Kananga in Black Lounge

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When representing his island nation of San Monique at the United Nations, Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) wears black lounge in Live and Let Die. Black lounge is made up of a black lounge coat, a black or contrasting waistcoat and grey checked or striped trousers. It’s like morning dress but with a lounge coat instead of a morning coat. Black lounge sits in formality between the lounge suit and morning dress, and some consider it to be the daytime equivalent of black tie. Whilst black tie is worn for festive occasions, black lounge can either be worn for not only festive occasions but also in certain professional settings and to funerals.

The black lounge coat that Kananga wears as part of the black lounge outfit is also known a the stroller or Stresemann, named after German chancellor Gustav Stresemann. It fastens with a single button and has peaked lapels, jetted pockets and no vent to mimic the details of the morning coat.

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Roger Moore’s tailor Cyril Castle likely made this outfit. Though Kananga’s two double-breasted suits have narrow wrap and flared link cuffs that clearly identify those suits as Castle’s work, this suit has less to go on. Still, it is most likely Castle’s work. It has a very similar silhouette to Kananga’s double-breasted suits, with the jacket’s full chest, closely shaped waist and low button stance. It also has the same narrow, strongly-padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads that Kananga’s double-breasted suits have. Castle padded the shoulders of Kananga’s suit jackets much more than he did for James Bond’s suit jackets to make Kananga look more like the powerful leader of an island nation.

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The shirt collar should always be worn under the waistcoat, but sometimes clothes fall out of place.

Kananga’s waistcoat matches the lounge coat in black, and the black waistcoat is appropriate for the serious occasion of attending United Nations meeting. A light-coloured waistcoat, like the light grey waistcoat James Bond wears with black lounge to his own wedding in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, is a better alternative for festive occasions. The waistcoat fastens with six buttons and has a regular notched bottom. The trousers are medium grey with black stripes and have a darted front. The trousers’ front dares are fairly long and placed above the crease, just like on Roger Moore’s Cyril Castle trousers, so this gives another hint that these clothes were tailored by Castle.

Under the black lounge jacket, Kananga wears a white shirt with a long point collar and mitred two-button cuffs. Such a dressy outfit should require double cuffs, but in this more business-like setting the button cuffs aren’t entirely inappropriate. The tie is silver with a fancy self jacquard-woven pattern that is difficult to make out. Kananga ties it in a four-in-hand knot. He also has a white linen handkerchief folded in his breast pocket with two corners pointing out and a red carnation in his lapel.

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Dr. Kananga: The Purple Suit

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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.

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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.