Hannibal, Plaid Jackets, Soft Flannels, and Subtle Colour Blends.

September 8, 2015

If you have had the opportunity to watch the television show Hannibal starring Mads Mickkelsen, over the last couple of seasons you have probably noticed his very elegant, sartorial way of dressing. In an article published by Esquire in May 2013, Jordan Porteous declares him the “Best dressed man on TV”. The rich plaids and fabric textures make a very timely appearance in our current fashion trends. The menswear industry has been trying to get men out of their solid navy and solid grey suits for some time now. It’s just been in the last few years that more colourful and richly patterned sport jackets have become popular. Men are becoming more confident in their ability to mix and match. The media, the internet, and yes, our ladies have helped us understand that a paisley tie can be worn with a checked shirt.

Now comes Mads Mikkelsen and Hannibal – putting it all together for us – tastefully mixing up subtle patterns and rich textures. The look is completed by adding the vest, a spread collar shirt, a pocket square, and a well-knotted silk tie that brings it all together.

The character Lecter seems to be the focal point in pushing new trends; three-piece suits, prince-of-wales checks, rich colours, paisley ties with double Windsor knots (that Mikkelsen tied himself), and tailored casual wear every episode. So why have the producers made Lecter’s style such a big part of his character?

In the Esquire article Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller is quoted as saying “Lecter is really a bit of a dandy and someone who loves the finer things in life – someone who would have a bespoke wardrobe. I thought of Hannibal Lecter as this man who appreciates the beauty in life, who would love colour and pattern and stimulating fabrics.”

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The Lecter look relies on getting his tones right; different shades of the same colour are layered to create an effect that’s part understated, part show-off. Contrasting or complimenting colours are off the menu, so a peacock-blue suit is worn with a cobalt paisley tie and azure shirt. Add in finishing touches such as a pocket square or slick shoes.

It is interesting to note that at FanExpo in Toronto this last week I spoke with Mads Mikkelsen, and when commenting on his wardrobe for the show Hannibal he said that it was the first production he was a part of where his wardrobe cost more than the leading ladies’.

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Other popular shows such as Mad Men & Suits have laid the ground work for the return of the well-dressed man. John Reece, “the man in the suit” from Person of Interest is always adorned with a classic bespoke suit; less obvious is his computer nerd associate Harold Finch who wears some very interesting sartorial pieces featuring vests, plaids, and textures. We can’t forget to mention Daniel Craig, as James Bond, who is the epitome of a classic bespoke look. The message is clear: classic elegance is still appreciated, and accessories aren’t just for the ladies.