Happy Halloween to those who celebrate! Tomorrow starts the Dia de los Muertos—or Day of the Dead—festival in Mexico, approximately one year after it was featured in Spectre. On Saturday, Mexico City held its first Day of the Dead parade inspired by the events the opened Spectre. For Spectre‘s Day of the Dead festival, James Bond channels the Live and Let Die henchman Baron Samedi in a skeleton-themed costume to blend in amongst the festivities in Mexico City.
Costume designer Jany Temime based this costume’s coat off of a vintage piece, as she told Christies:
He [Daniel Craig] had to look like James Bond in a crowd. We fitted different coats on him before I found an early twentieth century coat that we remade before painting on the skeleton. I then found a top hat and we had a mask specially made because it had to be articulated. You had to see his eyes in close up — Daniel’s eyes are very recognisable.
The black coat is lightweight in cloth and construction but is cut like an Chesterfield overcoat. It is mid-calf length with a flared skirt. The coat has a fly front with hidden buttons, a welt breast pocket, slanted jetted pockets on the hips and a single vent in skirt that starts below the buttocks. The white skeleton is hand-painted on the front, back and sleeves.
The fit is better than the Tom Ford suit coats in the film, but it’s not without problems. The collar doesn’t always hug the neck and the shoulders are too narrow. A lack of darts in the front mean that this coat has a little distortion in the front because the tailor tried to give it a little more shape than the coat’s cut allows. It overall has a straighter cut than Daniel Craig’s suit jackets in Spectre have, but the flare of the skirt gives it the shape it lacks in the torso. In some shots, Daniel Craig’s abdomen appears to stick out more than his chest does, which isn’t a flattering look. But the coat’s dark colour and constant movement of both Craig and the camera disguise this, so it’s only a problem if one pauses the film at certain points.
Under the coat, Bond wears a black sateen shirt that has a short semi-spread collar with quarter-inch stitching, button cuffs, a plain front and silvery buttons. The black satin silk tie has white, hand-painted bones to complete the jacket’s skeleton. The tie is tied in a four-in-hand knot. It must have been tied before being painted and then slipped onto Daniel Craig’s neck. The length of the tie doesn’t matter because the ends are hidden under the coat. The shirt and tie do not appear to be up to Bond’s usual quality standards, but this is only for a costume. However, the hand-painted work is excellent.
The black top hat is the “Victorian” model from Jaxon Hats in US size 7 5/8. The hat not only has to fit over Daniel Craig’s head but also the mask. It is 100% wool with a 6-inch tapered crown and a 2-inch curled bound brim. It has a black grosgrain ribbon at the base of the crown, a white satin lining and a faux leather sweatband. The hat is costume quality and can’t compare to something from Lock Hatters. He carries a skull-topped cane with the outfit.
In a few second as the camera turns away from Bond and turns back to him, Bond has removed this coat, shirt and tie to reveal a blue Prince of Wales check suit. The black coat, black shirt and black tie are supposed to fit over Bond’s blue suit, and it is difficult to tell if he is indeed wearing the suit underneath. The black’s coat’s shoulders and sleeves sit like there could be a suit jacket underneath, and the black shirt collar sits higher than the white shirt collar underneath does.
One of three of these Day of the Dead costumes made was auctioned at Christies on King Street in London on 18 February 2016 with a realised price of £98,500. The auction includes the entire costume, including the skull mask, along with black leather gloves that weren’t worn with this outfit.
Completing Bond’s outfit are the blue Prince of Wales check suit trousers, black socks and black derby shoes that he wears under the costume, since the costume has no unique bottom half. The suit trousers have a wide extended waistband, slide-buckle side-adjusters, side seams curved forward at the top with on-seam pockets, narrow straight legs and turn-ups. They have a low rise and are hemmed with no break, which means they are very short and cover little of the shoes.
The shoes are the Crockett & Jones Norwich model. They are black calf five-eyelet, cap-toe derby shoes with Dainite studded rubber soles. The socks are a rather boring and unstylish black. Dark blue would have been a better choice, since it would extend the line of the too-short trouser legs.