IF TIES COULD TALK: THE REPP TIES.
You most probably know repp ties (with diagonal stripes) as they became quite fashionnable in the 1920s.
You must know that it is originally a british type of ties, an attribute shawing you belong to a specific military regiment, a univertisty or a club (rugby, rowing, cricket…) hence its name in french: cravate Club. Each composition of stripes being unique, as for tartans with Scottish Clans, it is therefore “easy” to distinguish from a distance who went to Oxford’s Christchurch and who is working for the Parisian Public Transports (another type of club?)…
And now for a detail with importance…!
Do remember that repp ties the stripes of which start on the left shoulder towards the right hip are British (and European, per extension) whereas from right shoulder to left hip, they are usually American.
The most accepted theory behind that relates to a marketing trick played by BROOKS BROS. As the oldest clothing company established in New York in 1818, BROOKS BROTHERS decided to invert the stripes direction from the british ties to sell their own ‘made in USA’ patented ties…
Of course yoi know Brooks! Abraham Lincoln was getting his costumes from them. As a matter of fact, his last morning coat was tailor-made for him by Brooks. It was stained by his blood on the 14th of april 1865, the day he was murdered in Washington .
It can be clever to use the repp ties to give some details about your post-1920’s characters, say during a business meeting between Americans and Europeans.
Katherine Jane Bryant, Mad Men Costume Designer most probably thought about that when dressing Jared Harris (here with a brown-grey-black repp tie). His character, Head accountant Lane Pryce, came straight from London to work for Sterling Cooper and Partners on Madison Avenue. His accent was not the only element to show he was an Englishman in New York.
A STORY IN THE STORY: BLOOMINGDALE’S
As we are currently in New York, let me bring you to Bloomingdale’s.
For the Big Apple, it is like Paris Bon Marché or Le Printemps. Bloomie’s (for nowadays shopoholics or people who collect seventies lingerie) was founded in 1860, started to sell luxury fashion articles imported from Europe such as crinolines. It quickly found a way to sell American goods inspired by European standards.
First in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the store moved in 1886 to 59th street/Lexington avenue. The building, large as an entire block, was reshaped by architects Starrett & Van Vleck in 1931 in an impressive Art Deco temple which you cannot miss when you are down the avenue.
The moto of Bloomingdale’s “Like no other store in the world“,could inspire series such as Mr Selfridge . It is a unique place with plenty of anecdotes like Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1976, the discovery of Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein’s first large selling point and marketing campaign.
Should you want to know more about Bloomingdale’s, just follow this link.