Upstairs Mr White
One of the more iconic scenes in Spectre was when 007 visited Mr White at his hideaway at Altaussee, Austria. Bond travels over a lake to an island where Mr White is, and he wears a very warm outfit which would be very apt in the cold Austrian winter. One of the key pieces was a blue cashmere jacket that Bond wore when exploring Mr White’s hideout, and speaking with Mr White.
The hunt for the unknown coat…
There was an intense search amongst collectors as to who made the jacket, and little features helped identifying the jacket. This jacket had an offset zipper, with an internal flap secured by buttons, and the back had some delineations that were a signature piece of Dior clothing.
Rarer than hen’s teeth….
David Zaritsky did a thorough review of the jacket, and he mentioned how rare these jackets were, there were only 20 jackets made in a limited number of colours, and ranging in a series of 4-5 colours. This jacket was the only one that was 100% cashmere, which reflected in the price of this jacket, $5,800 as correct in 2015. Indeed with the rarity and price of this coat they were “rarer then hen’s teeth” as Mr Zaritsky would say.
Whilst I loved the jacket, I didn’t know an outlet, and the cost was a lot to stomach. I did find a black version of the coat, it was 100% wool, and considerably cheaper. This was a favourite jacket of mine and I did wear it during the winter.
During the summer of 2016, a collector and friend of mine posted on AJB007 that they were wanting to sell their Dior Blue jacket. I contacted the seller and I could tell it was not an easy decision to sell such a beautiful coat. Whilst I didn’t have the funds at that moment, I contacted the seller and said that if in 3 months the coat hasn’t sold, then I would be able to offer a reasonable price.
In the meantime, I had a major project at work, and this meant working 6 days a week quite regularly, which did attract a lot of overtime. Anyway, in the autumn of 2016, the collector contacted me, and coincidently it was a time when I got my bonus, it was like the stars aligning and I bought the jacket. At the same time I sold my black version, which did help a lot.
The holy grail…
I have had a lot of coats, but I have never had a 100% cashmere coat, and when I first felt the hand of this beautiful coat it was so soft, and the colour was amazing. The beaver fur collar is indescribably soft, although I am not so keen on that, and it is something that I don’t wear when wearing this coat.
The jacket was about ½ a size too big for me, and in terms of the length it wasn’t as cropped as was seen on Daniel in the film. For me that wasn’t an issue, and I did prefer the length hitting at the waist, rather than the belt line. This was and still remains one of the holy grails in the collection, not just because of the rarity, but how sensational this jacket is.
I wanted to use this jacket and not gather dust in a wardrobe, so I did have the pleasure of visiting the Dior boutique in New Bond Street (very apt). The store assistants were amazing as was the in-house tailor. The sleeves were shortened from the shoulder in order to keep the amazing zip closures, and the jacket was bought in at the back.
The jacket is very well lined with a polyester down, and is really insulating. I could have bought the jacket in a bit more in order to replicate how it looks on film, but I decided on a semi-fitted stance.
Details, details, details….
Let’s examine the jacket in more detail, the sleeves have zippers to taper or expand the opening of the sleeve. The zippers themselves are highly polished and you can make out the Dior Homme logo on the zipper itself. The jacket zipper is off centre, this is to accommodate a placket that can be fastened with buttons, it’s design is to provide an extra layer and maintain warmth.
Under the collar
The off-centre zipper does make this jacket a mix between a biker coat and bomber jacket. The external pockets are fastened in a unique way as the buttons have a magnetic closure, and there is another set of pockets behind the patch pockets which are more accessible for your hands.
There are two interior pockets, and the sleeve lining is a pin stripe pattern. There is a neck clasp and button which can be used to button up the collar.
The ultimate test…
In 2018, the “beast from the east” hit the UK and from the end of February to early March, the weather was near arctic conditions with temperatures not exceeding 0C (32F), and regular snow storms and freezing conditions. I still had to venture into the office, and one Friday (our dress down day), I wore this jacket, along with the Fumo Grey N.Peal turtleneck sweater, the Agnelle James gloves, the Acne Studio Navy beanie hat, and a pair of black jeans along with the Crockett and Jones Islay boots.
I can protect you
The weather was -2C, with a windchill of -6C, an ultimate test for any coat or jacket, but throughout my journey to and from the office, I was toasty! The jacket feels like an all-encompassing cashmere blanket and really kept the cold out.
The jacket has been described as too high fashion, but in my view, it is one of the practical jackets I own, as there are several pockets and it really protects you from the cold weather.
Now off to find L’Americain
Dior do sell variations of this jacket every season. I was at Dior a few years ago and the jacket on sale was near enough identical to the screen accurate version except it had double zips. The price point for this jacket is very expensive.
However, don’t despair, thanks to the efforts of Royale Filmwear they have produced a very good (and affordable) alternative which really captures the look. Overall, I am very satisfied this amazing piece, and it is a jacket I do wear in the right weather, and perhaps to a future trip to Austria.
- Some images within this post are the copyright of their respective movie studio and are reproduced here under the Fair Use doctrine. Some sourced from the open web, others from ScreenMusings.