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.
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.
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.