After over three decades, the character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played by Christoph Waltz as the character originally known as Franz Oberhauser, returned to the James Bond films in Spectre. He returns in garb inspired by previous Bond villains, including Telly Savalas’s Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Dr. No in Dr. No and Kamal Khan in Octopussy. Though Blofeld is best-known for wearing jackets with Mao collars in tan and grey, Waltz’s Blofeld wears jackets with Nehru collars—like Dr. Evil of the Austin Powers films—in dark colours.
The navy silk velvet Nehru jacket Blofeld wears at his Moroccan lair in Spectre is bespoke from London tailor Timothy Everest, who also tailored Ralph Fiennes and Dave Bautista for Spectre. The Nehru collar is what marks this jackets as a Nehru jacket, though the Styrian jackets from Christoph Waltz’s birthplace of Austria and what Telly Savalas wears as Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are tailored similarly with a similar stand collar. The jacket is structured like English tailored jackets, but it is lightweight with soft shoulders and has a hint of drape at the sides of the chest, a little waist suppression and a flared skirt. The front buttons at the top with a large black button—though Waltz wears it open—and gently spreads apart until it curves away at the bottom. There are darts at the front for shape in the chest. The jacket is detailed with a single vent, jetted pockets and four buttons on each cuff.
The jacket is tailored with a 39″ chest, a 34 1/2″ waist and a 15 1/4″ collar, which would make Waltz approximately a size 37S.
Under the jacket, Blofeld wears a dark navy shirt from Korean brand Wooyoungmi. The shirt has a neckband collar, which Blofeld wears buttoned, and six buttons down the placket. The shirt has a black rubber ‘lace’ effect on the edges of the collar and button cuffs and on the inner edge of the placket. Blofeld wears the shirt untucked. The pale grey trousers from Maison Margiela are lightweight wool with a drawstring waist, flat front and tapered legs.
Blofeld’s shoes are the Fiandra Slipper from Bottega Veneta in dark navy “Intrecciato” woven calf leather. The woven leather makes these shoes wear cool in hot weather. The slip-on shoes are constructed with only a seam in the back and a square toe, and the soles are black rubber.
In some shots, Waltz goes without socks and in others he wears thin beige socks. Beige socks with contrasting trousers give a sock-less look, which was likely the intention but should generally be avoided if one is indeed wearing socks. If he intended to be wearing socks, grey or blue socks would have been a better choice. In many shots he does indeed go without socks, and this type of shoe can be worn well without socks for increased breathability and comfort in hot weather. Waltz is asked in an AOL Build interview why he does not wear socks, and he replies, “Have you ever worn socks in the desert? It’s kind of hot … It was about 105 degrees”.
Perhaps we are supposed to believe that Blofeld does not wear socks, and his beige socks are only to give a cleaner look than Waltz’s bare ankles would.
The jacket, shirt and trousers sold as part of Christie’s “James Bond Spectre: The Online Sale”, which was held from 16 to 23 February 2016. Costume designer Jany Temime said to Christie’s her ideas for Blofeld’s outfit: “I wanted to keep it simple, abstract, because the man is so bad that you don’t need much detail. All his menace is in his mind.”
I think this rather “modern” outfit is OK for a Blofeld of 2015 and a man like Waltz (the “classic” Blofeld costume Pleasence and Gray wore would have been made him look ridiculous). I agree on the socks – some in a darker shade would have been better. I am also not a fan of the trousers – I would have preferred something in the jacket’s colour and with a crease. Those he is actually wearing look a bit sloppy to me.
A good piece, the costume choices are spot on. Untucked shirt under the jacket gives Waltz’s a mafioso look, a more villainous outlook. It should be noted that the jacket worn is not a traditional Nehru jacket. A traditional Nehru jacket buttons all the way to bottom, like one worn by Kamaal Khan worn in Octopussy or one worn by Sean Connery in Dr.No. It’s non-traditional construction adds another negative element to Blofeld’s personality. A very overly subtle way to express character’s non-traditional ways.
it’s a great villain outfit without going into the ridiculous. dark jacket with grey trousers work very well. The un-tucked shirt is appropriate for the hot desert.
I found it strange that the trousers had a draw string… It is not very noticeable in the film, but the auction photographs indeed show it’s there…
Super cool mandarin collar suit.It’s smart to wear sometime but not always in my opinion…
There are some more Nehru suits appearing in several films which haven’t been examined so far: Kamal Khan in “Octopussy” is wearing a variety of those (rather flamboyant), and I believe to having seen a similar garment on Eliot Carver in TND, as well as Telly Savalas’ Blofeld in OHMSS (but that was rather a kind of traditional alpine costume).
Edit: Sorry – you already mentioned those in your article (except Carver’s costume).
With all due respect to the otherwise great information here, I would say this Jacket, while clearly not a traditional garment either way, takes less clues from the Nehru Jacket and more from the southern-german (language) area traditional Tracht-wear coat called a “Janker”.
The collar shape especially is from a traditional Janker, moreso than one from a Nehru Jacket. This “Stehkragen” has also been around a good while longer than the Nehru equivalent.
And while it’s silk, lacking buttons and is lacking the double-reverse pleated “Quetschfalte” which many traditional Janker Jackets have, Oberhauser’s Austrian Heritage would inform him wearing a Jacket that is inspired by German, not Anglo-emprial heritage.
Compare the Nehru collar pictures here:
With the pictures of a Janker here:
Just my two cents.
You’re quite right about the similarities between Blofeld’s jacket and the Janker. I mentioned the Styrian jacket in the article, which is much like the Janker you mentioned. I settled on calling this a “Nehru” jacket because that is the term the maker Timothy Everest used.
Hallo Sir, the Nehru jacket as well as the Mao jacket are to my understanding “copies” of the Austrian Steireranzug which was invented n around 1850 by the brother of the Austrian emperor Erzherzog Johan. that might be the reason also why Waltz wears such a jacket as an Austrian, even in the Bond Movie . the Steueranzug is the MOST iconic Suit from Austrian – nearly any men has one- at least in country side . There are so many mights about this suits – it was invented as a union dress code for farmers and and it still has such opposition meaning in Vienna where you maybe can not see it .
Regards from Graz / Austria