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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Happy Easter From Le Noeud Papillon - Enjoy Your Break!

Wishing you a very Happy Easter from Le Noeud Papillon and we have left you an Easter egg on the website at www.lenoeudpapillon.com which will work until Sunday.

Find the page loaded on the site - it's really not that difficult - and it's yours to use until Sunday.

Be Safe! 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spare A Thought For The Fabric Linen This Easter Weekend

Regardless of your religious beliefs there exists a linen shroud in Turin, Italy which many Christians believe cloaked the dead body of Jesus Of Nazareth. Although many scientists would concur that the cloth dates back to the middle ages based on radiocarbon dating - believing in the shroud therefore comes down to a matter of faith.

Linen as a cloth also seems to attract the same kind of faith based appreciation. Ciccio, my Italian informant, once told me that there was no better form of fabric for the summer than linen. In my own experience I have always favoured cotton and shunned linen since my first bad experience of a very flouncy and unstructured linen shirt gifted to me by my mother. 

Linen should not be over looked though. If it was the final choice of cloth for Jesus of Nazareth perhaps there must be something worth investigating. 

Left, the impression on the shroud of Turin, said to be that of Jesus of Nazareth, and right, the negative image of that impression.


The full shroud of Turin.
Linen is a fabric made from the fibres of a flax plant - Linum usitatissimum . The word linen comes from the latin word for the flax plant, linum, and is originally derived from the early Greek λινόν (linón). According to Wikipedia the name has also given rise in English to words such as line (from the use of the flax thread to determine a straight line, and is also the reason we use the generic term linen when referring to laundry or closets. This is because linen was used a great deal in the making of items from napkins, shirts, detachable shirt collars, towels, handkerchiefs and, you might have guessed it, lingerie and the lining of your jacket are all derived from the word linen as they were once made of the same stuff. And it doesn't end there either - we also use flax in the making of linseed oil and linoleum flooring, wallpapers, upholstery, suits, shoes, luggage and more.

It's not really surprising that humans have been able to use this plant in so many manners as it was one of the first ever cultivated plants for textiles weaving dating back to Egypt over 4000 years ago. It's also not the first to shroud a religious or cultural icon. When they uncovered the Pharaoh Ramses II in 1881, who died in 1213 BC, they found that the linen wrappings were perfectly preserved after 3000 years. The same was found of Tutankhamen. But not all faiths were as happy with linen. In Jewish law it is said that you can wear linen, but it is strictly forbidden to weave it with wool. It was in Leviticus 19:19 that is was said "Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together". It goes to show that the Jews were probably ahead of the rest when it comes to the rag trade as no doubt they were trying to say, in my humble opinion - why weave something that keeps you warm with something that's supposed to keep you cool.

So, as Jesus prepares to make his ascension this weekend, spare a thought for the 3 to 1 herringbone twill weave linen that's about 4 and a half metres long and 1.1 metres wide with it's impression which has captivated Christians since the middle ages as to whether it is or isn't the final piece of cloth to touch Jesus' skin.

As to whether you choose to believe in linen as something you will wear, that also is a matter of faith. 


A contemporary blend of linen and cotton blending in this blue and white striped custom made shirt. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Move Over Polos, Here Come The Moths

Saturday 28th March, 2015
Richmond, Sydney

This weekend a team that played at the Countess Of The Dudley Cup at the Sydney Polo Club in Richmond was named 'Moth Of Sydney' .

There is nothing quite like the sound of the spank of a ball hit in the sweet spot of a mallet then followed by the sound of galloping hooves in the turf as the players charge towards the ball. It's a dangerous sport, it's a physically demanding sport and it requires the right kind of clothing for both functionality and appearance.

We thought there was no better way to check off the quality of our Moths than to put them through the paces of four chukkas. 

The result? The four players of The Moth Of Sydney team stayed effortlessly elegant and cool to boot resulting in an 8-2 victory. 

