Reel Inspiration


Reel Inspiration – All The President’s Men

Willing Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) get wind of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building and doggedly set out to discover how a $25,000 cheque earmarked for the campaign to re-elect President Nixon got into the bank account of one of the burglars,  so becoming bywords for the best sort of investigative journalism in the process.

Alan Pakula’s shadily atmospheric and somewhat prescient All The President’s Men (1976, trailer bottom right) is a perfect pre-post-truth era paean to the pros of a free press.

Spot on stylistically, the newsroom set was a direct recreation of that at the Post and Woodward and Bernstein’s artfully and authentically rumpled old-school journalists’ wardrobe was put together by first-timer Jason Pollack, who went on to become Redford’s regular costume designer. Unconvincingly knotted ties and classic Bengal stripe, flannel and Oxford cotton shirts abound.

New AW17 shirts, right, top to bottom: blue classic Bengal stripe, grey fine flannel twill and lavender brushed Oxford cotton.

All The President's Men

Richard James shirt

All The President's Men

Richard James shirt

All The President's Men

Richard James shirt


Reel Inspiration – Diamonds Are Forever

Sean Connery bounces back as a knocking-on-a-bit-Bond and there’s unfinished business with his old bête noire Blofeld (Charles Gray), who had the brass neck to bump off his newly-wed wife Tracy the last time he was out and about in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

This time around, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971, Guy Hamilton), he’s come up with an admirably low-emission but costly-to-run diamond-powered laser with which to hold the world to ransom. Cue a precursor to the arch irony of the Roger Moore Bonds with careering car chases, cheeky chat with Bond girls Plenty O’Toole (“Named after your father”) and Tiffany Case (“That’s a nice little nothing you’re almost wearing”), a couple of camp assassins in the form of Wint and Kidd and a bout of all-in wrestling with the unforgettable Bambi and Thumper (pictured).

Wardrobe-wise, the high point is Bond’s perfect-if-you’re-in-a-hot-spot two-button linen suit (pictured), complete with patch pockets for a more casual feel, flat-fronted trousers with buttoning side adjusters and a generous notch lapel, which he wears with a pitch-perfect pink tie. Suit jackets with patch pockets are super adaptable as they can easily be worn separately with chinos or jeans. Not that Connery’s Bond ever wore jeans…

James Bond linen suit

James Bond linen suit

James Bond linen suit

Bambi and Thumper


Reel Inspiration – The Shining

Stymied scribbler and boozer in abeyance Jack Torrance (Jack Nichoslon), wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and all-seeing young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, turns caretaker at the out-of-season, echoingly empty Overlook Hotel in deepest snow-swept Colorado in an adventurous attempt to stay off the sauce and rediscover his powers of prose.

Alas, a quiet, gainful time is not had by all as Danny’s newly discovered psychic powers bring some bad and rather bloody doings past at the Overlook to light and Jack discovers the delights of the hotel bar (see the clip, bottom right), where all of his frustrations come to the fore…

The stand-out wardrobe piece in Stanley Kubrick’s genuinely scary The Shining (1980) is Jack’s very easy-wearing and perfect-for-every-eventuality corduroy blouson, which was actually a replica (or one of the eleven replicas that Kubrick had made for the film) of one of Nicholson’s own jackets.

The Shining on Richard James blog

The Shining on Richard James blog


Reel Inspiration – The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit

Mindful military man turned Madison Avenue member of staff Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) contemplates love lost and a not so distant past when life amounted to something more meaningful than nose-to-the-grind anonymity and a monthly emolument.

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1956) contemplates what you might call the creeping corporate collectivisation of Fifties society and one man’s noble struggle to escape it and put family values first, shedding his aforementioned uniform whistle in the process.

Once very much the carapace of the commuting salary-man, the grey flannel suit has now taken on classic style status, an effortlessly adaptable, ever-smart piece that no man’s wardrobe should be without come winter or, indeed, in cool-wearing featherweight form (below), come spring and summer.

Gregory Peck The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit

Richard James grey flannel suit


Reel Inspiration – We Were Strangers

Romance amid the rumblings of revolution as interloping insurrectionist Tony Fenner (James Garfield) falls for Cuban chickadee China Valdes (Jennifer Jones) while tunnelling under Havana’s central cemetery in an explosive bid to blow dictatorial President Machado’s government to the great beyond.

John Huston’s We Were Strangers is set in 1933, but the sultry, seductive Havana it portrays is not altogether different from that of the ’50s, which is where our in-store-and-online-very-soon SS17 Dandy Kim collection (right, below) looked for inspiration.

Prepare for straw skimmers and cool and crisp linen and cotton tailoring aplenty.

