Happy 77th birthday to George Lazenby! I visited Oslo, Norway last week for the James Bond in Oslo red carpet gala held on the 1st of September, at which Lazenby was the guest of honour and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was screened in restored 4K. Four Bond girls were also honoured at this event: Martine Beswick from From Russia with Love and Thunderball, Caroline Munro from The Spy Who Loved Me, Maryam d’Abo from The Living Daylights and Serena Scott Thomas from The World Is Not Enough. The event was organised by Morten Steingrimsen along with Odd Kalsnes and Øyvind Asbjørnsen. 47 years after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby was turned into James Bond again for this event. He arrived to the gala in Norway’s only 1969 Aston Martin DBS, and he was dressed in an Anthony Sinclair three-piece dinner suit.
Though Anthony Sinclair is best known for dressing Sean Connery in his James Bond films, George Lazenby visited Sinclair when he was looking to dress the part of James Bond for his audition in 1968. Sinclair told Lazenby that he needed six months to make a suit, but fortunately for Lazenby he had made a checked suit for Sean Connery that Connery did not want. Lazenby happened to be a similar size to Connery, so Sinclair lengthened the sleeves and sold the suit to Lazenby. After a haircut at Connery’s barber (Connery still had some hair left in the late 60s), Lazenby looked the part of James Bond.
Anthony Sinclair is now a part of Mason & Sons, operated by David Mason out of a legendary flat where Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix have all lived at London’s Montagu Square. Mason met with Lazenby three times in the United States to fit this suit for him, all impressively within the span of six weeks. He flew to Lazenby’s home in Santa Monica twice, and then five days before the event he met with Lazenby in New York for a final fitting.
Mason first asked Lazenby what kind of dinner suit he wanted, and Lazenby chose black over midnight blue for his suit. Mason made suggestions as to what would look best on Lazenby as well as what would be most comfortable for him to wear. This ended up being a single-breasted, single-button model like what he wears in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Naturally, as people get older they lose definition in both their face and body. Because of this, angles are better than curves, and hence peaked lapels are better than a shawl collar. Mason didn’t want to dress Lazenby the same as he would dress Sean Connery (shawl collar, gauntlet cuffs) or Roger Moore (double-breasted), which is another reason for the style choices in this dinner suit. The dinner jacket is elegantly cut with a slightly full chest and soft shoulders with roped sleeve heads. It is detailed with jetted pockets, four covered buttons on each cuff and double vents.
Though Lazenby is still in good shape, a waistcoat looks better on a man his age than a cummerbund does. The waistcoat is a traditional low-cut model with four buttons and cut in a horseshoe shape. For Lazenby to look his best, Mason insisted that Lazenby wear braces. Lazenby initially did not want to, since they’re not seen as a hip style by his generation, but he agreed to wear them since the waistcoat keeps them hidden at all times. Judging by how good he looked, I’m sure he was happy he wore them.
Lazenby commented that this dinner suit is the best piece of clothing he has ever worn. He has not worn anything of this quality since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Sadly, Lazenby said that his suits from that film were given away to the Salvation Army at a time when Lazenby thought he had no need for suits.
With his dinner suit, Lazenby wore an elegant white dress shirt with a spread collar, a pintuck front, a covered-button placket and double cuffs. His black satin silk bow tie was diamond-shaped, which added another angular element to the outfit that complement the peaked lapels. He completed his outfit with a white folded linen handkerchief in his breast pocket and black patent leather plain-toe oxfords.
David Mason looked elegant as always in his midnight blue shawl-collar dinner suit with a link-button front and gauntlet cuffs. The facings are black silk. Though the lighting in the photo makes the dinner suit look more marine blue than midnight blue, it is actually a very dark blue. Daniel Craig’s midnight blue dinner suit in Skyfall saw the same effect on the promotional materials for that film. Mason’s dinner suit appeared a darker blue on the red carpet outside under the early evening sun, and inside under artificial light it appeared as it should, as a very deep colour that looks darker than black.