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The Neckite - a very short and sweet history

The necktie is said to have originated in the 17th century, during the 30 year war in France. King Louis XIII hired Croatian mercenaries, charmed by the pieces of cloth around their neck as part of their uniform, it was made a part of the uniform used by French at Royal gatherings when the war was over. Very similar to a neck scarf tied with a necktie knot. In honor of the Croatians, King Louis XIII named the accessory La Cravate, or Cravat.

Plot twist, about a thousand of years ago in China, Emperor Qin Shih Huang, the first ever Emperor of China, was buried along side a vast collection of terra cotta soldiers, discovered in 1974. They all were represented wearing what looked very much like a neck scarf. This could definitely compete for number one.

The early cravats of the 17th century where more comparable to the silk scarves of today, resulting in wrapping with a layered look and knot at the front, very popular throughout Europe for over 200 years. The bows were big at times, knots where merely a loose fold... During the industrial revolution, white collar workers tied their neck wear as a “four-in-hand” completely cementing a new trend which will pave the way for the modern necktie as we know it. 

Around the 1880's the Ascot Tie was popularized by King Edward VII. He frequently wore it at horse races and as formal attire. A Dapper dandy is born in tweed. When unfolded and lain flat, the shape of the ascot is a very thoughtful and distinct object much like our current necktie.

In the 1920s a tailor in New York, Jesse Langsdorf, who specialized in necktie, set the 45 degree angle that would be the necktie we know and love today.

When thinking on the creative process and evolution, I would imagine that the bow of the cravat became the bot tie and the fold over evolved into what we now know as a necktie.

The idea that each tailor/designer, evolved this small bit of fabric into a beautifully crafted, totally unnecessary, begrudged symbol of masculine power, only for it to fall into the hands of this queer, cis female artist to reclaim and redefine for all humans.

And the Necktie Maven was born...


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