Jacki Lyden

The SEAMS: A Kickstarter Project Bow Tie Aficionados Should Support

Fashion matters, and it also matters to NPR’s Jacki Lyden and a team of public radio fashionistas. As a bow tie aficionado it matters to me, too.

Lyden and her team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign titled The SEAMS. It is a radio project meant to produce high quality radio pieces for NPR’s acclaimed newsmagazines Morning Edition (one of the most listened to radio programs in the United States) and Weekend Edition.

Support The SEAMS by donating on its Kickstarter page. I have.

NPR is known for high quality and in depth reporting on serious matters — ranging from international affairs, domestic politics, and science. So, it may make one wonder why fashion deserves the public radio treatment. According to the Kickstarter page:

Clothing equates to culture and identity. The SEAMS travels the world of clothing as anthropology, symbol, and agent of change as well as exploration. With this journalistic approach, the stories we’ve already done on NPR for The SEAMS have been hits: 50 years of the Ebony Fashion Fair, the indigenous weavers of Mexico and designer Carla Fernandez, and the 600-plus women who contributed to Women In Clothes who talk about what they wear and why they wear it. Clothing and textiles are woven into the DNA of human history.

What we wear, how we make it, how we display and advertise it, and the meaning we attach to various outfits and articles of clothing matter. That’s what Lyden and company want to explore and discuss.

So, what about mens neckwear? There are many very interesting aspects to bow ties that are tied to more than just a desire to look dapper. For instance, let’s consider the cravat, which is the precursor to the bow tie. The Croatian Parliament unanimously declared October 18 as Cravat Day in 2008. One of the main reasons for this is that the idea of men wearing ornamental cloth around their necks is tied to Croatian mercenaries during the 17th century Prussian Wars. However, later upper class Frenchmen helped revive this fashion trend, and with the help of the English, mens neckwear spread around the world. However, Croatia’s role in fashion history was not always recognized, and that’s why the country has asserted itself by creating a honorary day for a part of its national heritage. Can’t you hear the public radio story about this in your head? In fact, Lyden likes the idea of fashion holidays.

The Kickstarter campaign is running until December 6, 2014. The fundraising goal is $49,500, and there are great gifts at many different donation levels.

Update

The SEAMS successfully reached its Kickstarter goal!