The Art of Ties
on the journey from luxury to junk
I read this morning how Chanel’s luxury advent calendar is getting ridiculed online for its egregious cheapness: this got me excited for the holidays. The transitory nature of things, the impermanence of value, and how junk is the true nature of all things are all themes that give me great hope, and truly hope is the spirit of the season. Hope and the giving of great mounds of junk to the people we love.
During the two years I visited Value Villages in the Okanagan to get a feel for the kind of clothes people gave away, I began to feel pity for the garments I was rescuing. Most of them appeared to have been created for no practical purpose whatsoever. They’d never been anything useful. Many came new with tags. They’d caused misery to all who made them. They’d brought no joy to whoever had bought them. Except, perhaps, momentarily in the moment of purchase. Or, I suppose the moment of acquisition, since many of the clothes I rescued had undoubtedly been given as gifts. Nobody even wears ties anymore.
Which leaves a lot of surplus. Because one of the great all-time Christmas gifts was, for many decades, the necktie. Nothing says to a man, “I love you, but do not know you” with such tender precision.
My present to each of you this year is a textile sculpture made with rescued luxury ties. It is my Christmas message, also my message to Christmas. Merry Christmas.
F: Ted Baker; Canali; Robert Talbott Best of Class; Hermes; Lanvin; Brooks Brothers; A. Christensen; Bluestone; Brooks Brothers; H&M; Nautica
U: Lanvin; Christian Dior; Brooks Brothers 346; Giorgio Armani; unlabelled; Hugo Boss; Ermenegildo Zegna; Polo by Ralph Lauren; Z Zegna; Paterson’s of London; Zegna; Brooks Brothers 346; The Classic by Park Lane
C: Armani; Brooks Brothers; Yves St. Laurent; Armani; Canali; Givenchy; Corneliani; Boss; Boss; Valente; Garfinkel’s; Zegna
K: Oscar de la Renta; Rhodes & Brousse; Sulka; Lanvin; Karl Lagerfeld; Mocaseta Ltd; Givenchy; Prada; Yves St. Laurent; unlabelled; Lanvin; H&M; unlabelled
!: unlabelled; Bluestone; Tiefenthal; Golden Arrow; Givenchy