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For quite some time, the necktie has been relegated to an artefact of a bygone era, one of stuffy corporate wear and forced formality that in a post-pandemic world looked largely left behind.

It is with some surprise, then, that the tie has had something of a comeback in recent seasons, its death knell stilled by a new generation of designers who are using the classic accessory to represent something altogether more irreverent – a symbol of the past which in their hands is ripe for reinvention. 

The return of the shirt and tie

Close up of shirt and tie

Jacket, £1,145; top, £285; shirt, £325; tie, £150, all by Margaret Howell

(Image credit: Photography by Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*, fashion by Jason Hughes)

It might be in part down to the influence of Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta, who featured a series of nappa-leather ties as part of a playful riff on corporate wear in his A/W 2023 collection. In its unexpected fabrication – which conjured a satisfying frisson of kink – it continued his desire to elevate the quotidian into extraordinary and seductive expressions of design.

Much of the tie’s appeal lies in its shape-shifting ability and multitude of iterations – whether the playful polka dots of Paul Smith (clashed here with a striped shirt and 1970s-tinged tailoring) or the heritage-inspired checks of Margaret Howell (team with a V-neck sweater for a contemporary exercise in layering).

Close up of shirt tie

Jacket (part of suit), £2,480; jumper, price on request; shirt £620, all by Jil Sander by Lucie and Luke Meier. Tie, £110, by Marwood.

(Image credit: Photography by Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*, fashion by Jason Hughes)

At contemporary British tiemaker Marwood, meanwhile, the 2010-founded brand continues its desire to reinvent the accessory with distinctly modern designs in woven silk and British lace, each made in England. Here, their flecked tie in silk slub is combined with a vivid blue zip-up sweater by Jil Sander to striking graphic effect

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