Tying One On
Saturday, November 03, 2012
|Ivette Hernández - La Evangelista|
|San Francisco, New York City, Washington DC|
|George Waterhouse Hayward and a half-Windsor|
I had a restless Thursday night. I experienced many dreams. But in a moment of lucidity I remembered something. Last week when I was taking pictures of Alissa
in her Burnaby apartment she asked me if I could tie a tie. Of course I can so I did. I was handed the tie and tied a full Windsor. Since I am a man there was only one way I could tie it. I had to put the tie around my neck and pretend I was going to wear it.
Women from another generation (perhaps fewer in this one) like my mother, would tie ties facing me. Looking back at my mother doing that, I can imagine the comfort that came from being preened and combed by her. In contemporary terms, in our age of blatant pornography (can it not be blatant?), I can imagine taking a photograph of a grown man having a tie tied by a woman, from the front!
I know after having read JJ Lee's
sartorial magnum opus The Measure of a man - The Story of a Father
, a Son, and a Suit
, that the Duke of Windsor popularized fat tie knots and thus we have the Windsor knot or the full Windsor. I note that my father must not have been a full monarchist as his portrait has a lopsided (an endearing feature of such a knot) half-Windsor.
|The Duke of Windsor, Illustration by J.J. Lee|
I write this on Saturday morning and I recall that yesterday from 5 to 7, MSNBC aired a concert to raise funds for Sandy’s victims. Since I was thinking about ties I noticed that Bruce Springsteen was wearing a black one with his shirt collar unbuttoned. With his vest I must say this was an attractive sight.
Last night I took my granddaughters to the Waterfront Theater to The Number 14
. We laughed and laughed but I was also there to see that red haired woman (usually a theatrical director) Sarah Rodgers perform a routine she first did in 1998.
In my living room, not far from this monitor I have a pile of ties which I will scan for this blog. I chose a red one (in honour of Miss Rodgers). It is a made in San Francisco tie featuring a cable car.
While I sometimes tend to dress well I don’t think that just dressing well is enough. The tie puts in the finishing touch of nostalgia, purpose and in some cases to inject a political stance. Had the T-shirt not have been invented, men would still be wearing ties to prove points and promote causes. My favourite example of the latter is to wear my Fraser Institute (a right wing Vancouver think tank) tie to liberal functions. I remember going to one where the former Premier, Mike Harcourt noticed it and smiled knowing I did not mean any harm!
|Alex W-H and a half-Windsor|
When I married my Rosemary in 1968 she would take a bus to Calle Madero in downtown Mexico City. She went to a small haberdashery called Lord’s. Two very old and very distinguished men ran it. Rosemary bought ties that were made from imported English wool. You might note in the scans here that the ties went through various stages of widths. I rarely use them but having read Lee’s book I will wear these ties and I am sure that Lee will approve even if their widths are not current. I have a particular fondness for my Lord’s ties as they represent that exciting era in my life when I was newly married. We had little money and Rosemary would spend hours at Lord’s choosing a tie. They were not cheap. They were wrapped very nicely and Rosemary handed them to me (most lovingly) on my birthday or Christmas. I cannot look at my Lord’s ties without thinking of that former tenderness in my life. After a 44 year marriage it seems that the simple wearing of one of the ties will bring it all back.
In my life with ties I have one regret. When I was 10 I insisted my mother buy me a green silk, hand-painted tie that featured Argentine Formula One World Champion runner-up Juan Manuel Fangio. The tie had in bold lettering Juan Manuel Fangio Sub-Campeón Mundial. In our 1955 move to Mexico from Buenos Aires it disappeared.
For those who do not know the Spanish word for tie is corbata. We know that the French word is cravate.
British scholar Noel Malcom in his book "A short history of Bosnia" offers valuable research about the racial relationship between Iranians and some ethnicities of the former Yugoslavia. He writes: "The name Croat, or Hravat in Serbian, is not a Serbian word. It is similar to the Iranian name Choroatos, found on tombstones of Greek dwelling regions of south Russia." He goes on to add that the original form of the word is "Khoravat" as mentioned in Avesta, meaning "friendly".
|Ned Pratt - Architect|
In 1656, Louis XIV formed a regiment of Croat volunteers inside his army. The members of this regiment, in accordance to their ancient tradition, wore a neckerchief of plain of floral silk, its ends dangling from the tie. It could also be used as bandage if the soldier was wounded. After this time the Croatian scarf was accepted in France, above all in court, where military ornaments were much admired. The fashionable expression, ’a la croate’, soon evolved into a new French word, which still exists today: la cravate. Some 170 years later, the necktie became a universal fashion.
Source: Iran Chamber Society
|Betty Comden & Adolph Green - writers Singing in the Rain|
|My animal ties|
|Ian Ballantine -Publisher founder of Ballantine Books|
|My Brooks Brothers Christmas tie & my Argentine Polo tie|
|My grandfather Don Tirso de Irureta Goyena |
& his chaffeur
|My two Ernst ties & centre a Brooks Brothers from NY City|
|Cordelia, Ivette & my Fraser Institute tie|
|David Baines - Vancouver Sun columnist|
|My two Peruvian ties, notice coffee stain & |
a Quebec tie given to me by Rosemary
|Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. & my granddaughter|
|From top, Smithsonian, Texas & my fave tie from Seattle|
|C Valparaiso & my Seattle tie|
|Sir Elton John, Diana Krall & Elvis Costello|
|My Frank Lloyd Wright & my Michelsons of London|
|My ugly ties|
|My seconf fave tie with the paper airplanes, |
my Christmas tie & the infamous
Fraser Institute tie
|Rosemary's Lord's ties|