Letter from Melbourne - Five Eyes on Blue Ties

In his latest dispatch, Bertie of Melbourne has been watching the unfolding of a controversy involving the Australian Prime Minister and his tie collection.

Normally we would take the view that politicians should be ignored lest they think we are actually interested in what they have to say, which would only encourage them to show off by proposing new laws and engaging in other types of attention-seeking behaviour. But they are figureheads we have to admit, so how they choose to dress says something about how they wish to represent their country. Remember the sniggering over Obama's beige-coloured suit? America has never really recovered, and perhaps never will.

Long we have argued that our Prime Minister should be clad in full Savile Row to best represent the interests of the British people: evidence.

Letter from Melbourne

My dear Tweed

Have you ever noticed how statesmen and politicians dress these days? It seems they are desperately keen to ‘fly under the radar’ - a rather delightful reference evoking the glamour of the fighter pilot and his glorious silk cravats. Regrettably, when it comes to our politicians and their neckwear choices it seems to be all about showing their political colours: solid blues or reds & never a cravat.

In Australia, the ties of our conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott, have come in for significant scrutiny and the PM has given cartoonists extensive material by wearing only blue ties. I thought I’d throw in my five cents (or 2 pence in the old money) and share with you (and any political advisers who read your blog) some blue ties with a twist.

Ties to Canberra

When shopping for blue ties, where better to start than Canberra - home to our politicians and secret services. I recently discovered Henry Carter selling ties out of our capital city and the first thing that caught my eye was the attention to detail and the multijurisdictional production process.

The silk ties are made in two stages in two different countries.

First: the British Job

Henry Carter ties use fabrics printed in Macclesfield, Cheshire, famous for over three hundred years for producing silk cloth. The fabric is printed by Adamley in their mill that has been on that site for the past fifty years using water sourced from its own reservoir.

Second: the Italian Job

The ties are then handmade (& rolled) in Naples in a small family-owned factory that has been crafting ties for over 40 years.

The result is a selection of ties covering both classic and contemporary.

My first suggestion for a conservative neck is a Dark Blue floral silk tie (top).

My second suggestion is a Mid Blue Floral silk tie, something lighter but would work equally well around a conservative neck:

And my final suggestion, for the bold and adventurous is a wool challis tie in Blue and Burgundy:

All of the ties are untipped, making them lightweight and free to flap according to the prevailing breeze – perfect for the modern politician.

Bertie Davies

PS Wouldn't it be lovely to see our politicians change their spots to spots or show their paisley teardrops? I too would appreciate any Five Eyes readers intel on the neckwear of statesmen. It’s a topic that doesn’t get enough attention. Our democracy requires us to hold them to account – if we’re not careful, we might end up with tieless politicians for whom every day is Casual Friday (dread words!)


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