It marks the first custom team Moths that we have produced and of course we hope to produce more in the near future. 

Move over polos, here come The Moths!




A Baby Blue Shirt Is The Most Versatile Accoutrement

In a world where suits generally speaking are becoming less and less prevalent, the shirt seems to be one item of clothing that is still relevant regardless of whether you wear suits or not. In summer it becomes a focal point, especially if you don't wear a tie. In winter it becomes the base cloth from which you then layer items on top from pull-overs to scarves. It's also nice to know when you are layering that whatever layer first touches your skin is soft and comfortable.

The most versatile and wonderful shirt I have owned over the last five years has consistently been baby blue shirting cotton in a fine twill or popeline. Many companies that produce luxury shirting will all offer a variation on this cloth - it is to shirting weavers what the fruit bowl is for painters. 

Of all the greatest twills that I have come across there are only two which really stand out for me. The first is the Monti 200 West Indian Sea Island Cotton which is exquisite in handle but also is hard wearing and looks fantastic two years into the life of the shirt. The other is the Rothschild 200 2 ply by Canclini in their Lusso range of fabrics. Both in my own experience are exceptionally long lasting fabrics with a particular lustre and handle which radiates a certain luxury.

A great baby blue twill like the one below is so exceptional because on top of feeling lovely against your skin it is also the most versatile shirt to work into your ensembles. It works well with pastels in the summer, it works well with navy jeans in the autumn, and when winter arrives you can layer over the top your favourite cashmere scarf. In the spring you will have use for it when you start to play with your newly nature-inspired colour palette. In summary, it is a shirt that can be worn year-round. It is to shirts what navy is to suits. 

Why not consider rewarding yourself with one nice baby blue shirt.




Friday, March 27, 2015

Testimonials Are To My Eyes And Ears What Good Cologne Is To My Nose

We got a lovely testimonial yesterday from a happy customer from the United States. I post his comments below with permission:

"I received my bow tie today. Thank you very much! I'm thrilled with it, as is my fiance - I will be wearing the bow tie for my wedding. 

I do have a question though - what is the scent that the box smells of? It smells like a cologne ... my fiance also loves that so if you could pass along the brand or scent It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Cheers, 

C. Casazza,
Philadelphia, USA "
To answer his question, this month many of you have been smelling Terre D'Hermes by Hermes. It's a lovely scent I found and it's made quite a few of you ask the question. Next month we have another surprise scent for you. 


Scent of a bow tie - a spash of Terre D'Hermes with every bow bought from our website on www.lenoeudpapillon.com

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Bow Tie Portrait Competition By Le Noeud Papillon Continues....

The winner of our portrait competition will receive $1000.00 Australian dollars in cash. So far we've been chuffed with the submissions. Each of them shows the unique character and fashion sense of the wearer and tells something of their story. We encourage you to submit via Instagram using the #lenoeudpapillon and letting us know by placing @lenoeudpapillon into the message content. Feel free to remain anonymous or to let us see your whole outfit top to bottom - it's as you like! The only thing we insist is that it's a Le Noeud Papillon bow tie and if you can remember which model it is, let us know.

Here are some of the fantastic portraits so far:

The LNP bow tie portrait competition - show us your unique style and let us know on instagram by placing an @lenoeudpapillon in the comments section. We look forward to seeing your personal style. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Magical Sunrise Over Sydney

I rose very early this morning to go on my morning walk and as I reached the headlands just past the lighthouse of Christison Park in Vaucluse I found myself glimpsing something so breathtaking that I prayed that the camera might capture some of it's beauty. There are so few times when the camera delivers a good portion of what the naked eye sees but here, in this shot, I feel it was the best a mobile phone could do. 

I had always wondered what kind of skies the impressionists must have sat under to paint the way they did. Now I have seen it with my own eye I can see that all we ever really do is try to imitate mother earth or mother nature. The same goes for those of us that attempt to recreate beauty in textiles. We'll never get near the beauty of nature, but it's inspiration for us and hopefully it filters through from time to time in whatever we put our hand to.

