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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Best Way To Subdue Bling - How To Add Natural Beauty To Your Gold Or Steel Watch

Recently a friend of mine put me onto a website called Chrono24 and between that and Ebay I have found about fifteen watches I would easily consume if I were a rich man but owing to my bank balance and my recent philosophical crutch of Stoicism I have managed to look but not desire to touch.

In the late 1990's I bought an Omega Seamaster and it was for many years my pride and joy. However, as time wore on I came to find it impractical. I did not like the size of the face or the weight of the bracelet and with time I found myself, the more I worked on computers, not wanting to wear a wrist watch. That changed when in the mid 2000's I purchased a used Rolex Air King from the sister of Elle McPherson. It had originally belonged to the supermodel but she palmed it off to her sister who palmed it off to me. For a smaller wristed bloke like myself it was the ideal size and weight that allowed me to look elegant and keep typing.

One of the things that puts me off these days about Rolex and the like is that there is a preference to have these clunky heavy bracelets coupled with larger 41mm watch heads. The pursuit of bling over taste has been fortunate for those who prefer understated elegance as the previous model 36mm faces seem to be overlooked on the used market and can be bought for much better prices. And if you can find one that's just the face and not the bracelet, the price often comes down substantially again.

One of the most elegant wrist watches I have seen in the last three years was a brown copper face Rolex Daytona on a brown crocodile leather strap finished in rose gold. These watches, new, are a large face and up to $30,000 AUD to purchase. So what if you wanted to get the same look on a smaller face? The answer is that it is possible to do with very little money.

Places such as Wholesale Outlet 990 offer a variety of leather straps with deployment clasps that look almost identical to the real thing. So long as you marry up the the mm width of the lugs on a watch face with one of these bands, it is possible to give a new lease of life to a vintage watch face coupled with the practicality of both being lighter than a bracelet. Add to this a deployment clasp which makes the watch easier to get on an off and improves the lifespan of the leather and you have, in my opinion, a no brainer. Let the bling blingers have their huge faces and big bracelets and give me a lighter less intense watch that can allow me to keep typing.

NB: For those of you residing in Sydney who are looking for a quick fix, try LG Humphries & Sons at 151 Castlereagh Street, Sydney as they keep both leather bands in stock along with deployment clasps and have a number of vintage watch heads on display from the best brands. Click here


So what do you need to do in order to achieve this?

1. Purchase a vintage watch from the likes of Ebay or Chrono24 
2. Find out the size of the lugs on either side of the watch face and whether they are simple enough to attach with spring bars. The older the model the less complicated this will be.
3. Purchase a leather strap through the likes of Wholesale Outlet 990 . Your preference, if you are strapped for time, is to choose one pre-made with a deployment clasp.
4. Wait patiently for the postman.
5. Remove the existing bracelet or springs bars from your watch face.
6. Load the springs into the ends of your new leather watch strap if they are not already in place.
7. Load the springs onto the lugs.
8. Adjust the size of the strap.





An example of a faux crocodile watch strap in ever green  with a Rolex Daytona styled deployment clasp which was applied to a vintage watch head. The green strap can be purchased from Wholesale Outlet 990 on Ebay

Smitten But Needing Some More Love From Vianel - A Review Of A Purchase From Vianel New York

I really like Vianel . I found them on Instagram a while back and I have been meaning to try out their wares for some time. The eternal problem facing wallets for me is that credit cards and membership cards can vary between countries and so too can currency. The Australian dollar notes, as many of you who have ventured here would know, are made of polymer and are a unique size very different from the Euro, Sterling or Greenback. Accordingly the hunt for great wallets is a tiring pursuit since the brands that make the best products such as Hermes and Smythson often concentrate on wallets for currencies where they will most be used. The only place I have found for great Australian wallets is DiCroco in Darwin which used to hold a store in Sydney but no longer does.

For this reason I was attracted to Vianel because they seemed to understand that men want something sleek and made of a nice quality leather but finished in a manner which was more 2016 than for a man who was trying to fit all sorts of currencies in his wallet.

I purchased what was called their V1 wallet during their sample sale. The wallet is made very well and the quality of the leather is as good as that which is in my Hermes card holder. However, I don't wish to see Vianel go out of business so I offer them my constructive criticism.

