Archive for October, 2010

Slave tie fashion…

October 19, 2010

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

The tie chromosome

October 18, 2010

This blog (yep, still hate that word) is still a part of  me, and now that I’m catching up on last week’s, um, tardiness, I’ll have to see it remains in my fabric. So deep…

I ended last week with a casual Friday that found me perfectly matching a new (to me) tie with a shirt that I’ve had for a while. The Tie du Jour is from Polo by Ralph Lauren for Mark Shale, and the stripes really caught my eye at Classy Closet a few weeks ago. The blue field with a large pink stripe, flanked by yellow/white/green smaller stripes, could have presented a tough assignment matching it with a shirt. Well, the easy way out would have been to plop it onto a plain white or blue shirt. But, remember that fabric. That DNA. That’s just not my way. I had an old Borrelli (you can just FEEEEELL the quality) button-collar shirt with nearly all of the tie’s colors represented.

I first read about Borrelli in this GQ article. Mind you, I didn’t spend $450 on this shirt, but it’s a good one nonetheless.

Okay, I’m caught up. Have a great week. I know I will–there’s a special event this evening that will be covered here, I promise, by tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading…Brooke

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Tie

October 18, 2010

Here at 100D100T Inter-galactic HQ, we are in full crisis mode. I’m behind on two posts with a full week staring me in the face. I’ve been looking for a spark, in terms of ties, and I think I may have found it, thanks to some good people who provided me with an avenue to a few new (to me) ties. Stories make the ties, usually, so this will get better.

My Tie du Thursday is a vintage, narrow number from Rhodia, made from the finest 100% Acetate in the land (well, the land of France, at least). It’s red and gray, and the fabric has some great texture, which I hope shows up in the picture. I like the north star depicted just above the tie clip.

My friend, GWT alum and fellow Memphian, Asher Wolmark, commented that he dug the tie but didn’t agree with my shirt selection. He said the collar was too big for the tiny knot (tiny despite the half-windsor, that is) and I tend to agree. Live and learn, even after 143 ties.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Oh, to be a tie on the wall…

October 15, 2010

I have stretched my lateness to new levels. For the first time ever, I have 3 ties to write about. Yikes. Let’s bust them out, shall we?

My Tie du Wednesday (or mercredi, for the franco-american spaghetti-o fans out there) is a pink number from Beau Brummel. Or is it coral? Fuchsia? Thulian? For that last one, I need to thank the magic of Wikipedia and their shade of pink table, via Google. The blue and white stripes give it some texture, and make the tie pop off of the shirt.

Wednesday was a day of networking for the Chamber. We had our SOHO lunchtime event for small and home-based offices, with a presentation and q&a session with Johanna Nyden of the City of Evanston’s Economic Development Department. In the evening, it was time for some Lawyers, Guns & Money, over at Union Pizzeria.

Gawsh, this has to be my worst entry…

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Drive-tie shooting

October 14, 2010

It’s picture day. Or, that should probably be capitalized: Picture Day. There, that’s better. As in, I’d better have Julia looking presentable. Today is forever. Every grade must be captured, lest there be a hole ripped in the fabric of a potential photo montage at a future wedding, graduation or as-yet-unHallmarked celebration.

Oh, sure, I exaggerate, but that’s just to make sure I am on my game today. The outfit, the hair, the smile coaching. Oh, yes, smile coaching is important. Julia’s a big fan of Calvin & Hobbes….it’s all there. Game day, Dad. Game face. A-Rooo!

Okay, pep talk done, let’s talk Tie du Yesterday. I’m not even that late. Well (10 hours later), now I am.

This TdY is from a designer named G.J. Cahn, who sounds more like the lead character in a TV cop drama. That probably comes from T.J. Hooker, which convinced Captain Kirk that he could/should still be on America’s collective conscience.

Anyway, enough Shatner…no, actually, it’s not enough, you need to go watch this clip of Billy Shat “singing” ‘Rocket Man’. Praise be to God that someone invented the video camera, which now allows mere humans to view such artistic debauchery, detritus and dee-saster. At least he was thinner then.


Despite TdY’s plain-ish pattern, I do like the aqua blue, which went well with this green/blue shirt. What I really dig is the label. This makes me think ol’ G.J. isn’t a TV cop after all, but a smoove G-Master-J who drives a Bugatti around, top-down, scarf (or tie, in my dream) fleeting in the wind.

I would like to give a hearty thank you to Dr. Vince Roberts, a chiropractor with Reavy Rehab, and one of my inaugural Guys With Ties. He has given me a couple of ties, and he has won one by commenting on a Freebie Friday. Dr. Vince pledged 25 cents for every PWT (Philanthropists With Ties) taken during the week that I wore Tie No. 100. Well, even though I reported that I’d taken 70 pictures, Dr. Vince did NOT pay me what he said he’d pay. He OVER-paid me. By quite a lot. Thanks, man, for the generous donation to the Evanston Community Foundation.

