Largo: The White Camp Shirt

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Largo-Camp-Shirt

Emilio Largo, dare I say the best-dressed villain in the Bond series, looks just as smart in casual attire as he does in tailored clothing. Largo’s white camp shirt in Thunderball is likely a linen and cotton blend. It has a camp collar and long sleeves with rounded single-button cuffs. The body has a straight cut with a straight hem and side vents. There are six buttons down the front, including the collar, and the last two buttons are increasingly spaced farther apart going down than front. The collar, cuffs and front edge are stitched 1/4 inch from the edge. There is a crease down the middle of each side of the shirt, which means that Largo stores his shirts folded. Clearly his valet did not iron the shirt before he wore it. Some people like creases in their shirts, but they properly should be ironed out.

Largo-Camp-Shirt-2Compared to Connery’s camp shirts, Largo’s camp shirt is much longer, more like the length of a dress shirt to be tucked. Perhaps he had it made that way so it could transition from a casual daytime shirt to a dressier evening shirt that he can wear tucked under a blazer. Frank Foster makes his formal shirt hems exactly the same as this shirt’s hem, so there is no reason why this shirt couldn’t be worn both tucked and untucked. And seeing that Frank Foster constructs his shirt hems and vents exactly like this shirt’s hem and vent, this could possibly be one of his shirts.

Pierce Brosnan wears a very similar shirt almost 40 years later in Die Another Day, except his shirt has a pocket and he wears the sleeves rolled up. The lack of a pocket on Largo’s shirt—as well as wearing his sleeves down with the cuffs fastened—makes his look a bit dressier.

Largo-Camp-Shirt-3Largo’s trousers are charcoal blue linen and are ironed with a sharp crease down the leg. The have a plain hem and most likely a flat front. Though Largo is amongst the more tastefully-dressed Bond villains, his choice of shoes is rather flashy. They’re blue suede derbies with tassels on the laces and crepe soles. I’m not saying that the shoes aren’t tasteful—they’re actually quite stylish—but they’re unlikely to be an item Bond would wear. Largo’s choice of black socks, on the other hand, is rather unstylish unless he was matching his socks to his eyepatch. Blue-grey socks to match the trousers, though difficult to find, would be the natural colour of socks to wear. Blue or grey socks of any shade would look better than black.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Adolfo Celi was a great guy!
    I remember well it because was from my city,Messina,and his sister lived close to my home (she was barely identical to his brother)!!!
    He often returned in his hometown.
    His friends teased him because was a midding swimmer:
    “Adolfo,but you not were fighting underwater with 007″?
    And he : “The stuntman,not i”.
    He was greedy of “granita di caffè con panna e brioche” (iced coffee with sour cream and brioche) a speciality of Messina for…..breakfast!
    Adolfo Celi was very popular also for his interpretation of Joe Petrosino,the New York policeman of early 1900.
    Adolfo was very elegant and smart,he loved clothes (i remember fantastic camel overcoats and very well tailored bespoke clothes).
    Despite his frequent roles as villain he was a kind,funny and lovable gentleman.

    Adolfo was a actor and director very talented.
    Considered my bad English,i give the word to Wilkipedia:
    “Adolfo Celi became a film actor in postwar Italy. He left the Italian film industry when he emigrated to Brazil where he co-founded the Teatro Brasileiro de Comédia along with the Brazilian stage greats Paulo Autran and Tônia Carrero in São Paulo. He was successful as a stage actor in Argentina and Brazil. He directed three films in South America in the 1950s, including the Brazilian hit Tico-Tico no Fubá in 1952.
    Celi began a new popular career when he played the villain in Philippe de Broca’s That Man from Rio, selected by DeBroca on location in Rio de Janeiro. The popularity of the film led him to be cast as camp commandant Battaglia opposite Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard’s Allied POWs in the 1965 World War II escape drama Von Ryan’s Express. This led him to his most well known role as Largo in Thunderball. He is also known to international audiences as Ralph Valmont, one of the villans in the Mario Bava action thriller Danger: Diabolik. Celi appeared as a protagonist in some Italian comedies including Amici Miei and Brancaleone alle Crociate.In addition to his native Italian, Celi was fluent in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese, but his thick Sicilian accent meant that he was usually dubbed when he appeared in English language films. However, he was not dubbed in the 1981 BBC serial The Borgias, in which Celi played Rodrigo Borgia”.

    • Thanks for sharing.
      He was a great actor indeed and had a lot of charisma.
      I remember him in the Italian movie Amici Mei where he wore beautiful suits ( a navy striped one and a light colored one, perhaps double-breasted), and in the French polar Le Mataf where he wore a great light grey Glen Urquhart check three-button suit, cut the same way as his charcoal suit in Thunderball. Timeless, and yet it was in the 1970s !

      Anyway, he looks much more menacing than Connery in this scene. I thought his square, almost horizontal shoulders were due to jacket shoulder padding, but it looks like it’s not !

  2. I saw Thunderball for the first time the summer it came out at an open air theater with my parents. We were vacationing on the Adriatic coast of Italy, and I remember all the hoopla about Adolfo Celi and Luciana Paluzzi at the time – Bond villains were played by Italian actors! The “summer resort” glamour of Thunderball has never been replicated – for one thing, the actors’ tans look real. Yes, I know we now know tanning is unhealthy, but it brings back memories of the 60’s….

  3. Both men look great. I espcially like Largo’s shoes, which I had never noticed before. Perhaps his shirt sleeves are a bit too long, though.

  4. Dear Matt,

    Thank you very much – I’ve been looking forward to this article for a long time!
    Indeed you are right – Largo’s shoes are rather on the flamboyant side but it totally suits his character (think of the camel coat he is wearing in Paris). And quite frankly: Which colour would match a charcoal blue linen trouser? Perhaps brown suede would be an option – but that would be rather “un-villainish”.
    I like his outfit very much – especially because the white shirt matches perfectly with his skin colour and overall complexion. I would like to have something similar for my summer wardrobe – but I think a charcoal blue linen trouser is hard to find.

    All the best,
    Renard

  5. It looks like the perfect time for an article about Largo’s striped summer shirt in Palmyra…what do you think about it Matt ? 🙂

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