Introducing: “Off the Cuff”

armsrevolution-

Greetings readers!

 

It’s been quite some time since I made a post, however I am returning to the blog to announce an exciting new series. Due to increasing constraints on my time, I am starting a series called “Off the Cuff.” This series will focus on individual outfits or characters from film and TV instead of taking a broad view of the entire work. Through this series I’ll be able to make posts more frequently than I would otherwise be able to.

But don’t fear!

“Off the Cuff” will not take the place of my normal posts! Rather, I’ll be able to better polish and perfect my normal posts, making them more detailed and more informative.

That’s all for now! Make sure to keep your eyes open for new “Off the Cuff” posts!

As always,

Take care and dress well.

 

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Introducing: “Off the Cuff”

Hannibal: Season Two

hannibal 2

This is my third 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 go over the changes of the suits from season one to season two. Please read my first post as it more fully details the styling of the suits, most of which is unchanged in the second season.

It’s been quite a while since my last Hannibal post, but fear not, I return now with my comprehensive analysis of the fantastic second season of NBC’s gruesome horror masterpiece. As you already know if you follow this blog, I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Antonio Petosa, the founder and owner of the bespoke clothier Antonio Valente. Antonio Valente is a little-publicized tailoring house in Toronto, Canada and in addition to many other film and TV projects, has provided clothing for the first and second seasons of Hannibal. My interview with Mr. Petosa was instrumental in allowing me to now speak with near-certain authority on many of the clothing pieces of Hannibal.

However, in addition to Antonio Valente, costume designer Christopher Hargadon also commission a couple items of clothing from the Toronto house Garrison Bespoke for the second season of Hannibal before switching over to them completely for the third season. Therefore, some of the suits in this post will have been made by Antonio Valente, and some will have been made by Garrison Bespoke.

I don’t plan on doing a detailed second part to this post as I did with season one. I doubt anyone other than myself was very interested in the fabrics and screenshots of the show are so dark it strains the eye to look at them. However, if you have any specific questions, just sound off in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. So, without further adieu….

The Suits of Antonio Valente

cream windowpane 1(Kaiseki)   grey check suit

red check flannel 1   orange flannel 2

Most of the styling of the suits in season two remain unchanged from the previous season. However some details have come to light due to the information provided by Mr. Pensato. While the basic styling of the suits remains the same (double vents, peak lapels, 2-button front, flapped pockets with a ticket pocket, single breasted vest), some details do fluctuate. For example, some suits in both seasons one and two have four cuff buttons, whereas other suits have five cuff buttons. Also, some suits were made with straight pockets and others with slanted pockets.  Although the reasoning behind these decisions is beyond me, Mr. Petosa explained that the decision can be based on any number of factors, from the fabric of the suit to the lighting of the scene, to the height of the other actors.

Season two brings us a new design of waistcoat from Antonio Valente. Altough the five button vests seen in season one do make many appearances, there are three suits that are made with a double breasted vest.

tartan suit 4    tartan suit 3

The vests are made in a 6×3 fastening pattern where the buttons are angled outward creating a “V” formation. A unique aspect of these vests is that they are made with what appears to be a shawl collar. However, upon closer inspection, there is actually a small notch near the shoulder seam (see the photo above). I wish these vests were made with a true shawl collar, but since the notch is only visible when worn sans-jacket, I don’t mind it too terribly. The vests are cut with a straight bottom.

With the exception of the peak lapels, an almost identical vest to the one Mikklesen wears throughout season two.

A vest with a similar button arrangement as those in season two.

Another detail of note is the inclusion of contrasting buttonholes on some of the flannel suits in this series. Below is a photo of a flannel suit from the episode Futamono. Notice the lapel buttonhole is made in a light blue thread, which echoes the blue in the suit fabric.

tartan suit 2 (futamono)

Other than these two details, the suits remain relatively unchanged from season one. Overall, by my reckoning, Antonio Valente made twenty suits for season two, however some may have been carried over from the first season. In addition, the styling of the suits from Antonio Valente and Garrison Bespoke is very similar and in some cases it is very difficult to tell which maker made what suit. Because of this I may have accredited some suits to Antonio Valente which were made by Garrison Bespoke or vice-versa. According to Antonio Petosa, there were a few multiples made but “just one or two.”

