Kronsteen: The Navy Silk Jacket

Kronsteen, on the right

Kronsteen, on the right

Though Kronsteen, played by Vladek Sheybal in From Russia with Love, is one of the less memorable Bond villains, he is one of the more interestingly dressed. In his final scene he wears a stylish alternative to the navy blazer: a slubby navy silk jacket. The jacket is has a draped chest with gentle waist suppression and extended—but natural—shoulders with roped sleeveheads, all of which suggest an English tailor made this jacket. Though it may have a tradtional cut, it also has fashionable 1960′s elements. The jacket appears to be a button one at the front with three buttons on the cuffs, and the buttons are covered in the jacketing silk. The narrow lapels have a generous roll to expose less of the shirt, and they also have swelled edges. The jacket has an open patch breast pocket and open patch hip pockets.

Kronsteen-Navy-Silk-Jacket-2Kronsteen wears light grey worsted wool trousers to contrast the jacket. The trousers are cut with forward pleats, which balance well with the drape style of the jacket. His cream shirt is possibly silk and has a plain front without a placket. The shirt’s short point collar and double cuffs are stitched on the edge. Though black bow ties should best be kept with black tie, Kronsteen wears one as his signature look. It’s a narrow batwing shape, possibly in a barathea weave. It’s difficult to see Kronsteen’s shoes, but they are likely the same black lace-ups that he wears with his charcoal blue suit at the beginning of the film.

Kronsteen carries a pork pie Panama hat that goes well with the summery look of his silk jacket. Like a traditional Panama hat, it’s woven of cream-coloured straw and has a black ribbon. Though the bow tie and panama hat look rather costume-like together, with the right attitude some men could pull off this look today. And if the whole look is too much, a slubby navy silk jacket with patch pockets is a versatile warm-weather jacket that looks great dressed up or down, daytime or nighttime.

Largo’s Charcoal Suit and Camel Coat

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The always well-tailored Emilio Largo, played by Adolfo Celi, is introduced in Thunderball wearing a charcoal three-piece suit. The suit is probably made of worsted flannel since it has a fuzzy nap but doesn’t look as heavy as the typical flannel. The button three jacket is tailored with very strong, straight shoulders and a clean chest. The narrow lapels gently roll over the top button. The jacket also has jetted pockets, three-button cuffs and no vent. The overall cut as well as the stylistic details are all very characteristic of a continental suit. Since the jacket has little fullness in the chest or flare at the shirt, it doesn’t look like an English suit. And neither the Italian character Largo nor the Italian actor Adolfo Celi would have likely used an English tailor. An Italian tailor would most likely have made this suit.

Largo-Charcoal-Suit-2Little is seen of the waistcoat and trousers. Since the top button of the waistcoat isn’t particularly high, I would guess that the waistcoat has five buttons. The trousers have a tapered leg with turn-ups. They are probably pleated, and I would guess they have reverse pleats since the suit is likely of Italian origin. The Italian tailors almost always make their trousers with reverse pleats.

Largo’s cream shirt has a spread collar and double cuffs. He uses a four-in-hand knot to tie his black tie with white polka dots. His socks and shoes are black.

Largo-Charcoal-Suit-3Over the suit Largo wears a three-quarter-length camelhair coat. The button three coat has notched lapels, swelled edges, turnback cuffs and a single vent. He wears the coat draped over his shoulders as if it were a cape, and I wouldn’t recommend wearing a coat in such a manner since that seems like something only a flamboyant villain would do. He also wears his charcoal trilby like a dandy: tilted and with the brim turned up all the way around. The hat’s crown has a centre dent and a front pinch, and the roughly 2 1/4″ brim has a sewn overwelt. His cream leather gloves take his outerwear yet another step further into flamboyance.

My Lock Hats

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Lock Trilby in New Brown

Sean Connery wears a number of trilby hats in his first five Bond films, and at least the hat in Dr. No is identified as being from Lock & Co. Hatters. The closest hat to Connery’s trilby in Lock’s current range is the Sandown model. It has a tapered crown and a short 1 7/8-inch brim that is turned up at the sides and back. However, the Sandown is only available in medium brown, which is nothing like the colour of Connery’s hat. Lock claims that the Sandown in the colour they offer it in is exactly the same as Connery’s hat, but the hat in Dr. No looks much more like either a darker brown or a muted green, depending on if you look at the DVD or the Blu-ray. Lock sells the Wetherby in dark brown and gren, but the brim isn’t quite the same. It’s impossible to compare what Lock sells now to what they sold over fifty years ago because no matter how similar their hats are, not everything they offer is the same.

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Lock Trilby in New Brown

As for the short-brimmed model, Lock used to make it in other colours. I have two vintage Lock trilbies with 2-inch brims, just a little larger than the Sandown has. But like Bond’s hats, neither of my hats can be found in Lock’s current catalogue. I do not know how old these hats are. One trilby is in a rather dark brown called “new brown,” and it has a half-inch brown grosgrain ribbon at the base of the crown. It’s very similar to Sean Connery’s hats in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball.

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Lock Trilby in Coke

My other trilby is in a dark grey colour called “coke,” and it has a half-inch black grosgrain ribbon at the base of the crown. Unrelated to the name of the colour, Lock also uses the name “coke” for their bowler hats. Both of my hats have a light brown leather band inside and no lining. And both hats are identified by model number 3969 on the inside label above the colour name. They are blocked with a centre dent and a front pinch.

