Monday, May 10, 2010

Madras Monday: The Ties That Bind

Or should I say.... the ties that don't bind, but fit comfortably and look amazing! Somehow neckties keep popping up on my radar screen, so I wanted to tell you about some of them today.  After all, Mother's Day is just behind us and Father's Day is just ahead!  This is a great time to shop for Dad!!

1. The National Society of the Colonial Dames in Georgia have developed a tie for their members' husbands and sons. It is so good looking, in the traditional Dames blue and gold....and they gave one to Robert Redford not too long ago, to honor his visit to their historic headquarters, where he was filming his new movie.  I guess he is an honorary Dames husband now!  My husband is getting one of these for Father's Day......But he never reads this blog, so the secret is safe!
Photo from the NSCDA-GA website

2.  In the world of retail, Richmond is getting quite a national reputation for the ties from Peter-Blair.
Dick Fowlkes
 Photo from

“We’re not just selling a product . We’re offering a lifestyle.”  

Those words are an everyday credo for Dick Fowlkes, Ed Cleavenger and the staff at Peter-Blair.

Peter-Blair ties are by an amazing local designer, and are sold not only at Peter-Blair in Richmond, but in other stores around the country. Visit their website or the Peter-Blair Accessories Facebook group to learn more!  (I will be writing an article about the Peter-Blair store in the weeks to check back for more...)

3. Finally, a dear reader (and friend) told me about the most amazing company called Lumina Clothing in North Carolina....founded and run by college students!  These guys are literally on the cutting edge of fashion for the young....the preppy young, especially!

Lumina Clothing has an awesome website and a Facebook group, too.

Loved this brief blurb about the history of the skinny tie!

"The skinny tie dates back to the 1960’s when it was the original prep tie. By the 1980’s the style was absorbed by the rock variety, which could be attributed to its resurgence as of late. At Lumina, we look back to the original origins most, and try to blend this classic style with more modern lines for timeless neckwear."

Rat Pack in Las Vegas, all in skinny ties. 1960s

Also from their website
"Lumina Clothing Company was started by Barton Strawn, Jordan Pung, and Justin Carey. Originally a joke, we found ourselves struggling to find ties in stores that we liked, and for a long time would kid each other about making the ties we were trying to find. And then one day we did just that. The more each tie was worn, the more it was evident that many people were looking for the same things we were. Everyone loved our ties.
As the idea for the company developed, the lifestyle of ourselves and all of those people like us was taken into consideration. We wanted to mesh the colors and patterns often considered Southern with some of the styles often associated with Ivy League style. What has resulted are great designs and products that we hope everyone will like as much as we have enjoyed creating them.

The name Lumina came from an old dance pavilion once located on Wrightsville Beach, NC. Opening in 1905, at the time it was the premier social venue in the South, hosting many of thee biggest names in entertainment. On top of the building was a massive sign, lit with the newest incandescent technology. It was illuminating. You could see it from miles around! We thought this was perfect inspiration for a company that we hope will bring enlightened fashion to a new generation of men."


  1. I'm from Richmond, and I love, love, love the ties from Peter-Blair!

  2. I may need to talk with you about NSCDG...

  3. Sure, Bevy....Just email me at

  4. My younger son loves ties (his favorites are two RLP Madras ties I found at the outlet for $10) but we've started collecting more for older son since he's off to Ole Miss in the fall. Right now all he has is whatever he got for various Homecoming dances to match his dates' dresses. And DOTR wears repp stripes and only repp stripes. Fashion boys they are not!

  5. Thank you for letting me know about some new spots. I also love Southern Proper for their ties, and more importantly bow ties. SP was also started by college students. Not sure of the quality but also Vineyard Vines for fun, summertime ties. And if I am correct Social Primer had developed his own line of bow ties.