Saturday, November 2, 2013
Review part one: MISTER. duvall
A friend of a friend is affiliated with a newish bow-tie company called "MISTER. duvall." (Don't worry; their typography is sufficiently well-chosen to carry such a brand name. I doubt the Virginia Corporation Commission would be able to register it properly, though.) They bill themselves as specializing in weddings and other special events. They sent me a few samples to have a look at, and to the surprise of no one, I have many opinions, which I will try to string out into several posts.
The fabric is 100% silk and comes in a huge variety of weaves--twill, corduroy, and more standard options. The silk is substantial and has a lot of internal structure compared to what you'd find at a department store (I have a question in to them about their interfacing and will update you); knotted, they make for a reasonable-sized bow but can get plenty big if you futz with the tying process. They have both pre-tied and adjustable self-tied options; you know which to choose. List price is $120, which is not outlandish for a small business. JAB sells their noticeably lower-quality, lower-weight, smaller, and un-piped product for $60 list (still very wearable, nothing shabby).
As you can see, this is definitely a special-event bow tie. Contrast piping is a "sartorial power move" as the #menswear people call it. A magenta bow tie is not out of the question in court (for oral argument, at least), but the black piping will make it look equally startling next to a gray or navy suit, which would otherwise be its natural and fetching home. It might work with a black suit, but then, you'd be wearing a black suit. Compare the navy and orange/rust/brown? tie with matched piping; this could be worn in front of a jury of one's peers or drinking buddies with equal aplomb.
The fox tie on the far right merits its own study.