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Lock Trilby in Coke

Black and White Shoes, and More

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In You Only Live Twice, Bond visits Dikko Henderson’s (Charles Gray) home and follows the Japanese custom of removing his shoes. Bond finds himself leaving in a hurry to chase after Henderson’s killer, without time to put on his shoes. After running outside in his stocking feet, Bond kills the man who killed Henderson, taking not only his shoes but also his trench coat and fedora as a disguise. Bond wears the olive trench coat over his black and white herringbone suit. The knee-length trench coat is double-breasted with ten buttons. It has raglan sleeves, shoulder straps, a yoke across the upper back, a storm flap on the front right, and a single vent. It has a self belt—which Bond lets hang—and wrist straps that close with a leather buckles. The hat is a black fedora with a medium-narrow brim, a centre dent and front pinch in the crown, and a wide grosgrain ribbon.

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Though the shoes are black and white and resemble co-respondent/spectator shoes, they are not such shoes in the traditional sense. The vamp is white and has a black stripe up the middle. The quarters are also white. The toe piece that extends around the front of the shoe is black, as is the heel counter. The shoes have black elastic gussets on the sides of the instep. The soles and heels are black. It difficult to tell if these shoes are leather, but the soles look like leather due to the wear. Rest assured, these ugly shoes are not Bond’s own!

Black-and-White-Shoes-FightDuring the fight, the shoes appear to be taller. The white extends higher in the front and back, but not on the sides. You can see the difference in the photo above. It’s not unusual for different shoes to be used in the same scene for more physically demanding parts.

Black-and-White-Shoes

 

The Navy Car Coat

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George Lazenby’s car coat in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a hybrid of different overcoat styles. It’s a navy three-quarter length, double-breasted coat with elements from the British Warm and the pea coat. Like a British Warm it has six buttons on the front with three to button and suit-like pockets. Like a pea coat it has a large collar and broad lapels, which allow the coat to button at the top. It has a deeper single vent than most overcoats, one button on the cuffs and slanted hacking pockets with flaps. The mix of styles on this coat works well together. Though Lazenby wears the coat in a city setting over a chalkstripe suit and, later, a navy blazer, the coat can also be worn almost as casually as a pea coat can be. Lazenby wears the coat with a navy trilby and black leather driving gloves.

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Lazenby’s Felt Hats

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“007 never had any respect for government property,” says Q in regards to Bond’s trilby, implying that he supplies Bond’s hats as well as his gadgets. Bond wears two felt trilby hats in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The black trilby in the opening scene is the same hat that Bond wears later at his wedding (above), and both of these scenes are in Portugal. The trilby has a narrow grosgrain ribbon and a C-crown with a front pinch.

Bond wears another trilby (below) with business wear in London. This one has a wide grosgrain ribbon and a taller, less tapered crown with a centre dent and front pinch. It’s very dark, but it’s probably navy. Both trilby hats have a narrow snap brim, and that’s what defines the trilby. Following 1960′s fashion trends the brims are extra short, but they suit Lazenby very well. Though Lazenby’s wardrobe is more fashionable and modern compared to Sean Connery’s rather traditional tailoring, he doesn’t forego the trilby the Connery has thus far worn or carried in all his Bond films.

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Here the brim is snapped up in front, but it’s down when he visits the College of Arms.

Matching Shirt and Trousers

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Though I don’t know if it was a trend in 1965, Bond wears a matching sports shirt and trouser set in Thunderball. And it’s in a vivid royal blue. Out of Sean Connery’s casual Bahamas outfits in Thunderball, this one dates the worst. It looks like a well-fitting set of pyjamas, but Connery pulls it off. The shirt has a camp collar, four buttons down the front, and a straight hem. The hem of the short sleeves is turned up and sewn all the way around. The back of the shirt has shoulder pleats, which are pressed all the way down the shirt. There are two lower patch pockets on the front. If the shirt is of the quality we have come to expect from Bond, the white buttons are likely mother of pearl.

Thunderball-Blue-Casual-2Though we see little of the trousers, they have a tapered leg and are pressed with a crease. Bond wears black slip-on shoes—probably the same shoes we see later when Bond puts his foot in the basin—and no socks. Goldfinger and Thunderball are the only times that Bond wears a straw hat. This pork pie hat is natural straw with a blue and white checked cotton ribbon. The hat has a telescopic crown with no pinch, and a short brim that’s turned up in back. A short brim is unusual for a straw hat since it provides little shade from the sun, but it’s part of the more typical pork pie style. To make up for the short brim, Bond wears the Wayferer-style sunglasses that we see more of later in the film.

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Warm-Weather Glen Plaid Suit

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Sean Connery’s second black and white plaid suit in From Russia With Love is almost identical to the glen plaid suit in Dr. No. The cloth is woven in a plain weave, making it better suited for warmer weather than the more traditional twill-weave Glen Urquhart check suit Connery wears earlier in From Russia With Love. The scale of the pattern on this suit isn’t as fine as the similar check in Dr. No, but all the details are the same except for pocket flaps being present on this suit. The button-two suit jacket has natural shoulders with roped sleeveheads, a draped chest and a nipped waist. It has double vents and four-button cuffs. The suit trousers have double forward pleats and turn ups.

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Connery’s pale blue shirt is from Turnbull & Asser and has a spread collar, front placket and two-button cocktail cuffs. He wears a navy grenadine tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. He wears a white linen folded pocket handkerchief, black socks and black derby shoes. His hat is a brown felt trilby.

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