Whether it's a leather hoodie or chainmail pants, wearing unusual materials makes an indelible fashion statement -- and'll give strangers the uncontrollable urge to fondle your gear. Bringing the tactile to the tie: Alexander Olch, making his Bergdorf's debut tomorrow.A former film student, Olch started out designing for Harvard classmates headed for more lucrative careers than, say, film. Handmade in New York, his ties appear classic, but many are cut from nontraditional stuff, sure to encourage long strokes of admiration from your colleagues. F'rinstance:
- Superfine Italian Corduroy: Like your favorite pair of pants, only Italian, superfiner, and not rubbed flat by compulsive auto-frotteurization.
- English wool w/ finished back: The hand-knit, fuzzy front looks like it could've been knit by your grandmother. Flip it over, and the sleek back should keep hooligans from thrashing you for rocking accessories sewn by your grandmother.
- Italian Cashmere: Nothing says "Touch me" like cashmere. Except you, when you flip open a raincoat and reveal to a group of middle schoolers that you're covered in Sweet Tarts.
If you fear probing hands, some standouts do employ traditional fabrics. Distinguished with tweaks on time-tested patterns, they're infinitely more subtle than the violent, pawing tweaks currently turning your chainmail pants into ankle weights.