The Suits of Garrison Bespoke

garrison suit 1    garrison suit 2.2

medium brown suit 3 (Su-Zakana)    yellow suit 1 (yakimono)

Garrison Bespoke is another high-quality bespoke clothier located in Toronto. Brought on in the second season of Hannibal, Garrison Bespoke became the lead costume maker for the third season.  The main details of the suits are identical to the those made by Antonio Valente, but a few minor details are quite different if you know where to look.

garrisln suit 1.2    blue stripe 1 (Hassun)

As you can see in the photos above, the shape of the lapel is very different between the suits made by Garrison Bespoke (left) and the suits made by Antonio Valente (right). Antonio Valente makes a very sharp peak which extends quite far beyond the collar. Garrison Bespoke, on the other hand, makes a peak which is more rounded and barely extends beyond the collar.

Another detail, not visible in these photos, is the shape of the breast pocket. Antonio Valente makes a breast pocket that curves up at the end, sometimes called a Barchetta pocket, whereas Garrison Bespoke makes their pockets straight.

barchetta pokcet
A Barchetta pocket. Notice how it curves up toward the shoulder.
garrison suit 2
A normal straight pocket on a suit by Garrison Bespoke

One thing you may have noticed fro the previous photo is that one of the suits by Garrison Bespoke is made in a 3-roll-2 style. What this means is that the jacket is cut as if it were a 3-button suit, however when the lapel is pad stitched, it is rolled to the second button so the silhouette is that of a 2-button suit.

 The creation of this style is accredited to American Ivy League schools. When the 3-button jacket began to wane in popularity and the 2-button jacket became fashionable, many students at these universities, rather than by all new clothes, had their tailors press their 3-button jackets as if they were 2-button jackets. This lead to the creation of the 3-roll-2 style and is why you can see an exposed buttonhole on the lapels of these jackets. Recently, the 3-roll-2 has had a resurgence in popularity, especially after 2008, when Tom Ford dressed James Bond exclusively in 3-roll-2 suits in the film Quantum of Solace.

garrison suit 1    style 3 vest 2 (Ko No Mono)

A note must be made about the vests of the garrison Bespoke suits. Garrsion Bespoke, like Antonio Valente, made two styles of vests for season two. The first is almost identical to the vests from season one; single breasted, five button, standard bottom. However, Garrison Bespoke also made some single breasted, lapelled vests for this season, examples of which you can see above. Unlike typical vests, these combine a shawl lapel, usually seen on double breasted vests, with a single breasted front. Despite this unusual combination, I believe the final look to be quite elegant while still being unique.

orange flannel 1    christmas suit auction 7

The standard style of vest is also a bit unique when made by Garrison bespoke. As you can see from the photos above, albeit more clearly in the leftmost photo, the vests seem to have a border around the edge. The vest in the left photo is meant to be an odd vest and so this effect was played up a bit more. I believe this is due to the tailors pressing the vest and the facing perfectly evenly. I’ll explain what I mean by this. When a vest or any other garment is made, usually the tailor will roll the outside of the garment a little bit under when they are pressing the garment. They do this so that the lining doesn’t show on the outside when the garment is worn. However in some cases, such as when there’s a contrast lining the designer wants to be shown, the garment is pressed without rolling the outside under. This means that a viewer will be able to see both the outside and the lining simultaneously when the garment is worn. I believe this is what has been done with the vests by garrison bespoke. The reason why the lining doesn’t show as much on the suit vests compared to the odd vest is, to my eyes, because the lining so closely matches the color of the fabric, it doesn’t stick out as much.

There are a few other differences between the suits by Garrison Bespoke and the suits by Antonio Valente. The suits by Garrison seem to have stronger sleeve heads and a more defined shoulder, the lining is not as loud as the suits by Antonio Valente, and the sleeves have a consistent number of buttons (four). The only other thing I’ll mention is that one of Garrison Bespoke’s suits was auctioned off on June 18, 2015. The suit was one worn in the twelfth episode, Tome-Wan. You can view the listing below.

http://propstore.auctionserver.net/view-auctions/catalog/id/23/lot/3082/?url=%2Fview-auctions%2Fcatalog%2Fid%2F23%2F%3Fpage%3D2

This concludes my third Hannibal post. I hope to round off the series with just one more post covering the third season. That post will most likely be very brief, half of the season see’s Hannibal behind bars, but I will focus on the first half of the season, which is set on Florence. Until then, good eating!

