My Tie

What exactly is dear ol' Dad hiding in his closet? Crazy Cravats offers a clue.

Many of us have memories of opening a forbidden drawer in a bureau in mom and dad's bedroom. No, not that drawer. Get your mind out of the gutter. The drawer in question is the one where dad kept his spare change, watches, golf tees, anniversary cards, tie tacks, cuff links, and that gauze and ointment that the podiatrist gave him 20 years ago after minor surgery for an ingrown toenail. Dad's drawer smelled of leather, aftershave and a panoply of aromas that combined to smell like... dad.

Father's Day weekend is the perfect time to have a nostalgic rifle through dad's drawer, and his closet, too. Head to Crazy Cravats, a one-night showing of a vast collection of vintage neckties, tie clips, cuff links and other manly sartorial accents.

Chris "Tie Guy" Myers is opening his loft to display the approximately 3,000 vintage neckties, 200 pairs of cuff links and other stuff in his collection. He's also asked 15 local artists to either hand-paint ties as a tribute to the tie-making process of the '40s, or to create tie-related art. The piece de resistance of the show may be a straitjacket designed by fashionista Michael Tomlinson with "Crazy Cravat" necktie-straps.

Myers says he purchased many of his '40s, '50s and '70s cravats at estate sales. His finds include such rarities as the cobra-skin tie, a tie made of pheasant and peacock feathers and another made from a film strip of translucent images of Marilyn Monroe. Yes, he also has a few of those crass ties with naked babes on the front, and even one with a stealthy pinup on the back. "It was something you could wear to work and show all your friends but not get in trouble," he explains.

Myers has plans to expand his Web site offerings to include a clearinghouse for the cheesy neckties that helped define the '70s; "the uglier and the wilder the better," he says.