Slave tie fashion…

I have been reborn. A-mayen, Alle-LOO-ya! Nothing like a little fashion, a little focus even, to get 100D100T back on track. Well, yes, it is Tuesday evening, and I’m still writing Monday’s post, but this one won’t be a shortie, like the last two or three. Color me inspired.

Or perhaps this is Paul?

Paul, perhaps?

So, I guess we can start with the weekend. I party-crashed the Haven Middle School fundraiser, and–sacré bleu!–did NOT bid on anything. Oh, the humanity! Sorry, folks, I was having wayyy too much fun to go focus on prices and low bids and minimum raises and blah blah yada. However, there were a couple of Guys With Ties who showed up (crashing also, methinks) and let me take their picture. Only thing is, I can’t remember their names. My friend Julie thinks one of them was named Paul, so we’ll go with that for both of them.

As happens many times with Saturday nights, Sunday rolls around right after. Oh, yes, it’s true, in all parts of the world. There was no real tie activity on that Sunday, but Monday is a much different story.

Let’s start with my Tie du Jour. A few weeks ago, I wore a George Washington-esque painted tie that was given to me by my friend Kat Eiff. She thought it deserved a spot in Ugly Tie Week, but I loved it so. One of her work colleagues, who’d had a clothing store out east, had a bunch of stuff–ties, pocket squares, belts, accessories–that she was liquidating. I picked this purple beauty from Seaward & Steam, along with a new bow tie that I’ll fire up later. In what will be a theme of this particular post, the picture is terribly out of focus.

I have mentioned my new friend Lee Allison several times: I visited the workshop of his tie-making operation, the Lee Allison Company, last month. He and his colleague, Trideep Das, were so generous with their time and knowledge.

Anyway, Lee chairs the Mayor’s Fashion Council, which hosted a kickoff party for Fashion Focus Chicago, a weeklong celebration of the fashion industry in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to Monday night’s kickoff. When I got there, I felt like an 8th grader attending a high school party. Everyone seemed to be talking to someone, and I had no idea who anyone was. Well, luckily they had a magic elixir called beer, which loosens the tongue.

Lee, Eddie, Harold

Oh, and I ran into Lee, who introduced me to a very nice guy named Harold Gauthier, who’s in construction. That industry seems further away than fashion than chambers of commerce, so I started to feel okay. Harold’s GWT picture may be the worst lighting possible, but the one with Lee and Eddie (in the middle), a recent Kellogg MBA graduate, is a little better. Harold is actually wearing a Lee Allison tie that was created for the Olympic bid team. Sheesh, I am so sorry these pictures are so awful.

Photographing the photographer

Here’s where I get really embarrassed about the photography…This is a shot of Marcus, who IS a photographer. In the middle of taking some pix, he was nice enough to pose for a minute.

But, last night I was the opposite of embarrassed, I’d have to say. As I had my 2nd and 3rd beer, my reluctance to ask folks if I could take a picture gave me the courage to tell folks about the blog. Very happy with the responses, and I even met a fellow tie blogger! Ryan Beshel was sporting this bowtie with the coolest vintage jacket–brown, big collars, visible stitching. I’m pretty sure he said it was his dad’s…it had Mike Brady written all over it. Ryan’s blog is The Bowtie Memoirs. Looking forward to reading up on his adventures.

Last but certainly not least, I also met Quenten Schumacher and Daryl Sneed, who were showing the way by putting interesting ties with interesting shirts. Their ensembles just go to show that you can pretty much do what you want–textured ties with plaid shirts or what have you–as long as you have quality fabric, and the chutzpah to pull it off. Daryl is a principal with Studio | 5p1t, a design firm. It turns out that we grew up pretty close to one another; he’s from Millington, which is just north of Memphis. Small world, so the expression goes.

Thanks for reading (and thanks for inviting, Lee)…Brooke

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