The sight of Prince Harry making his way into London’s High Court on Monday (March 27) morning was surprise enough - the Montecito dwelling, Royal Family outsider was not required to attend the latest claims put to Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, for unlawful news gathering.
But there he was, back on home turf, and joined by a gaggle of A-listers also suing the newspaper, including Elton John and Sadie Frost. As for the second eyebrow raiser? Knotted tight under his white, button down shirt was the accessory du jour, which has swept the catwalks of Milan and Paris alike. The Prince was wearing a skinny necktie.
Is this the death of the chunky, full-windsor knot, beloved by high society gents of old? Or, more likely, a sartorial rebellion to mark Prince Harry as a world away from the men of the Royal Family and the wider, traditional ties they favour.
Skinny ties were a staple at the men’s shows of Paris Fashion Week, here seen at Valentino AW23
Prince Harry’s silk tie, which came in a geometric pattern of sky and navy blue, was mere inches wide and might well have been plucked from Valentino’s most recent collection, where thin, black ties were worn with almost every look. Or from Celine’s, who for the past few seasons have championed the micro tie as a staple. Or Dolce and Gabbana’s, for that matter, whose AW23 offering saw charcoal office ties come narrow, and paired with big, leather bombers or worn under nude corsets. Alas, corset-free, Prince Harry wore his version with a respectable, black overcoat and cheeky a smile thrown towards the huddle of waiting photographers.
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison wearing skinny ties in London, 1963
Since it’s origin in the 1920s Art Deco movement, the skinny tie has enjoyed multiple renaissances - most famously in the mid-20th century, where images of The Beatles boys and Elvis Presley made them a rock’n’roll symbol of revolution. Since then, they have become a darling of subculture: from their re-emergence in the Eighties with New Wave and Punk, to the Noughties, where they joined skinny jeans as hallmarks of Indie Sleaze.
The skinny tie has been adopted by the street style set
2023 marks their chicest incarnation yet, however. They made it to Haute Couture week’s catwalk, again thanks to Valentino, and the street style set relies on them to grab paparazzi lenses. Now, add a royal endorsement to that list - long live the skinny tie!
The best skinny ties to buy now:
Saint Laurent, £170, matchesfashion.com