The cloths were made especially for the film, they done tremendously well.

– Terry Haste.

Think about the future pose

Terry Haste talks Batman

I speak to Terry Haste co-director of bespoke tailors Kent & Haste. Terry was a cutter for Tommy Nutter at the time the orders came through to supply the suits, overcoats and morning coats for Jack Nicholson as The Joker and Jack Napier in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. You can also catch our chat on YouTube. Below is a few transcribed moments from my chat with Terry Haste.

Batman Jack Napier Overcoat cut by Terry Haste JESUS

ME

What were the discussions like at that time between yourself, Tommy Nutter and Costume Designer Bob Ringwood?

TERRY

Bob Ringwood was the designer for the clothing on the Batman films. It wasn’t designed by Tommy although it was made in the Tommy Nutter style with the wider shoulders with the bigger chest and slim through the hips. Basically the initial talks were through Bob Ringwood and Tommy, and then it became Bob Ringwood and me as we had to get down to the technical side of how everything was going to come together.

ME

And not everything came together like they did in the drawings did they?

TERRY

The morning coat isn’t like the pictures at all, there was no way we could get that to him. And when it came to the overcoat Jack Nicholson wanted a particular style of overcoat as well. Which was similar to our house style.

ME

Did Bob or Tommy intervene at any point once you starting making the clothes?

TERRY

Bob was great to work with, no issues. I just done what I wanted. Tommy didn’t say too much he left it all to me. It just evolved really. We went over to Los Angeles to Jack Nicholson’s house to do the fittings, and it just evolved from there.

ME

Had you tailored for Jack Nicholson before?

TERRY

I’d not met him before. It was pretty good. He lives in the hills. He made us all welcome; went up with the hairdresser, the production assistants and the stylists. Jack Nicholson and I went off into a bedroom to do the fittings just literally me and him.

ME

That’s awesome, can your remember anything special about that fitting?

TERRY

While he was there he had just finished Witches of Eastwick. He showed me some of the outfits he used, some of the ones he kept because they were purple. He liked the purple ones because he was a Lakers fan. I think he was a co-owner of Lakers. He made us all feel incredibly welcome. Jack was very easy going, he went with how it was. The main thing was the overcoat because he wanted to use it afterwards for himself. So we had to do extra overcoats so he could have one for himself. Everything else he left it to us.

He said,

“Walk round the house do what you want.”

The Joker Tommy Nutter suit cut by Terry Haste

ME

Were you a fan of Jack going in to the fitting?

TERRY

I wasn’t mad on his acting, but I think he was brilliant in that film.

ME

Has the novelty of tailoring the stars warn off?

TERRY

When you’re in tailoring, and luckily for me at the top end of tailoring, you meet so many people from rock stars to royalty. Everybody really. You get used to it, they’re no different to you and I. They’re all the same, very friendly. 9/10 are very friendly.

ME

Did you make the suits for Jack Napier as well as The Joker?

Terry Haste suit photo contains Jack Nicholson looking at Jerry Hall in the mirror

TERRY

We made everything for Jack in the film, everything barring a black dinner suit we didn’t make. It was put in as an extra scene afterwards and we didn’t make that one. But literally everything was. The blue suit when we first started off, we made four of those. Then the next suit that was plum, we made 8 of them. I’m not sure why we made so many.

The next one was a purple striped suit which was exactly the same cloth but in a purple colour. We made 4 of the purple ones, and 5 of the tail coats which is the one he spent most of the time. The cloths were made especially for the film, they done tremendously well.

Jack Napier Batman in a purple striped suit cut by Terry Haste

ME

And the cufflinks look extraordinary.

TERRY

Bob Ringwood got all them, found a load of cufflinks and had them made into buttons. The buttons on the waistcoat are made of cufflinks. They broke them all down. They had to get a lot there were five sets of them.

ME

Can you remember was there much of a budget for the clothes?

TERRY

£330 per outfit which was way under the price, but Tommy agreed to do them. So the morning suit was exactly the same as the lounge suits for instance. And the cashmere overcoat was exactly the same.

Michael Keaton Armani Batman

ME

Did you make any suits for Michael Keaton?

TERRY

Michael Keaton was a great Armani lover at the time so all his stuff came from Armani.

Listen to the Podcast

The podcast is available to listen in the player below or on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. You can also catch our chat on YouTube.

Terry Haste is available for appointment on Sackville St in London. Be sure to follow them on Instagram here. Screen shots taken from the Blu Ray film Batman I purchased specifically for this show. Used here under the fair use doctrine, owned by Warner Brothers.