Many thanks to Screencapped.net. Their resources have proved invaluable in the composition of this article.

 

UPDATE 12/9/15: Mads Mikkelsen revealed in several interviews that he actually stole the grey and red suit from the set following the conclusion of season three. The following response is taken from an interview conducted by Paste Magazine

“In this case, I stole one of the very beautiful suits,” he said. “I stole a grey and red suit. And after a week, I got a phone call because the production really wanted to give me one of the suits as a gift and they asked me which one I would like. I said, ‘The grey and red one,’ and they said, ‘We’ll send it to you.’ I said, ‘That’s okay, I already have it.’ So, that turned out really well. I didn’t turn out to be a thief.”

Read the full article here: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/mads-mikkelsen-talked-about-a-possible-season-4-of.html

 

Hannibal: Season Two

Hannnibal: Part Two

hannibal poster

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

bluebrown plaid 2  bluebrown plaid 1

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.

bluebrown plaid 1  bluebrown plaid 1

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

browngrey check 1 browngrey check 3

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.

browngrey check 1 browngrey check 2

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

brownorange suit 4 Fromage  brownorange suit 5

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.

brownorange suit 1  brownorange suit 1

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

dark brown suit 2 Coquilles  dark brown suit 1

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.

dark brown suit 1  dark brown suit 2

Hannibal only wears this suit with a burnt-orange shirt and a rust-colored tie.

5) The Flannel Windowpane

flannel windowpaine 3  flannel windowpaine 1

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.

flannel windowpaine 2 Coquilles  flannel windowpaine 4

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

blue windowpaine 2 Fromage  blue windowpaine 1

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.

blue windowpaine 3 Trou Normand  blue windowpaine 1

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

blackgrey plaid Coquilles  blackgrey plaid 1

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.

blackgrey plaid 3 Fromage  blackgrey plaid 4

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

greyblack plaid 3  greyblack plaid 1

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.

greyblack plaid 2  greyblack plaid 1 Sorbet

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

blackgrey check 2  blackgrey check 1

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.

killing suit  blackgrey check 3 Fromage

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

greenred suit 2  greenred check 1

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.

greenred check 4  greenred check 5 Trou Normand

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

greyblue plaid  greyblue plaid 2 Amuse-Bouche

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.

greyblue plaid 3  greyblue plaid 1

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

striped suit 2 Sorbet  striped suit 4

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.

striped suit 3  striped suit 1

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

brownblue check 1 Sorbet  blueplaid

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

basic brown plaid 1 Buffet Froid  basic brown 2

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.

basic brown 3  basic brown 4

Hannibal wears this suit with a cream shirt and orange tie.

15) The Orange Flannel

orangeblue flannel 7  orangeblue flannel 6

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.

orange blue flannel 1  orangeblue flannel 5 releves

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.

orangeblue flannel 4  orangeblue flannel 6

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.

Hannnibal: Part Two

Hannibal: Part One

untitled

When Hannibal first premiered on NBC, I was initially attracted by Mads Mikkelsen in the titular role. However, I soon came to realize that the clothing of the series was superb. Most crime procedurals and serial-killer-dramas are rather drab and lifeless. Hannibal, on the other hand, is vibrant and excitedly colored and, although the palette of the show is very dark, is a beauty to behold. All the environments are carefully controlled to make each frame look like a painting rather than a television show which makes Hannibal,  despite its small following and overall lack of viewership, one of the best shows on television. With the third season premiering on June 4, I figured it would be an appropriate time to look back at the previous two seasons and present Hannibal‘s wardrobe in an analytical context.  I’ve wanted to write about Hannibal’s suits since I saw the first episode, but due to the lack of information and access to the series on either a streaming service or DVD, I was unable to collect the information I felt I needed. Luckily,  Amazon has now added Hannibal to their Prime service which makes it available to stream instantly and for free to all Prime subscribers. I will be presenting my analysis of Hannibal in a series. The first post will focus on explaining the styling of the suits and the exceptions to the rules. In my next post I will be looking at the individual suits and analyzing their fabric. For brevity’s sake I will only be looking at Mikkelsen’s character of Hannibal Lecter. Although his casual wear is very interesting, I will only be analyzing his suits. Perhaps in the future I’ll do a post on his various sports coats, sweaters, and odd trousers.

