The Russia House: Blazer and Duffle Coat

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Connery-Russia-House-Blazer

In the 1990 film The Russia House, Sean Connery plays Bartholomew “Barley” Scott Blair, the head of a British publishing film turned spy. Though the character is a spy, he’s nothing like James Bond. Connery dresses how an older man in Britain would traditionally dress, and he wears layers to withstand Moscow’s cold weather. Connery’s wardrobe in the film consists of V-neck jumpers, knitted ties, informal outercoats, a navy suit, a checked jacket and a navy blazer.

Connery-Russia-House-Blazer-2Connery’s button two navy blazer has natural shoulders that go against the trendy large shoulder of 1990, but slightly wide lapels and the moderately low gorge and button stance reflect the fashions of the time. Though blazers ordinarily have vents in the rear due to their sporty nature, this one reflects the fashions of 1990 and has no vent. Like Connery’s navy blazer in Dr. No, this blazer also has an open patch breast pocket and open patch hip pockets, swelled edges and two buttons on the cuffs. This blazer’s buttons are brass. Bonhams in Knightsbridge auctioned the blazer on 16 June 2009 for £120. The blazer was made for Sean Connery by the costumiers Angels.

Connery-Russia-House-Duffle-Coat-2Under the blazer, Connery wears a medium grey sleeveless, V-neck jumper, which both keeps Connery warm and makes the outfit more casual. Connery’s dark green corduroy trousers have double forward pleats and are worn with a brown alligator-texture belt. The ecru shirt has a point collar, rounded single-button cuffs, a front placket and rear shoulder pleats. Connery wears a knitted tie with red and navy horizontal stripes, and it’s most likely tied in a half windsor knot. Connery’s shoes are dark brown.

Connery-Russia-House-Duffle-CoatOver the blazer, Connery wears a camel-coloured, heavy woollen duffle coat. The duffle coat is a casual coat characterised by its toggle closure. Connery’s coat has four wooden toggles that fasten with rope, and they go down the front from the collar to the waist. The coat is knee-length without a vent in the rear, but no vent is needed when the coat is free to spread apart in front below the waist. The coat has shoulder patches, two open patch pockets, buttoned straps on the sleeves and a hood. There are straps to button around the neck that connect with elastic around the back of the neck. Connery also keeps warm with an olive wool or cashmere scarf and a brown felt fedora with a centre dent, front pinch and brown ribbon.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Do you think the duffle coat has a hidden zipper to close the front in addition to the toggles? It seems most toggle coats in an average department store today have that feature and I like it because it makes the coat warmer. Is a zipper too non-traditional for a high-end coat?

    • This one doesn’t appear to have a zipper. The lack of zipper may not be because it’s a high-end coat, but because it’s an old coat. Connery’s coat looks very worn-in, so it may have been an old coat when the film was made. Or it may have been made to look like an old coat.

  2. I’m afraid that traditional British duffle coat — as I find the term ‘traditional’ looking upon my Gloverall duffle — may be unappropriate for true Russian winter. Sir Connery would need a couple of layers and much broader coat to keep them tight 😉

  3. The clothes maybe a bit shabby looking, but I think it fits the character (and the tone of the movie) very well. I really like his performance in this movie. He pulls off the reluctant accidental spy very well.
    And I’m not sure I would find the romance as believable if it were played by any other actor.

  4. Thanks for covering, Matt. The clothes seem to convey the character well, and also appear aged – that is, not fresh off the 1990 suit line; they have a bit of history as they should.

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