I’d like to think that I’ve been dapper since birth, and that’s why I never truly got into Halloween. I never truly dressed up for it (except for a few isolated incidents in my early 20s), and when asked for costume ideas when I was a kid, I always wanted to wear a suit or something Prince would wear, and got laughed off the playground. So it was never truly an occasion for me, except for the odd horror movie and the Peanuts special. But for me, Halloween was forever ruined in 1993, when River Phoenix died outside the Viper Room on Halloween night in Los Angeles. The night has been somber for me ever since. To mark the occasion, we’ve decided to do the Viper knot in a luxurious vintage Lanvin Paris cravat.
The Viper knot is tied the same way as the Cape knot, but repeated. You will need a lot of fabric for this, and the thinner the tie is, the easier it is to pull off the look. Tie the basic Cape knot, then wrap the little end around the knot, but leaving the bottom of the knot exposed. You will then wrap the little end around both sides of the tie, essentially repeating the Cape knot but layering it. The result is a Viper knot, named because the two triangles in the Cape, when covered over, resembles a viper snake’s exposed fangs. This is a tie with plenty of bite, and a lot of attitude, so we recommend you wear it if you want an edgier look or if you’re going to a particularly aggressive meeting (with say, your nemesis or to a family reunion where you hate everyone).
If you’re not partaking in the Halloween madness, watch a stylish horror film instead. As a fan of period costume dramas, my three favourites in this category will always be Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview with the Vampire or Pan’s Labyrinth, chased with any episode of American Horror Story. But if you’re of a certain age like me and want to remember River Phoenix, another viewing of My Own Private Idaho will always be a welcome addition.
Wherever you go this Halloween, stay safe and drink responsibly.
(All photographs by Helen Siwak of THEClosetYVR)