Sydney sunrise 24.3.2015 - Photo taken by N Atgemis, Vaucluse Headlands, Sydney, Australia

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spare A Thought For The History Of What You Put Around Your Neck Today

The modern day neck tie and bow tie have a long history - some say that the first known examples of neckties are on the unearthed statues in China of "The Terracotta Army Of The First Emperor Of China" circa 221BC. Cloth has been used around the neck and other parts of the human anatomy for centuries to signal things such as tribe, battle groups or social ranking.

Cloth around men's necks is nothing new to Western culture too. It can be traced back to the Romans who used cloth to define military groups circa 101 BC.

However, it is widely accepted that modern menswear neckties and bow ties stem from Croatian mercenaries employed by the French during the battle of the Thirty Years War (1618–1648). These men from the Croatian Military Frontier wearing small knotted neckerchiefs were known for their bravery and were highly regarded as warriors, wearing their neck wear into battle. Around about the same time was the introduction of the cardboard collar for shirts. Until then men of society wore ruffs made of lace fabric which used up to 15 metres of fabric and were very costly to make.

A Croatian Mercenary From The Thirty Years War  (1618–1648)
Modern day examples of jabots worn by judges. 


The French upper class were quick to adopt the trend they saw on their Croatian friends but it was still not accepted dress at court until the boy-king Louis XIV (1638 - 1715) succeeded as king of France and began wearing a lace cravat around 1646. Within one year of Louis' adoption of the cravat the English were enamoured and Kings Charles II sent orders to Venice for lace so that he might adopt the trend. At this stage most cravats in lace were white. A variation of these neck ties is still worn by judges and they are known as jabots.


The 'earliest adopter' .... King Louis XIV of France, the founding father of modern neck wear which includes the neckerchief, ascot, cravat, bow tie, tie and bandanna. 


Neck wear remained in this manner for some time - mostly in black and white laces. Beau Brummel (1778 - 1840) changed this to some extent when he began championing new knots for neck wear and in doing so managed to convince the Prince Of Wales to adopt those changes.

In the 19th Century the weaving machines making fabrics began to produce more coloured fabrics and clubs, societies, military, sports and hunting groups would use colours and stripes to identify themselves. By the middle of 19th century the number of neckties and variations as well as the number of knots that were being employed gave way to the modern 'bow tie' as we know it today. By now we also see the beginning of the modern long neck tie.

The modern long neck tie as we know it today was first implemented by Jesse Langsdorf (a New York tie maker) in 1926 when he came up with a method for cutting tie fabric on the bias ( cloth is made up of warp and weft, the bias is the 45 degree cutting of fabric which gives more flexibility to cut cloth) and sewing the tie into three parts giving great elasticity and allowing the tie to return to it's original shape after being knotted. An improvement on this technique was added in the late 1920's when a Richard Atkinson of Belfast added what is known as a slip stitch down the centre of the tie to both allow the silk to return to the line of the stitch and to fasten an interlining to the inside of the tie to give greater structure to the tie and to allow less fabric to be used in the making of the tie.

(Did you know that the four in hand knot is said to come from the English nickname "four-in-hand" for a carriage which had four horses and one driver? A club was formed called the The Four In Hand Driving Company in 1856 and that the carriage drivers of those clubs used to knot the reins of the horses with a knot which was what we today call a "four-in-hand")

So, when you knot your next tie or bow tie consider for a moment all that wonderful history that is wrapped up in that one bit of cloth from the first Croatian mercenaries of the 17th Century to King Louis XIV of France, Beau Brummel, The Duke Of Windsor, Jesse Langsdorf and Richard Atkinson and every chap that has worn a ruff, jabot, cravat, tie, ascot, bandanna, neckerchief and bow tie along the way. And let's not forget the terracotta Chinese soldiers unearthed in the 1970's - they (China) may be the first and the last word in neckties given that the world seems to care less and less about the use of neckties in every day lifestyle and business attire and what remains of necktie production continually drifts in that direction.

