Knotwerk by Ritchie Po: Perry Ellis with Caldwell Swagg

ritchie po, caldwell swagg, perry ellis, menswear, helen siwak, pidgin, yvrI’ve been asked lately if Knotwerk will be doing bow ties soon. Admittedly I have little to no experience with bow ties, as I’ve been dedicated to cravats my whole life.

Vancouver is, next to Portland, Brooklyn and San Francisco, hipster central. Wearing a bow tie is part of the norm for millennium and the younger Generation Y professionals in our tech-savvy Pacific Northwest city. One day I will take the challenge of making a bow tie, but in the meantime I found way to tie a knot gives the appearance of a bow tie, without actually making one. How do you make this fantastic trompe l’oeil? It’s simple if you know a couple of basic formal knots, and gives you a dapper look even if you don’t have a bow tie lying around. This week I give you Patrick Novotny’s Caldwell Swagg Knot, and how to tie it.

If you haven’t already, have a look at the full Windsor and Onassis knot articles I did this summer. If you know one, you know how to tie the other. It’s best if you tie the cravat the way you do an Onassis. A thick or wide tie works perfectly well with this one. You will need to button your shirt all the way up. When you tie up the Onassis, you’re most of the way there. The twist in the Caldwell Swagg Knot is a literal one. Flip the wide end over your shoulder, twist the little end hiding underneath so that the seam side shows up. Unbutton one of your shirt buttons while you do so, the one just below the top button will do. Once you’ve done that, feed the little end over top of the entire knot. You will take the little end and feed it over the top or your shirt and feed it through, so that it sits over the top. Pull the little end through the opening in your shirt and you do, you can button the shirt back up. Pull the collar down and you have the appearance of the bow tie without actually getting one. It’s a fun trick if you’re tired of the usual knots and want a tie with a bit of swagger.

ritchie po, caldwell swagg, perry ellis, menswear, helen siwak, pidgin, yvr

Shirt: Mexx; Pants: Gaultier; Boots: Kenneth Cole; Belt: Calvin Klein; Coat: Boycott

Since I don’t know how to tie a bow tie, the cravat works very well. And speaking of swag, this will serve me well throughout the fall events coming up, including the Simon‘s launch at Park Royal, Prabal Gurung at Nordstrom and Proenza Schouler at The Room. Many of these events may include swag, so why not have a tie that goes with it?

We’d like to thank our neighbours, the award-winning Pidgin restaurant, for inspiring our photo shoot. It’s fast become our favourite haunt to have an after-work drink or as a pit stop en route to and from the many other happening events in Gastown.

ritchie po, caldwell swagg, perry ellis, menswear, helen siwak, pidgin, yvr

Tie carefully, yours in knotwerk,

Ritchie Po
IG: ritchie.po

(All photographs by Helen Siwak of THEClosetYVR)


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