Firstly, the box that it arrived in was a size overkill. After removing the stuffing I found the original box for the item. It was made of a reasonable but not exciting matte black cardboard with some embossed foil in gold which was not particularly well done. Inside the box in tissue paper was another plain white pouch, unbranded and relatively unexciting. The wallet itself, when I went to check my credit cards and place them in, was unable to sit the cards one on top of the other without making the wallet look awkward. When you use the rear pouch to then place say 2 credit cards and 1 drivers licence, the wallet looks altogether unbalance and so stuffed full that there is no room to add in any folded cash or a new contacts business card. It also makes it near impossible to retrieve your second or third card without having to use considerable force.

Finally, the gold foil embossing on the leather was not particularly clear. When it is a new or emerging brand you are always willing to forgive these sorts of details but in the long run, when you consider future purchases, these things become very important. It's the reason why I return to Smythson and to a lesser more infrequent respect, Hermes.

I hope that Vianel keeps refining their product because I think it's a great looking brand with a great future and I look forward to giving them more of my support and business when they do.

See their website:

Ignore the Tony Soprano styled driver's licence shot...


You Don't Have To Be A Genius To Work It Out - The Falling Australian Dollar Will Benefit US Shoppers

When the USD was at parity with the AUD six years ago two visiting American friends of mine, one a New Yorker, the other a Bostonian, decided to piss themselves when at a Christmas cocktail party someone said in a laconic Australian voice to them "yeah, the dollar's about 'even Stevens' at the moment" . It became immediately apparent that the expression which was part of our vernacular down under, evidently was very fresh on these two.

At the time those two Americans were quick to complain that the trip was costing them a pretty penny and not what they imagined of Australia and what it would do to their American dollar wallets. Sydney, especially, is a very expensive city to live in or visit. 

The good news is that the AUD is dropping in value and it's making our products much more alluring to those overseas. I had a look on the Barney's website today for bow ties ( click here ) and to be frank, we kick ass all over the selection and now our prices are far more competitive against even their house brand bow ties, especially when you factor in our regular discount offers to newsletter readers.

Perhaps 'Even Stevens' might not gel with Americans, not even Cheap As Chips (fries in the USA), but certainly Bang For Buck is a universally appreciated expression and so too is Make Hay Whilst The Sun Shines.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Allow A Certain Level Of Stoicism To Filter Into Your Wardrobe

Recently in a newsletter to our customers I mentioned a book that was given to me by my dear underground informant Carlos Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer had retreated from society for a bit after he got hooked onto the principles of Stoic philosophy. Swept up in the book he felt compelled to offload by sending me a copy. I read it and some of the basic principles of Stoic philosophy are in complete contrast to that of an aesthete, or at least that of an aesthete who indulges in consumerism. Both luxurious living and the search for fame are frowned upon by the Stoics. The Roman Stoics didn't mind if you received either in your lifetime, but said the only way one could enjoy them was to be indifferent to their presence in your life.

One of the notable Roman Stoics was Cato. In an excerpt from the book "A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy" the author states "not because he sought vain glory but because he wished to be indifferent to trends, Cato would make a point of wearing things that were contrary to the dictates of fashion at the time. If they wore light purple robes, he wore dark. If his peers wore shoes, he wore none."

Cato was attempting to purposefully trigger their disdain merely so that he could observe their disregard for his clothing so that he might practice the art of ignoring their opinions. 

This follows on from a Stoic principle that one should never pursue fame. In order to pursue fame the Stoics believed that we in fact have to expend a great deal of energy trying to make ourselves appealing to others. In that sense we almost have to adopt their values or if not their own values at the very least what their values dictate that we should be. Realising how difficult and time consuming this must be, the Stoics therefore came to the conclusion that the benefits conferred by fame are in fact outweighed by the cost to our own enjoyment of life. Fame, it seems, and fashion, go hand in hand. One only needs to look at the amount of energy expended by men who turn up to Pitti to recognise that. 

The book, that I have partially but not fully read, caused me stop at some point and question everything around me and potentially put my ship off course. "What is the point of wearing nice clothes then?" I pondered. How can we continue to enjoy nice things? To consume?

The Roman Stoics were not, however, against enjoyment of life and it's pleasures, both the simple and the more complex. They did however suggest that we should not cling to these things to make us happy. We should not seek fame because of the cost to our own personal enjoyment of life. We should not pursue wealth to fund a luxurious lifestyle for this in itself is a vicious cycle of expending more and more energy to consume more and more pleasures. 