Our SS17 Dandy Kim collection will be in-store on Savile Row and at stockists and Richard James Online very soon…

We Were Strangers

Richard James Dandy Kim collection

We Were Strangers


Reel Inspiration – Downhill Racer

Self-centred, supposedly stereotypical sportsman David Chappelet (Robert Redford) has the single-minded aim of becoming the USA’s first gold-winning Olympic downhill skier in an age when the podium was very much monopolised by Europeans. Not even a rendezvous with the confident and comely Porsche 912-driving Carole (Camilla Sparv) can knock him off course.

Downhill Racer (directed by Michael Ritchie) was rather overshadowed by that other Redford vehicle Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when it was released in 1969, but is now rightly being recognised as the fine study of values and the ultimate vacuum of victory that it is.

Scintillating ski scenes too.

And the shearling and shades make for a fine winter wardrobe.

Richard James shearling coat (below, right) at the Savile Row store and Richard James Online now.

Robert Redford shearling Downhill Racer

Redford Sparv Downhill Racer

Porsche Downhill Racer

Downhill Racer Porsche


Richard James shearling


Reel Inspiration – Argo

Resourceful CIA ‘exfiltrator’ (of agents from hot water) Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a cock and bull, only-in-the-movies scheme to secretly spirit six of his fellow countrymen away from their refuge in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

As well as compellingly telling the true story of possibly the most amazing (and appropriate) acts of CIA subterfuge of all time, Argo (2012, also directed by Ben Affleck) acts as a fine showcase for the Harris tweed jacket, which is worn by Affleck throughout the film. As Mendez himself explained when the film was released: “That was our uniform. The jackets were representative of our group. Those of us in the CIA who did overseas work, work in the field. If you were tracking Ivan (the Soviet Union), you had Harris tweed.”

Mendez also revealed at the same time that the CIA commemorated the operation by hanging in their headquarters at Langley, Virginia a portrait of himself and a Tehran-based CIA agent called Julio, with both of them wearing Harris tweed jackets.

AW16 Richard James Harris tweed jackets (right, bottom) available at the Savile Row store and Richard James Online now.

Harris tweed jacket

argo Harris tweed jacket

Richard James Harris tweed jackets


Reel Inspiration – Pool Of London

Everyday dodgy dealings in knock-off nylons and the like down the docks take a testing turn for the worse when Dan MacDonald (Bonar Colleano) finds himself hooked into a diamond heist and is presented with the choice of making a clean breast of it to the Old Bill or betraying his bosom buddy Johnny Lambert (Earl Cameron).

We watched Pool of London (Basil Dearden, 1951) when we were working on our current AW16 Chains + Cranes collection, which was inspired by London’s docks of the ‘thirties. Dearden’s fine film was set in the ‘fifties, but it’s semi-documentary approach gives an unbeatably atmospheric insight into the customs and workings of what were once the largest, most bustling and bountiful docks in the world.

Pool of London is also notable for the appearance of Cameron (still working at the age of 99) as Johnny Lambert, the first major role for a black actor in British film. His on screen romance with Susan Shaw (right, top) resulted in the film attracting the interest of the censors in the United States.

Pool of London on Richard James Savile Row tailor blog

Pool of London on Richard James Savile Row tailor blog

Pool of London on Richard James Savile Row tailor blog


Reel Inspiration – Rush

Rush tells the fascinating and – at times – terrifying story of the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship, where unruly playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and super-serious Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) go head-to-head for the biggest prize of all: the drivers’ title.

Displaying the glamour, intensity and danger of racing in the 1970s in an unrivalled fashion, the film revisits the style of the past while detailing one of the most iconic and memorable seasons in motorsport history.

Lauda’s analytical approach differs greatly to Hunt’s casual, rebellious and carefree attitude and things get heated between the two drivers both on and off the track.

The fiery battle, gripping drama and emotional heartbreak are just a few of the many captivating layers to the Hunt vs. Lauda story, captivating racing rookies and petrol heads alike.

Away from the race suits, it also showcases some super gear, not least a fine, richly hued teal shirt.

Richard James teal linen and cotton piquet shirt from the Savile Row store  and Richard James Online.

Chris Hemsworth teal shirt



Richard James shirt - teal


Reel Inspiration – Trainspotting

Whey-faced Edinburgh H enthusiast Renton (Ewan McGregor) kicks his habit the hard way by locking himself away with tinned soup, ice cream, milk of magnesia, valium, jazz mags and buckets for any effluence ahead of eloping to London where he makes the most unlikely of lettings agents before being tracked down by his rackety gang of hometown reprobates who make him an offer he can’t refuse.

The profound highs and lows of heroin addiction are preferable to middle lane mundanity in Danny Boyle’s rollicking, tragicomic Trainspotting (1996).

Excellent showing for the bomber jacket at its utilitarian, easy-wearing best, too.

Ewan McGregor Trainspotting bomber jacket

Ewan McGregor Trainspotting

Richard James bomber jacket

Richard James SS16 blue five-stripe check bomber jacket in issue 7 of Article

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