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Monday, October 11, 2010

Neckties: bent swords in urban jungle

While watching a documentary on wars and civilizations, my friend joked that the suits are modern version of armors, and the neckties are reminders of swords. I was impressed and intrigued.  So I did some research. It has a military origin. In 1630s Croatian mercenaries were enlist to support Louis XIII of France and Cardinal Richelieu against the Duc de Guise and the Queen Mother, Marie de Medici.  Of course Parisians loved it. And in glimpse,  the Croatian word "Hr̀vāt" became "cravat" deriving from the French "cravate," a corrupt French pronunciation of "Croat". It became a trendy must in Europe, and then English  adopted the style in 1660 when Charles II returned to England from exile. The cravats stayed in style but the trend was preserved by “maccaronis”. Funny word but pejorative to fashionable male from “the Italian word maccherone – a boorish fool in Italian – and said that anything that was fashionable or à la mode was 'very macaroni” Cravats, neckties became known as ties only after the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The weird part is that I visited Waterloo as a child. And I was so impressed by the officer uniforms. Maybe that is why I love military jackets so much, they have that perfect combination of style and distinction…In conclusion my friend was right. And I love his analogy of ties as bent swords kept around the neck to stylishly portray the warrior within in this urban jungle.
Same Moonlight for our Dreams.

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