ONE HEART FILMS

Toronto

Friends Friday: TYTAN Ties, bespoke menswear accessories

Friends FridaysChristian Peterson1 Comment

This week we kick off our Friends Friday series, which is meant to be a source of inspiration for couples getting married, as well as a window into the work of some of the wedding industry’s best professionals: why they do what they do, what drives their work, how couples can best work with them to achieve unique results, and much more. This series will feature photographers with unconventional styles, convention-shattering milliners, bridal shops that cater to the individual not the masses, planners with resolutely contemporary tastes, and much more.

But first, to kick off Friends Fridays, we sit down with Justin from TYTAN ties to talk about custom-made menswear accessories.

OHF: First things first: so how did you get into making accessories for men? Why ties, bow ties and pocket squares specifically?

justin-02 (by Andrew Ho).jpg

Justin: I started off working in the wedding industry as a hairstylist for brides.  During our consultations, many of them would ask me if I knew where they could find a nice tie for their groom-to-be and most of the time I would direct them to one of the big department stores or a few other popular menswear stores like Mexx (R.I.P) because that’s where I would get mine.  Keep in mind, back then, matching solid ties were ‘in’ so it’s not like many were looking for something that particular; maybe stripes at most. The thought of anything else was pretty foreign. And then a few years ago, there was a shift in menswear and accessories: suits and ties were beginning to get slimmer, bow ties were making a comeback, and grooms were starting to get more involved in wedding planning. With so many options available for brides and bridesmaids, I started TYTAN because I could see that guys were starting to go the custom route and wanted something unique for themselves as well. We wanted to break away from this idea that a groom is just an accessory to the bride on the big day.

OHF: What are your thoughts on the relatively recent rise in attention given to menswear and menswear accessories? I mean, it seems to me we've never given as much thought to how men dress, especially grooms on wedding days…

J: To put it simply, guys do care about what they look like. Especially for such a big event in front of all their family and friends, Groom’s want to look and feel good. Wearing the right suit and [bow] tie makes you stand a little taller and walk with a little more swag. I hear it all the time, “I feel like James Bond today!”

What makes a wedding unique are the details, and that goes for choosing the right attire as well. As I said before, grooms want to be more involved (for the most part), and selecting what they wear is one of the few decisions that is fully theirs. They are beginning to see and becoming more aware of their options. With pretty much everyone on social media these days, finding ideas and options is easy, and even though it is overwhelming at times, it can be a great starting point to see what you like and don’t like. Whether you decide to go bespoke or buy off-the-rack, there are many affordable suit and tux options that come with a variety of styles, fabrics and colors to fit every body type. In some cases, grooms are opting out of a full suit altogether. Some current trends I have noticed this past year include wider and different colored lapels, suspenders, colorful and funky socks and of course, bow ties! I also like that Groom’s are wearing a different color suit from the Groomsmen and choosing bolder colors like electric/cobalt blue, as well as exploring dinner jackets with black tux pants. If you’re afraid of stepping outside the box too much, don’t worry, you can always try a navy or midnight blue suit instead of the traditional black. Many of our own clients have expressed their frustration of seeing the same things over and over again at every store, so they like the idea of being able to design a [bow] tie that reflects their taste more specifically. You’d be surprised at some of the fabrics our grooms have chosen! I believe most guys are visual learners, so when you are able to help them visualize the entire look, they are able to make better - and often surprising! - decisions.    

OHF: Tell me about customization, and the idea of men wearing one-of-a kind, tailored pieces on their wedding day.

J: No two clients are exactly the same, so we treat each design the same way. We have what we call The ABC’s of Style. Most grooms we work with fall into a style type:  A-adventurous, B-Bond, or C-classic. We use that as a starting point to select textiles that we feel fit their personal style. For someone who is adventurous, we may choose more vibrant colors and prints, whereas a Bond [James Bond] might want something more plush and luxurious feeling. The great thing about our designs is that they can be made reversible, which means that you can choose a style type that speaks to who you are, but also another one of who you may want to be for the day. It adds adds an element of fun and surprise, giving you the option to switch it up from day to night, GQ gentleman to party animal! Although to some a tie or bow tie is a minor detail to the overall scheme of things, it’s those details that count. When you’re standing front and centre saying your vows, so is your [bow] tie. So make it count!

OHF: So, for any grooms to be out there that are indeed looking for custom pieces, can you explain  the process of creating the pieces? How do you go from a groom reaching out with an idea, all the way to having the pieces delivered in time for the big day?

J: We want to make the process as simple as possible. After an initial consultation where we have established their style type and color palette, we head out to find textiles that fit within their vision. We then put together an inspiration board that we send via email with swatches for them to choose from. They select the ones they like most and we meet up once more for them to see it in person. Once they have decided, it goes into production! Fabric selection is what typically takes the longest, which we allot about 3-4 weeks for, as there are a number of stores we visit; it also gives our groom some time to actually think about what he wants. The production itself can happen as quickly as 2 weeks (depending on the number of [bow] ties being made and if there are any special requests like embroidery). April to September are high season months, so we highly encourage grooms to book at least 3 months in advance to ensure not only timely delivery, but also confidence in their choice. Each [bow] tie is boxed with a personalized card with their name and message just to add that extra special touch.

