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.

The Sunspel Polo Shirt

Sunspel-Polo

In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig wears a Sunspel “Riviera” polo shirt. The fitted navy polo is made from knitted cotton mesh and has a self collar, two-button placket and a breast pocket. This is the first time Bond wears a polo shirt since Thunderball, and it’s a welcome return. Craig wears the polo with khaki, jean-style, five-pocket trousers with a wide, straight leg. The cloth is most likely cotton, in a weave that’s a cross between bedford cord and a basketweave, and they are worn with a dark brown belt. The shoes are tobacco suede chukka boots.

Sunspel-Polo-2

Navy Single-Breasted Overcoat

Die-Another-Day-Navy-Overcoat

With his charcoal serge suit in Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan wears his second overcoat in the film. It is a navy full-length, single-breasted, button-three coat from Brioni. It has slanted flap pockets with a ticket pocket and four-button cuffs. Though we don’t see it from the back is most likely has a deep single vent. A navy overcoat may be the most versatile coat in a man’s wardrobe, and it looks great day or night. Bond has worn many navy overcoats throughout the series, starting with George Lazenby’s double-breasted three-quarter coat. But this is only the second time Bond wears a scarf in the series, the first being Bond’s masquerade as Sir Hilary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Here it’s solid grey, and he wears it draped around the neck.

Die-Another-Day-Navy-Overcoat-2

Charcoal Serge Suit

Charcoal-Serge-Suit

In Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan briefly wears a charcoal serge suit. It’s his typical Brioni button three suit with straight shoulders and roped sleeveheads. Charcoal serge is a great year-round cloth in a temperate climate. Serge is a basic four-harness twill weave with 45-degree wales on both sides. It’s great for suits and—in navy—blazers. Brosnan wears the suit with a white Brioni shirt that has a wide spread collar, double cuffs and a front placket. His mid-blue tie has a tiny pebbled or honeycomb pattern, similar to grenadine garza fina silk. But the tie’s texture is probably woven with floats instead. It’s tied in a four-in-hand knot. Brosnan enters the scene wearing an overcoat and scarf, which I will look at in more detail later.

Charcoal-Serge-Suit-2

Leather Jacket in Combat

Brown-Leather-Coat

In Tomorrow Never Dies Bond dresses warmly in a brown leather coat and two jumpers for the snowy Russian border. The coat is car coat length with a zip front and belted waist. The two lower patch pockets have an inverted box pleat and a flap. There is a welted slash pocket on either side of the chest, and sleeves have button-straps. Under the jacket Bond wears a dark blue, heavy wool, mock neck jumper with a zip to the neck. And under that he wears a thinner black, ribbed wool polo neck jumper. The olive trousers have cargo pockets on the sides of the upper thighs. Bond also wears black, cashmere-lined leather gloves and black boots.

Brown-Leather-Coat-2

Bonhams in Knightsbridge put two of the brown leather coats up for auction on 6 March 2007, but neither coat sold. Of the two lots the first also contained the black polo neck jumper, the green combat trousers and a black ski jumper. The listing follows:

A leather jacket, black polo neck sweater, a black ski jumper and green combat trousers, the brown leather ¾ length jacket, with black acetate lining, labelled inside “Angels & Bermans, The Costumiers to the Entertainment Industry”, inscribed in an unknown hand in blue ink “1997 TOMORROW NEVER DIES PIERCE BROSNAN” with further material detail label, the black ski jumper of elasticated cotton with zip to neck, the black polo neck of pure wool, with label inside “1997 TOMORROW NEVER DIES PIERCE BROSNAN“, the khaki military style combat trousers, with military label to inside bearing various inscriptions

The black ski jumper in the lot was not used in film, and the blue jumper from the film was not part of this lot. The coats appear to be identical in both lots except the coat in the larger lot is missing the belt and the coat sold alone is described as having a lining in “heavy cotton.” Both lots were put up for auction again on 16 June 2009. The first lot including the coat, two jumpers and trousers sold for £6,000 and the second lot with just the coat sold for £1,320.

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A Casual Topcoat

Casino Royale Topcoat

At M’s flat in Casino Royale, Bond wears a topcoat in a light blue barleycorn pattern on a black ground. The coat has straight shoulders which may signify that it is Brioni-made like the suits in the film. The coat has notch lapels and a collar like a typical lounge coat. The coat buttons three down the front and has 3 buttons on the cuffs, straight flapped pockets and a single vent. The coat is approximately knee length, though we don’t see Bond wearing the coat whilst standing.

