Shortly after filming on The Living Daylights began, Timothy Dalton was introduced to the public as James Bond at a press conference in Austria on 5 October 1986. The press event included Timothy Dalton and Maryam d’Abo in an appearance with an Aston Martin V8 Volante that belonged to Aston Martin Lagonda chairman Victor Gauntlett, and this car would be one of the cars used in the film. For the event, Dalton wore clothes that he does not wear as James Bond in the film.
Dalton’s suit is air force blue—a mid blue-grey—linen twill, and it has a steep twill weave reminiscent of gabardine. It is made up of a darker blue and a lighter blue, which blend together in a subtle plaid to look like air force blue. The section of the plaid with the darker blue in the warp and the lighter blue in the weft, which highlights the twill wales, stands out the most.
Considering this is Vienna in October, a linen suit is an odd choice the location and for a press conference. The weather in Vienna in autumn would not demand linen, and linen does not look formal enough for the occasion. This suit has linen’s telltale wrinkles, which are particularly noticeable in the sleeves and the crotch area. The rumples mirror Dalton’s casual nature, and he appears to be less self-conscious in a rumpled suit. However, this sort of occasion would usually call for a more formal suit, particularly in the 1980s.
Dalton’s suit tastefully demonstrates some fashions of the 1980s, but it’s a well-cut and well-fitted suit. Unlike most of Dalton’s suits, which look ready-to-wear, this suit looks like it could be tailor-made. The maker of this suit is unknown, and the cut differs from the clothes he wears by Leeds clothier Benjamin Simon in the film. Nonetheless, the suit has an English look.
The button-two suit jacket is tailored with a full but neat cut and straight shoulders with roped sleeve heads. A steep medium-low gorge, a low button stance and a non-vented rear give this suit a 1980s look without exaggeration. An open-patch breast pocket and open-patch hip pockets contribute to the suit’s more casual style and are perfect for a linen suit. The jacket is detailed with three cuff buttons.
The suit trousers have a mid rise with double forward pleats. The medium-wide legs have a straight cut with plain hems. The trousers are worn with a narrow black belt.
Dalton’s shirt is white with a point collar—to mirror the steep line of the gorge—and button cuffs. His tie has a mid-blue ground with a classic ancient madder print in dark red and yellow. It is is a classically British choice, and while it’s not a Bondian choice, it doesn’t have to be if he’s not in character. His shoes are black apron-toe slip-on shoes.
Overall, this is one of the most elegant looks that Timothy Dalton has worn, even though the suit is not location-appropriate. In this outfit, he looked prepared to take on the role of Bond. The suit could have been a nice alternative to the tan suit he wears in Tangier in The Living Daylights, though that is not to say that the suit in the film should have been replaced.