Charles Olive Bow-Ties: Designed in Excel, Handmade in Britain.

The British are known for their eccentricity but Charles Olive’s bow-tie collection may be taking this to a new level. Combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary style, so much so that some of their pieces are even designed using Excel spreadsheets, Charles Olive has not always been creating fashion accessories.

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A little over a year ago Olive was spending most of his time either at the sewing machine making bow-ties or out wandering the streets of London looking for interesting fabrics. It turns out that once you’ve visited one fabric shop you’ve pretty much visited them all. He decided to create his own fabric by digitally printing small runs of material.

“I’ve always believed that true creativity is realised only within boundaries or constraints and I think that this is what is so pleasing about Excel as a design tool” says Olive, “I was pretty obsessed with Anni Albers and all I really wanted was an Anni Albers bow tie. Having looked at a lot of her textiles I thought that perhaps I could recreate some of them using Excel.”

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The Mayhew bow-ties (top) are a geometric print bow tie designed in Excel and digitally printed onto Italian heavyweight silk twill. Named after one of the founders of British satirical magazine Punch, Henry Mayhew was also a playwright and a social researcher.

All Charles Olive bow ties are handmade in Kent. They are also self-tie which means that yes, you do have to know / learn how to tie a bow tie. £75, available from Darkroom London


Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.


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