Instead the Stoics ask us to routinely negatively visualise what we do have. That is, instead of looking always to the next purchase or the next thing we wish to consume, consider instead the things of which you have being taken away from you. The moment you think of your favourite tie or trousers being removed from your life, you at once begin to be grateful and thankful for everything you do have in your wardrobe. I don't mean to be naff by referencing menswear, but it seems a fitting enough place to start for this blog. Perhaps first start with your family, your friends, the food on your table, your home, your car. Then work your way to the less important things such a your clothes. 

So, for this week I ask you to give thanks for the things you do have and if you want to pay them some respect, consider the two links below:


Meanwhile, I intend to get back to that book over the weekend so that Oppenheimer and I can don some dark purple robes and walk the streets of Sydney looking for an honest man and eschewing worldly goods...  Or maybe I will just prune and press my bow tie collection and polish my shoes. 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How To Press Your Bow Tie To Remove Creases Whilst Preventing Any Scolding Of The Silk

As I promised, I wanted you all to see how I press our bow ties to bring them back to life after being tied.

Owing to our unique hook system for bow ties some of our customers will leave the bow ties tied for months without unfastening them. When they finally do prior to their next engagement they are obviously concerned when it unravels crinkly and in some cases needing a pruning.

The pruning, which we spoke of here, can be done relatively quickly and it should be followed by ironing the silk but by placing a piece of lint-free cloth between the silk and the steam iron to ensure that the heat does not scold the silk. Scolded silk can really ruin the beauty of the fabric - especially in the likes of brilliantly finished mogador satin silks.

Without further ado, I hope this video is of some service to you.

Any questions please feel free to email me here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Design Your Own Luxury Goods - Sydney Morning Herald's Executive Style By Judy Barouch

Thank you to Judy Barouch for writing an article on customising your own luxury goods and including us in it!


How To Prune And Maintain Your Bow Tie To Remove Loose Strands Of Silk - Works For Ties Too

At a function recently I spotted a customer of mine wearing a beautiful bow tie of ours but it was frayed and look dog-eared. I almost jumped over two pews to get to him and say "this is not on" but it was not his fault - how should he know how to prune and maintain his bow tie?

The worst offenders of silks are of course the polka dot variety. Any time you lance silk during the weaving process, such as you do with polka dots, you are bound to get frays happening. A buyer from David Jones once started pulling at my polka dots in front of me and saying "I need to test your silk because the inferior Chinese stuff frays". I'm afraid it doesn't matter what mill you use, if it's woven silk, the polka dots will fray. Only printed polka dots on silk twills will not fray.

Looking after your bow tie is it's own art form. You need to have the right two tools - a pair of finger scissors and a bic lighter. Then you need to patiently prune off with the finger scissors what you can and with the remaining loose strands of silk you need to run that bic lighter close to singe the hairs, but not too close that you will burn the cloth. So, for all those I have not yet had the pleasure of educating personally I made up this short video.

I hope you enjoy it and pass it on. Nobody wants to stand in church next to a chap with a dog eared bow tie.

Next week I will show you how I press the bow once it's been clipped.

By the way, if you need finger scissors - www.lenoeudpapillon.com


Two simple tools, finger scissors and a regular bic lighter.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Moth Of Sydney Website Is Live

Although we got cleaned up on the first two waves of production of stock, we have still a few models left on the website www.mothofsydney.com and in the coming days we will be uploading new models which will be in by the end of Janaury or the first week of February. 

Feel free at the same time to join our mailing list on the homepage if you want to be informed once the next drop comes off the bench.

See the new website www.mothofsydney.com

Sunday, January 11, 2015

An Example Of What I Referred To Regarding Australian Beer Commercials

There Really Is Nothing Quite Like Lamb - Richie Benaud And The Round Up Of Historical Characters For The Australia Day LambTastic BBQ

Australia Day is a bone of contention for indigenous Australians and rightly so. We usurped this land from them and considered it to be void of a culture and overlooked what was in fact one of the oldest cultures in the world.

