This is my second post in a series of posts in which I analyze the clothing of the NBC series Hannibal. If you haven’t already read it, here is a link to my first post. In this post I will be breaking down the fabric of each suit Hannibal wears in the first season.
As the styling of all the suits are consistent, there isn’t much to left to talk about except the different fabrics, all of which are quite unique. Below I will present photos of each of the fifteen suits Mikkelsen wears in the first season of Hannibal. I will exclude the two suits which differ in style as I’ve already briefly discussed them in my first post and, frankly, they’re not that interesting. I won’t be going over the details of each suit again as I’ve covered that previously, but I encourage you to keep the details in mind as the photos below may show them better than the photos I’ve already inserted.
1) The Blue/Orange Plaid Flannel
The fabric of this suit is a plaid in what looks like blue, brown, orange, and possibly grey threads. Based on the texture and rather soft definition of the pattern I’d guess that it’s a flannel suit. This would make sense as Hannibal wears a couple of flannel suits throughout the series. This particular suit is seen the most times in the season. It appears in seven episodes total: Potage, Oeuf, Entrée, Sorbet, Fromage, Buffet Froid, and Roti.
Hannibal always wears this suit with either a white, light yellow, or light blue shirt and couples it with a red-based, yellow-based, or blue-based tie. The light-colored shirt contrasts against the dark suit well enough to complement Mikkelsen’s skin tone, and the tie color helps bring out the different colored threads in the suit.
2) The Brown/Grey Plaid
This suit first appears in the second episode and lasts until about halfway through the season. The fabric this suit is made of is a plaid in taupe, brown, and grey thread with a light blue overcheck. The fabric looks to be a standard worsted with a smooth finish. This suit appears in four episodes: Amuse-Bouche, Potage, Oeuf, and Coquilles.
This suit is usually worn with either a blue or yellow shirt. I personally think the blue looks better as it picks up the blue in the overcheck, yet the yellow shirt doesn’t look bad. Hannibal often selects a yellow tie when wearing a yellow shirt, and a red tie when wearing a blue shirt, however he does sometimes wear a blue/silver tie with a blue shirt.
3) The Brown/Orange Plaid
The Brown/Orange Plaid first appeared in the final scene of the sixth episode, Entrée. Unfortunately the suit couldn’t be properly seen due to the dark lighting so we had to wait two episodes to finally see it in full in the episode Fromage. This fabric may be a flannel, I’m not sure. In certain scenes, depending on the lighting, it looks like it may or may not be fuzzy, but my best guess is that it’s a smooth worsted. The fabric is a dark brown with what I would describe as a double windowpane in orange. There is an overcheck in either light blue or tan, it’s difficult to tell. All in all this suit appears in four episodes: Entrée, Fromage, Buffet Froid, and Roti.
Hannibal wears a variety of shirts with this suit, the most common ones are cream, blue, and burnt orange. Regardless of his shirt color, Hannibal usually selects a tie that contains some orange. This serves to create harmony between the tie and the suit. Because both items usually have such strong patterns, there is a huge potential for visual conflict; the shared colors in the tie, suit, and shirt help smooth out the conflict and make the whole ensemble palatable to the eye.
4) The Dark Brown Plaid
This suit is a tragedy. Not only is it only seen in three episodes (Coquilles, Fromage, and Savoreux), the lighting of the show is so dark that you can barely see the pattern of the fabric! To the best of my knowledge, the fabric is a plaid comprised of very dark brown, a lighter brown, and possibly black or dark grey.
Hannibal only wears this suit with a burnt-orange shirt and a rust-colored tie.
5) The Flannel Windowpane
The fabric of this suit is very similar to the fabric of suit #6 in the sense that both are windowpanes. However, the fabric of this suit is a grey flannel with only a simple windowpane in light blue (this is different from the next suit, which has a more complex windowpane). The suit is seen in three episodes: Coquilles, Buffet Froid, and Roti. Unfortunately, it is in this suit that Mikkelsen makes the mistake of buttoning the lower button of his jacket. Mikkelsen consistently does with his odd jackets, but this is the only time he does it with a suit.
