The black dinner suit by Angelo Roma in Moonraker is made in the same style as the midnight blue dinner suit from The Spy Who Loved Me two years earlier. It is cut with straight shoulders and a clean chest. It has six buttons on the front with two to close, in the traditional manner. There are three buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and no vents. The trousers have flared legs. The facing on the wide peak lapels, the trouser stripe and the covered buttons are in black satin silk. The black cloth has a sheen that suggests mohair.
This dinner suit gets a lot of use in Moonraker. Not only does he wear it out in the evening, but he’s still wearing it the next morning. Obviously Bond didn’t make it back to his hotel suite that night, and that’s the only reason someone should wear a dinner suit during the day. But by the morning he has discarded his bow tie and is wearing the collar open, with the points outside of the jacket. Wearing collar points outside the jacket was a popular trend in the 1970s, but not a very attractive one.
The dress shirt marks the last time James Bond wears cocktail cuffs, notwithstanding the unofficial Never Say Never Again. It’s a shame Bond’s trademark cuff hasn’t made it into any films since, though Turnbull & Asser made Pierce Brosnan a cocktail cuff shirt for his personal wardrobe. Frank Foster made this shirt, which has a point collar, a pleated front and standard mother-of-pearl buttons down the placket.
The slip-on shoes from Ferragamo have a cap toe, a half strap and a tall heel. They aren’t the best choice for black tie, since they are neither patent leather nor are they oxfords or pumps, but at least they are well polished and have a plain toe. Identical shoes were auctioned at Christie’s in South Kensington on 24 November 2009 for £3,000. According to a note from Roger Moore, the shoes at Christie’s are from The Spy Who Loved Me, but since the shoes with the dinner suit in that film are patent leather with an apron toe and the shoes at the auction are calf leather with a cap toe, the shoes at the auction are more likely to be these.
There’s a continuity error in the close-up shots of the cuff in the ambulance. Instead of the cocktail cuff shirt, Moore wears a shirt with double cuffs, closed in a barrel fashion and fastened with button. Treating the double cuffs this way would mean that the wrong shirt wasn’t an accident, but rather the original shirt was not obtainable for this shot.
Apart from the flared trousers, this is quite similar to recent Tom Ford dinner suits. Someone wore a dinner suit very much like this one to last year’s Academy Awards, I think it was Tom Hanks but I’m not really sure.
The jacket shoulders look a bit narrow to me. It’s not quite proportional with the rest of Moore’s body.
Otherwise the jacket looks quite fine. The only thing that dates the outfit to me is the collar that is far too massive.
Funny thing, the bowtie looks less wide than the one he wore with his white dinner jacket in TMWTGG ! And this is a Moonraker bowtie… which looks perfectly classicaly proportionned in its shape. It extends from the collar a bit, butI guess it’s due to the pointed collar.
The shoes are a faux pas to me but I guess Moore couldn’t wear anything but slip-on shoes in his Bond movies…
Wearing dinner suit at Rio Carnival is beyond ridiculous, IMO. He wears it here only because James Bond has to be in a dinner suit at least once in a movie, and they weren’t able to find more appropriate scene.
Bond doesn’t wear a dinner jacket at all in Live and Let Die.
Or You Only Live Twice and technically not in From Russia With Love, since it’s a James Bond impersonator in the pre-title sequence.
You Only Live Twice and Live and Let Die are 2 films out of 23, so I guess they are the exceptions that prove the rule.
In Live and Let Die, some of the traditional Bond elements are missing because Roger Moore wanted to distinguish himself from Connery – no dinner suits, no vodka martinis, briefing held at Bond’s home, rather than in MI6, etc.
I enjoy seeing Bond in dinner jacket as much as everyone else, it is the signature James Bond look after all. All I’m saying is that sometimes it looks forced, this being the clearest example.
Not in 40s,5os and 60s for exemple.
Not for private dinners in Carnival period.
Anyway,with thousand in costumes who cares to a guy in dinner jacket?
Sad to see the last of Moore’s Bond suits done and dusted!
While what you say is true, Mike, Connery also wore both a black dinner suit AND a white dinner jacket and black trousers ensemble on his perambulations around the hotels and arcades of Las Vegas in DAF.
Regarding the cuff, I had noticed this anomaly before but I always took it that this was a continuity error due to it being actually a close up of Moore’s stunt double. I would think this explains it as the cuff is not of a type I have ever seen either Moore wear or Foster produce.
Perhaps the ambulance interior was filmed in the studio in Paris..? Either way, it wouldn’t explain why they didn’t bring the correct shirt unless it’s a stunt double like Mr Marlborough says.
Interesting that the cocktail cuff made a comeback however, after the odd and ugly “Spy who loved me-cuff”.
What a great tux! The jacket looks a little slimmer then the one from Spy. I agree that the tie is better than the one from Golden Gun (one of the few tuxedos from the series I don’t like).
Also, Connery did not wear a tux in You Only Live Twice. It would be nice if the producers concentrated on story rather than a need to put Bond in a tux in every film. But it is part of the image and for the most part, their efforts have not been strained and are certainly welcome.
I think it’s good that Bond continues to wear a dinner jacket in every film. It keeps it alive. Once Bond stops wearing it other people will too. And if it’s not in one film, that’s 6 years between dinner jackets.
You make an interesting assertion here, Matt in that you believe that Bond is almost single handedly keeping dinner jackets alive. I suppose Bond is influential enough to have an effect in this regard.
Casino Royale had an especially large impact on the state of black tie, from what I’ve seen.
Oh, I agree completely with you Matt. I would just like to make sure that the efforts are not too strained, as I think they have sometimes been (TWINE).
Black tie does come and go. I have seen a surprisingly large number of displays of traditional black tie recently. Unfortunately, the opportunity to wear black tie does not come around often for most people
Isn’t it a pretty sad state of sartorial affairs all the same when we admit to needing to rely on a fictional charcter to keep alive an important aspect of polite dressing?! Why does every aspect of modern life have to be so bloody informal!
David: It’s not just a sartorial decline, sadly. In sweden, where I live, this problem is especially obvious. We’ve gotten so tied up in the mentality of treating everyone the same – wich by no means is bad of course – but it has come on the expense of respect for authority, in my opinion. For example, in sweden there is the unspoken rule that you should always call people by their surename and almost never use titles such as Dr, Mrs, or Director. It’s a shame. I’m a young guy (21) but I would much rather adress, say, a teacher by the last name instead of the surename. It’s not about class or someone being better than someone else, it’s about being respectful towards someone who is older and an authority.
And I’d also rather see the teacher wearing a suit and not dress like a student.
Does the Angelo Roma tailoring house currently exist? I couldn’t find anything on Google. Thanks.
I don’t believe they do. If Angelo Vitucci is still alive I doubt he is working.
Great post Mr. Spaiser! I like getting to see the times that James Bond has worn cocktail cuffs with black tie. This is something that I am a fan of. I think that cocktail cuffs can work for any look one is going for. I am pleased to see that in no time to die James Bond will return this look in bringing back the cocktail cuff with black tie. What do you think about this Matt considering that this was the last time James Bond had worn cocktail cuffs with black tie?
Also, something else to note is this is the only time Roger Moore as James Bond does not wear patent leather shoes with his black tie outfit. Why do you think that is?