May 23, 2012

Now Playing: The Return of the Bow Tie

Guy Pearce Inspects Nick Cave's Necktie, Who Ignored the Black Tie Dress Code

We’ve been not-so-silently (or patiently) anticipating the bow tie’s triumphant return since it first faded beneath the long tie’s spotlight. Many people told us that we’d have some time to wait, arguing that there was much more potential in the long tie than even the most cleverly stylish gentleman could find tucked away in the dapper folds of his bow tie, and for a while they seemed right. Though fashion tends to exist in short bursts of trendiness, the long tie proved itself to have impressive longevity and we were relegated to the bow tie’s sidelines.

Which is why we were pleased to discover this gem of a tidbit about an unexpected twist at the Cannes Film Festival.

Actors are an eclectic bunch and we have a bit of a love/hate relationship with their often tradition-eschewing approach to men’s formal fashion. While we have to admit that they’ve done some fine things with a necktie, we’re of the opinion that there’ll never be another formal garment as evocative of class, culture, status, and confidence as the bow tie, and we’d love to see more celebrities embrace its tradition.

And by doing their darndest to coerce attendees into tossing their ties for a standard black bow tie, the Cannes organizers tightened the definitions of “tuxedo” and “evening dress”, pulling us back to that simpler time when a gentleman’s tux was defined not through accessorizing but by exemplifying quality.

It also sends a strong message to celebrity trendsetters as a sort of counterpoint to the idea that off-the-wall accessorizing is immediately justifiable as an artistic expression. Anyone can steal the show in an explosion of color, or by replacing an expected garment with one that carries an element of surprise, but it takes something so much more special to stand out in a sea of standards — and isn’t that the thrill of the tuxedo?

Most importantly though, it shows us that the minds behind these huge affairs are in our corner, sharing our perspectives on the present and future of men’s formalwear. So in between high-fiving each other and anticipating adding the next generation of bow ties to our already cultured and creative selection, we’ll be keeping an eye out for other organizations that are taking a stand against loose style standards.

Won’t you join us?

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