Le Chiffre’s Velvet Dinner Jacket

Le-Chiffre-Velvet-Dinner-Jacket

Although there was an attempt to make Mads Mikklesen’s Le Chiffre in Casino Royale a less flamboyant villain, at the poker table he wears a flashy black velvet dinner jacket with a black shirt. Costume designer Lindy Hemming describes Le Chiffre and his dinner jacket in Casino Royale‘s production notes: “Le Chiffre is a menacing man who lives in a twilight world. He’s not flashy, he’s secretive. He isn’t a man who is much interested in clothes, but what he wears is expensive and luxurious. His Brioni evening suit is velvet, to emphasize richness.” The all-black outfit, nevertheless, is something that identifies him as a villain. The button two dinner jacket has black grosgrain silk facings on the peaked lapels, breast pocket welt, hip pocket jettings and buttons. The jacket has four buttons on the cuffs, and Le Chiffre leaves the last one open. Beyond the velvet cloth, the dinner jacket breaks from tradition with a second button on the front, pocket flaps and a single vent.

Le-Chiffre-Velvet-Dinner-Jacket-2The button four waistcoat matches the black velvet dinner jacket, with the back in a black silk lining. Though proper black tie waistcoats have either three or four buttons, the buttons should be spaced close together and not further apart as they would on a button five or button six daytime waistcoat. The buttons on Le Chiffre’s waistcoat are spaced apart like on a daytime waistcoat, and as one would on a daytime waistcoat Le Chiffre leaves the bottom button open. On the traditional low-cut black tie waistcoat all of the buttons should be fastened. Even though Le Chiffre’s waistcoat is poorly done, four buttons are better than the all-too-common five or six buttons that people often wear today.

Le-Chiffre-Velvet-Dinner-Jacket-3The wool trousers contrast the dinner jacket in texture, if not in colour as well. The trousers look dark grey in some shots and photos, but they are probably black. Velvet reflects far less light than other fabrics do, so comparing different black materials can be difficult. Le Chiffre wears the trousers with braces. The black dress shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs, a pleated front and a fly placket that hides the buttons. He wears a black bow tie and black calf derby shoes.

Le-Chiffre-Velvet-Dinner-Jacket-4Le Chiffre also has a black overcoat, but we only see him carrying it and not wearing it. He also has a grey scarf with crosswise stripes, and it’s most likely cashmere.

Le Chiffre’s black tie outfit sold for £20,000 at Christie’s in South Kensington at “50 Years of James Bond: The Auction”, which took place from 28 September 2012 to 8 October 2012.

Kristatos: The Suede Trench Coat

Kristatos-Suede-Trench-Coat

Aris Kristatos, played by Julian Glover in For Your Eyes Only, keeps wearing a suede trench coat in warm grey. It’s a full-length coat that hits below the knee, but unlike most trench coats which have raglan sleeves, this has set-in sleeves. There are actually ten buttons like would be found on the standard trench coat, and the buttons are grey horn. The coat has the usual trench coat details like a self belt, shoulder straps and angled pockets with buttoned flaps. It has straps around the wrists that close with brass buckles instead of the typical leather. There are yokes across the upper back and upper chest for dryness during snowfall. Most trench coats instead have the yoke only in back and a storm flap in front.  The most noticeable part of this coat is the black fur on the collar and the revers. And for warmth, the coat is lined in black fur.

Kristatos-Suede-Trench-Coat-Back

Underneath the trench coat Kristatos wears an olive green double-breasted blazer. It has six white metal buttons with two to fasten. Under the blazer he wears a red cashmere polo neck jumper. The combination of the red jumper and the green blazer hints that Kirstatos is affiliated with the Soviets, something we don’t learn until later in the film. Green and red were often found together on Soviet military uniforms, just with the red limited to accents. We briefly see a little bit of his trousers, which appear to be light grey in a shade similar to the trench coat. Kristatos wears tan leather gloves, most likely lined with cashmere for warmth. Bond, Kristatos and Ferrara all politely remove their gloves to shake hands. Unless the weather is extremely frigid, gloves meant for warmth should be removed for a handshake.

