The Untraditional Ivory Dinner Jacket in Spectre

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After a 30-year gap, James Bond finally wears an ivory dinner jacket again in Spectre. A View to a Kill was the last film that featured Bond in an ivory dinner jacket. Daniel Craig’s dinner jacket in Spectre is made in Tom Ford’s “Windsor” model, which is Ford’s most famous model, characterised by its wide peaked lapels with belly and aggressive shoulders. The look is inspired by suits from the 1940s as well as by British designer Tommy Nutter’s suits. Though the overall cut of this dinner jacket in Spectre is classic-inspired, the details are not.

Bond’s visit to Morocco in Spectre necessitated the return of the ivory dinner jacket. Costume designer Jany Temime is quoted about this dinner jacket in the book Blood Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of Spectre curated by Rankin:

I told Sam [Mendes] I couldn’t do a better tuxedo than Skyfall. But then I thought Morocco deserved that colonial touch, a feeling of Casablanca where time stops and everything is so iconic.

Temime is also quoted on the James Bond 007 Facebook page saying something similar about this dinner jacket:

It was very hard to do better than the Skyfall blue tuxedo but I took my inspiration from Humphrey Bogart in the film Casablanca and Morocco. Daniel added the red carnation buttonhole and it looked absolutely sublime.

Humphrey Bogart’s ivory double-breasted, shawl-collar dinner jacket in Casablanca is the most famous ivory dinner jacket in cinematic history (which Emilio Largo copied in Thunderball), and Bond’s trip to Morocco along with his status of “black tie master” gave him an obligation to honour that piece. Though a shawl collar would have brought more of the spirit of Casablanca to this dinner jacket, Temime instead went with peaked lapels to follow the Bond style established by Sean Connery’s ivory dinner jacket in Goldfinger. The wider, more classic peaked lapels on this Tom Ford dinner jacket actually make it more closely resemble Sean Connery’s dinner jacket in Diamonds Are Forever than the jacket in Goldfinger. Though the red carnation makes us think of Goldfinger, the dinner jacket itself is quite different from any dinner jacket Bond has previous worn.

The dinner jacket is made from a breathable silk and viscose faille. It is cut with a shaped—but close—chest and a suppressed waist. The shoulders are straight with a healthy amount of of padding and are finished with roped sleeve heads. The shoulders, however, look less aggressive than on Tom Ford’s usual “Windsor” jackets and have a more natural look. The jacket length is a little on the short side.

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The details are what throw off this dinner jacket. The most obvious error is a button two front, which already brings this dinner jacket down to the level of Timothy Dalton’s black dinner jacket in Licence to Kill. A single-breasted dinner jacket should only have one button, no exception. The second button disrupts the elegant lines that a dinner jacket should have. The single vent is another error on this dinner jacket. Most traditionally, a dinner jacket should not have any vents, though short double vents have been acceptable for half a century. The single vent is the sportiest of all vent styles and is completely out of place on a dinner jacket.

Silk facings—grosgrain silk on this dinner jacket—are also an untraditional detail. The lapels, jetted pocket and covered buttons (including the five on the sleeve) are all trimmed in grosgrain silk. Whilst black and midnight blue dinner jackets need silk facings—either satin or grosgrain—to distinguish them from suit jackets, a ivory dinner jacket does not need this differentiation. Without silk facings, an ivory dinner jacket still looks nothing like a sports coat. On film, the silk facings on Craig’s dinner jacket are not very apparent, but the facings on this jacket look gaudy in person.

Silk facings also mean that there will be three different silks in the outfit—two white silks on the jacket versus black on the the trouser stripes and accessories. The black silk bow tie clashes against the white silk lapels. The black bow tie matches both the colour and material of the lapels on a black dinner jacket, while if a white has silk-faced lapels the bow tie is only able to match one of the two elements. The white silk lapels also clash against the body of the jacket, which is another silk. All of James Bond’s prior ivory dinner jackets have the lapels faced in the same material as the body of the jacket. This way there is never white silk clashing with another white silk, and the bow tie properly contrasts the lapels without being neither matching nor contrasting like on the Spectre dinner jacket.

All of the untraditional details—the second button on the front, the single vent and the silk facings—are marks of a cheap rental and separate this dinner jacket from the five elegant dinner jackets Bond has previously worn. The construction—apparent in the shaping—and materials put into a Tom Ford jacket, however, ensure that it does not look cheap. This dinner jacket stands above Dalton’s from Licence to Kill based on its better fit and superior quality, but all others in the series—ivory, black or midnight blue—are done better.