What I find interesting about this suit is that the windowpane can apper to change slightly in hue depending on what color shirt Mikkelsen is wearing. If Mikkelsen is wearing a white shirt, the windowpane looks to be a clear blue. However is Mikkelsen in wearing a blue shirt, the windowpane appears a bit more grey. Hannibal usually pairs this suit with a white or blue shirt and a red tie.
6) The Blue Windowpane
Like suit #5, suit #6 is also a windowpane. However what makes this suit unique is that the fabric actually features two windowpanes. The base color of the fabric is a greenish-blue over which runs a blue windowpane bordered on both sides by black, and a dark blue windowpane with no border. This suit appears in Fromage, Trou Normand, and Buffet Froid.
Hannibal usually wears this suit with a light blue or pale white shirt. The colors of the ties vary but include gold, orange, white, and red. The pocket handkerchief is usually a pale blue.
7) The Grey/Green Plaid
Another victim of poor lighting, this suit only appears twice in the series, both times in horrible circumstances. The color of the fabric is very hard to pin down, but I’ve decided that it has a dark grey background with a green and black plaid over it. It appears to be a worsted, but if I’m right about the color and pattern it would make more sense for it to be a flannel.
As this suit is only worn twice, there isn’t much variation in the shirts and ties. Hannibal wears the same white shirt both times the suit appears. In one appearance he pairs the suit with an orange tie and in another with a burgundy tie.
8) The Dark Grey Plaid
This is another worsted plaid suit in what looks like grey, dark grey, blue, and either taupe or light grey. Hannibal only wears this suit twice, once to visit Bedelia and once when serving her dinner. It’s a shame we don’t see more of this suit as I consider it one of the best of the season. It manages to strike a perfect balance between brazen and subdued without feeling stuffy or overly-flamboyant. This suit appears in two episodes overall, Sorbet and Savoreux.
In both appearances, Hannibal wears a grey shirt and a silver-based tie. Hannibal wears a darker grey shirt in Sorbet than he does in Savoreux, which creates a rather monochromatic look when he visits Bedelia. However, in Savoreux Hannibal’s shirt is a bit lighter which, to my tastes, creates a much better ensemble.
9) The Black/Grey Check
One of my favorite suits in the series, the Black/Grey check is subtle enough that most men could pull it off without looking out of place in a modern environment. Perhaps this subtlety is why it only appears in two episodes (Fromage and Savoreux). The fabric is a flannel check in alternating grey and dark grey.
Although I’m not certain, I think this is the same suit that Hannibal wear under his “killing suit.” It’s very difficult to tell from the few scenes in which we see Hannibal “at work,” but the suit underneath his “killing suit” is definitely a dark grey which makes the Black/Grey check a likely candidate.
10) The Green/Red Check
One of the more garish suits of the series, and one of my least favorite, the Green/Red Check seems more fit for a Christmas elf than a celebrated psychiatrist/serial killer. Either way, the costumer decided that it would fit Hannibal and so, in the interest of completion, I must cover it here. The suit is a green flannel with a red check on top. This suit is only seen in two episodes, Trou Normand and Releves.
This suit is the only one to be worn in the exact same way both times it is seen. Both times he wears this suit, Hannibal wears the same cream shirt and the same silver paisley tie. I wouldn’t think that the scenes in which Hannibal wears this suit were filmed at the same time, Trou Normand and Releves are two episodes apart, but I can’t think of any other reason as to why he would be dressed identically in both episodes.
11) The Blue Plaid
Only seen in one episode, the Blue Plaid is quite possibly Hannibal’s most subdued suit. The pattern is hardly noticeable on screen and when it is noticed it is sometimes mistaken for the Blue/Orange Flannel Plaid. The suit is a worsted blue with a plaid in what looks like either grey or brown and only appears once in the second episode, Amuse-Bouche.
