Hannibal S1, Ep1 – Apéritif
Costume Designer: Christopher Hargadon
We first get to see Hannibal talking to a patient in his opulent and capacious office. He is dressed better for work than most people would be to their own weddings. This is interesting because rarely in the films, barring the chamber quartet in Hannibal (2001) and the pre-titles to Red Dragon do we get to see this buttoned-up version of Hannibal. So conditioned are we to his prison whites in Silence of the Lambs, it’s hard to envisage Hannibal in his day-to-day wear.
The Match Up
Of course it makes sense for him to be as meticulous in his appearance as he is with everything else in his life. This scene with Hannibal played by Mads Mikkelsen and Jack Crawford played by the unassuming Laurence Fishburne sets the table for the episode. Jack is slightly in awe of Hannibal.
Jack in Awe
He is very stern and domineering when it comes to manipulating Will Graham into getting the best out of him. Yet, when interfacing with Hannibal, he is slightly sheepish, and mildly sycophantic. Jack sees Hannibal as an intellectual superior. Whereas he sees Will Graham as a gifted yet unstable person that needs to be nurtured.
Hannibal is wearing a 2-button single breasted light blue windowpane suit. He chooses to close the bottom button of his 5 button vest, possibly because his vest is relatively short. The fabric looks to be a lightweight wool with lots of drape. The yellow check shirt has a spread collar and Hannibal ties the look together with a gold ribbed tie and gold and blue paisley pocket square. According to this post by It’s a Suitable Life the suit is off-the-rack by Brioni.
At FBI HQ
When Hannibal is called in to FBI Headquarters to meet and psychoanalyse Will Graham he is wearing a stone-suede blazer with a warm grey V neck knit with a slightly darker grey on the collar. Being suede the blazer is textured, and the lapels are adorned with some hand stitched edges.
Meal for 1
I’m only a few episodes in but one of the things I love about the wardrobe of Hannibal already is how immaculate he looks, even when eating alone. Everything is purposeful, and he is happy enjoying the finer things, even though he has no one else to share these with.
In this scene we only see the top half of a deep brown peak lapel dinner jacket with swelled edges. The fabric has a diagonal drop which suggest a sharkskin weave. The sleeves have 5 brass buttons and even though there is (presumably) no that Hannibal needs to impress, he still chooses to rock a red pocket square.
For the final act of this episode Hannibal and Will Graham are in pursuit of a serial killer. Hannibal is not psychiatrist, not a field agent. He is not supposed to wear anything tactical. Yet whilst it would be impractical to wear suits and ties whilst out of the office, he doesn’t relax sartorially.
For the final scene where he forewarns the serial killers that ‘they know’ Hannibal is wearing a burnt orange blazer, probably a light wool. His light brown V-Neck knit works perfectly underneath. We’ve yet to see Hannibal wear a tie with his knits.
Credits & Disclaimer
All screen grabs taken from the Hannibal Series currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Used here under the fair use doctrine. If studying suits seen on the big screen is your thing you might enjoy the From Tailors With Love podcast.
Please do not think of this as a comprehensive study on the clothes & costumes of Hannibal, more a scrapbook of the suits and smart casual outfits worn by Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I’ve made notes, but I do not claim to be an expert when describing fabrics or patterns. In this regard I encourage you to do your own research.