Color Matching: The Armani Tennant Tie

I was recently lucky enough to discover an eBay auction of a designer tie lot that included the extremely popular Tenth Doctor

$_57

Armani tie (Tie 7 in Steve Ricks’ index). This is my absolute favorite tie that the Tenth Doctor wears, and as I cosplay as Ten, I knew I absolutely had to do whatever it took to obtain the tie. It appeared to be the original brown/blue colorway (a grayscale colorway has also been around on eBay) and I knew that if I didn’t snap this up, someone else who’s been searching eBay would.

The entire lot (44 ties) was selling for $175, and as I’m technically unemployed at the moment I didn’t want to buy them all and chance not being able to sell back the rest (none of which I had any interest in), so I contacted seller and asked if I could purchase just the single tie. The seller was initially reluctant. I told him/her “44 ties for $175 is almost $4 a tie. I’ll offer you $40 plus shipping for the one.” And the seller, clearly not knowing what s/he had, created a private auction and sold me the one tie for $40.

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It was truly a Christmas miracle. The last time one of these ties sold on eBay, it sold for $144.50! Naturally, I was anxious as hell until it finally arrived in the mail, which luckily didn’t take very long. I was scared – would it have cigar burns, or pinholes, or stains? Maybe it WAS the wrong colorway, even though it really does look like the brown/blue version online.

When it finally arrived, I was beside myself. I immediately took the package into the kitchen and opened it and….

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Wait, what? It looked like the second Magnoli Clothiers replica. But it definitely had the Armani label in the back. Maybe it WAS the gray version?

I walked around to various parts of my house with different lightings and tried to decipher what the hell I was looking at. Sometimes it looked blue, sometimes it looked gray, sometimes it looked brown… I just couldn’t figure out what it ACTUALLY was, AND I WAS LOOKING STRAIGHT AT IT WITH MY OWN EYES!! I finally decided that it was NOT the gray version because the squares were DEFINITELY blue, no doubt there. But was it the brown version?

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I was suddenly very glad I didn’t spend $175 on it!

That night I wanted to wear my tie and show it off, regardless of what color option I had bought, so I put on the only suit jacket I own that wasn’t being dry-cleaned – my black one. Suddenly-!

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WHAAAAT??

It suddenly looked VERY brown! Unequivocally, entirely, 100% brown with blue squares! WHAT WAS GOING ON??

Having spent a few weeks with the tie now, I can see that the background is actually a very subtle two-toned weave – the tie is really only two colors – chocolate brown and light blue. The very very base is a weave of the light blue with the brown poking through, and striped through this is a subtle over-weave of just the brown (if I knew more about weaving I could actually give the technical terms, but alas, I don’t). The circles are then a new weave of only the brown thread and the squares are just the blue in a jacquard square. Inside the square is the original two-toned background again. The two tones and the vague almost-ribbing of the background catches the light differently depending on how it’s angled and what color the light is (making it truly a gorgeous tie).

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Suddenly the second-draft Magnoli replica (known as the Giorgio Tie) makes complete sense – they copied their weave from an actual Armani tie, albeit in a different colorway. The story for why the second draft colorway is wrong is a manufacturing error – somewhere on Ricks’ blog I read Indy comment that the manufacturing house improvised through a redesign that the house was incapable of executing (instead of asking what they should do instead), and churned out a group of ties in the wrong colors (hence the discounted price). I can easily believe that the two-toned, almost ribbed background might be difficult to replicate, prompting this situation.

When I get a Pantone book I’ll color match the two colors, but for now what kills me about this situation is how it pertains to my own replica work.

I’ve been growing less and less comfortable with my choice of green on my Baker scarf. I love the shade, but on the real scarf, the shade often changes to a brown based on the lighting and camera settings.

green comparison Here you see the same block on the dupe end of the S16/17 – the left photo screencapped from Destiny of the Daleks, the middle from Chris Brimelow’s 2007 photos of the Shada, and right from a still taken during filming for Stones of Blood. The top block is brown, then purple, red, yellow, gray, GREEN, purple, and tan. Notice the definitely green block on the left, how it’s sort of green/brown in the center, and fully brown on the left.

Without the physical scarf in my hands, I can’t really match yarn colors, but I can’t make my current green yarn turn brown in any lighting or camera setting. It’s so frustrating not to have access to the original scarf or yarn samples (as I have for the S18, more on that at a later date), because I can only guess as to what my green needs – and the trouble is that the brown (which I should be comparing my greens to to get the right shade) is heathered! If I was matching true colors to each other it’d be easier, but like the two-toned background of the Armani tie, I have to guess at what general shade the brown yarn may be because it’s actually a multi-colored mix, and in different settings different yarns catch the light and look different, as the eye mixes the colors together. I’m pretty sure that the brown I’m using is too ginger and too vibrant… but I have no real way to tell just HOW ginger until I get a sample of the original yarn or see the scarf for myself.

So frustrating!

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About Alex

Alex is a writer, actor, tailor, and professional loudmouth. He has no professional or celebrity endorsements, though he did once meet Conan O'Brien while dressed as the Tenth Doctor. He's just a guy who needs a healthy outlet for his internalized rage once in a while.
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