Bond wears the ivory dinner jacket with black wool and mohair blend grain de poudre black tie trousers. Grain de poudre translates from French into English as “grain power”, and it has a fine diagonal grainy texture. Mohair gives the trousers a bit of sheen whilst making them slightly more comfortable in the Moroccan heat. The trousers have a flat front, medium-low rise, an extended waistband with a hook-and-eye closure, slide-buckle side adjusters and a black satin silk stripe down the outseam on either side. The lower rise of the trousers is masked by a black satin silk cummerbund from Tom Ford, which has only two large pleats. White moiré braces from Albert Thurston hold up the trousers, and these are the same braces Bond wears with his black Brioni dinner suit in Casino Royale and his midnight blue Tom Ford dinner suit in Skyfall.

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The white cotton poplin dress shirt is also from Tom Ford, and its details recall many of the shirts Sean Connery and Roger Moore wore in their Bond films. It has Tom Ford’s “small collar”, which is a slightly short classic spread collar. The front has a pleated bib and is fastened with mother-of-pearl buttons. Spectre marks the first time since The Living Daylights that Bond has had visible mother-of-pearl buttons down the front placket of his dress shirt. The shirts in the films since have either shown studs down the front or covered the buttons with a fly front placket. The shirt also has double cuffs, gauntlet button, a split yoke and darts in the back.

Bond’s black diamond-pointed, butterfly-shaped bow tie should be in satin silk to match the satin cummerbund and satin stripes on the trousers. However, it is silk grosgrain to match the texture of the lapels. The ribs on the bow tie are lengthwise rather than the more typical crosswise. This is the third time Bond wears the often-neglected classic diamond bow tie, after Dr. No and Quantum of Solace.

Daniel Craig chose a red carnation to wear in the lapel on this dinner jacket to pay homage to Goldfinger, even though the dinner jacket only superficially resembles the dinner jacket Sean Connery wears in Goldfinger. The heavy filters in Spectre make the carnation looks much darker than it looks in reality.

Bond’s shoes are the Crockett & Jones “Alex” model wholecut in black calf. The sleek and clean elegance of the plain wholecut is a modern alternative to patent plain-toe oxford or opera pump. Patent leather looks passé to some, whilst well-polished calf can have a more understated look. The “Alex” has five eyelet pairs and a chiselled toe. Bond wears the same shoes with his midnight blue dinner suit in Skyfall.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Matt!

    I agree to all your observations on the outfit. The only thing I would add is that I don’t like the material the jacket is made of – why does it have to be silk and viscose? The (unfortunately) unused cream silk suit was made of pure silk (to my knowledge) – so why choosing a blend which contains synthetic fibres? Those are – as far as I know – not among the favourites of bespoke tailors; therefore it’s a bit “unworthy” of Bond.

    Furthermore I can’t see the sense of these aberrations from the classic white dinner jacket (two-button front etc.). It’s perhaps just this IMO ridiculous designer attitude of having to stand out by any means. As much as I welcome the return of the white dinner jacket it should have to be done correctly. Happily the filter they used conceals it.

    Best,
    Renard

  2. A very detailed article Matt. I think I would have to agree that this is the second worst Dinner Jacket in Bond history. Down there next to Licence to Kill. The combination of Jany Temime and Tom Ford is not a good one.

    Louise Frogley proved that an acceptable balance can be struck between fashion and classic Bond in QoS.

    Today, Bond wears designer suits available off-the-rack from department stores like Harrods. Anyone with enough cash can buy and wear them badly. David Walliams wears this jacket in London in the winter with a huge collar gap. This cheapens Bond’s suits and takes any element of exclusivity from them.

    https://www.bondsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Spectre-London-Premiere-Tom-Ford-Dinner-Suit-3.jpg

    I do hope he didn’t pay for this jacket or the jokes on him!

  3. I liked it in the film. But it does appear to be let down by the details, most of which aren’t readily apparent when watching the film.

    • Exactly my sentiments. Were you to ask me to recreate it after having first seen the film, I’d give it self-faced lapels and one button.

      Whether it’s because the direction obscured the details, or that being the only scene I truly enjoyed, in the context of the film my mind made it seem better.

