Sunday, May 27, 2007

Silver, with Black and Gold Ornament

This may be the last in the recent series of what I've been calling vaguely heraldic pseudo fleur de lis designs. I'll have to hunt carefully through my collection next week to see if I can come up with any more, but I'm not aware of any off the cuff, so to speak.

Is it mixing metaphors while referring to ties, to use the expression "off the cuff?" I don't know, but at least it's a clothing-related expression.

I think this is the first time I've placed the small end of the tie over the top of the large end in my scan. I tried it initially the other way, but as you can see, in the arrangement I used, the design on the small half would have been directly behind the large end, and wouldn't have showed at all.

I decided it made more sense to see the design twice, rather than just viewing an uninterrupted stretch of those groups of four parallel lines, resembling blank music staves.

I have fairly good reason to believe that this tie was once wider, a true four-plus incher, but that as tie fashions narrowed, someone took it to a tailor and had it cut down, or re-folded. I've always been suspicious of the fact that the design is off center. For this kind of symmetrical design, you'd expect it to be precisely centered on the tie, not visibly closer to the left side, as it is now.

Next, when you examine the tie in the back, the silver fabric comes all the way to the edge of the tie on one side, but on the other side, the silver fabric has been folded under, which is not normal construction for a tie. And the silver fabric overlaps significantly in back, again, not normal. The two sides are sewn up the middle with loose stitching.

I'm considering undoing the stitching, having the tie dry cleaned flat, with no crease, and see if I can refold it to approximate what I believe to have been its original wider size. If and when I do, I'll have to post another picture for your benefit.

The tie has one label, sowed in lengthwise on the small end. It is presumably a seller's label, although I suppose it could be the manufacturer. It sounds like the name of a prestigious law firm:
Woodward & Lothrop
The two lines of the label are separated by a fancy typographic ornament.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Silver, Yellow and Blue

Yet another in the series of vaguely heraldic, pseudo fleur de lis designs. This one is a change from all of those that went before, in that, instead of the designs being scattered somewhat randomly or even evenly over the surface of the tie, here we have a rigidly symmetrical design.

One elaborate design suspended, chandelier-like from one of the two geometric crossing points on the tie, with a very close imitation of the fleur de lis above, picked out in a reverse colored white on navy. The petals on either side are too small, and the central flower is diamond shaped on the outside, rounded on the inside, but if you compare this shape to the classic fleur de lis design as shown on Wikipedia, you can't help but notice the resemblance, even though skewed somewhat.

You should be able to see the elaborate leaf-patterned brocade woven into the fabric. It shows up best on the central silver panel, although it flows through the entire tie, equally. Unfortunately, in the scan, the brocade is not visible in the deep navy blue sections of the tie.

The tie is another narrower example, measuring only 3 3/8 inches across at its widest point. There are no extant labels to record. A very nice, obviously expensive tie in its day, but nevertheless, not one of my favorites, for a couple of reasons: First, it's not wide enough! I like those 4+ inchers. Second, I prefer the more abstract freer-form designs to the rigid symmetry displayed here. I said a couple of reasons, but here's a third: Yellow just isn't my favorite color.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gray-blue with Flourishes and Squiggles

The squiggles are the angle bracket markings which cover the surface of this tie.

The other patterns I'm calling "flourishes" today, because they aren't quite as heraldic nor do they probably even qualify as pseudo fleur de lis, like the designs on the ties from the past 3 weeks.

In comparison with those, these flourishes make me think of Paul Klee and his "Twittering Machine." I guess because they are more thinly drawn, and composed of less substance, somehow, than the vaguely heraldic designs of the past weeks.

That's about as far as the resemblance to Klee goes, and it's not much a of real resemblance, I grant you. But the thought passed through my head, so I had to mention it. That's what blogs are for, right?

It is perhaps worth noting that the back side of the tie is a slightly brighter shade of blue than the front, suggesting that the front of the tie has faded somewhat over the years. Fading usually comes from exposure to the sun, and that seems a bit hard to countenance, given that the tie was originally sold in Seattle, and I found it somewhere in the NW also. One wouldn't think a tie worn in these parts would get enough sun exposure to fade!

This tie strikes me as another less expensive example, like the one from April 15, mainly because it is not made from a brocaded fabric. But I may be completely off base, since the fabric is an all silk foulard, according to one of the labels. Per usual, when two labels survive, one is the seller's label, and one the manufacturer's. They read as follows:
Department Store
All Silk
The term "foulard" is an interesting one. Read some web definitions via Google here.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Silvery Gray & Red

Here's yet another tie with those vaguely heraldic pseudo Fleur de lis type symbols scattered about on it.

This one has a lovely brocade woven into the fabric, with overlapping circles filled with a checkerboard type cross hatching pattern, the circles surrounded by circular, oval and even somewhat paisley shaped objects, arranged around the circles somewhat like flower petals.

I've also loaded a couple of closeup detail images, showing the two versions of the heraldic devices. The first one is mostly red, with white and gray highlights, while the other is partly white, partly red.

The upper central portion of these designs almost resembles a human figure, raising its hands (or wings?) above its head.

This tie, like the one from last week, is only 3 1/2 inches across at its widest point. Unlike last week's, this one has no surviving labels to record.

The brocaded fabric is beautifully designed, but the tie itself is, in my view, on the boring side. The color, gray, is not exciting, and these vaguely heraldic designs project a more conservative, traditional image than do the freer, more abstract designs that I prefer. Still, it's a definitely a tie worth having in my collection. To be honest, I'm not sure if I've ever worn it. I suppose I ought to find an appropriate shirt, and wear it to work, some of these days.