A Decorative Bias: Parisian Ties 1919-2019

Past exhibition

'A Decorative Bias: Parisian Ties 1919-2019' explores the importance of the tie for generations of New Zealand men. Through the story of Parisian Ties, the exhibition documents 100 years of tie making here in New Zealand.

When Callil Abdallah established Parisian Neckwear in central Auckland in 1919, he joined a groundswell of small manufacturers making goods in New Zealand rather than importing them from overseas. It wasn't until 1926 that Parisian ties were marketed as being 'made in New Zealand' - at this time locally-made goods were often seen as being of inferior quality. But Callil's understanding of the New Zealand man's preference for 'quiet tones' meant that his ties appealed to the local market.

In the last 100 years, ties have been made in quiet tones and bright colours. They have widened and narrowed, and have been attached to a plastic loop. The tie is a small item of clothing that has no practical purpose. But its decorative appeal has given generations of New Zealand men a way to give expression to their individuality and to communicate their identity through clothing. 'A Decorative Bias' showcases not only 100 years of Parisian ties, but also a century of New Zealand men's fashion.

Curated by Doris de Pont and Kelly Dix.

Supported by Heart of the City, The Lion Foundation, Waitematā Local Board, Pub Charity Ltd, K Road Business AssociationElizabeth Michael UniformsArea DesignParisian Neckwear.

Watch a video of how a Parisian tie is made.

Garments in the exhibition

When & where

4 - 22 December 2019

Fifth Avenue Menswear, 216 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

4 - 26 November 2019

Sparrows, 176 East Street, Ashburton

5 - 28 October 2019

235 Karangahape Road, Auckland Central

10 August - 15 September 2019

Thomson's Suits, 355 Heretaunga Street West, Hastings

12 July - 8 August 2019

Alexanders on Tennyson, 36 Tennyson Street, Napier

13 June - 7 July 2019

Mandatory Menswear, 21 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

24 May - 6 June 2019

Kingsway Menswear, New Plymouth

23 April - 10 May 2019

Suits on Broadway, Auckland

14 March - 14 April 2019

RJB Design, Auckland