The Navy Birdseye Tank Suit in GoldenEye

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GoldenEye-Navy-Birdseye-Suit

In GoldenEye, Bond’s navy suit from Brioni survives many action scenes. The cloth is navy birdseye woven by Schofield & Smith in Huddersfield, as diagrammed below. Birdseye is a pattern that derives from a specific birdseye weave, and it’s usually made of worsted wool. The pattern is so small that from a distance it appears solid, but when the colours are laid out alternating two and two in both the warp and the weft, the pattern comes alive:

GoldenEye-Birdseye
The birdseye weave made up of medium blue and navy as worn in GoldenEye

The proper pattern combines with the birdseye weave results in larger circles and smaller squares between the circles. Because the small squares emerge from underneath the yarns surrounding them, the squares are may be engulfed by the surrounding yarns and often almost disappear. If the colours of the pattern were split up between the warp (the lengthwise yarns) and the weft (the crosswise yarns), the pattern would end up considerably different:

The birdseye weave with white in the warp and black in the weft to show the weave

Yes, the weaves of the above two patterns are exactly the same!

The birdseye suit in GoldenEye is cut like a typical Brioni suit in their “Augusto” model, but it is detailed with some influence from Savile Row, London’s prestigious street of tailors. From an article in The European Magazine in 1995, costume designer Linday Hemming said, “Even in the Connery days in the 1960’s, Italian design was seen as cool. Now we seem to have come full circle, with Italians making suits to look as if they came from Savile Row—except with more modern fabrics and more efficient skills.” The shoulders are padded and straight, with roping at the sleeve head. The cut through the body is full, which was fashionable in the 1990s, but it is not baggy. This suit has a button three front, slanted pockets with a ticket pocket, four buttons on each cuff and double vents. Bond wears the suit coat unbuttoned.

GoldenEye-Navy-Birdseye-Suit-2

The trousers have double reverse pleats, tapered legs, turn-ups and are worn with a belt. Bond’s belt is black with a brass buckle and coordinates with his black Church’s Diplomat semi-brogue oxfords. The shirt is ivory with a moderate spread collar, front placket and double cuffs, and the tie is a geometric pattern of navy and gold. Both the shirt and tie are from Sulka.

GoldenEye-Navy-Birdseye-Suit-3

On 6 March 2007 one example (of thirty made) of this suit was put up for auction at Bonhams in Knightsbridge but was not sold. It later sold for £2,640 on 16 June 2009. The example shown at the auction included a six-button waistcoat as part of the suit, though it was not used in the movie. The picture from the Bonhams catalogue can be seen below:

GoldenEye-Navy-Birdseye-Suit-4

34 COMMENTS

  1. Its funny, back in the day I used to think Brosnan's Bond looked so classicly modern, but now its all so dated; it screams mid 90s. Especially his choice in ties.

  2. I disagree. Perhaps the cut is more dated in comparison with today's slimmer style, but the suit (and tie for that matter) is still very classic.

  3. The cut of the suit is classically Roman, which isn't as popular these days as it was 15-25 years ago. But that doesn't make it outdated. I'm not a fan of the tie (or the others in the movie), and I don't think it is very Bondian.

  4. To me, this is typical Brosnan – great suit, terrible tie. But, the cut of Brosnan's suits always struck me as very nice and it was the mid-90s. I always thought Bond films avoided the fashion excesses of their times. Connery didn't wear suits that were too slim or flashy (as the Bond imitators often did), Moore didn't wear ridiculously wide lapels and flares in horrible colors and cuts, and Brosnan avoided the wide, low gorges that were so prevalent in 1995. That tie though…

  5. Yes, these are all the same suit. The birdseye pattern is very subtle and can only be seen very close up. A Blu-ray release would show it.

