If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Bow On It!
By Nisha Blackwell, Owner
I started my company, Knotzland, after being let go from a part-time job. After three layoffs in my twenties, I sat there and realized how utterly tired I was of having my destiny in the hands of others; it was the moment I needed to jump out on faith. (may elaborate)
What does this have to do with bowties, you ask? Well, the story ties (pun intended) into where we are today. Once laid off, I began my creative journey by teaching myself how to sew and creating a business that designs and manufactures limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art- Bowties! (may elaborate)
This journey has led me down many paths that include understanding the history of the bowtie, learning material and the construction of fabrics and textiles, and essentially becoming a textile specialist in pairing non-traditional materials together that aren’t traditionally used in bowties and accessories. This pairing has led to our bowties becoming quite beloved over the years by clients worldwide.
Before we go any further into the bowties and pairings, let’s touch on the history of the bowtie and how it has undergone a hypermetamorphosis over the years. The earliest accounts on record show the first iteration of the bowtie originated in the 17th century, where Croatian mercenaries tied a scarf around their necks to hold the openings of their shirts. The French quickly adopted this idea, said, “function but make it fashion,” and popularized it in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time, bowties were called cravats. Cravats had evolved to include anything tieable around the neck, so think bowties, neckties, scarves, and the ascot.
Like the cravat, our selection of neckwear has grown over the years to include four main styles.
- Single layer bowtie ( image)
- Double layer bowtie ( image)
- Batwing bowtie ( image)
- Lavalliere ( image)
Bowties and Collars (image set)
There are four shirt types that represent 99% of the shirt types that are worn today. These bow tie shirt collar types are:
- Bowtie With Wingtip Collar ( image)
- Bowtie With Spread Collar (image)
- Bowtie With Pointed Collar (image)
- Bowtie With Button Down Collar (image)
The Black Dandy (image)
I’d be remiss if I shared a piece without mention of the Black Dandy right after a mention of the appropriate collars to wear bowties. This is because if you are in close proximity to a super dapper person, they’re likely a Dandy (a person of literary and artistic style of the latter part of the 19th century marked by artificiality and excessive refinement), aka a genderless fashion rebel known best for their unapologetic trendsetting abilities. In my opinion, much of this influence can be tied directly to the LGBTQ community.
It’s also worth mentioning that within the past two centuries, Black men and women of all identities have used fashion as a tool of rebellion. When self-styled, the African Diaspora has used fashion to express status, humanity, and individuality. The bowtie itself has often been seen in these times to be associated with a particular class, station in life, education and social status. For generations, the bowtie has served as a muse for creatives of color to expand beyond boundaries and to exert their agency rather than succumb to the limited ideals placed on them by society’s expectation to wear certain things. The Dandy and Knotzland bowties have this in common, our company’s mission has always been to create a safe space and designs that allow folks to express themselves today, tomorrow and even as they continue to evolve into persons they’ll be years from now, we’ll be there to…..
(image of vibrant fabrics)
As engagement season invites us further into a season of love, we invite you to take a peek at our options and collections. Our most popular for the 2022/ 2023 season is the batwing (shown above), but our signature double layer never goes out of style. (two images)
Our process begins with your vision and ends in the execution of that vision using premium fabrics and techniques. You bring us your colors, themes, and crazy ideas – (we’re talking the most unheard-of combos), and our design team will work with you and your partner to refine and develop the best collection for your most special day. We send swatches by mail and communicate virtually with clients who cannot come to our shop, and we try our best to make the process as seamless as possible. (image of swatch card and perhaps a finished collection)