Dinner at the Eiffel Tower in Midnight Blue

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James Bond wears a midnight blue dinner jacket made by Douglas Hayward for dinner at the Eiffel Tower in A View to a Kill. Dinner jackets are only appropriate in the evening but this scene takes place during daylight. Since Bond has just come from the Royal Ascot (which takes place in June) it should be around the time of the summer solstice when the days are longest, thus it may very well be after 6 PM. Since there is ample daylight the dinner jacket looks more blue than black.

The dinner jacket is double-breasted and has four buttons in a keystone formation with the bottom one to close. This is a style that Douglas Hayward often made for his double-breasted jackets, and Bond wears this style in his navy suit in Octopussy. The lower button stance gives Bond easier access to his PPK than a traditional higher-buttoning double-breasted jacket would. The jacket is cut with a slightly draped chest, soft shoulders and roped sleeveheads. The black satin peak lapels have a buttonhole on both sides, and the jacket has flared double vents, straight jetted pockets and four-button cuffs. The dinner jacket’s buttons are black horn. In some shots of the stuntman a blue lining and belted trousers can be seen. But that doesn’t mean that Bond wears a belt with his dinner suit trousers, something typically out of place in formalwear. The midnight blue dinner suit trousers have a black satin stripe down each leg.

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The cream dress shirt made by Frank Foster has a spread collar, pleated front, rounded-corner double cuffs and regular mother of pearl buttons down the placket. The black bow-tie is a classic thistle shape.

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The contrast between the midnight blue jacket and black silk lapels is evident during daylight, but not as much indoors under artificial light.

This dinner suit sold at Christie’s in South Kensington on 17 September 1998 for £4,600.

9 thoughts on “Dinner at the Eiffel Tower in Midnight Blue

  1. Why is it that double breasted suit/tuxedo jackets only have the same number of functional buttons as you can get on a single breasted jacket? In this suit, why is it and inner button to fasten and the one outer button, but not the lower two buttons being functional? And on most of the 6-by-2 and 4-by-2, why is it not the four buttons on the lower end of the jacket that are functional?

    • I think he wants to know why there is only one jigger button on a double-breasted jacket, and this even if the jacket in question is a 6 on 2, 4 on 2, 6 on 3, etc. He wants to know why there is not the same number of working buttons and buttonholes on the inside than on the outside part of the jacket. For example, on a 6 on 2 DB jacket, there are two external working buttons and buttonholes, but only one jigger button and one buttonhole on the inside of the jacket, not two. Same remark with a 6 on 3 DB jacket. I am not sure if that is what he meant, but these are my two cents…
      I think the answer is practicality, of course.

    • If that’s his question, you’re right about practicality. One jigger button is enough to hold the front in place. I’d imagine that a second jigger button wouldn’t be so easy to fasten either.

      But if he’s asking about what the number of functional buttons means, it’s counted by the number of visible fastening buttons.

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