External Links Related To This Post::

Wikipedia  -  Neck Tie
Nice Tie Store  - History Of The Neck Tie
Today I Found Out - The History Of The Neck Tie

#RECLAIMYOURTIE

It's often when you rummage through your drawers or someone else's that you discover some amazing silks from God knows where. I have so many ties from the 1990's which are just so superb but they are either stained, food damaged, too wide, not what I would wear as a tie any more. You can't bear to throw it away. You can't bear to see it sit there like that just doing nothing. Well, why not turn it into a bow tie? We have been doing this service for some time for our customers but we've never really turned it into a service we offer to all our customers but those that can get to the Studio in Sydney. 

So, from today onwards you can purchase the service when you shop online, then simply pop the tie in the post and we will be in contact to confirm your order. #Reclaim your old tie now. 



Be Like Sean Connery's 'Bond' - Consider A Slimmer Bow Tie

Roger Moore's lasting impression as James Bond was in those bigger 70's styled bow ties which generously flared top and bottom. More than any of the day wear it's the evening wear that we seem to remember best and in Moore's case, the cream/off white dinner jacket in a wide peaked lapel is the most iconic image.

Sean Connery's Bond, on the other hand, was in most cases much more reserved in the evening. In the tropics he still took his white and cream dinner jackets but more often than not his bow ties are a little slimmer, a little sleeker and his lapels a little less generous. For those of you seeking a more subdued evening wear look, for those of you who would like to say more with less - you may want to switch to a slimmer black bow tie in either a skinny batwing or diamond point shape in satin silk or grosgrain silk.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Moth Of Sydney Pop-Overs Continue To Delight Their New Owners

If I should have my time again I would like to be a psychologist to understand how markets behave and how to effectively market products to customers. When we launched Moth Of Sydney last year we sold out almost immediately (14 days) of stock which meant that we had a back log of demand and not enough product. Subsequently we got many calls from potential customers asking us to set aside stock as soon as it came in.... The irony (is it irony since one has to be so careful with the use of that word these days) is that once we produced all our stock and finished the website, suddenly those same customers became very triple C (cool, calm, collected) and were in no rush to use the website. I think the old adage goes 'you want what you can't have' .

So, it's back to the old drawing board  - which is to say - we will grow demand one by one. Below is Mark and he stopped by from Shanghai to see the new pop-overs and he took two, the Birchgrove below and the Point Piper after he saw the structure of our Moths under a blazer.



The Birchgrove has a sky blue diamond weave placket and collar insert in Italian made shirting. 
The Point Piper collar is made of SIC Tess Oxford blue white stripe shirting with contrasting placket. 

Leonard Logsdail - Famed New York Tailor And Suit Maker For Some Of Your Favourite Cinema Characters - A Short Interview

Leonard Logsdail is no stranger to celebrities. You can follow him on Instagram on the handle @leonardlogsdail  and watch all the fun unfold. If you have liked the suits of films such as American Gangster, The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Good Shepherd, or Wall Street 2 then chances are you've already seen his work. A big thank you to Leonard Logsdail Jnr for typing out Snr's answers last month. 

Leonard what an impressive oeuvre of work you have done for film and television! Can you tell us about your favourite signature pieces that you have done for film and how your suits have accentuated the film character?

It's hard to bring it all down to one movie.  I have worked on so many and enjoyed just about all of them.  American Gangster was great.  I was making clothes I used to wear in the early 70's so it took me on a trip down memory lane and reminded me how I must have looked at that time!!! (Although I thought I looked great at the time).  For Winter's Tale (not a successful movie) I made for Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe and William Hurt.  This had me making clothes styled for New York circa 1920.  Great fun and quite a challenge.  However, I think if I boiled it down to one movie, I'd pick Wolf of Wall Street.  DiCaprio, particularly, needed to show a powerful presence on the screen.  We worked hard to active this.  Working with such a talented costume designer, Sandy Powell, made the project just as much fun, too.  

