I’m François Hollande’s Tipsy Tie
I’m François Hollande’s tie and I’ve been badly-knotted 166 out of the last 288 times I’ve been shown in public, says the running tally on François-TaCravate, a Bordeaux-based web site that tracks presidential wardrobe malfunctions in fashion-conscious France.
It doesn’t stop with the presidential tie. The sartorially-challenged ‘Mr Normal’ is also under fire for his shirt cuffs, as can be seen on François Je suis ta manche, a second president-watch website designed and run by an amused Bordeaux computer science student, Bastien Uranga.
Why are presidential fashion gaffes a hit? Well according to Yann Guégan writing on the Rue89 website, France is a country renowned for its (vastly profitable) fashion elegance. So surely the head of state should set an example on all occasions?
François Hollande, he reports, has a problem with his ties: they keep shuffling off to his right-hand side. “OK, so this is not of quite the same priority as say the euro crisis, worsening unemployment or the health of the Elysee lawns, but it’s messy when you’re President of France. After all this is a country that is a world leader in fashion with a luxury goods industry worth more than 30 billion euros a year and employing 150,000 people, ” he notes.
Worse still, according to l’Express fashion journalist Géraldine Dormoy-Tungate, the sleeves on presidential suits are “too wide, the pants too long and his tie knots too thin”.
However Yann Guégan wonders whether the tie trouble might in truth be a subtle form of political dog whistling by the president? In that case, he writes, would a kindly tie cryptographer please get in touch to help explain what is meant by the wandering right-centre-left-or-just-out-of-place and poorly-knotted proclivities of the presidential tie?
It was the frequent reports about Hollande’s misplaced and mis-used tie that caught the eye of Bastien Uranga, a Bordeaux computer student and author of a web site about the status of the presidential tie that is now provoking a buzz in France.
“More than once”, he says, pointing to the official photographs-of-record he copies from the presidential website, “his tie appears to be seated sideways, and usually on the righthand side.”
Nearly 150,000 visitors have hit his website since it launched on François Hollande’s birthday this August, so now he has opted to populate it with some tie adverts (what else?) which he says are selling rather well.
He explains the idea to a TV interviewer in the clip below:
As le Parisien notes: “The tie tics are a detail which for some tend to humanise the President, who when he came to office was lampooned for his perceived ‘lack of class’ and a certain awkwardness”.
Here’s Patrick Cohen reporting on France Inter:
Meanwhile and as the Festive Season fast approaches, a Catalan website is offering a special handmade gift set of its famous Christmas Crib figurines the “Caganer” (an impolite version of the French Santons)
For just 32 euros visitors can buy two famous French presidential figures (guess which) hand-crafted in the traditional positions of the Caganer here.
The website explains the Spanish tradition dates from the 19th-century when it was believed that to include the little figurines in the manger scene brought luck and happiness to the family for the year ahead.
Watch the video clip below to see how they are made:
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