Have you ever just stared in fascination at a really old picture of a place that you are either really familiar with, or it has some sort of historical significance? Where was the man with the brief case going? Who was that family of five crossing the street? What was the weather like on that particular day? As you keep staring into the picture, the questions just keep coming. There is something about the past that always draws my interest. The irony is, in the fashion world we are constantly studying the past, to get inspiration for future collections. We have archival records of fashion trends going back hundreds of years. Each season, when I’m preparing my next collection, I get overwhelmed looking through all these old books, sorting through hundreds of old fabric clippings, hand painted paisleys and things I have no idea what they were intended for, trying to figure out if it’s even possible for some of these designs to be manipulated and converted into something that will be new and fresh for now. On my last trip to Italy, something different happened. I came across a group of books that were wrapped with metal bindings, weighed at least 20 lbs. each and looked like they survived a war. As I opened the first book and saw the hand paint medallions and half-finished paisleys, I got that same feeling I get when I look into that old picture where my imagination starts to run wild with questions. All of these designs were from the 1930’s in a time that economic chaos and global instability were at all-time highs. To say there was a lot going on at this time would be a huge understatement. As I slowly turned the pages and looked at the different dates, 23/11/39 (the beginning of WWII) 11/11/37 (middle of the Great Depression) etc... These designs took on a whole new meaning. Normally, I would look for ways to modify these types of designs to make them more current. Not this time though. This time, I wanted and almost felt obligated to keep these designs exactly the way they were during this time period. They were perfect as they were and needed to be seen as someone back in the 1930’s would have seen them. So from this inspiration came the group of designs I deemed ORIGINAL VINTAGE. The concept was to simply keep and preserve these old designs as they were. We all love a good story and I think these designs accomplished that. It is a strange feeling to think that there were people back in the 30’s wearing one of these exact designs that you are wearing now.
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Most of us have heard of or seen the legendary leisure suit. If not, just think of Ron Burgundy and a huge glass of Scotch (Holy 70’s!!). BUT, can there be such a thing as the LEISURE TIE? If not, I’d like to officially announce its arrival. Sounds crazy right? Maybe not. The leisure suit emphasized comfort, casual occasions or no occasion at all. Sounds good to me. So basically the leisure tie would be a tie that doesn’t look like you’re heading to the office to play on your spreadsheets all day. Nope, not these ties. The leisure tie on its surface, may have some of the same shape and measurement characteristics of your day to day work tie, but the vibe is completely different. The comfort and casual nature of the leisure tie emphasizes bold textures over bold patterns, unique and interesting yarns over plain silk and dusty muted color palettes over bold and shiny saturated colors. The leisure tie tells everyone that you are wearing a tie because you want to, not because you have to.
So the next time you’re heading out for a good time with friends or family, throw on that leisure tie and be the guy that really stands out (in a good way of course).
There is always going to be a time and place for what I call "SHINY TIES".Those are the ties that tend to be more iridescent, have lots of satin and tend to say dressy. That's great, but as we keep moving forward,our neckwear needs to reflect the direction of clothing. I know this might sound like a contradiction, but our DRESS clothing is becoming more CASUAL. Just look around at a lot of the sportcoats today. They are using less and less construction in both the shoulders and body, the linings are being removed, the fabrics are brushed, washed out, matted, blended and are amazingly soft and technical. You can basically roll your coat into a ball, throw it in your carry-on case, pull it out, and it still looks great.In fact, a few wrinkles might even give it a little extra character.Understanding this, opens our eyes to a whole new way of seeing our accessories. Softer clothing needs softer accessories. Less shine and more texture.Less saturation and more DUSTY tones. These are the things that are going to make that new coat and tie the perfect couple. I'm not saying give up on those shiny ties; I'm saying, don't overlook or quickly pass over those other less shiny options that will only help complete and make your wardrobe a lot more interesting.
