It would seem easy to assume that the bow tie derives its name from it’s “bow like” look, but you would be wrong. The bow tie actually derives its name from the French version of the cravat, or jabot (pronounced “ja-bow”). It’s pretty hard to imagine the jabot as badass, as it was a frilly lace thing of substantial size. That said George Washington did wear one and I suppose he could be considered a “badass”. US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Notorious RBG, not only wears a jabot but is said to have a large collection of them from all over the world. It’s safe to say she is a badass.
We love Japanese fabrics that are chock full of imagery and meaning. The "Fans & Flowers" necktie and batwing bow tie by Olaf Olsson are no exception. The fabric we used for this neckwear includes folding fans, four different flowers, and a wave motif, all of which have deep meaning and long histories in Japan.
I felt so lucky when I found the cache of vintage 1970’s fabric that I used to develop my “Lost in the 70’s” necktie collection. It also reminded me of how outrageous the 1970’s were on so many levels. Fashion, cars, advertising, lifestyle and so much more. It also made feel a little bad for the kids of today. While I’m sure making it through childhood alive and in one piece has it’s benefits, something seems lost with the sterile, overly cautious lives that kids lead now. I’m sure they don’t know what they’re missing.
Hanakotoba is the ancient Japanese art of assigning meaning to flowers. In many cultures flowers can be seen as having some deeper meaning than just their pleasant smell and appearance. During the Victorian Era, in the western world, Floriography assigned specific coded meanings to different flowers. Even today florists still pair certain emotions and meanings to specific flowers. Red roses symbolize love and passion, while the mimosa, represents chastity.
Walter Gropius was one of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century and one of the founders of the Bauhaus movement in Germany. He was head of the Bauhaus school from 1919 until its closure in 1933 by the Nazis. He was also an avid wearer of batwing bow ties. Six of his batwing bow ties are housed at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Frances Loeb Library.