but love art I do, and my respect for people's craft is only bolstered by attempting to mimic their style.

Congratulations To Alex Dimitriades For Winning Most Outstanding Actor At This Year's Logies - And For Wearing Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney!

I have always watched this man and wondered why he never made it big in Hollywood. He is one of the strongest actors of his generation. He deserves every success. On Friday he came past the Studio to look for a purple bow tie and in the end he also picked up our Marguerite pocket square and white silk and wool smoking jacket with black piping. And boy did he steal the show in the menswear department!

Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears The Crown Wrote William Shakespeare

It will be interesting to see how this one comes out. I am exploring new ways to make designs and following on from my admission that graffiti was playing a role in my design thoughts at the moment I have been sifting through images across the net of symbols that denote crowns and then crown of thorns. The basic message, if it were to be conveyed, would fall back to that pearl of wisdom of Shakespeare that 'uneasy lies the head that wears the crown' or as I make rather obvious in the design, crowns in all forms are in fact a crown of thorns. 

The moment you rise to any level of notoriety in society seems to be the moment that your undoing begins and in which case you must be careful of anything which might be done to unravel you, or more importantly, you can no longer live life in a carefree manner. If you are a footballer, you can no longer get drunk and hit on women, if you are a politician, you must be cautious of your friendships with businessmen, if you are a musician you are compelled to find someone famous to romp with. 

Fame, wealth, power, privilege, they are all crowns in a different form, and all those crowns are thorny.

Last week one of the most interesting comments was made by self-exposed founder of Bit Coin, Australian computer scientist Craig Steven Wright, who said that he was outing himself so that he would stop being harassed by the authorities. He said 'some people will believe, some people won't, and to tell you the truth, I don't really care' , he continued by saying 'I don't want money, I don't want fame, I don't want adoration, I just want to be left alone'.

I don't blame his sentiment. It must be enormously taxing of your time to maintain fame, power, prestige and wealth - so much so that some people spend their entire time on this planet just trying to acquire and then keep it. 

I must thank my old underground informant Carlos Oppenheimer for introducing me to the Stoics and their principles, if it wasn't for Seneca this design below might never have appeared. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

In Menswear There Is So Much Drama In The Details - Take Cufflinks For Example

In 2012 the Senate Banking Committee confronted the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, the largest of the American big four banks, on the loss of a couple of billion dollars or more in risky trades. Dimon, a Greek American with an MBA from Harvard managed to somehow navigate his way through the scandal even though it was later estimated that the trading losses sustained by the JP Morgan London branch was closer to six billion dollars.

Despite all the brouhaha that was going on at the time about regulation of the banking industry and money markets, Dimon and most of his banking cohorts faced very little disciplinary action either by the Republican or Democratic parties and the show just rolled on as though it was business as usual.

In actual fact, the only thing that seemed to leave a more lasting impression on the American people and the American media was Dimon's cufflinks. It had the American media up in arms, for they did not know how to interpret what might have been an imperceptible menswear accessory to anybody who happened to pass Dimon on the street. But that's exactly it, they weren't imperceptible to people in the know. They were cufflinks bearing the Seal Of The President Of The United States Of America.

This left the American media at a loss to explain their meaning. What was it that Dimon was trying to say? Was it that he had the backing of President Obama ? One website said that he had visited the White House 16 times and met with the President at least three times. Another said that it was a message to the Republican Senators that he didn't care what they thought, he sided with those in power. Another, that he was sending a message to President Obama not to grill him too hard. What Jamie Dimon was thinking perhaps only Jamie Dimon knows but it created an awful lot of subterfuge that distracted Americans away from the simple fact that the banking industry was still making poor decisions regarding credit default swaps and that the world of money would continue revolving regardless of what Washington thought. Dimon has an estimated wealth of 1.1 billion USD along with a 20 million dollar a year salary package. He is regarded as one of the best CEO's in the United States and also as one of the best dressed too. It's therefore likely that Dimon knew exactly what message he was conveying.

That is the nature of menswear that perhaps many men do not consider before they dress in the morning. Each of us is capable of sending out signals to other members of society and even the smallest of our accessories can have an impact on others regardless of whether we even care to notice it ourselves. The colours that you wear, the fit of your shirt, the silk on your tie, your lapel pin, the cufflinks you choose, the shoes on your feet, everything is open for interpretation. In the case of Dimon, much media chatter was centred around a pair of cufflinks that quite possibly had been given by anyone in the President's Office, perhaps they were even fake... Regardless, they were enough to have tongues wagging all across the USA about the relationship between big banks and the Oval Office.

Remember, there is drama in the details.

Source: Getty Images

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon - considered one of the best dressed CEO's  in the United States.

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's A Certain Kind Of Graffiti - Elegant Menswear Is In It's Own Way A Clash With Culture

For a man, dressing well is counter-culture these days, it's as subversive as wearing an Adidas tracksuit in the mid 80's a la Run DMC. You can disagree we with me, fine, but take a look at almost every person you pass in the street these days. None of them appreciate the theatre of dressing well but for a sprinkling of men you pass in the street - and most of them in the city. The world has changed. Sadly, we that dress to the next level are the Run DMC's of our generation...

Keep up the fight. And if you really want to get subversive, start tagging walls with bow ties and top hats. That ought to show them that we mean business.