However, we cannot change what did occur and I can't help but adore this new tongue in cheek commercial for Australian lamb which is headed up by our legendary veteran cricket commentator Richie Benaud. Traditionally the greatest television commercials in Australia were reserved for breweries so it is refreshing to see our nation getting it's artistic talents up for what is a wonderful national product.

And my recommendation: Lamb cutlets crumbed with egg yolk, flower and crumbs and then placed in the oven at 160 degrees celsius for 30 minutes. Add some fresh ailoi and a garden salad with shallots and avocado and finish it off with a chocolate paddle pop for dessert. Sometimes it's the simple things that count!

Make Australia Day Lambtastic!


To Sell Bow Ties To Students At Oxford Is A Milestone Of Sorts : A Testimonial From Oxford, England

When Evelyn Waugh's somewhat self-autobiographical character Charles Ryder first stumbled upon his darling Sebastian Flyte at Oxford the first thing he noted was that he was wearing a silk tie from Charvet of Paris. It is one of those literary references that can keep a brand going forever in the hearts of aesthetes and so long as people keep revisiting Brideshead (pun intended), then so too will they revisit the likes of Charvet.

In a small win for us I received a lovely email from a student at Oxford. Not the first we've had wear our bow ties but the first we've received a lovely compliment from and with permission we are posting it below along with the more 'bohemian' bow tie he chose.

Dear Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney,

Many thanks for your prompt response. I did - as you might have seen - buy the bow tie. I will wear it as part of the formal academic dress at my university and hence a slightly “bohemian" look is much welcomed.

This isn’t the first bow tie I have bought from Le Noeud Papillon and I just thought I should let you know how pleased I am with my other ones. They look terrific and add the perfect touch to one’s black tie attire. Nowhere else have I seen the breadth of choice and level of quality when it comes to bow ties!

Best wishes,

P. Zelter, Oxford, England


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Zelter

At it's widest point the spade head is 6cm whereas the modified butterfly is 6.5cm. I don't recommend the Harrison unless you are specifically seeking out that shape. It is very specific and has a certain look which is slightly bohemian, slightly left of centre. It's fabulous on the right person but be advised it's not every one's cup of tea. The more classic shape on the website, the white diamond, is far more popular.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now if Mr. Zelter could happen to write a seminal novel for the 21st Century I might just be able to have our bow tie company revered in the same manner as our dear friends in Paris.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Le Noeud Papillon Current Stockists January 2015

AUSTRALIA
SYDNEY

Strand Hatters
Shop 8. The Strand Arcade, 412 George Street
Sydney, 2000.
telephone: +612 9231 6884
info@strandhatters.com.au

Pen-Ultimate
QVB  : Shop 15-17, Level 2, QVB
455 George Street Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9264 4991  Fax: (02) 9264 4434 
Email: qvb@penultimate.com.au


Patrick Johnson Tailors
46 Liverpool Street, Paddington, Sydney
+612 9966 7548

BRISBANE


www.lenoeudpapillon.com

CANBERRA

www.lenoeudpapillon.com

MELBOURNE

Double Monk
53 Smith Street
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065
Australia
Tel: +61 3 9417 3335
info@doublemonk.com

Patrick Johnson Tailors
290 Moray Street, South Melbourne
+613 9483 7007

FRANCE
PARIS


Matthew Cookson
11 Boulevarde Raspail 75007, Paris
TEL+33(0)145485726
FAX+33(0)145490951

www.matthewcookson.com

UNITED STATES
SAN DIEGO
Tie Deals
http://www.tiedeals.com/collections/le-noeud-papillon-bow-ties
sales@tiedeals.com
* Largest Range In United States 



For Custom Bow Tie Orders, Smoking Jackets, Custom Made Shirts, Custom Made Slippers, Custom Made Dressing Robes, Custom Made Silk Jackets, Ties, Hat Bands And To See Our Woven Silk Jacquards On The Roll,  You Are Invited To Our Studio. 

By Appointment Only.


We are located at 36 New South Head Road, Vaucluse, Sydney, Australia 2030

Phone: +61 2 8001 6684

The Best Blog Posts Of 2014

I have not heard anyone talk about 2014 so far without mentioning the highs and lows of the year. It was one of those years where you never felt you got a totally clear and smooth patch of sailing. The year had all sorts of twists and turns from planes vanishing without trace and another being shot down, the death of some beloved people such as Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Phillip Seymour Hoffman; an Ebola break out, beheadings online and culminating in a seige in Martin Place, Sydney in December. One could never truly relax in 2014. Somehow, as always, the world kept spinning regardless and in between all of this tragedy and despair we managed to knock out some great blog posts of which I rummaged through this morning.