First off, before I get into the rest of my post, I’d like to correct a couple of misconceptions. First and most importantly, it has been floated on numerous discussion boards that Hannibal’s suits were made by Tom Ford. I’m sorry this is wrong. All of Mikkelsen’s tailored clothing for the first and second seasons was made by the Toronto house Antonio Valente. Antonio Valente is consistently reputed to produce the finest suits in Toronto. In addition to Hannibal, Antonio Valente has provided clothing for other TV and movies such as the miniseries The Kennedy’s, Murdoch Mysteries, and The Music Man, which starred Matthew Broderick.  Now, there were three suits which were not made by Antonio Valente, but I’ll get into that later. Second: Mads Mikkelsen is Danish, therefore his name is not pronounced like it looks it should be. “Mads” is pronounced with a very soft ‘d’ almost like “mass” and Mikkelsen is pronounced “miguelsen.” Don’t ask me why because I don’t know, but that’s how they do things in the Netherlands and I think it courteous to pronounce someone’s name that way it was meant to be said. Besides, we all know what Hannibal does to those he thinks are rude.

Onward.

All of Hannibal’s suits for the first season, except three, are made in only one style. What really makes the clothing remarkable though, is the fabric. Nowadays, most suits are either black, grey, or blue. If you’re lucky you might get a mini-herringbone or a self stripe, but you’ll never see a bold Prince of Wales check or a Glen Plaid. Hannibal, on the other hand, is only seen once in a solid-colored suit, instead opting for loud plaids, checks, and stripes. As the only proper way to appreciate this visual festival is to see it, I will attempt to make this post as picture-heavy as possible. I encourage you to click on and enlarge the photos so you can really see the details and patterns.

flannel windowpaine         tuxedo 2 Sorbet I’ll start with the exceptions. In the first episode, Apertif, we only see Hannibal in one suit. The suit is a rather light blue, almost aqua-marine, worsted three-piece with a very light blue windowpane. Characterized by notch lapels, double vents, and a two button front, this suit is only seen in Apertif. In common with the other suits in the series, this suit has flapped slanted pockets and a ticket pocket. Placed directly above the normal pocket on the right side of the suit, the ticket pocket was originally used for exactly what it sounds like, to hold train tickets. When people stopped riding trains as often, the ticket pocket gradually faded out of fashion. Over the past couple of years the ticket pocket has experienced a resurgence in popularity, albeit due to style and not functionality. Still, I am glad to see this detail re-emerging in modern clothing.

light blue suit 6 Apertif light blue suit 2 Although we don’t see much of the suit trousers, the pants appear to be flat front, possess a lower-than-traditional rise, and fasten with an extended tab. They may be made with buckle side adjusters. The tapered legs are hemmed without cuffs and with a medium break. light blue suit 5 light blue suit 1

This is suit was not made by Antonio Valente, rather it is an off-the-rack suit by Brioni. I’ll get my critiques out of the way now. First off, the vest is far too big in the chest. In the photo above you can see how the vest ripples underneath the jacket. A properly fitted vest should be almost skin-tight and should remain very close to the body even when sitting down. Second, all the pants are made with a modern rise. This means that the waistband is only barely covered by the vest. Unfortunately, the pants are not held up with suspenders as they should be when wearing a three piece suit. As a result, the pants tend to sag down exposing the shirt between the vest and the waistband. See the photo above to observe this occurrence. The sleeves on this jacket re also quite long. Although the “normal” suits in this season do have longer sleeves than is currently fashionable, the sleeves on this jacket extend into Mikkelsen’s palm.

