At this time of year, I always watch The Talented Mr. Ripley. Effortlessly stylish despite its rather grim tale, the film has always made me think of Italy at the end of summer, when a golden hue sets over Venice and San Remo, bathing the country in one last glorious glow before the autumn fits in. The current issue of Harry magazine by Harry Rosen evokes this glamourous, timeless era, and we were fortunate to have seen it on display at their recent L’arte dell’eleganza italiana event at Pacific Centre in Vancouver, sponsored by the Italian Cultural Centre to show off their newly renovated location including the much-anticipated Tom Ford boutique. For this blog post, we chose to tie a vintage Boticelli-esque shell print Zegna tie (originally required at Harry Rosen years ago) in a Van Wijk knot.
Originally credited to artist Lisa Van Wijk, this is a variation of the Prince Albert knot with one twist: literally, one extra twist is all you need to achieve this look. Tied with the big end, leave a lot of room for the Van Wijk knot. Start by crossing and loop the larger end over the narrow end once. Bring the wide end around the base of the knot and keep one finger to hold it in place. All you need to do is loop the wide end twice more around that finger. You’ll have made three spirals with the large wide end. Pull the look together by pulling the wide end over the centre and through all three loops and straightening the tie. To finish the knot, pull gently on all three loops and separate them slightly so that they overlap. The finished look is a three-tiered overlapping effect that once lengthens the knot while also creating a structure that recalls an armadillo. It’s sophisticated enough to wear out to a business lunch, yet so chic you can wear this to an early evening picnic in the countryside.
The Van Wijk knot is great for plain solid ties. The fewer distractions there are, the better it is to show off the intricate layering in its design. And yet the tie is truly simple to pull together. If you are not comfortable with the standard Windsor (such as in my first post here), but desire something structured yet at once easy to tie, the Van Wijk knot is a home run for you. If nothing else, all you need to remember is to loop once to create the base, then loop it around your finger three times and loop the wide end through.
We thank Harry Rosen and in particular menswear consultant Leona Lam for inviting us to the launch of their new boutique, and look forward to visiting the new Tom Ford capsule shop more often this fall.
Ritchie Po & Knotwerk City Social signing off until the next event!
(Photography by Helen Siwak & Ritchie Po of THECloset YVR)