Working out of an East Village apartment, Curie Choi and Beverly Liang meticulously craft their collection of "man enhancing" ties under the label C. Chauchat. The name, borrowed from German novel "The Magic Mountain" and its otherworldly temptress Madame Chauchat, also translates to "hot cat" in French. Much like their ties, the well-considered choice is both playful and has depth.
By layering sheer fabric over opaque prints, the duo create a look that's subtly complex. A gauzy black tones down a vivid jungle print, but even there faint inflections, like a pale paint splotch or muted stripe, show through. Employing a "special insane hand collaging" technique, Choi and Liang even produced a tie that features four layers of fabric—silk chiffon, tulle and two different printed cottons.
When designing, the pair constantly think about what looks good on a man and how the tie fits into his world, but they use feminine fabrics and techniques from dressmaking. This "women's take on masculinity" is inspired by the stylish men in their lives. While they appreciate refined dressing, the ties are meant as an everyday accessory, not a showpiece.
Now in their third season, their latest collection was inspired by a "dandy on vacation," presenting an assortment of rakish styles that channel Op Art, magic eye posters and David Hockney paintings. Also look out for a collaborative collection of scarves, ties and bow ties in Rober Gellar's Fall/Winter 2011 season.
Each made by hand, the C. Chauchat ties and bow ties sell worldwide for $155-180 from Strasburgo in Japan, as well as from Creatures of Comfort, La Garçonne and Assembly in New York.
See more images after the jump.