Casino Royale Topcoat Detail

Blue and Black Barleycorn Detail

Underneath the coat Bond wears a black polo with three buttons. Though a long-sleeve polo would be most appropriate since Bond is wearing a topcoat, we don’t see black sleeves under the coat’s sleeves. It’s likely the sleeves are pushed up because it would be odd and impractical to wear a short-sleeve shirt under a topcoat. It’s difficult to tell the material of the polo, but its likely to be cashmere. The trousers are in a black and white Glen Urquhart check with an overlaid light blue plaid, which picks up the blue in the topcoat. The trousers have turn-ups. Bond also wears black socks and black calf chukka boots.

Casino Royale Topcoat

Lindy Hemming: Blue and Brown for Brosnan

How much should a man match his clothing for the day? Sean Connery’s James Bond wardrobe follows a simple system: navy ties with navy suits, navy or black ties with grey suits, and brown ties with brown suits. Shirts are white, light blue and cream. And the suitings are simple, in blue or grey with the occasional brown. The literary Bond has an even simpler system of dressing, which always matched a black knitted tie with a navy suit.

Blue-Brown/Charcoal Suit

Lindy Hemming, the costume designer on all four of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films, developed a system for dressing Brosnan, one with very carefully planned outfits that coordinate in both obvious and subtle ways. Hemming often used limited colour palates but combined the colours in unique ways. She incorporated the not-so-common combination of blue and brown into many of the outfits, and we saw that done in a few different ways. In one method she matches a charcoal suit with a navy and brown tie. We first saw that in Tomorrow Never Dies with the two-piece suit in Hamburg (above left). The diamond-pattern tie also picks up the light blue in Brosnan’s shirt. In the opening scene of The World is Not Enough, we see the blue and brown tie come back in a chevron pattern with the charcoal suit (above right). That suit appears to be solid charcoal but it actually has blue and brown threads in it, which is the reasoning for the tie’s colour. Logically, the suit in Tomorrow Never Dies would also have blue and brown threads.

Blue-Brown/Light Suit

The chevron tie from the opening scene of The World is Not Enough returns later in the film with what appears to be a medium grey suit. But upon a closer look, that suit is made up of blue and light brown yarns (above right). When those two colours in the right tones—opposites—are combined, they balance each other and the overall result looks grey. With this suit later in the film, Brosnan wears a blue tie with light brown ticks, also pulling out the colours in the suit. A white shirt helps to neutralise the suit’s colour, since if he wore a blue or cream shirt, one of the suit’s other colours would have been more noticeable.

Similar to the light blue and brown suit in The World is Not Enough, Brosnan wears a blue and sand Prince of Wales check suit (above left) for his visit to the office in GoldenEye. The blue and sand colours again balance each other and the suit looks almost grey. Here the tie is blue and light brown, to emphasize the two dominant colours in the suit. Though the tie is more blue, though the ivory shirt balances that out with more warmth. And the blue pocket handkerchief coordinates with both the suit and tie.

Blue-Brown/Navy Birdseye Suit

One suit we see in all four of Brosnan’s is the semi-solid (usually Birdseye) navy suit, which tones the navy down with a white. Hemming probably finds that Brosnan looks better in a muted navy rather than a rich navy (which looks great on someone like Roger Moore), and she accessorises those suit in two different manners. In GoldenEye (above left) and Tomorrow Never Dies (above middle), those suits are worn with ivory shirts. In GoldenEye the tie is navy, gold and cream, whilst the tie in Tomorrow Never Dies is a similar combination of navy and bronze. And there he goes a step further by matching the bronze in his tie with a light brown overcoat. In Die Another Day (above right), Brosnan wears a tie of navy and gold squares with his navy pinhead suit in a brief plane scene. So again, we see that combination of blue and brown tones.

Before Brosnan, James Bond had never matched his clothes so carefully. But like Connery’s Bond wardrobe, we see consistency throughout Brosnan’s Bond films. As a graphic designer I have a great appreciation for the Lindy Hemming’s colour matching, though it makes Bond look like he’s trying too hard. Should James Bond—or any man—match his clothes so carefully?

Navy Overcoat in Saint Petersburg

Navy Overcoat GoldenEye

Bond arrives in Saint Petersburg, Russia in GoldenEye wearing a navy overcoat—probably made by Brioni—over his charcoal windowpane suit. The full-length overcoat buttons three, with buttonholes visible on the front. The buttons are fairly low on the front, which isn’t very practical for an overcoat designed to keep someone warm. But since Bond wears the coat open he clearly isn’t too cold. The coat has a deep vent, flapped pockets and 3 buttons on the cuffs. Bond also wears dark brown leather gloves with the overcoat.