Show notes by Sajid of Niven Tailors.
“I was wearing a navy-blue suit, in a material called Tonik, made by Dormeuil, and I didn’t want it spoiling. I don’t care whether a bird uses Max Factor Mattfilm or Outdoor Girl from Woolworth’s, if she starts purring up against your lapel, it won’t look the better for it.” Michael Caine Alfie 1966.
Why am I using a quote from a movie made in 1966? Please read on and I shall explain.
When Pete asked me to write some words on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol I quickly realised I wasn’t going to better my good friend Matt Spaisers’s excellent summation on a previous episode with Pete.
What I’d like to do is talk about the fabric of Tom Cruise’s blue suit. Lots of blogs have asserted that it’s either mohair, a mohair/silk mix or pure silk. The question I’d ask them is how do you know? There is no information about the suit’s fabric from the production company or from Michael Kaplan the costume designer.
There are unscrupulous online “tailors” offering the suit for a laughable $199. Don’t do it gentleman, the fabric is polyester at that price.
The fabric has a sheen which indicates it is indeed a mohair blend. But what type of mohair? Summer Kid Mohair (the finest)? What is the mohair blended with? In what ratio? Mohair content can be as high as 60% or as low as 5%. It could be a mohair/merino wool/silk blend. We just don’t know with any certainty.
What I wanted to do with this post is to highlight and explain how difficult it is to identify fabric online. I also want to help anyone who sees a suit from a movie or a tv show who then rushes to a tailor with pictures of said suit and shouts “make me this suit and take all my money!”
“Certainly Sir. We have the exact same fabric. Please follow me”.
Always ask about the fabric, where it’s woven, it’s properties, it’s suitability for certain seasons and weather etc. If a tailor or fabric merchant can’t answer, walk away.
Fabric is like anything else in life when one is buying anything, if the seller doesn’t know what he’s selling why should you trust him? Luckily there is all the information on fabric available online. Or ask an expert. Failing that ask me.
Mohair is my favourite fabric. I recommend it before anything else as it’s so versatile. It holds its shape, it is crease resistant, it’s so comfortable to wear. It always looks beautiful. You’ll almost certainly be the only one wearing a mohair suit at any function. You’ll also stand out because of mohair’s natural sheen which changes under different types of light.
The jacket is my own and composed from the same fabric composition as above. The jacket (part of a suit) was made in 2009, the exact same shade may no longer be available.
The trousers are again a 60% kid mohair/merino wool blend.
Below (left) is a photo of the infamous Dormeuil Tonik Mohair. Dormeuil 2 tone iridescent blue. 30% kid mohair /70% merino wool. As you can see different lighting does change its appearance. The middle and right photos are Tonik in 30 mohair/70% merino wool. 340 gms.
With mohair it’s difficult. Some is £50 a metre or £140 for Tonik. Starting price for a 2 piece mohair starts £1400.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
We discuss the Armani tuxedo and how it differs from the one seen in Rogue Nation. And of course the aforementioned blue suit that Ethan Hunt wears to Dubai. What choices did the costume designer Michael Kaplan make that grounded these scenes in reality and did Tom Cruise nail those switcheroo captain-to-tourist costumes in one take? Of course he did. Don’t forget to leave a review on your smart phone.
Credits, Thanks and Further Reading
For more information about mohair and it’s origins check out this article here.
Michael Kaplan Talks Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol – Clothes on Film.
Huge thanks to Sajid for doing the show notes, for Matt Spaiser for joining me on the chat, and Bobby Morelli of Matched Perfectly for helping with the artwork.