An interesting detail about this suit is that the buttons on the jacket are not horn. Although the vest has regular horn buttons, the jacket is made with covered buttons. See the picture above to observe them. Other suits in this season may have the same detail, but to my knowledge this is the only suit that does. This suit is also one of they very few with which Hannibal does not wear a wide-spread collar. With almost all his other suits Hannibal wears wide-spread collars and ties tied in huge Balthus knots. However with this suit his collar is a more classic spread and the tie is probably tied in a Half-Windsor. This leads me to believe that the shirt was made by someone other than Antonio Valente.
12) The Striped Suit
Okay, I lied. The Striped Suit is a variation in the normal design of Hannibal’s suits. It is made in the same style as the suit from Apertif except that it is not worn with a vest. Notch lapels separate this suit from the rest, otherwise it has the same double vents, pockets, and cut as the others. This is the only two-piece suit Hannibal wears in this season. However, I am including this suit here because of its interesting fabric. This is the only striped suit that Hannibal wears in the first season. It is a black or very dark grey worsted with alternating stripes in blue and pink. Yes, pink. The Striped Suit only appears in the seventh episode, sorbet.
Hannibal wears this suit with a dark purple shirt, the only of that color in the season, and a purple paisley tie. The shirt is one of few that has a classic spread collar instead of a wide-spread collar and, just like with suit #11, the tie is likely tied in a Half-Windsor. This suit was not made by Antonio Valente and, like the Apertif suit, was probably made by Brioni.
13) The Blue Check
The thirteenth suit in our listing, the Blue Check only appeas in one episode, Sorbet, and only for few seconds. Seen only when Hannibal is selecting a recipe for a victim (quite literally), this fabric is a dark brown with a medium blue check. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were also some grey or taupe woven in with the brown as the fabric looks rather flat and without depth. Hannibal wears this suit with a shirt in white, light green, and pink stripes; and a gold tie with a series a patterned circles.
14) The Brown Plaid
This one-off suit was seen in the tenth episode Buffet Froid. The suit is a medium brown worsted with an interesting check in dark brown and tan. What makes this check interesting is that instead of having two vertical lines to two horizontal lines or three vertical lines to three horizontal lines, it has two vertical (tan) lines to three horizontal (dark brown) Lines.
Hannibal wears this suit with a cream shirt and orange tie.
15) The Orange Flannel
The last suit of season one, the Orange Flannel is only seen in the penultimate episode, Releves. Due to the lighting the pattern is quite difficult to make out, but it seems to be a brown base with a fancy check. The check is a symmetrical 2×2 (two vertical lines by two horizontal lines) in medium blue and each line is bordered by a dark grey line on either side.
Hannibal wears this suit with a pale blue shirt with a faint self stripe. The shirt has the usual cutaway collar and scalloped cuffs of his others and it is worn with a brown paisley tie. Of all Hannibal’s suits, I think this one fits the best. Perhaps it’s just the way we see it in it’s few scenes, but the back of this suit looks especially clean. In addition, the sleeves are short enough to show some cuff.
This concludes the first half of my series on Hannibal. In my next post I will delve into the second season which, from a sartorial standpoint, is much more interesting than the first. Not only does Hannibal wear suits similar to those in the first season, he also incorporates more subdued suits and some very beautiful lapelled waistcoats into his wardrobe.
UPDATE 6/25/15: It was announced today that NBC will not be renewing Hannibal for a fourth season. This is most likely due to low ratings, but Bryan Fuller has stated that all other options are being considered for the future of Hannibal. There is a possibility that Amazon will pick up the show as they already hold the streaming rights to it. In the meantime here is a petition for NBC to renew Hannibal.
Many thanks to Screencapped.net. Their resources have proved invaluable in the composition of this article.