If you know Playboy — the racy, gentleman’s mag that your father read, too — you know Playboy bunnies. And so, you must be familiar with their costumes: corset — usually black, satin ears, cotton tails, fishnet stockings, high heels, and to complete the look, a bow tie.
Perhaps, that was the inspiration. Two weeks ago, for an event at a members-only nightclub in south Delhi, Pushkar Thakur, 26, artist and graphic designer, wore a bow tie for the first time. And being acquainted with the artist-and-graphic designer gives one the liberty to ask, “Why are you wearing a bow tie?”, and for the artist-and-graphic designer to counter, “But why not?”
Thakur says, “I enjoyed (wearing) it” — two people even asked where he bought it from. “I love neck ties and unfortunately don’t get to wear either often enough”. After all, when are occasions ever that formal?
Are bow ties back in fashion, then? In the UK, yes, courtesy Dr Who — a long-running BBC television series — in which 27-year-old Matt Smith portrays the eleventh avatar of the good doctor. Thanks to a young following taken in with the Doctor’s retro-academic look, in April increased by 94 per cent.
In India, the sales figures are not as high. Everyone is definitely not buying bow ties because of Dr Who. The demand is there, say manufacturers, but a TV show doesn’t fuel it.
The entertainment industry, for one, has seen a rise in demand of bow ties. This after reigning lords of the sixties and seventies Hindi films, Shammi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan wore them in their movies — Teesri Manzil and Amar, Akbar, Anthony to name two.
In Mumbai, people want bow ties not just for formal/shaadi occasions. Swarup Sarkar, the sales and marketing head of Blue Shine — manufacturers and exporters of neckties and cufflinks says, “In Bollywood, TV, and fashion, the demand, especially last two years has gone up”.
Corporates apparently have taken to ordering neckties for events straight from manufactures, but malls are only beginning to house shops that sell neckties. Two in Delhi: Tie Rack and Ice Gola.
As for fashion quotient, and to ensure you aren’t going the keffiyeh way by sporting a scarf now out of vogue, know that for regular neck ties: slim is in (unless you’re in a boardroom).
With bow ties, too, only the lazy wear ready-made. If you’re going to be stylish, learn the hard way. Stand in front of a mirror and knot it yourself.
Take it from us: women notice these things.