The transition between summer and winter is a highly anticipated one, and there's nothing like heading into the colder months fully stocked with the latest autumn accessories. For the General Knot & Co., this time of the year means lots of wool and rich cotton. Their collection of neckties, bow ties and pocket squares is crafted in New England from warm, sought-after fabric finds from around the world. Choosing fabrics is founder Andrew Payne's favorite part of the job. He launched General Knot & Co. in 2010 with the help of his wife Ann, and hopes his buyers love the product as much as he loves making it.
Because the fabrics are truly vintage, each tie is one of only a few made in its style. Payne says that for the fall, "We've been lucky to come across some great patchwork wools, some very cool stripes from the 1930s and some great oversized geometrics and florals from the US, France and England."
General Knot & Co. has a network of collectors who source fabrics from just about everywhere, and with a collection of inspiring fabrics in hand, they'll pick just one piece to become the collection's central color palette. For this year's fall collection, Payne explains, "Ann and I have really been feeling the vegetable dye colors lately, and when we ran across the vegetable dye paisley print in this fall group, we decided to work off of that for our main palette. I guess you could say that color designates the main theme—however we are very big into mixing different proportions in the prints, so there is everything from tiny pin-dots to large, overblown florals."
The latest batch honed in on the paisley tie's warm, rich color scheme. Many of the ties play with a secondary color or pattern as well, which brings a totally new pairing element to an otherwise monochromatic look. With mixing and matching in mind, Payne says, "Everyone is talking about the hybridization of fashion, which we're seeing all over the place: Mixing dressy with athletic, denim jackets with suiting, etc. Our pieces always have a bit of humor to them, so I think as long as you have the right attitude you can wear our ties with anything."
Payne shares his fall accessorizing advice, which encourages men to be a little daring. "Don't be afraid to mix pattern in a look—just make sure there is a carry-over color. Also, make sure that the patterns are of different proportion. If they are too similar in size they will fight with each other."
Images by Graham Hiemstra, working board image courtesy of Andrew Payne