  4. “I couldn’t do a better tuxedo than Skyfall”. That says it all, really. Arguably the worst example in the spectrum of Bond’s evening wear for 53 years and this deluded woman claps herself on the back for this “achievement”.

    I notice that you quote this twice though, Matt, so I suspect you were trying to provoke this reaction =)
    As I said before though, although unorthodox, this dinner jacket I don’t find all that bad. At least it looks as though it bloody well fits him!

    • I find it absurd that she thinks there is a “best” dinner suit. By that logic she might be on the look out for the ultimate charcoal suit cloth that Bond could just wear everywhere.

  5. I have a suspect.
    The ivory dinner jacket have two buttons and single vent because the designer (is Ford in person?) not know the rules of classic menswear.
    Also,a ““WIndsor” model”,i presume inspired by Duke of Windsor,should be double breasted,four buttons, buttoned to lower buttons.

    • Ford usually does black tie perfectly. Just look at any American award shows from the past five years and the best-dressed people are wearing Tom Ford. I don’t think the “Windsor” model is not at all inspired by the Duke of Windsor. I think he just chose that name so it sounds British. Nobody in the House of Windsor has worn such styles.

  6. Matt, I’m interested in your opinion. Do you think that Jany Temime doesn’t know these dinner jacket rules, or she thinks that they are not that important and breaks them just for the sake of putting her own stamp on costumes?

    • Possibly Jany Temime did a great job on the Harry Potter films, but Bond has suffered a catastrophic wardrobe malfunction on her watch. I do hope she is not doing and more Bond films . . .

    • Spot on with this comment Matt, the opportunity to reintroduce an ECRU dinner jacket was squandered here due to JT’s cluelessness.
      I also think that opportunities to wear black tie are becoming as scarce in Bond films as they are (at least for me) in the real world. They are on the run, chasing a villain across the Mediterranean, and have time to stop off somewhere to pick up evening clothes to wear … on a train!
      Remind me to pack my tux next time I come home as I will likely need it for the 09.15 from Kimgs Cross.

  7. I have truly mixed emotions about this ensemble. On the one hand, I’d long awaited the return of a Bond classic, the white dinner jacket. (In fact I was happy to see a lot of Bond classics make their return in SPECTRE, but that’s another conversation for another time.) This also has the nicest fit of any suit from the latter two Bond films, the red carnation is a nice touch, and a white dinner jacket in Morocco calls to mind one of the greatest films of all time, as Matt references in this post. At the same time I have to agree with the consensus that there are details here that just don’t belong as part of traditional black tie. Two buttons and a single vent run the risk of making an otherwise outstanding dinner suit look like a prom night rental. James Bond deserves better and the costume designer should’ve known better. Tom Ford obviously makes a Windsor tuxedo with the correct one-button front, Daniel Craig wore one to the world premier, so why couldn’t the film feature one as well?
    Still, despite what some critics may say, SPECTRE may’ve been the finest film of the Craig era to date, so I really shouldn’t complain too much!

  8. Good article.

    Perhaps the Bond production team should read this blog before giving the green light to future costume decisions…but I suspect in the end it is all about money. Tom Ford has a deal with them, like the watch makers, the phone makers, the car makers etc…

  9. I agree with the consensus above. The flaws here are down to the unforgivable ineptitude of the costume designer.

    The criticisms of the Tom Ford brand, of which some contributors to this blog cannot let go, are misplaced. Yes, we all wish Bond still wore bespoke suits made by English tailors…but he doesn’t. In light of this reality, the producers could do far worse than Tom Ford. (For instance, has anyone seen the tailored clothing Brioni is making these days?)

    • Oh dear, I’ve been outed as a Tom Ford basher!

      Actually, my point was not so much about Tom Ford product, or Brioni or any other maker… it was more about how can the world’s biggest and longest running movie franchise get this wrong when a guy called Matt, who does Bond blogging in his spare time, identify problems with a key costume piece worn by the star?

      Whether the Bond producers use Ford, Brioni, English tailers or KMart sourced clothes is not the issue – getting the costume right is.

  10. Could you please write an article about bonds rome outfit? In my opinion the best and most detailed Outfit in Spectre. I’d love to read your opinion on that.

  11. This jacket would be excellent worn over a t-shirt with jeans to a club, which is really the only scenario I can think of for such a confused piece of clothing.

