At least that is Jonathan Meizler’s New Year’s resolution. The couture and ready-to-wear designer’s line title of work has been making waves, and it’s plain to see why. His spring collection includes some of the most innovative ties and dapper mens accessories we’ve seen in quite some time. The handsome line was featured in December at the “Anatomy of a Tie” exhibit at hpgrp Gallery in NYC. His use of simple yet unusual materials takes a timeless menswear staple to a new level of smart, and we can’t get enough. We caught up with Jonathan to talk about the importance of wearing a tie, what mediums he wants to work with next and why ‘title of work’ stands out above the rest.
Men have been wearing ties for centuries. What about this simple yet striking accessory can make or break an outfit?
The tie is the one accessory in which a man is able to push the envelope. Used as a reflection of one’s personality, it can define you as clean and minimal or overly garish. I’ve always been drawn toward an austere line, so an oversized print or unintentional retro pattern will totally throw off a look for me.
You use materials like leather and feathers to create pieces in your collection. What made you want to explore these adornments? Were you seeing too much of the same thing in the market?
When building a collection, I find it important to be as specific as possible, especially in defining a point of view in an over-saturated market. I saw an untapped niche in neckwear and felt it was the ideal foundation to build from. That said, I created ‘title of work’ as a collection with a specific identity and keenly curated point of view. I felt the necktie was a perfect canvas to showcase concepts and designs not typically associated with its status as a symbol of refinement.
It’s a reality animals play a huge role in the fashion and beauty industries. Your taxidermy collection includes adornments like snake bones and raccoon teeth. Have you always been interested in this type of primordial aesthetic?
Over the years, I have become intrigued with the concept of mortality and beauty in decomposition. I was able to explore these elements that play with our sense of existence. Bones, teeth and claws have been used as jewelry, decorations and money since the beginning of time.
Aesthetically, a rattlesnake vertebrae bone is so beautiful, from the construction to the color and texture to how they all fit together. As an ornament, I found it to be so unexpected. Then placed with a on onyx stone, it became something else all together.
If you could experiment with one material you’ve never worked with before, what would it be? How would you utilize it for ‘title of work’?
The beauty of what I create is I am able to work with materials not usually associated with clothing at all. I am drawn toward steel, glass and reclaimed wood, so we will see if these elements manifest themselves into future collections. Architecture is a constant inspiration on both personal and work-related levels from the Egyptian pyramids to Italy’s basilicas and Gehry’s post-modernist structures. I am drawn toward symmetry in the asymmetrical. I feel the most successful pieces of my collection incorporate this aesthetic.
Many title of work collections, past and present, were on display at your “Anatomy of a Tie” exhibition. Do you have a favorite thus far?
I have a few favorites from each series – especially those that define each collection – from the simple diamond line on cashmere to the pierced barbell that works its way through the tie. The concept of bridging form and function has always inspired me, and the sterling grommet is a good example. One of the signature pieces within each collection is a hand cast, sterling silver grommet attached by a jeweler. A toggle connects the tail of the tie and goes through the grommet opening, so it works as a tie clip.
When it comes to dapper dressing, what is the one tip you can offer every man to look his best?
Wear a tie and a pocket square, making sure the patterns and colors coordinate without matching.
Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? If so, what is yours?
Yes. Wear more ties.
To learn more about title of work and to shop, visit titleofwork.com.
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