Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem in Skyfall, is one of the most flamboyantly-dressed villains, yet he’s a well-tailored one. His cream silk jacket fits almost perfectly, the only problem being that the sleeve are too long. It’s made by Mayfair tailor Thom Sweeney, so it’s nice to see a second character in Skyfall—the first being Gareth Mallory—wearing bespoke English tailoring. The button two silk jacket is elegantly-tailored in the English style with softly-padded shoulders, roped sleeve heads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. The jacket is tailored with classic proportions; the lapels are a balanced width, the length covers his behind and the jacket is closely fitted but not tight. The jacket has slanted hip pockets, double vents, four buttons on the cuffs, and dark brown corozo nut buttons.
Under the jacket, Silva wears a waistcoat and trousers in dark olive tropical wool or mohair. The waistcoat has five buttons, and Silva unstylishly fastens the bottom button. However, if he left the waistcoat’s bottom button open the shirt underneath may be exposed since the trousers have a somewhat low rise. The trousers’ waistband is visible in the notch of the bottom of the waistcoat. The waistcoat has narrow lapels and a small, full collar that are worn flipped up. The trousers have a flat front and plain hem.
Silva’s shirt from Prada is the flashiest part of his outfit. The shirt’s printed pattern consists of tan tiles with a white border and navy tiles with a tan border on a black ground. The shirt has a point collar, rounded single-button cuffs and dark buttons. Silva wears the collar button and first button open. Because of how flashy the shirt is, the necktie isn’t missed. It can be awkward to wear a waistcoat without a tie, but the waistcoat’s purpose here is to tone down the outfit by covering the shirt rather than to dress up the outfit. By flipping up the waistcoat’s collar and lapels, Silva rejects the additional formality that the waistcoat would ordinarily give the outfit. This is not a way I would recommend anyone wear a waistcoat, but when you’re a Bond villain you can dress as you please.
Silva’s medium brown chelsea boots add an additional level of flamboyance to his outfit. Though chelsea boots are typically very clean and sleek, Silva’s chelsea boots have an excessive amount of brogueing and far more seams than typical chelsea boots. They have a toe cap as well as a decorative strip of leather across the vamp. Apart from brogueing on every seam, they also have a toe medallion. The boots have thick double leather soles.
Costume designer Jany Temime dressed Silva appropriately in a garish and outrageous manner that perfectly suits the insane Bond villain.
And, of course, he is wearing dentures.
I suspect since some of Silva’s characterisation was based on that of the Joker from The Dark Knight, he may also have taken on his penchant for tile pattern print shirts.
Very nice post on Silva’s outfit Matt.
I have always liked this outfit and I agree that it fits the character very well. I think for a Bond villain, a flashy outfit is just as essential as an unnecessarily complex plan for world domination.
Although I could never pull off the entire outfit, a cream jacket that fits like that is something I would really like to have. It has a very nice cut. Silva wears it unbuttoned and it still drapes very well.
The cream jacket matches his bleach-blond hair quite nicely.
This scene introduces Silva, and the costuming is quite effective. The costume has a louche quality that matches Silva’s characterization. When my tailor from Thom Sweeney informed me they made the silk cream jacket, I felt like a proud parent whose child had the lead role in a school play. I’ve watched Skyfall several times, and this scene continues to intrigue me due to the costuming and Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Silva.
Interestingly, there’s a connection between Thom Sweeney and the film’s other bespoke tailor, Timothy Everest. The owners of Thom Sweeney apprenticed at Timothy Everest before deciding to strike out on their own.
Personally, I hope Thom Sweeney becomes Bond’s tailor in future films, but unfortunately, that is highly unlikely.
I kind of like the flipped-up lapels and collar on the waistcoat. It shows that Silva isn’t scared to put his own spin on the way he wears clothes.
I never realized that the jacket was silk, and I had a close-up look at it at the Designing 007 exhibit in Toronto. Is it a mix of some kind? I assume that it must be based on how smooth the fabric looks.
I have a beautiful unlined jacket in mulberry silk and cotton but find that it wears rather warmer than I would have thought. An immaculately dressed man who works in my building said that he never wears silk for that reason – he said that silk was often used for long underwear for the winter where he was from.
Looking forward to reading about Silva’s outfit during the siege of Skyfall lodge.
Silk can indeed be very smooth. I have a pair of silk cream trousers that look identical to the material this jacket is made of, and they both have the same dull sheen.
Shirt – and M’s suits – aside, the excellent tailoring on this jacket was such a wonderful relief – right there in the middle of the film, when you’ve had just about enough of watching Craig exemplify the hipster fit.
Out of curiosity though, wouldn’t you say that Bardem’s waistcoat was cut with the intentions of being 5-with-5 to button to begin with? If there was a 6th button, I’d understand why it’d be left open, but the lowest button isn’t anywhere near the split of the waistcoat. It would look wrong as a 5-with-4 to button.
It’s still customary to leave the bottom open. Pierce Brosnan left the bottom button open on all of his 5-button waistcoats in Remington Steele.