In Praise of Brand-Name Ties
Not so long ago, before the auteur theory hit fashion and the designer craze was born, certain brands were known for excellence in one area, like shirts and ties. I was a nut for Gant and Wren shirts as a young preppy. In the old days there were also brands known mainly for their ties, like Countess Mara and Vera. In fact Ralph Lauren started out as a tie brand. As a young dude I liked Rooster ties. Rooster was sort of the art tie brand. They came in distinctive, often clever patterns, they had a nice slim shape that went well with the Ivy League cut, and you could tell them by their squared-off end. They are about as close as ties ever got to art, except maybe Fornasetti, and they are exactly what designers are trying to emulate today. You can still find 'em in Salvation Army stores and thrift shops. Here's one I picked up recently. It's a kind of luminous silk (usually Roosters are cotton), and it's wider than the usual Rooster, so it must date from the seventies, but it's just right for today.