A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Passaggio Cravatte Ties - In A Class By Themselves

Gianni Cerutti, the co-owner of Passaggio Cravatte, was kind enough to send me a few ties to review for An Uptown Dandy. I used the standard ordering procedure, which is to say that Gianni began by sending me dozens of fabric images to choose from. Once I'd selected the fabrics, Gianni let me know which tie configurations  (three fold, six fold, seven fold, etc.) were available based on the amount of fabric remaining for my selections.

With that in mind, I selected two vintage fabrics - and as it turned out, the photos really didn't do them justice. The first was a vintage grenadine (Gianni referred to it as "garza") in navy with a red and gold square pattern. Gianni used that fabric to make a tie in the "authentic" 1900s seven fold style, with the tie untipped with hand-rolled edges. The second was a beautiful vintage red silk that we decided would be best in a "standard" three fold.

I then provided preferred length and width measurements for each tie - the blue grenadine seven fold would be 9.5 cm wide while the red three fold would be 9 cm. Gianni took about two weeks to make the ties to the specifications that we discussed. Two days after notifying me that the ties were ready, they arrived at my door.

To put it simply, these ties are true works of art. I'm not entirely sure what is the most impressive feature of Gianni's work. The ties are made entirely by hand - the hand-rolled edges are beautiful - which is certainly impressive. Personally, however, I was really very impressed with the vintage silks that were used. The navy blue grenadine and red silk print were both luxurious to the touch and, as it turned out, both made a fine knot.

Both ties were unlined - my initial concern was that this might affect the knot in a negative way. But I liked the lightweight feel of the tie in general and the knot in particular. There is an airiness to the structure that is hard to describe. But I wore the blue grenadine on an 80 degree day here in New York City, with a linen suit, so the lightness of the unlined seven fold grenadine seemed to complement the linen perfectly.

All in all, I would have to say that Passaggio Cravatte's bespoke ties compare very favorably to the lined seven folds that I have purchased previously from Borrelli, Kiton, and Brioni. The level of handwork is unparalleled, while the stock of vintage fabrics available to choose from is equally impressive. Those two factors, coupled with the length, width, fabric, and configuration options available via the company's bespoke operation, moves Passaggio Cravatte into the upper echelon of Italian tie-makers.

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