Denzel Washington & Leonard Logsdail look over a jacket during a fitting in his New York Studio

Leonardo DiCaprio's suits in The Wolf Of Wall Street were done by Leonard Logsdail

When it comes to cloth I often ask the same questions of tailors – do they prefer Italian or English looms for their cloth and is there a difference? Can you tell me what it is you are searching for in a cloth and what are you most trusted bunches?

Frankly, I'm not too concerned as to where a fabric might be woven.  I'm more concerned in how it feels, how it will tailor and how it will work for my client.  Every new bunch that comes through my door is inspected personally by me.  If it passes my fingers, then it stays.  If my hand tells me it might cause problems, then it goes.  Just because it may come from the UK or Italy, does not mean it is good.  I enjoy the Ariston range of fabrics.  They offer interesting designs and good quality.  Holland & Sherry, Gladson and Harrison's get a large proportion of my business.  But I'm sure not all of their fabrics are woven where you might think. But the quality is good.

A tweed smoking jacket by Leonard Logsdail


I see you love to make linings with reclaimed silk scarves from brands such as Hermes? Do you advocate silk over synthetic linings and if yes can you show us your best example of this kind of work?

I offer my clients the opportunity to choose different linings.  Most decline.  But for those who do not, then the sky is the limit.  I sometimes go to fabric district of New York City and peruse the stores there looking for interesting linings.  I might spend $5000 on these and can then offer unique linings.  Hermes scarves are also enjoyed by several of my clients   As far as wearability is concerned; I think the synthetic's work better than the silks.  They last longer.

Reclaimed Hermes scarves used as jacket lining for private clients of Leonard Logsdail

Is there something quintessential that New Yorkers might ask of you when making a suit that sets them apart from an English or European customer or for that matter a Californian? For example, I heard recently that having an MP3 or phone pouch with a slit for earphone cords was very popular with New Yorkers who ride the subway. Do you have a similar sort of experience?

I doubt many of my clients ride the subways, and so I have not made any suits with slits for the cords.  I have made specific pockets in jackets or pants for the iPhone.

In terms of weights of wools – New Yorkers must really get the raw end of the stick when it comes to winter – can you tell us the difference between a summer weight and a winter weight wool you might cut for the same gentleman and does this change in the weight affect the pattern before cutting?

More and more people are asking for year round fabrics.  In New York, particularly, I do not believe this exists.  It gets so cold in the winter and then so warm in the summer that anyone who tells you they have a fabric that works for both is probably not telling you the truth.  I believe that clients who try to ride the middle road in fabric weight are missing out on some fabulous clothes that can only be found in specific weights.

The Logsdail cut

What is your favourite brand of shoes in the world? And, can men wear boots with suits in your opinion?

As for shoes, without a doubt I would say that George Cleverly make the best shoes out there.  I only where their bespoke shoes and recommend them whenever I have the opportunity.

There is a line from Ridley Scott’s film A Good Year in which Uncle Henry says “Quite right, a blue suit is the most versatile of accoutrements.  More important than the suit itself is the man who fits it for you.  Once you find a good tailor, you must never give his name away…not even under the threat of bodily harm.”

Do you:

a)      Agree with the statement about a blue suit

Absolutely.  I only wear blue suits for this reason.

Leonard Logsdail - in favour of a navy suit. 
b)      Believe that you should never give the name away of your tailor?

From a tailor's point of view I believe this to be terrible.  You make like to keep your tailor to yourself, but if he does not have enough business to keep going, everyone loses out.

How do you feel about bow ties?

If you like them, wear them.  They do not suit me, but I have many clients who wear them so well that I am often tempted.  We make them regularly for our clients from all sorts of fabrics.  I always think that a bow tie shows that a person has thought about his appearance and not just thrown something on.  It shows you care about your appearance.