  6. i ve always loved brosan look i have myself this sulka tie and i wear it with my navy suit and white shirt just like bond

    Sometimes i think brosan as bond always had a kind of a "grandpa look" and personally i love it i cant stand this new tendencies on thin ties, wearing all of the same colour, etc. i dont care if my mates say that i dress like a grandpa i will always be classy and timeless

  7. I’m a 3 piece suit person myself (holds my belly in a bit) so you can have the option of wearing the waistcoat or not.
    The ‘3 piece light blue suit’ I thought it was in the film. When JB meets Q in his lab.

  8. Matt, I have a question about Brosnan’s suit trousers. Are they cut as high as Connery’s ? Connery’s pants seemed cut for his natural waist and he wore them just at his navel, I assume as high as the one Cary Grant wore in North by Northwest (his fabulous gen plaid suit). Brosnan seemed to me to wear them just a little lower, but I am not shure anymore when I look at your pictures. Or perhaps it was a high waistband in Goldeneye and it has “decreased” with the other Brosnan movies ? Thank you for your time.

  9. are u sure, the shirt is cream? ive always seen it white.

    And a question how do you regonize the different shades of off white?

    • It’s a little bit off white. At Designing 007 Lindy Hemming paired a cream shirt with this suit. If the off-white is very close to white it can be very difficult to tell, but cream shirts look much different from white in darker lighting. Darker ecru shirts are easier to tell, like some of Roger Moore’s shirts.

      • Maybe is an “almost white shade of off white”, but i dont think its cream, i have the movie in the ultimate dvd edition with the best quality in image till a blue ray version comes out and there is almost no hint of cream, it looks totally white most of the scenes, it only looks creamy under certain ligths, it must be only a lil bit off white as you say, like ibory sort off, but not that much to be cream.

      • Now that the Blu-ray is out you can clearly see the shirt’s cream colour in some of the scenes. White is a much better colour for Brosnan’s complexion.

  10. ok so your post says that the geometric tie that Bond wears is a Navy and gold pattern, on Magnoli’s website it says its Black. which is true? im going to purchase this tie either way but i doubt this tie (if its black) would look good on a navy suit, id just wear it with a black suit. any further insight on this sulka tie matt? thanks

    • Look closely in the film and you’ll see that the tie is navy. Do you think Lindy Hemming would pair a black tie with a navy suit? That’s not her style. Magnoli has gotten a few things wrong in his replicas. I don’t know any more about the tie.

      • Yeah that’s what I was thinking too. I doubt she would of made that mistake at all pairing that black tie with navy suit.

      • A black tie with a navy suit can be done and not be a mistake. That’s what Fleming’s Bond always wore. But Lindy Hemming prefers to match her colours.

      • yeah thats true, but i would rather go Hemming’s route and match the colors as well. oh well, ill still buy the Sulka replica from indy, just will wear it with a black suit.

      • Interesting, but i think the tie is actually black. why? because magnoli got the replica from a brosnan bond wax figure which has the original sulka tie, and in Magnoli´s website there is one customer who claims to have the original sulka tie, and magnoli´s replica who states “this replica could pass as a twin”. I think the tie is black and magnoli’s is 99% correct.

  11. Matt, what do you think of the handkerchief colour ? Is it the same as the other ones worn in the movie ? A deep French blue perhaps ?

  12. Really I think these cuts are perfect. Yes, they are generally a bit looser with wider lapels and higher in the waist than the current trendy suits, but that trend will ride its way out soon enough. The ties are really not that bad either. Repeating geometric patterns were popular in 1995 yes, but with the rich yet subtle colors, the ones here are still like some the ties I see in even high-end stores today.

    If 1995 Brosnan-Bond walked into an airport in 2014, he would both blend in and probably even come off as more tastefully dressed than a lot of the traveling businessmen.

    • I think people were more referring to the ties than the suits. Especially to the TND outfit with the brown diamond patterned tie.

  13. It really shows how beautiful this suit really is. It’s such a shame that Bond never buttons the coat in the movie, so we never see the gentle shape. Likewise, I wish they included the waistcoat in the film but that’s just a matter of taste.

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