I also want to remind our early Xmas shoppers that you can get some great ties from our bestest, tie-retailerest buddy, Lee Allison. Just enter 100TIES in the promotion code box at checkout, and you’ll get 25% off of your complete order. Thanks, Lee, Thanks, Trideep.

And, thanks, (collective) you readers…Brooke

Pulling the wool over your ties…

October 12, 2010

No, no, I’m not trying to trick you in some fashion. It’s not often that I have two expressions that are based on the theme of the TdJ: wool. So, yes, “Tied in the Wool” will be coming soon to a blog (has that word been upgraded yet?) near you.

My Tie du Jour is from the Woolcrofters line from the folks at Wembley tie makers, a good old British company. It’s a good think this is not a shirt, or [Scottish voice] a KILT!, because I believe it would be the Itchy-Scratchy Show. It is better looking than it would feel, granted, with its purple and gray tones. I can’t remember if this was a candidate for Purple Tie Week, as I’m not exactly sure when I bought it. I need to start taking notes or something, but I guess my habits may not be changing if they haven’t with Tie No. 140.

Paul Giddings' hands make a guest appearance in this photo

I have a Long-Distance Guy With Tie here. The picture makes GWT regular Paul Hletko look miiiiiiiles away, but he’s actually a mere 15 yards away or so. Last night, I went to the Lorraine Morton Civic Center to watch Paul navigate the seas that make up the city council committee process. As you will hear much about, he is starting a distillery called Few Spirits (click on link, become a fan!) smack dab in the middle of Evanston, the birthplace of the Prohibition movement. Or, well, probably one of the birthplaces. Anyway, he was eloquent, he was driven, he was wearing a tie, and most importantly, his first steps were approved unanimously. Hip, hip! Hooray!

I read through some old posts and I learned that, during the inaugural Tie Week, Red Tie Week, I started a piece called “Cultural Reference Corner” or something to that effect. I’d like to try to reboot that, and I’ll base it on the purpleness (purplitude? purpliscosity?) of the TdJ. In honor of Brett “Text Photo” Favre’s game-cinching Pick-6 last night, I will mention the Purple People Eaters, the nickname for the Minnesota Vikings’ ferocious defensive line from the 60s & 70s. The name came from the Sheb Woolley song, of course: “One-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater.” Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page (who went on to sit on the Minnesota Supreme Court I think) and Gary Larsen (who went on to change his last name to ‘Larson’ and draw ‘The Far Side’) enamored their fans while still breaking their hearts, falling 4 times in the Super Bowl.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Can’t spell ‘Alex Chilton’ without T-I-E…

October 11, 2010

Via the magic of Facebook, I learned something new. No, no, not that a bunch of Harvard kids got really rich–that was in the movie, The Social Network, that just came out. No, one of my oldest friends, David Wells, informed me (as well as his own social network) that, 43 years ago, this song hit #1 on the pop charts. It’s “The Letter”, by the Box Tops, fronted by the late, super-great Alex Chilton (who is a new Rocker With Tie, as you can see), one of the finest singers to come out of the Memphis area. Also in that group? Well, there’s Elvis and Aretha (no last names needed), and even Justin Timberlake gets some River City love. As for me, I only sing on long car trips…when my passenger has reached the end of his/her sanity, I belt out a few notes to put them over the edge.

My Tie du Jour, and Friday Freebie, should anyone really want it, is another from Christian Dior. I had a colorful bug in the brain juice on Friday, and I thought I’d try to get something going with this particular Gene Meyer shirt. I think I pulled it off, but am not sure. I should, perhaps, have muted it with my tan linen jacket, but it was over 80, so Nahhh.

Saturday night I took Julia and two other kids to the Northwestern-Purdue football contest. Mildly frustrating that the kids wanted to leave at halftime, but not as frustrating as NU’s play was throughout the affair. Muffed punts, missed field goals…blech. I did enjoy the fact that it was played in the evening, which has been done about once every other year. More, NU, more! The tailgate (thanks, Hilton Garden Inn!) is thoroughly more enjoyable (as is the beer) when its enjoyability is enjoyed at 5pm as opposed to 10:15am.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Keep your tie on the ball…

October 7, 2010

Ah, the basic tenet of baseball, completely unfollowed by the Reds last night as they could not get a single hit against Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay. In a playoff game. I know, I know, this is a (stretch of a) fashion blog, not a baseball blog. But, I delved into the world (cup) of soccer in early summer, and that seemed to go okay. Kudos to Mr. Halladay, for waiting 12 years to pitch in the playoffs and really making the most of it. The Reds are now under quite a lot of pressure to get a hit against the Game 2 hurler, Roy Oswalt. Wonder if Pete Rose is betting on them…

