Saturday 12 November 2022

Guest Review: Fry’s Ties By Stephen Fry

Every single one of Stephen Fry's ties - whether floral, fluorescent, football themed; striped or spotty, outrageous or simply debonair - tells an intimate tale about a moment in Stephen's life.

Inspired by Stephen's hugely popular Instagram posts, this book will feature beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations and photographs to celebrate his expansive collection of man's greatest clothing companion: The Tie, in all its sophisticated glory.

Review: I had always looked on the comedian and television presenter Stephen Fry as a posh person who always seems to “talk down” to people. Therefore, it was with a sense of trepidation that I started to read this book, which was a gift, about ties. I needn’t have worried. Although it does confirm the author’s posh credentials, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a book about neckwear was an interesting read with snippets about the history of this fashion accessory and sprinkled throughout with witty comments.

I understand that the book, published in 2021, is a compilation based on a series of Instagram posts during the Covid lockdown in which Stephen Fry posted a picture of a tie from his vast collection alongside notes detailing its provenance. There is an introduction describing the dress code for men during his early years. I am a few years older than the author, so I too remember a time when my father wore shirts with a detachable, starched collar, and when boys and men almost always wore ties (just look at pictures of the crowd at Wembley for the 1966 World Cup Final in which most of the spectators are wearing a tie). The main part of the book comprises colour images of ties from the author’s collection with accompanying text describing the tie, the history of its designer and manufacturer and when and from where the tie was acquired. There are also illustrations demonstrating the different ways of knotting a tie.

Having accrued a reasonable tie collection during my working life and having seen changes in fashion over the years, I found this to be an entertaining and witty book about this particular clothing item. It was quite nostalgic to read about some of the retailers that no longer have a presence on British high streets. It is an easy read since one can sit down for a long session, or just dip into a few selections at a time. If you enjoy an amusing introduction to such a niche topic, then I would recommend this book.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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