Kristatos-Suede-Trench-Coat-Polo-Neck

Kamal Khan: Grey Jacket

Kamal-Khan-Sports-Coat

When Kamal Khan, played by Louis Jourdan, dresses in western clothing in Octopussy, the outfits are similar to outfits Bond wears. His dinner suit is just as classic and his navy suit is just as minimal. His jacket in a broken twill weave of dark and light grey wool is equally simplistic, but it’s also not boring. There’s a continuity error, however, since there were at least two of these jackets used in filming. One of the jackets buttons one and the other buttons two. Other than this discrepancy, the jackets are the same. They have straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, and they are cut with a clean chest and are shaped through the waist. The jackets have 1-button cuffs, no vent and jetted pockets with a ticket pocket. The jacket’s vent-less skirt signifies that this jacket is not for sporting use, and the straight jetted pockets follow the vent-less rear’s clean look and non-sporting purpose. The buttons are all black leather, something that sets this jacket apart from all of Bond’s jackets. Bond instead prefers slightly less rustic horn buttons for his jackets.

This sports coat buttons one.

This jacket buttons one.

Khan’s jacket sleeves are flamboyantly a little short to show off more shirt cuff. It’s usually recommended to show between 1/4″ and 1/2″ of shirt cuff when the arms are at rest, though, like Roger Moore’s character Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders, Kamal Khan also shows too much shirt cuff. Shorter jacket sleeves visually shortens the arm length, and it’s possible that Louis Jourdan thinks his arms are too long. But over an inch of shirt cuff simply looks disruptive and like a mistake.

This sports coat buttons two. Notice its short sleeves.

This jacket buttons two. Notice its short sleeves.

Charcoal trousers complement and provide the necessary contrast to the lighter grey jacket. We can’t see if they have pleats or not, but they have a sharp crease. Khan’s light blue shirt has a spread collar and 2-button cuffs. The tie is navy with raised rectangles, woven in a checker pattern. Khan ties it in what is probably a half windsor knot. Overall, the outfit is timeless in both the colour palate and its proportions. The only thing that doesn’t fit in well today is the jacket’s vent-less skirt, but like everything else it comes in and out of fashion.

Kamal-Khan-Sports-Coat-Button-Two

Max Zorin in Black Tie

Zorin-Dinner-Suit

Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken, is dressed is a different, but just as classic, mode of black tie from James Bond. Whilst Bond wears a white, single-breasted dinner jacket with natural shoulders, Zorin’s dinner jacket is black and double-breasted with straight, padded shoulders. The padded shoulders reflect both the 1980s fashions and Zorin’s thirst for power, and they contrast with Bond’s softer look. This is one of the series’ best examples of contrasting black tie between Bond and the villain. Thunderball also finds Bond wearing a single-breasted dinner jacket whilst the villain is wearing the double-breasted dinner jacket, but the colours are reversed. It’s more subtle than putting the villain in a black shirt, like Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.

Zorin-Dinner-Suit-2

Zorin’s double-breasted buttoning is in the typical 80′s style: four buttons with one to button. But unlike what was in fashion, the bottom row of buttons on Zorin’s dinner jacket is only just below the waist, not a few inches lower. This gives the jacket better proportions. There are three buttons on the sleeves, and all the buttons are made of black horn. The peak lapels and trouser stripe are black satin. The jacket also has jetted pockets and double vents. The only fault with this dinner jacket that the collar fits poorly and leaves a gap between the shirt collar.

The dress shirt has a spread collar and pleated, fly front. The fly front was very trendy—yet still elegant—at the time, and Pierce Brosnan often wore it in Remington Steele. He wears a classic black satin silk thistle bow-tie. Zorin makes a poor choice with a dark blue puffed pocket square, clashes with the black dinner jacket. Scarpine’s wine red pocket square (see top picture) is a more classic and complementary choice. Apart from the pocket square and collar, Zorin is a well-dressed man, as a man in his position should be. Today, this would be quite rare for someone in the technology industry.

Zorin-Dinner-Suit-3

Dr. Kananga: The Purple Suit

Kananga-Purple-Suit

The flashier a man dresses the less he should be trusted. Roger Moore’s James Bond may have been dandier than Sean Connery’s Bond, but Moore’s style is quite restrained in comparison to Live and Let Die villain Dr. Kananga. Kananga’s dress is varied—from tasteful to tawdry—but Kanaga and Bond appear to share one thing in common: the same tailor. Kanaga wears two double-breasted suits that look very much like Cyril Castle creations, one tan and a one purple. For this comparison, let’s look at the purple suit. The jacket has six buttons with two to button, and like Moore’s double-breasted jackets it has a narrow wrap (less overlap). The cut is the same, with a clean chest and softly-padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads. Kanaga’s jacket has the same slanted pockets, deep double vents and flared link cuffs—but with a more pronounced flare than Moore’s. The lapels are wider than Moore’s but are the same shape.

