The Elephant Grey Silk Suit in Moonraker

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When James Bond arrives in Venice in Moonraker he wears an dupioni silk suit in elephant grey. Dupioni silk is both shiny and slubby, and it’s a great fabric for spring and in the Mediterranean. The suit jacket, made by Angelo Roma, is cut with a button two front and wide lapels. The jacket has a strong Roman cut with straight and narrow shoulders with roped sleeve heads, a clean chest and a suppressed waist. Detailing the jacket are deep double vents, straight pockets with narrow flaps (in comparison to the lapels) and four buttons on each cuff. The trousers have a flat front, no side pockets and wide, flared legs, and they are worn with a belt. If you can get past the wide lapels and flared legs, you’ll see that the suit has a flattering cut with an excellent fit.

Bond’s shirt from Frank Foster is made of light ecru silk crepe de chine and has a large point collar, a front placket and “Lapidus” tab cuffs. The tie is printed pattern of white and dark red ovals on a dark navy ground. Bond’s socks are light grey to match the suit and his shoes are black Italian horse bit slip-ons.

Five examples of this suit were made for the movie. In the scene where the gondola rises out of the water, the first four takes resulted in the craft tipping over and Roger Moore falling into the water, ruining each suit. Whilst the fifth take was a success, it’s a shame about the first four suits.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I currently aspire to a Dupioni suit much like this. The chest is marvelous and the lapels are hardly at the extreme end of width, especially considering it's still the Nutters era

    This is also a good example for deploying black background print ties – I rarely see them around, but have a 1970s Turnbull & Asser that suits most suiting colours I can think of

    Best from Mode Parade,

    B

  2. Hi Matt. I am curious and apologise if this seems a little pedantic. However, I notice that you describe the shirt Bond is wearing in this entry as white. However, in previous entries – for example, in relation to Connery’s Black 3 Piece Suit from Diamonds Are Forever, his grey Houndstooth Suit from You Only Live Twice and Moore’s shirt with the tweed suit earlier in Moonraker – the shirt is described as ecru. However, as far as I can see, and judging from the pictures you have posted, the shirts in the other movies seem as white as Moore’s one here.

    This online dictionary defines Ecru.

    http://uk.ask.com/wiki/Ecru_(color).

    I would, therefore, take ecru to be a kind of cream color perhaps at the paler end of the spectrum. A little like Moore’s shirt worn with a mid grey suit and matching tie in For Your Eyes Only. How do you differentiate between white and ecru?

    Also, the tie worn with the grey suit in Venice always appeared as a dark navy with a small white pattern rather than black? Then again, perhaps you are viewing the movies via a better technological medium than I have done.

  3. David, you may be the one with the better medium. I just checked a different version of the movie on a different screen and the ecru shirt and navy tie were much more clear. Thank you for pointing this out. It can be difficult to tell when navies are very dark and ecrus are very light. Colours are the hardest thing to determine on screen. I've changed my entry to reflect your findings. Do not hesitate to point out anything you think is in error.

  4. This post has inspired me to dig out my own elephant-grey silk suit (albeit double-breasted, unlike Bond's) for a few wears this spring!

    As always, keep the blog going; it's always interesting.

  5. Matt,

    One thing your blog has pointed out to me is just how well the Moore's suits of the 1970s fit him. Aside from the wide lapels, that jacket looks near perfect to my (imperfect) eye. I look forward to further entries, from Goldfinger's navy Q branch suit, and Lazenby's ruffles, to Moore's safari jacket and Craig's Dr. No dinner suit homage. Keep up the excellent work.

  6. I have been trying to find grey Dupioni silk. No luck.

    Neither Loro Piana nor Gladson carry it. In fact, Loro Piana only offers five colors. Gladson has more colors, but not by much.

    Who carries grey silk?

    Thank you.

  7. Even though I prefer the Castle and Hayward cut over the Angelo one, I have to admit the silk suits from this and the previous film are absolutely beautiful. Matt, could you tell me why this is called elephant grey and not just light grey, as it has always looked the latter to me (same as his San Monique suit from LALD, no?). What’s the difference?

  8. Matt,

    There’s a short, silent movie available to view on You Tube shot on Super 8 which shows Moore whilst filming the boat scene at St. Mark’s Square and wearing this outfit. When I view the tie on this it actually seems closer to what your original post stated; black. I’d be curious to hear your opinion after viewing this.

  9. Pardon my ignorance , Matt , but what is cotton silk crepe de chine ? Is it some sort of a blend ?
    Also , can you tell me how many times ( and when ) Bond wears a pure silk shirt with his suits or blazers in the films ( Not black tie ).
    I think Connery wears one in ” From Russia with love ” and Moore wears one in ” Spy who loved me “

      • Thank you , Matt. Last question. Are there any visual give aways that allows one to distinguish a silk shirt from a cotton one or a polyester one ?

      • On screen. For instance , this shirt and the shirt worn by Connery in ” From Russia with Love “. Like , when l was reading your post about the flannel chalk stripe suit in ” From Russia with Love ” , you pinpointed the shirt as a silk one ( as opposed to all of Connery’s other sea island cotton shirts ) , and again here , you were able to pinpoint the shirt as silk. Relying only on the ecru color isn’t a very accurate way to identify the material , since ecru cotton Poplin is very common. So , is there any other give away that Moore ‘s shirt here is silk ?

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