One of the many challenges for anyone in the fashion industry is the constant struggle to remain relevant to our customers. Just like every rock band has their day in the lime light, so to do all of us in any industry that deals directly with the public, which is basically all of us. The question is, how long do we have until our proverbial lime light starts to dim? When things seem nice and easy, and everything we do is right on point with our industry and customer base, BE CAREFUL, you are now entering the COMFORT ZONE DILEMMA. This is when we start to Jedi mind trick ourselves into believing that maybe we don't need to work as hard to create greatness and all we need to do is continue on with the same old thing, over and over again and our customers will still love us. This is where the DILEMMA begins. This false sense of comfort, is the exact opposite of what we really need to move forward. In fact, when you think about it, it is the feeling of DISCOMFORT that has led to far more greatness in the world than comfort ever has. For example, I think it's pretty safe to say that air conditioners and heaters were created out of DISCOMFORT, not comfort.
I mention all of this only as a simple reminder (especially to myself), that we are only as good as our last collection, sale etc... Our goal every season, or in life in general, should be to search for and embrace DISCOMFORT and to ALWAYS be wary of THE COMFORT ZONE DILEMMA.
THE NEXT BIG THING??
In all of fashion, we are always looking for the NEXT BIG THING. That "big thing" is usually something that was a big thing a few years back. So why is it a big thing if we have done it already?? Well usually it's reintroduced with a TWIST to make it more relevant to the present day. For Spring/Summer 2015 we are seeing the resurrection of PRINTED NECKWEAR.One of the big differences between these NEW prints and the prints our dad's wore, are the fabrics they are printed on.The heavier weight fabrics that we are printing on today, give the look and feel of our current day woven jacquard tie, minus the color limitations that woven fabrics have always had. The other TWIST, is these modern day prints don't need to be printed on the traditional SILK fabrics that we have grown so accustom to over the last few decades. In fact the ties become MORE interesting when printed on alternative fabrics like cotton, linen, wool and other mixed fabric blends. These new fabrics and their wonderfully rich textures, are redefining what a tie should look and feel like. So let's keep our minds open this SS15 to what could be THE NEXT BIG THING.
We all know that when it comes to accessories, women have all the fun. For us guys, our claim to fame has always been our TIES. Without saying a word, our ties have done a lot of our talking for us. They have helped us express who we are and who we would like to be.
Well, it looks like our SOCKS want in on some of this attention that our ties have been getting for quite some time now. There was a time when our socks were meant to just cover our feet or keep them warm. Not anymore!! The socks of today aren't just doing the walking, they're doing the talking as well. These bright fun colors are redefining the boundaries of what many men's fashion mavens have considered taboo. What's exciting about this new trend is that the boys finally have another cool accessory to show the world who they are.
So forget the old expression of "wearing your heart on your sleeve", and let's start wearing our hearts on our necks' and feet.
Sometimes you want a tie that is the centerpiece of your outfit, and other times you want a tie that brings harmony to your outfit. The Geoff Nicholson AW14 Collection was designed to achieve both. Rich textures and warm colors are the key ingredients to a stylish fall.
It's been along time coming, but it is finally here!! What you ask? GREEN. No, I'm not talking about your local medical marijuana clinic or weaving yourself a hemp basket. I'm talking about the color green!! I know, we've tried this one before, but this time it's coming for AW14 in a big way by using rich textures and alternative fabrics like silk and wool, silk and cotton, melange yarns and much more. Combinations, such as, Green/Navy, Green/Grey, Green/Taupe and even Green/Black, will add another sophisticated layer to your fall wardrobe arsenal.
I think we all need something or somewhere that motivates and inspires us in our line of work. Luckily for me, my family is the SOMETHING and my wonderful trips to Italy is the SOMEWHERE. Inspiration is all around us everyday. We just have to choose to see it.
Not wearing a tie with that jacket?? Shame on you!! At least put a square into that lonely pocket. If you're wearing a nice crisp COTTON or LINEN square, it's probably best if you back away from the POOFY look and try wearing it SQUARED OFF. aahhh much better!!!
It's time to put on that narrow tie. Why you ask?? For versatility. Wear it with your favorite suit or dress it down a bit with some denim or those cotton chinos. Either way, you're going to look good. Silk, wool, cotton or linen, it doesn't matter, it all works with a narrow tie. Make your outfit look like you want to dress up, not like you have to dress up. It's easy to spot the difference.