Thursday, February 9, 2012


Are Ties Cool Again?

Models present creations by French designer Veronique
Nichanian for Hermes - the Men's Autumn-Winter 2012-13
The more things change, the more they stay the same.“ 

I never actually understood how that could be.  I guess it is one of the clichés that meant something at a certain time, something fashionable, not necessarily fashionable in the sense of fashion attire, but a state of fashion regarding what society accepts as chic or maybe just society itself. 

As seen in late January in a Paris Men's fashion show neckties are hardly a forgotten fashion accessory.  The necktie has seen a new sense of recognition by designers and young men, especially skinny ties.  Wearing suits is back in style and ties are meant to go with them.  Things change regarding fashion - that's what fashion means. What was fashionable once, can be again.  Everything that is created, or envisioned is influenced by what has been.  Sometimes ideas, especially fashion ideas are reborn, with a new found appreciation.   Kind of like when color television and film replaced black and white.  It was not very long before black and white film was considered an art and became a much appreciated medium in story telling.  Story telling just seemed to have a greater passion with the life like realism of color replaced with black and white.

The point I am making is regarding an attitude towards neckties by young men that has caused a stylish craze that has escaped most men of years.  Apparently men wearing neckties are gracing the runways of the fashion world, on the college campus as ties are making a big comeback in the men's retail.   Narrow ties have especially become a favorite of younger men that recently considered wearing ties as a restriction to their freedom.  When men were wearing neckties religiously a rebellious wave against ties became a means of expression for youth.

For at least the last two or three decades, wearing neckties became a sort of un-fashion statement by youth.  It was an easy way to be different and unique, shunning authority by resisting to conform to a way that their fathers had deemed proper.  For a young man novelty theme ties like music and rock and roll themes had been the tie of choice as at least it was a way to make a statement. To be cool and still be a rebel even though it was not possible to avoid the dreaded conforming to an unpopular dress code.  This was one of the great successes of Jerry Garcia ties.


Now, serious fashion ties like rep stripes and conservative design are being tied around the necks of the young.   By sharp contrast, men are becoming less refined embracing a casual attire in a similar way and for possibly the same reason, to become free of authoritive fashion.  Maybe they want to feel young and free again. 

So there it is,  “The more things change, the more they stay the same.“  kind-of-sort-of.

Related article, Times Live - Life Style Jan 23, 2012
Now that older men have ditched it to look cool, the stylish young are reclaiming the necktie as their own, with the once-derided accessory making a stealthy comeback on the menswear runways.

At Lanvin on Sunday there were no ties until the finale, but there were neckties for all the evening looks — save for a single bow-tie, a nod to the personal style of designer Alber Elbaz.

"Ties are a part of the suit that is coming back," Elbaz confirmed. "Not the ties of our fathers or grandfathers. They are worn by a new generation that comes from sport, new technologies.  "It's neither the world of the dandy nor of the boardroom."  Read more Could Neckties Be Cool Again