This is not Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno

Well, let’s see if my Tie du Jour is a hit. It’s from Bruno Piatelli, and it’s a pretty understated gray strip, with blue squares within a squared pattern. Sorry, not my greatest description ever, but you work with what you got. I put it with this blue striped shirt and wore them all under my Yves Saint Laurent suit, so at least I was sporting some texture. Wow, my description is not getting any better, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Blue on blue

I did manage to snap a couple of Guys With Ties yesterday. We’ll start off with David Alexander, who works for Rotary International. He and I play soccer together from time to time in that Sunday pickup game. You know, THAT Sunday pickup game…

When I arrived at the office I was greeted by the happy, smiling face of Mike Drennan, who was (besides happy and smiling) joining up his family’s medical device business–DM Systems–with the Chamber. Mike is a fellow Lincoln School dad, as well.

So, today I will be in my first all-day session with my Leadership Evanston program, run through the Evanston Community Foundation. I polled thousands of people (oh, okay, it was just one–but it was someone whose opinion I trust completely) about whether I should wear a tie, and the answer came back a resoundingly quick NO. So, the Friday Freebie will be the next strip sported.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie rockets in flight…

October 6, 2010

Ah, Afternoon Delight, perhaps one of the cheesiest songs of the last century, despite the fact that it’s describing quite a pleasant experience. I must admit that the chorus lyrics were the only ones I knew, before the magic of Google sent me to the promised land. Oh, Starlight Vocal Band, how in the hell are you only a one-hit wonder?

Some nuggets:

Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite/And the thought of rubbin’ you is getting so exciting

Rubbin’?! Rubbin’ is pretty heavy stuff for the 70s. Where the hell was Tipper Gore then? Rubbin’ on Al is HER Inconvenient Truth, I guess. They probably rubbed out a few kids because of this song.

I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn’t bite/But you’ve got some bait a waitin’ and I think I might try nibbling a little afternoon delight.

Now, actually reading the meter on this line makes me realize why SVB was a one-hit wonder (took too many pulls off the one-hitter, for one)… The whole fishing analogy is just unsexy, day or night. I need to erase this from my brain, lest I have this cheese running through my head all day. I do apologize if that happens to you.

Ooh! Aaahhh!

I reference the term ‘sky rockets’ because I thought my Tie du Jour resembled fireworks. It’s one of my few remaining lively ties, so I had to make it work well with its shirt. The TdJ is from Geoffrey Beene, and I like how it’s a bit on the thin side. Not quite Draperian, but definitely just a one-lane road. I bought this at Unique, which is probably the provider of most of the (more than) 100.

I wanted to mention that Lee Allison was kind enough to extend the special 25% off promotion at their website. Their amazing ties are well worth a look, and you may be able to knock out some Christmas presents early.

Guys With GREAT Ties...

My roving photographer (aka Mom) got a shot of some Guys With Ties. I present some Florida GWT…Brian Haugen (seated) and Steve Cann. Brian is Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, and he and Steve are with Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors, an affiliate of Raymond James & Associates.

So, thanks, Mom, for snapping some pix. And thanks, to you, for reading…Brooke

Bigger fish to tie…

October 4, 2010

You may have noticed (or you may not have) that I didn’t post on Friday. I did have a tie on, for about 45 minutes, until I realized that I needed to head over to the house to deal with a plumber visit while Diane was in Asia. I figured that if there would be any plumbing detritus flying through the air, that I didn’t want that to be the story. So, I preserved that particular shirt/tie combination and changed into more plumbing-appropriate garb. By the time I was done dealing with my main man Pat Kelly (GWT alum) from John J. Cahill Inc., I decided to stretch it into a mental health day.

Alors, my ensemble hung out over the weekend and made its public debut, three days after being put together, this morning instead. My Tie du the other Jour is from Giorgio Armani. I found it at Salvation Army, a couple of years ago…this is definitely not cut from the same cloth as my Tie No. 100, also from the house of Armani. Besides the fact that the stitching in the back had started to come loose (my fault, not Giorgio’s), the tie seemed pretty thin and flimsy (sorry, Giorgio). And just as I praised No. 100 for being a dream to knot, this one was just sad to tie up. Don’t get me wrong, the fabric is beautiful, rather like the skin of a speckled trout, but without the scaly feel. And without the smell, too, which is something you want in a tie. I hope the picture does it justice.

We head into another month, and I feel that I should be critiquing something. Rahm Emanuel’s bid for mayor? Not until he stops tying his ties too long…Rahmie, boy, they’re not supposed to tickle the chief of your own staff, buddy. I haven’t seen any movies lately, not since The American; I still want my 2 hours back. Hmm, maybe I’ll find something soon. Until then, have a great week.

Thanks for reading…Brooke