Dandy & Dapper
I've been a fan of bow-ties for quite some time, but I'd never seen one with rounded edges until the other day, when I saw a guy wearing one at a work function. Being a professional occasion, I thought it would be inappropriate (and a little strange) to start asking him where he buys his clothes. Could I ask you guys instead?
Mr Dandy: Oh, I know exactly what you're talking about. They really are tough to find, but I've been eyeing the silk bow ties by Lanvin myself (HK$850; Lane Crawford, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2118 3668). A shopping note, though: not every store that sells the brand has this special type of bow-tie, so call ahead. When you think about it, it kind of makes sense that Lanvin would be the brand to supply you with awesome bow-ties. After all, the label is headed by Alber Elbaz a man who knows a thing or two original neckwear. While we're on the topic of unique bow ties, let's send a shout-out to daring label Cor Sine Labe Doli and its crazy cool coloured plastic 'bow-ties' fastened to adjustable neck straps (HK$1,690 and up; Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, tel: 3968 2668). Sure, they make a statement, but it definitely takes a strong and confident personality to pull off any bow-tie, right dudes?
Mr Dapper: Although I disagree with some of your choices, Dandy, I do have to agree that a unique bow-tie is a wonderful way to add personal style to one's wardrobe. Never mind that the rounded shape the reader mentioned does not fit in the usual categorisations of such neckwear (the standard curved bat-wing shape and the straight, thinner thistle styles). After all, it's said that all neckwear can be traced to the scarves worn by Croatian mercenaries in the 17th century. By the 18th and 19th centuries, the French had adopted, adapted and perfected neck accessories in various forms until they became established as essential men's fashion accessories throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Indeed, many accomplished men throughout modern times have been known to favour the bow-tie, including Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Le Corbusier, Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire, not to mention our own chief executive, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. As you might expect, I'd avoid the clownish options, or any potential point of comparison with Pee-Wee Herman. Stay with traditional purveyors of fine menswear, such as the hoary Mouley of Paris. I spotted an array of its solid and patterned silk bow-ties in a similar rounded shape and size to the Lanvin version recommended by Dandy (HK$850; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7777). Otherwise, just have one custom made by a traditional tailor or one of the fantastic locally based designers that have sprouted up across town in recent years. Moustache (31 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2541 1955), for example, offers a range of bespoke services under its JA Daye label, including custom bow-ties, long ties and cummerbunds. Prices vary according to your choice of fabrics, of which there is a selection from Italy, Japan, Britain and elsewhere.