OHF: And to finish: tie or bow tie?

J: That’s like asking me to choose between rice or pasta! They’re both good for different reasons. BUT, if I had to choose one, I am going to have to go with bow tie. I’ve been a tie guy for pretty much all my life, but there’s something about a bow tie that’s so classic. Plus, you can get away with more crazy prints because it’s on such a smaller scale!  

Editorial photography: Gable Mak
J's profile picture: Janet Kwan

Paola + Oliver / Fairmont Royal York Toronto + Regency Palace Calgary Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

Every now and then, a couple comes along that you know is as excited to work with you as much as you're excited to work with them. Paola and Oliver were, from the start one of those couples.

Laid back and united, they immediately gave me an impression of knowing where they stood on most issues as they organized the details of our collaboration from their home in Calgary. I was to shoot their big day here in Toronto, where Paola's family is from, and then head over to Calgary the following week to shoot the reception they would hold there for Oliver's relatives, and for their friends. I'd never been to Calgary before, so that was exciting.

And so a few weeks ago the adventure began, with me meeting Paola, her sisters and family at their home in Etobicoke, while my second shooter Andrew went over to meet the boys at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto, where their Toronto wedding reception would take place later that day. In a few hours with Paola and her gang, everything fell into place as I got comfortable with everyone and she got ready for the big moment. Everything went smoothly, including collaborating with the incredible Lisa Mark, a photographer with whom I had common friends, but had never worked with. We worked so well as a team, helping each other throughout the day, which is incredible given how hard it is to actually stay out of each others' way on a big wedding day like Paola & Oliver's. But Lisa and her team were incredible wedding photographers to work with [insert approval stamp sound here ;) ].

Then it was off to St. Basil's Church on the University of Toronto campus. I had never been there before, so I was absolutely in awe, being an architecture aficionado, when I saw the incredible ceiling of the church, and the incredibly photographer and cinematographer-friendly light and layout of the space. It would be so easy to shoot there. And it was. And so over a beautiful, flawless ceremony for which they actually walked in together (that was a first for me, and I liked it!), Paola and Oliver officially became Mr. and Mrs. H.

By the time they became official, we already knew their bridal party pretty well, so the photo shoot at Osgoode Hall went by in a breeze and in good spirits. We pitted the boys and girls against each other in a walk-off (the boys won, by the way), and captured many laughs and smiles before splitting from the party and bringing P & O to one of TO's quintessential landmarks: Nathan Phillips Square, just in front of the Toronto City Hall. I guess Lisa and I figured we might show the good people of Calgary what the Toronto weddings scene (ry) is all about too! ;)

Last stop for their Toronto Wedding: the Fairmont Royal York. Wow! I've shot in lots of beautiful spaces in the city (including many at this same hotel), but the moment I walked into the ballroom where their party was to be held, I was amazed: it was so richly decorated, and what gorgeous lighting! I knew the images were going to be special right away. And they were: the bokeh (for you photo geeks) was incredible. And beyond the 'I love the space' stuff, many super unique moments happened, from the expertly choreographed first dance to the beautiful get-together spirit of the crowd as the couple showed a musical video Oliver (and his groomsmen) prepared as a surprise for Paola (you can see her initial reaction in the getting ready section of the highlights film).

The night came to an end, but it was only 'partie remise' as we say in French. We were to resume the festivities the next week in Calgary at the Regency Palace Restaurant. But that's another story...

For now, please allow me to share with you the story of a wonderful woman who moved to Calgary to further her career and went from knowing one person only (her sister) to finding that one person. The story of P & O's first date at Phil & Sebastian's that was cut short because neither of them realized it closed kind of early. The story of how they liked their date anyway. And how they came to love each other.

Paola & Oliver, to me your story isn't about extravagance or big gestures, but about effortless serendipity, things falling into place. As per your card, Oliver, I wish you to cherish this as a record of little precious things, of stolen glances and candid smiles, of imperfections that make life unpredictable of beautiful. A record of how meeting each other, and of how allowing me to look at your wedding from the outside, will ultimately have made lifetime memories. As per your card...

We do not remember days, we remember moments.

This is the edit that was shown at their Calgary Reception (full highlights edit in a few weeks!)

(vendors list at the bottom of the post)

Wedding Professionals List -
Planner: Kate at Devoted To You
Photography: Lisa Mark Photography
Décor: Creations by Gitta
DJ: Impact DJ
Limousine: A Celebrity Limousine
Cake: DT Bistro
Make-Up: Na-na Hong

Venues -
Ceremony: St. Basil's Church
Photoshoot: Osgoode Hall, Nathan Phillips Square
Reception: Fairmont Royal York Toronto