  12. “…which is Ford’s most famous model, characterised by its wide peaked lapels with belly and aggressive shoulders…”

    For those of us a little less well-versed in terminology, could someone define “belly” in this context? Thanks!

  13. The costume designer’s quotes are priceless.
    ‘I couldn’t do a better tuxedo than Skyfall’… seriously ?
    Actually, I wonder if she has actually ever seen Casablanca. This dinner jacket -an improvement over the Skyfall cut but too many etiquette mistakes- has absolutely nothing in common with it, except that it’s a white dinner jacket. Same thing about the dinner shirt bowtie and evening trousers, too.
    Bogart wore what seemed to be a simple, white daywear business shirt with double cuffs and a front placket with his dinner jacket.

    Funny thing that the (nice) touch of wearing a red boutonniere came from Craig himself and not the costume designer…

    Anyway, great material as usual, Matt !

  14. Matt, it sounds like you speak favorably of the choice of shoes, do you approve of just regular calf leather wholecut shoes in place of patent leather? It seems like it’s been some time since Bond actually wore patent leather and was wondering what your thoughts were on it.

    I work in shoes and routinely have to steer people away from wearing wingtips and sneaker soled junk with dinner suits, and while I have shown people black calf plain toes and wholecuts as an alternative to patent leather (not the Crockett and Jones Alex but something nearly identical in appearance), I’m not always sure if I’m talking them into something that’s passable if you’re James Bond but not so much if you’re one of the rest of us mortals.

    • I think these shoes are perfectly fine with black tie. As long as the shoe is plain and black it can work. It can be a wholecut or just a plain toe oxford. A plain stitched cap toe oxford or a plain toe 2- or 3-eyelet derby can make due.

  15. Well, I think we have to praise this one, even though it sucks, to give them the right idea.
    It is definitely better then the one in Skyfall but that’s no achievement at all.

  16. “There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets”
    Clearly, this is not the latter. I guess the fit is better than Skyfall but we don’t really get much chance of seeing this jacket clearly buttoned. The details are a bit of a letdown, though.

  17. The article makes some nice points and I agree that the jacket is sadly a miss. It could have been great with a single button, no silk jacket facings, and proper rise/jacket length.

  18. Is the red carnation a bit too much or an “obvious attempt” in the real world? I believe I saw ryan gosling where a variation of this jacket but it had a shawl lapel along with the red carnation. I think he pulled it off, but again Im not the expert here so my opinion really does not matter.

  19. How about Matt spaiser’s bondsuits.com commandments?
    I’m certain it would help thousands. ….
    I would be more than happy to pay for a downloadable e copy…

    • What I believe is only one way to dress. I could put together the commandments based on what I’ve gathered from Bond over the years, but not a whole lot has stayed consistent with 64 years of Bond.

  20. As long as you do not tell me to wear a red or MustaRd colored suit, my ears and wallet are opened. If you had a book out I would buy at least three copies, one for my best friend, my son and myself.

  21. The only way that Jany could justify the silk facing in the lapels could be due to the ivory dinner jacket in Golden Gun.
    When I first saw the film I thought that they were silk faced due to the luxuriousness of the fabric.
    It could’ve been the same case for her.

    • The whole dinner jacket in The Man with the Golden Gun is silk, but you actually can’t blame Jany entirely for the silk-faced lapels. The dinner jacket was a Tom Ford design before the film, and she just picked the dinner jacket from something already available. But you could blame her for picking it.

  22. « It was very hard to do better than the Skyfall blue tuxedo ». Yeah. Right !
    Actually she was right, and she did even worse in Spectre.
    This woman is making me hope for Craig to drop the James Bond role because I just can’t stand to see my hero being dressed so poorly onscreen. It ruins half of the pleasure of seeing a Bond movie and enjoying Craig’s performance.
    Maybe a change of Bond actor will bring along a change of costume designer too.

  23. “Maybe a change of Bond actor will bring along a change of costume designer too.”

    -IMO that would be too high a prize to pay. But I think the next Bond movie will be Craig’s last anyway.

    Essentially I second what you stated. Obviously producers / directors care little about how Bond is dressed onscreen; or – more probably – they believe that what Temime does with Bond is “hip” and will be approved by the audience(‘s younger part). Frankly, I have little to no hope that there will be any change of costume designer. And judging by the material Matt has provided us with, it is unlikely that Temime would be willing to change her line. So for the present there seems to be no end to suffering…

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