The complete power suit outfit could not have been a better choice for a 1980s James Bond villain. It is the perfect look for a man such as A View to a Kill‘s Max Zorin, who relentlessly seeks more power. Christopher Walken’s Zorin may be happiest in the saddle, but he looks most the part of a 1985 industry mogul when dressed in either of his two grey suits.
Zorin’s suits, one in mid-grey flannel and one in charcoal pinstripe, have the quintessential look of their time thanks to prominent squared shoulders. They have a 1980s low button stance but with a medium gorge, which helps them to better stand the test of time compared to many suits of this era. These suits are most likely made by an English tailor considering the film’s base of production and some of the suits’ stylistic details.
The Charcoal Pinstripe Suit
For a short, but memorable, scene aboard Zorin’s dirigible, Zorin wears a charcoal double-breasted suit with a subtle red pinstripe. This is Zorin’s true power suit, and he wears it in a boardroom of sorts where it looks most at home. It’s while he wears this suit that we see the psychopath that Zorin truly is.
The suit jacket is a button one, show two. This was a popular double-breasted style at the time, but in Zorin’s example the button stance is not as low as was common at the time. The fastening buttons are placed higher than the jetted hip pockets, while more commonly at the time the buttons would have been placed down at that level. The jacket’s peaked lapels are a medium width with a medium gorge. The jacket has three cuff buttons, pick-stitched lapels, and double vents.
Zorin wears an ecru shirt with white stripes paired with a solid red silk repp tie and a solid burgundy silk pocket square. The shirt is made by Roger Moore’s and Bond-series shirtmaker Frank Foster, and it has a semi-spread collar and button cuffs. The tie is made in a Windsor knot. The red in the tie and pocket square coordinate with this suit’s red pinstripes. The tie and pocket square coordinate with each other by being different shades of red, but they do not match. While this pairing is preferable to wearing a matching tie and pocket square set, these items clash. If one had a pattern, even a subtle pin dot pattern, it would prevent the two items from competing as they do here. This is the only main strike against Zorin’s outfits. The pocket square is slightly puffed.
The ecru shirt is more flattering to Zorin’s pale skin and bleached hair than a pure white shirt would be. The red tie is also flattering to Zorin’s warm complexion while being a power colour.
The Grey Flannel Suit
The grey flannel suit is lightweight and probably a worsted flannel. The jacket’s cut is single-breasted with two buttons, and the top button is placed low on the waist. There are two buttons on each cuff. It has a fairly boxy fit through the body, but it doesn’t look overly full. With its design of three open patch pockets — two hip patch pockets and one breast patch pocket — and swelled edges it’s a sporty suit. The strong shoulders may be slightly at odds with the sporty style, but a more relaxed cut wouldn’t suit the character. The rear of the jacket has double vents.
The suit trousers are cut with a straight leg that’s fitted through the thighs but does not taper through the knee, so the hem is fairly wide. This was a popular way to cut trousers in the first half of the 1980s, taming the 1970s flares but not moving to a completely different style.
Zorin wears this suit on two occasions: first in his study at his French chateau and later at San Francisco City Hall. In his chateau, he wears a light blue shirt with a navy tie that has alternating light grey and light blue stripes that coordinate with the suit and shirt, respectively. A navy silk pocket square elegantly coordinates with the tie. It’s folded to point towards the shoulders, which subtly makes the shoulders look more prominent.
This is a very well-planned outfit with none of Zorin’s usual intuitive improvisation. Some may say the combinations are too studied, but the look is still sophisticated.
In San Francisco, Zorin pairs this suit with the same ecru striped shirt that he wore aboard his airship, but he’s about to make the same mistake twice as he wears the red tie and burgundy pocket square together again, though the tie and pocket square still clash with each other. Maybe the repeat of the accessories is a convenient coincidence, but repetition of the same items shows a realistic travel wardrobe. The bright red continues to reflect Zorin’s wild personality, while the blue tie earlier portrays him as a calmer man. The burgundy pocket square is folded to angle towards the face, which subtly draws the eye towards the face.
In the San Francisco scene he wears this suit with black round-toed shoes. Not much of the shoes are seen, and they are not visible on the other occasions, but they appear to be a traditional English-style shoe.