Traditional Patterns with a Modern Twist: The New Incarnations in Men’s Fashion
Many of the patterns that are currently used in different fashion wardrobes and accessories have existed for quite a long time already. Through the years, new breeds of designers give new life and versions to the old patterns; and the results can be amazing.
Some of the traditional patterns that have been given a new twist in neckties these days are the paisley and the plaid.
A deeper look into paisley
The paisley necktie pattern has gone a long way in the fashion industry.
The patterns used for these ties were inspired by the design is referred to as mankolam in India. This is why some people associate the paisley pattern with Hinduism.
In Iran, the style has existed since the Sassanid Dynasty, when it was called boteh jegheh. The pattern is said to resemble a twisted teardrop or a mango. For some design scholars, they attribute this pattern to the union of a cypress tree and a stylized floral spray. In Zoroastrian beliefs, such convergence stands for life and eternity.
In the United States, the paisley design caught the public’s attention during the Summer of Love, when The Beatles went on a pilgrimage to India and returned sporting the paisley design not only in their clothes but also in their vehicles and other accessories.
Since then, the paisley has gone up and down in people’s preferences. And because of its Flower Power association and its hippie history, some people have strong feelings against the paisley design.
But with the help of known designers all over the world, the paisley tie has nonetheless made its mark in men’s fashion.
Robert Talbott, a neckwear designer from California, is one such known designer who has hugely helped in reviving the paisley trend. Talbott is known for creating hand-sewn silk ties with very modern paisley patterns. He combines large, ornate paisley designs with fine, detailed ones, and uses bold color combinations such as red and green on black; pink, purple, and teal; or orange, yellow, blue, and green.
Other known designers who have contributed in bringing back the paisley tie include Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, Gucci and Gianfranco Ferre. Through the work of these fashion geniuses, along with other brilliant designers, beautiful paisley ties are available in a wide-range of patterns and designs suitable for corporate wear.
Mad about plaid
The plaid pattern, of course, came from the Scottish tartan, who used the term plaid to refer to the tartan cloth that they sling over their shoulder.
The tartan was originally used by the Scottish people to show off which region they belonged to. Then, in the nineteenth century, the tartan became used instead to symbolize one’s Scottish clan, and clan chiefs were asked to name and register their clan’s tartans.
Thus, the tartan, or plaid, became associated with authority and gentility.
Today, however, plaid ties have grown more associated with fun and fashionability, because, first, they carry that air of un-seriousness that sometimes even exceeds that of the paisley. (If you’re looking for serious, go for solids or stripes, not paisley, and definitely not plaid.)
Second, it takes a certain amount of fashion know-how to carry the plaid tie right. The modern plaid tie comes in all colors of the rainbow, and it can be difficult to find the correct shirt to wear with it.
(Tip for fashion newbies: it’s hard to go wrong with a solid-colored pastel shirt that complements the dominant color of your plaid tie.)
You may be asking, if plaid ties are so difficult, why bother with them at all?
It defies logic, true. But plaid neckties have an irresistible charm. When the right one hits you—like Tommy Hilfiger’s beautiful golden yellow and dark blue with thin red stripes, perhaps?—it can be hard to say no to that invitation to shed the morose face and have a little fun, even for just a day, with the modern plaid.