26. The Man Behind The Man Behind The Designer - Vitale Barberis Canonico

2014 in Review - Copyright Le Noeud Papillon 2015

This was our 2014. We hope you enjoyed it!

Regards,
LNP

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Show's Not Over Yet - SALE IS NOW OVER



The show is now over. Please come and see us again soon at  www.lenoeudpapillon.com

LoveGreece - A Unique T-Shirt Concept From A Man Who Loves His Country

George G. Hatzizahariou started LoveGreece to promote everything Greek and to bring some Greek Chic back to tourism products from Greece along with provenance and quality of make and cloth.

The LoveGreece product range is made from cotton which is planted and harvested in Greece and is woven, dyed, sewn and finished between Greece and Macedonia.

Recently a sample of the product was given to me by a prominent young Greek Australian businessman who had come across the product recently in Greece. We had been discussing our own pop-over collared t-shirt business, Moth Of Sydney , when he said "you know how proud you are of Sydney, well there's a guy doing the same sort of thing but it's out of Greece but he's doing round neck t-shirts".

For most of us that have bought Greek souvenir t-shirts or one of those brocade numbers over the past 30 years you will recall that when you meander under those yellowish lights at night around the Old City in Rhodes you tend to come back to your hotel with something very, dare I say it, I may since I am Greek Australian myself - 'woggy'. And over the years I have worn these items once, maybe twice and then shelved them until they eventually made their way to a clothes bin or into the deep archives of my storage room.

LoveGreece is therefore a refreshing change to all that. It is a paradigm shift because it has an authentic DNA. The cotton is planted in the spring in Thessaly, then it is harvested in the autumn before ginning, sewing, stamping and packaging occurs between Thessaly, Macedonia and Thrace. And then it is ready to be sold on the website www.lovegreece.com.gr . The marketing is also completely in tune with the brand - it is all about a love of Greece. A country many of us have soaked up sun in. A country that, even if you are not Greek Australian or Greek American, chances are you know someone who is or you've done the tourist trip at some stage.

I am here to tell you that on top of having stumbled upon the brand in conversation I have indeed worn the t-shirt too and it is not only a very suitable and comfortable cotton jersey but the colour is a lovely faded blue and the cut is perfectly fine. I am only disappointed that they don't make a XXL for ' hondros '  like me (according to my limited knowledge of Greek a hondro is a 'fat boy' ). The t-shirt also comes with an 'evil eye' or 'mati' which will ward off bad spirits in that classic Greek souvenir kind of way.

So, my advice, if you are a lover of Greek islands, Greek kebabs, Greek holidays, Greek music, Greek lamb, Greek pork condosouvli, Greek pasta, Greek feta, Greek coffee, Greek styled sex, Greek films, Greek pasta, Greek shipping magnates or Greek souvenirs - then you owe it to yourself to pick up a LoveGreece t-shirt.

Shop them here:

Made in Greece and Macedonia from cotton  planted in Thessaly. This is a 100% Greek product and something to be proud of for Greeks and people within the Greek diaspora.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Own Your Love In 2015 - My New Year's Resolution

I was at an event the other night where a speech was made that was so earnest that it welled my eyes and it briefly cut through so much junk that people ordinarily carry with them, especially families and extended families.

In the speech this person genuinely thanked each and every person in his life and went on to say how fortunate he felt by all that he had been given and how generous people had been to him in his life. There were some in the crowd that had been sniggering all evening and whilst on the surface they appeared to be amiable, in actual fact they were continually having a dig with a small comment here or a derisive laugh there. It was the continuity of a theme that had dogged them for most of their lives - a feeling of superiority which was founded in insecurity.

That feeling reminded me of two things. One, how I would like to live my life. Two, a scene from the movie 'Adaptation' and subsequently my New Year's Resolution.

My New Year's Resolution is this - own your love. Whatever it is you love, it is your love and you can give it wherever you like to whomever you like. You can love abundantly and freely and some things may not love you back in the same way, some things may not even asked to be loved. But love regardless, because it's your love, and you can do with it as you please. 






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