Valentin Zukovsky: The Light Taupe Dinner Jacket

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Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket

Valentin Zukovsky, played by Robbie Coltrane, wears one of the more flamboyant warm-weather dinner jackets of the Bond series in The World Is Not Enough. White and other light-coloured dinner jackets are most appropriately worn in the tropics and in summer months in certain other parts of the world (not Great Britain), but Azerbaijan is not tropical and this film takes place during the winter. Zukovsky isn’t the only person in the casino wearing warm-weather black tie, but nobody else is wearing a dinner jacket quite like his.

Zukovsky’s dinner jacket, made by Soho tailor Eddie Kerr, is a light taupe four-button double-breasted jacket with one to button. Light-coloured dinner jackets are ordinarily made without facings, but the satin silk lapels, hip pocket jetting, breast pocket welt and covered buttons make Zukovsky’s dinner jacket a rather flashy one. The cuffs button four and the jacket doesn’t have a vent. He wears the dinner jacket with black trousers.

Peter Lorre Le Chiffre

Flashy clothes like this satin-faced warm-weather dinner jacket are typically left for the villains, and Zukovsky’s dinner jacket is remarkably similar to the dinner jacket that Peter Lorre’s Le Chiffre (right) wears in the 1954 “Casino Royale” television adaptation. Whilst Zukovsky isn’t exactly a trusted ally, he certainly isn’t a villain either. The flashiness of his dinner jacket, however, indicates that he’s not a man that Bond can put his trust in.

Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket-2

Some larger men can look good in double-breasted jackets since the two columns of buttons break up their breadth. The dinner jacket’s low buttoning give it flattering long lines whilst wider shoulders give the body better proportions. Even though the shoulders are wide, they aren’t built up as not to give Zukovsky extra bulk. The shoulders droop more than they should, but apart from that the dinner jacket fits fairly well. The front is cut with an extended dart, a style that is used by many Neapolitan tailors. The extended dart along with the natural shoulders could indeed mean that was made by a Neapolitan tailor, but tailors often use a separate cutting system for a corpulent man.

Zukovsky-Dinner-Jacket-3

With the dinner jacket Zukovsky wears traditional black tie accessories. The white dress shirt has a point collar and double cuffs, both with edge stitching. Though English shirtmakers don’t ordinarily use edge stitching, some think it looks dressier than traditional quarter-inch stitching. The front has narrow swiss pleats and two visible black onyx studs. He wears a classic black thistle bow tie. His shoes are black.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I actually quite like that outfit.

    You call it warm grey, but in another scene (or is it another film with Coltrane in) the jacket looks quite caramel coloured.

    • I’m basing the colour on what I see on the Blu-ray, and in no scene does it look caramel-coloured. I’ve seen stills where it looks more champagne colour, but everything else looks more yellow in those stills too.

  2. Once again another excellent post. I wonder if you’re planning to review the wardrobe in “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” which is arguably the greatest Bond homage and spoof ever created.

  3. I have always appreciated this outfit. While it isn’t one I would ever wear myself, I thought the color and cut were well-suited to the character. It just seemed like the type of ensemble a late 90’s Russian oligarch would be be wearing, climate be dammed. As you indicate, it provides a great contrast to Bond’s more restrained approach.

  4. Well,is not bad at least.
    Yes,a bit flashy (like some “creative” dinner jacket of 50s and 60s),but not entirely garish.
    Black dinner jacket could be a more wise choise for Zukovsky,because the black flat much more.
    But Kent double breasted is good on he,more that the single breasted model.

  5. Apropos of double breasted,in six buttons i like much more the button disposal of British tailors that of the Italian tailors.
    Look tho Prince Charles’s double breasted coats for exemple:
    Buttons are more close,form a rectangle,and the overlapping is moderate.
    The silhouette is a bit military (all buttons can be buttoned),but more clean and pleasent that on Italian double breasted,in my opinion.

    • That has nothing to do with the nationality of the tailor. 4×1 is the accepted standard for double breasted dinner jackets, ESPECIALLY by British tailors.

  6. Nice contrast with Bond’s dinner jacket, but I think it could had been even better with a “Burma” shade, typical of the 1930s.
    Plus, for a man who has such an imposing physique, I think the position of the buttons could be improved -they could be more spaced apart, like the position of the buttons on Peter Lorre’s dinner jacket.

    Funny thing, both men are wearing light colored double-breasted dinner jackets with peaked lapels, yet no jacket has one (or two) lapel buttonhole !…

    • Light grey warm weather dinner jackets emerged at about the same time as the Burma tan ones. It could be very tastefully and subtly done – but that clearly wouldn’t suit the character.

  7. I am not in favor of heavy men wearing double breasted jackets no matter how well they’re cut. Myself being a heavy man who is trying to lose weight, am saving wearing the double breasted jacket as a treat for getting the weight off.

  8. I think this is the proper look for an ex KGB agent who turned into a russian gangster and now is a “legitimate” businessman. Flashy enough, but not too gangsterish.

    However, the Olive suit, yellow shirt, red tie and olive/red colored vest?/cardigan? look that Lindy Hemming put together for Zukovsky in Goldeneye is phenomenal, a totally mafia outfit that is accord to the toughness of the character, a toughness that seems to be lost in TWINE. Hope you can cover that one soon, Matt

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