grey suit 2 Potage  grey suit 1

The second suit not made by Antonio Valente differs dramatically from the other suits in the season. Not only is it the only solid-colored suit in the series, it also lacks pocket flaps and has slim notch lapels. Just like the previous suit, this grey suit is only seen once, in the third episode Potage. These two suits and one other, which I’ll cover later, are the only ones that were made by someone other than Antonio Valente. According to Mr. Pensato (founder and owner of Antonio Valente), the three ‘outlier’ suits were only selected because the costume designer, Christopher Hargadon, liked the fabric and couldn’t find a similar one anywhere else.

browngrey check 3 brownblue check 1 Sorbet blackgreyplaid 6 blackgrey plaid 3 Fromage

The style of all the other suits in the season is constant. All of them are three piece suits with a two button front, peak lapels, flapped pockets with a ticket pocket, double vents, and a slightly chopped hem. All the vests have a five button front and two lower welt pockets. Some vests may also have two upper breast pockets, but I am not sure. Unfortunately, Mikkelsen repeatedly commits the faux pas of buttoning the last button of his vests. Although these vests are made so that buttoning the last button doesn’t distort the vest, tradition dictates that the last button should always be left open. All the trousers are made in the same style, flat front, two back pockets, buckle side adjusters, low rise, tapered legs, and slanted side pockets. The waistband is fastened with an extended tab, which may either end in a clasp or a button and the trousers are hemmed with a full break and no cuff. Overall these suits have a very Neapolitan feel. The double vents, slanted pockets, chopped hem, and tapered trousers are all trademarks of the Neapolitan style. This was an intentional effect coordinated between costume designer Michael Hargadon and Antonio Petosa to give the character of Hannibal a foreign, European feel.

suit button hieght
Notice how high the fastening point is. It is almost above his elbows.

Other than the lower rise of the trousers, the only other modern detail is the button stance of the jackets. Rather than being placed at the natural waist, the fastening button is placed above the waist. This creates the appearance of longer legs, which in turn makes Hannibal appear taller and more menacing. Usually a high button stance would come with the downside of exposing shirt beneath the fastening button and the trouser waistband, luckily, because all the suits have a vest, this problem is avoided completely.

The buckle side adjusters are visible here as is the tag from Garrison Bespoke.
The buckle side adjusters are visible here as is the tag from Antonio Valente

By speaking with Antonio Petosa, I learned that the slight imperfections with the suits (pants too long, sleeves a bit too long, last button buttoned…) were all intentional. Petosa stated that nobody trusts a man who is perfectly dressed so these imperfections were included to make Hannibal seem more human. In addition, as a psychiatrist, Hannibal wants his patients to trust him, his clothing being less than impeccable allows him to appear more approachable.

Some might comment that the sleeves of the jackets are too long, however I would disagree. It wasn’t always the norm to show shirt cuff beneath the jacket sleeve. With the exception of this first suit, Hannibal’s sleeves are not excessively long. They don’t go as far as his palms and they only extend as far as his shirt sleeves. Although I would much rather he show some cuff, it is not necessarily incorrect for him not to.

The cuff of the jacket is shown here. Notice the last button is left undone.
The cuff of the jacket is shown here. Notice the last button is left undone.

An interesting detail of Hannibal’s suits is that the cuffs were either made with four or five buttons depending on the pattern of the fabric. In addition the last button is always left open. The practice of leaving the last button undone has recently come about as a way to “announce” that your suit is bespoke. Before the advent of online custom clothiers, all ready-to-wear suits were made with the sleeves sewn shut, which made them much easier to hem. Functional cuffs or Surgeon’s cuffs were reserved for bespoke or custom clothing as they cannot be hemmed after they are made.

A picture of an unbuttoned Surgeon's Cuff.
A picture of an unbuttoned Surgeon’s Cuff.

This is the basic styling of all the suits in the series. In my next post I’ll go over each suit individually and discuss their fabric and when they appear in the series. Stay tuned for more “delectable” posts!

Special thanks to Antonio Petosa, without whom this post would have been in error.

All credit for the photos goes to screencapped.net, their resources have been invaluable in the composition of this post.

Hannibal: Part One