The bow ties in use for formal wear in a peaked dinner jacket by Leonard Logsdail

Father and son - Leonard Snr and Leonard Jnr Logsdail

Sunday, March 15, 2015

OOoooh Thank God - It's Starting To Get Cool In Sydney

Muggy heat in Sydney which pervades the air from late January to early March means that, certainly for me, wearing a shirt and a tie is forbidden. I mean to say unless I have a specific event to go to I will avoid at all costs wearing a shirt and tie. It's for this reason I worked on Moth of Sydney . 

Some of my friends pray for an endless summer and would gladly spend their days walking around in board shorts and polo t-shirts for the rest of their lives if it were possible. I am of a different ilk. I love my summer but I like it to be about as long as I like a good vacation - around 3 weeks. The rest of it, the flies, the mosquitoes, the sweaty back, the perspiring forehead, sunburn - well, you can keep it all as far as I am concerned.

When the winds picked up yesterday and the nights got cooler I was already thinking fondly of wearing shirts and trousers again and tying my first bow tie of the Autumn. Which brings me to my point - on rummaging around my old drawers I found the three ties below and since I wear ties so irregularly these days I thought about making myself three bow ties from the fabulous silks below. I will keep you posted on how they turn out.

One tie I note is the Charvet tie in the centre. You get to know a tie pretty well when you cut it up and as bloggers more reputable than myself have observed, there isn't really much to making a silk neck tie. But that's just it - since there isn't much to a tie, you really notice when a neck tie has been made very well and you get a gist of this when you cut it up. The Charvet tie was particularly well made with a lovely weight of interlining which perfectly married up to the weight of the silk coupled with a beautiful yellow slip stitch which was very well executed and lovely attention to details on the label.

Sometimes it's when things are supposedly simple to make that you therefore note the quality when one brand surpasses another. It looks simple on the outset but when you break it down it is the right handle of woven silk jacquard with the right interlining with the right folding and slip stitch and the right label that make it so. Small things that all add up and the subtractions are equally as important. I guess it's like good Italian cooking.




Charvet of Paris, makers of very lovely ties.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shop The Latest Silks

Just arrived at Le Noeud Papillon - a distinguished range of English woven jacquard silks - SHOP THEM NOW

Celebrate The Ides Of March


Sometimes you don't know whether something new is a good omen or not. I felt the same way about the new platform that I employed to run www.lenoeudpapillon.com . It's comprehensive, it's easy to use and it's not that difficult to implement and yet something inside me, perhaps it's part of ageing, became very wary of change.

The initial site for Le Noeud Papillon had been developed in Columbia six years ago and I had used all my energy to design the site specifically for the sale of bow ties and I had a hand in every aspect of it's production. That was then - this is now.... How far the world has come in that short period of time and how many more items we have gone on to sell whilst retaining bow ties as our core product.

Time has a way of wearing all of us down and of forcing us to confront some things which we might otherwise not like to accept. In my own sphere I had to accept I am falling behind on technology and my code writing for CSS has slipped away from me. Furthermore, I had to accept that when we started we sold a hand-full of bow ties when nobody else had tie your own bow ties on the web. These days we run through so many silks that inventory has started to become a concern. Alas, if you can't beat them, join them - and so without further ado, I implore you to use our new website and I offer you our first iteration of the new website - WWW.LENOEUDPAPILLON.COM - and I kindly ask you to give your feedback if you find ways for us to improve the site experience.

And considering that I feel a sense of ominous change in my life just around the corner, and considering we are so close to the Ides Of March I offer all of you a chance to shop the website till Tuesday 17th March with $50.00 Off your order. The code word is: THEIDESOFMARCH

Shop the code now. 

The ominous Ides Of March is upon us  - a time for change - both in our website at Le Noeud Papillon and potentially in your wardrobe.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Disruption To Service

We are currently experimenting with a new platform for our website and it will disrupt both our website and blog over the coming days. Apologies in advance.  LNP
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