Kananga-Purple-Suit-2

The trousers are the same cut as Moore’s trousers, with a slightly flared leg. The cloth is a printed pattern in purple and grey (which tones down the purple), and since it’s printed it’s either polyester or silk. Considering Cyril Castle probably tailored the suit, silk is likely. The tie has a printed pattern of bronze diamonds on a dark purple ground, and the puffed pocket handkerchief matches the tie in colours but not pattern. Kananga wears a yellow shirt, the opposite in colour from the purple suit making it a natural choice. It has a long point collar and button cuffs. A few Bond villians, like Emilio Largo from Thunderball and Kamal Khan from Octopussy, have admirable wardrobes, but Kanaga does not. Though his suit is well-tailored, only a villain belongs in a purple suit.

Emilio Largo: The Eight-Button Blazer

Largo-Blazer

In Thunderball, villain Emilio Largo played by Adolfo Celi wears a double-breasted navy blazer that has eight buttons with three to button. It’s a very rare style that recalls naval uniforms more than the standard double-breasted blazer does, and as a blazer it’s most famously associated with Prince Charles. Largo treats this blazer like a dressing gown and dons it without a shirt underneath when he gets out of the water after a dive. The only other things he wears with it are his black diving trousers and a burgundy silk day cravat. It’s not an ordinary way to wear a blazer, but aboard his own ship Largo can wear whatever he pleases. There is one scene, however, that shows him more dressed in his blazer, with a white button-cuff shirt and stone-coloured trousers, along with the day cravat.

Largo-Blazer-2

The blazer is most likely English-tailored and has an appropriate structured, military cut with its padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads and clean chest. It has double vents, jetted hip pockets and three-button cuffs. The shanked buttons are made of polished brass, without any ornamentation.

Largo-Blazer-3

Largo wearing the blazer with a shirt and trousers.

Professor Dent: Cocktails Cuffs Are Not Just For James Bond

Professor-Dent-Blue-Shirt

Professor Dent’s (Anthony Dawson) clothing has a few similarities to Bond’s, but overall he dresses in a far more ordinary fashion. Dent’s suit is a two and two check in black and white. The jacket is a button three with the lapels rolled to the middle button, and it is cut full with natural shoulders. The cuffs have two buttons, spaced apart. Dent’s narrow tie has wide red, olive and black stripes—in the opposite direction from most regimental stripes—and he ties it in a Windsor knot. He wears black shoes and a black belt with the suit.

Professor-Dent-White-Shirt

Dent wears two different shirts with this suit. The first (above) is white with a button-down collar, placket and square-cut barrel cuffs. The second (top) is sky blue with a spread collar, placket and cocktail cuffs. Bond was not the only person in Dr. No to wear cocktail cuffs, but Dent’s are not the same. They both are rounded and have a wide spread, but Dent’s lay flat and have the buttons spaced further apart. Whilst Turnbull & Asser made Sean Connery’s shirts, Frank Foster made this shirt from Anthony Dawson.

 

Odd Job: A Servant’s Uniform

Oddjob

Though not in his manner, Oddjob makes a convincing servant in his dress. He wears black lounge, the same type of outfit that Bond wears for his wedding. The black button-three jacket has a high button stance and high lapel notches, which are more flattering to the shorter man that Oddjob is. The jacket has has three-button cuffs and jetted pockets and no vent. The jacket has some fit problems in the chest and shoulders, but a servant wouldn’t likely be wearing a bespoke suit anyway. Oddjob wears a matching five-button waistcoat, and he fastens all the buttons.

Oddjob-2

The cashmere stripe trousers in grey tones—originally from morning dress—are commonly worn with black lounge. Oddjob’s trousers have double forward pleats and plain hems. His white shirt has a wing collar, front placket and double cuffs. Though the wing collar was once worn with morning dress—like the striped trousers are—it is too formal for black lounge. A wing collar also should not be worn with a four-in-hand tie—though it once was the norm. The inappropriate mixing of formalities is what identifies Oddjob as a servant. His black, military-like derby shoes are also not up to the same formality as black lounge.

Oddjob-3

Oddjob’s black, flat-crowned bolwer hat—his most famous accessory made by Lock & Co.—is unusual for a servant, but it is the perfect match for his black lounge outfit. Two examples of the hat used in the film have been sold at auction. The first was sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 17 September 1998 for £62,000. The second was sold by Julien’s Auctions in June 2006 for $33,600.