Roger Moore’s Safari Suit at Cannes in 1977

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Roger Moore wearing a safari suit at Cannes in 1977, standing next to Barbara Bach
Photo sourced from Thunderball.org

On 20 May 1977, Roger Moore and Barbara Bach attended the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France to promote The Spy Who Loved Me a month and a half before its release. For this occasion Roger Moore wore a pale-coloured safari suit in silk dupioni. Compared to all of Moore safari garments in the Bond films, this one is the most fashion forward because it’s the furthest from a traditional safari suit. It is a proper 1970s leisure suit, and Moore wears it in a casual manner. While the suit is undoubtedly dated, the cut and fit are to be admired.

The safari suit jacket is conceptually similar to the ecru safari jacket from The Man with the Golden Gun, both being pale-coloured, structured safari jackets. The execution of each jacket, however, is considerably different.

Roger Moore ecru safari jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun has some similarities

While classic safari jackets have a shirt construction without any structure, Moore’s 1977 safari jacket is highly structured with a straight, heavily padded shoulder line and roped sleeve heads. This structure gives the garment an extra-militaristic look. Had Moore worn it buttoned up, it might even resemble some of Blofeld’s Mao suits.

Based on the strong shoulder line, this suit was possibly tailored by Roger Moore’s regular tailor at the time Angelo Roma. Angelo made Moore’s suits and sports coats for The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker in a structured Roman style.

The safari suit jacket has four transparent resin buttons down the front, which Moore leaves unbuttoned. The front resembles a shirt and does not have lapels. It is cut with a front yoke and separate pieces for both sides of the button placket. The front buttonholes are vertically oriented like on a shirt, but they have a keyhole shape with the rounded part of the keyhole on top. The pieced cut is unusual for a silk jacket, and it may mean that this jacket was made from a pattern intended for a leather jacket. There are four flapped patch pockets on the front. Each pocket has an inverted box pleat. The flaps have an elegant shape that is rounded at the sides and curves to a point at the centre. There are no photos of the rear of the jacket.

Though the jacket has a tailored cut and construction, it has shirt-style collar and cuffs. The collar is a two-piece point collar without a button. The collar points are long—about 4 inches in 1970s fashion—and have slightly rounded points. The cuffs have a squared shape with a single large resin button.

Little can be seen of the suit trousers except that they are suit trousers that match the jacket and that they have a flat front. They likely have the same cut as the trousers in The Spy Who Loved Me, with a wide flared leg.

Roger Moore wearing a safari suit at Cannes in 1977, standing next to Barbara Bach
Photo sourced from Thunderball.org

All photos of this safari suit are in black and white, so it could be any pale colour like ecru, beige, light grey or light blue. Ecru is my best guess.

Wearing a shirt under a jacket with a two-piece collar can be difficult, but Moore solves this problem with a lightweight knit roll neck instead of a shirt. The roll neck contrasts with the jacket in a dark colour, possible black, dark brown or navy. It adds to the 1970s casual look of the outfit, but Moore couldn’t look more cool in it all.

15 COMMENTS

    • Sure the material is a finer one however even dated from the 70’s this kind of attire can be easily “updated”.

  1. And the suit has épaulettes/shoulder straps. Interestingly at the same Festival de Cannes, Roger wears his TMWTGG grey Hong Kong Peninsula suit with the Cairo tie, a combination he will also wear in interviews.

    Have a nice day!

  2. It’s a beautiful suit and Roger looks great in it. It doesn’t hurt to have a Cuban cigar and a beautiful woman as accessories! I particularly like the way Roger wears a turtle neck jumper underneath. Can we have an article on the do’s and don’ts of matching a suit with a turtleneck? It’s something I haven’t done in years and feel a bit apprehensive of. But then Roger is leading the way…!

  3. Roger really loved his safari clothing! He possessed a certain rare “louche” quality which really is innate and can’t be either learned or forced. While this clothing was fashionable at the time and many other people wore (often less refined and less high-end) versions, Roger just carried it off beautifully.

    I’ll always defend his safari choices because the Bond of that era was a staunchly British ex military/naval man and this clothing matches such a character while being currently hip. Had Daniel Craig played Bond in the 70’s as a fortysomething, I’m pretty sure he’d have gravitated to such clothing. Connery would have worn at least some safari-inspired choices as Bond had he continued in the role throughout the 1970’s.

    I’d be pretty sure this is the work of Angelo as you say yourself, Matt. I wonder was it produced for the movie but the scene for it wasn’t in the script. A little like that gun club check sports coat Roger wore promoting A View to a Kill and tailored by Hayward. I always wonder was this produced for the St. John Smythe section of the movie but then never used.

  4. Is the suit “dated”, though? I wouldn’t have argued the point 18 years ago but several major designers, both high end and mainstream, have introduced staggeringly similar suits in the last few years. Even such safe and unadventurous brands like Banana Repulic have rather lovely ensembles almost identical to Moore’s.

    • If you wait long enough what was out will come back in again but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was good. Somebody on here did a good job of summarizing Rog up once when they said something along the lines that he was undoubtedly committed to his tailoring moreso perhaps than any of the other Bonds, but the fact that he fell into what was trendy (at a time when fashion was at its nadir) kept him from being considered in the front rank of stylistic icons. Cary Grant was a couple of decades older and while none of us can claim to have never made a stylistic faux pas, he kept his distance from the trends during the decade that style forgot and emerged much the greater icon for doing so. I don’t recall ever seeing him in kipper ties and bell bottoms and in his famous interview he mentions his aim at being in the ‘middle’ and never straying to extremes.
      Another point is that my Dad was born in 1921 so very close to the assumed age of book Bond. He was also a career military officer and he largely kept away from the excesses of fashion in the seventies as I assume ‘real’ Bond and most of his contemporaries would have done. My Dad’s peers from that vintage who lived through the war remained similarly steadfastly adherent to the more classic proportions of the previous decades. When I see characters who are from that era and later portrayed as succumbing to seventies mores (think Alan Alda in ‘Same Time Next Year’ who grows long hair and a tache, starts wearing floral scarfs and speaking ‘right on’, or even John Slattery as Roger Sterling in ‘Mad Men’ also growing a tache and experimenting with LSD) – I’m sure some men did follow those trends but my anecdotal view is that they were in the minority and most career WW2 officer veterans like book Bond would have largely maintained their conservative approach and suspicion of youth-driven fashions in the seventies – unlike Rog with his bell bottoms and leisure suits. In later life Rog clearly saw the error of his ways and was more often than not seen in much more book Bondian suits and blazers to the end. I’m confident even he looks back at that seventies period as a stylistic mis-step.

    • I’d also argue that the recent emergence of similar-styled suits is less an attempt to revive seventies leisure suits as it is a result of the accelerating march to casualise everything. As suits have fallen out of favour in all but the most rigidly conservative careers, designers / retailers look to reinvent suits and jackets with a much more casual slant, thus we have unstructured suits with safari-type detailing and a rapid increase in seeing things like chore coats and teba jackets replacing wool blazers.

  5. Back in the day I worked in a men’s store these were called Leisure suits.They were all polyester for the pedestrian trade. Roger makes it look great and it is a high quality suit.

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