The Tie Is High: Naked Ties 2009

Three years ago Moschino, with a trademark overdose of humour, launched an unexpected look: the tie tan line (above). Of course for the everyday man, who lacks a team of two dozen make-up artists, such an estranged bodily acquisition would require hours of sunbathing with nothing but a tie on. Well (gladly?) for summer 2009 it seems we will have the opportunity to do so…

Last night in a rather arty bar, somebody told me that a major designer is launching beach ties, to wear on a bare chest with swimming trunks. Sadly by this morning I had forgotten the designer’s name (perhaps you can help me out?). Still, here is a mini feature on the background to this look:

Jennifer Aniston famously wore nothing but a red, white and blue tie in GQ’s January issue, which predictably flew off shelves since it was her raunchiest ever shoot to date. It is this photo which dominates Google images when one types ‘nude tie’ / ‘naked tie’ / ‘nothing but a tie’ etc.
Yet the origins of the nude tie, in fact, lie in more serious pornography, which I do not want to fully illustrate here but I am sure Google will happily assist. It’s a classic Playboy look, apparently quite high up there with girl cops and French maids (?!).

However, fine artists have employed the nude tie look for decades. David Hockey is arguably the forefather of depicting men in semi-composed formal wear. John Glembin, Adam Bouska and Mori Yusuke are three more artists who have adopted the look in their work, and are featured below. (Adam Bouska, who is famous for his reels of male nudes, is set to be one of the biggest fashion photograpers of the next few years).

Hugo Boss and French Connection are amongst several designers to have used nude tie men in their advertising.
Interestingly, Yale University is famous for hosting secret naked parties in secluded private libraries, where often the men accessorise with just a black tie. I imagine Yale are not alone in their indulgence, and the nude tie look has featured at numerous debauch parties and drunken post-wedding pool sides across the globe, dating (and debating) back to Laurence Olivier probably.
In literature William Golding springs to mind, for his two tribes of distressed mau-mau choir boys run around his allegorical island in Lord of the Flies, savagely naked in body paint and Rambo-style modified ties.
So, with this much cultural heritage, who could feel like a fool sporting the look this summer now? Well, me for a start. (Unless you’re supplying the champagne Mr Conran).
Photos Below:
1) Jeniffer Anniston shows us that she's still fine.
2) Don't burn a fag hole in that Hugo Boss tie!
3) Mori Yusuke uses floral prints to bring out the look.
4) No more clean laundry? The perfect oppurtunity to try a nude tie.
5) John Glembin Photography
6) Adam Bouska Photography
7) Guerilla-Geek or Cold War Chic: Why not contrast a rigid bureacratic tie with a 70s commando feel and leave your underwear at home?


  1. The guy in the third photo from the bottom has a serious case of moron-frat-boy-face.

  2. Certainly not one of Adam Bouska's best shoots. It was his photos of Ryan Barry for Armani that helped him to make it big time.

  3. i love a good tie. My best friend wears them with everything and she always looks awesome. I would've like to see a bowtie tan line at the Moschino show. That'd been awesome :0

    xoxo Mo