Tennessee Williams: True American Style
10 Jun 2015

“Don’t bore the audience! I mean, even if you have to resort to totally arbitrary killing on stage, or pointless gunfire, at least it’ll catch their attention and keep them awake. Just keep the thing going any way you can.” – Tennessee Williams.


Illustrations by Kate Hynes

Tennessee Williams, born Thomas Lanier Williams, was one of the foremost American playwrights of the 20th century. His most famous plays, such as A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof depicted dysfunctional American families and were inspired by his own upbringing.

After years of travelling around the Southern states of America where he was born, Williams finally found his home between New York and Key West in Florida, though he states that he always loved to travel.


Williams’ clothing style was simple and elegant. He was a fan of suits and bow ties, and a clean, sleek haircut. He knew that a person’s clothing spoke of their character and he used costume heavily in his plays. The bully Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire wears a plain, tight undershirt, which reflects his simple, violent, animalistic personality. Stanley doesn’t wear a shirt or tie – he has rejected the civilized constraints represented by a man’s suit.

We have been inspired to create the Tennessee Williams bow tie as a modern reinterpretation of a chequered, tartan pattern. A simple, modern, statement piece, which still evokes the traditional, classic look that Williams himself preferred.

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