A Decorative Bias: Parisian Ties 1919-2019

Coming soon

'A Decorative Bias: Parisian Ties 1919-2019' explores the importance of the tie for generations of New Zealand men. Through the story of Parisian Ties, the exhibition documents 100 years of tie making here in New Zealand.


When Callil Abdallah established Parisian Neckwear in central Auckland in 1919, he joined a groundswell of small manufacturers making goods in New Zealand rather than importing them from overseas. It wasn't until 1926 that Parisian ties were marketed as being 'made in New Zealand' - at this time locally-made goods were often seen as being of inferior quality. But Callil's understanding of the New Zealand man's preference for 'quiet tones' meant that his ties appealed to the local market.

In the last 100 years, ties have been made in quiet tones and bright colours. They have widened and narrowed, and have been attached to a plastic loop. The tie is a small item of clothing that has no practical purpose. But its decorative appeal has given generations of New Zealand men a way to give expression to their individuality and to communicate their identity through clothing. 'A Decorative Bias' showcases not only 100 years of Parisian ties, but also a century of New Zealand men's fashion.

Curated by Doris de Pont and Kelly Dix.

Supported by Heart of the City, The Lion Foundation, Waitematā Local Board, Elizabeth Michael UniformsArea DesignParisian Neckwear.

Watch a video of how a Parisian tie is made. This video has no sound.

Garments in the exhibition

When & where

TBC