Getting the Anthony Sinclair three-piece suit from Goldfinger
One of the most famous James Bond suits is the three-piece grey suit worn by Sean Connery in the film Goldfinger (1964), recently even chosen as the second greatest suit in film history by Esquire (just after Cary Grant's suit in North by Northwest). The London tailor Anthony Sinclair still offers this suit today and getting one is a unique experience. I decided to get my own bespoke Goldfinger suit for a very special occasion and headed for London.
Anthony Sinclair is currently run by the affable British designer David Mason. His career began as a shirtmaker in his native home of Manchester from where, in the early 1990's, he was making regular trips to London, Paris and New York, furnishing private clients with handmade bespoke shirts and neckties. David entered the inner sanctum of Savile Row, working alongside Anthony Sinclair's former apprentice, Richard W Paine, who had taken over the business when Anthony retired in 1982. David is now the creative director of the company with a commitment to preserve the founder's philosophy, maintain his standards and continue to produce timeless, classic clothing for a new generation of modern men.
David Mason (left) and Remmert van Braam in front of 34 Montagu Square
34 Montagu Square
I had met David Mason on a few occasions, first in 2012 when I visited his Savile Row boutique, but since then he has moved to another location with at least as much interesting history. The new Sinclair premises, accessible by appointment only, is located at 34 Montagu Square, Marleybone, London W1. This first floor and basement became famous when Beatles member Ringo Starr started to rent it in the mid 1960s. Ringo lived here, and fellow-Beatle Paul McCartney set up a studio in the basement where he recorded demos and worked on a few compositions. When Ringo moved out, he sublet the place to Jimi Hendrix who wrote the song “The Wind Cries Mary” in the apartment after a row with his girlfriend. In 1968, Ringo sublet the apartment to John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The couple lived here for a year and shot the famous naked album cover in the bedroom. In the same year the apartment was raided by the police in search for drugs. In 1969, Ringo decided to sell the lease. In 2010, Yoko Ono revealed a Blue Plaque that commemorates the history of the building.
As a Bond and Beatles fan, to enter this place so full of history is a treat in itself, but to get the Goldfinger suit measured here is beyond what I could have dreamed.
The first fitting in a historic room
Creating the Bond suit
Having a bespoke suit made is a very special experience: the process involves taking detailed measurements to produce a unique paper pattern which is used as a template to cut the cloth. The pattern is held on permanent record and used for future orders. Every details of the suit can be customised completely to the wishes of the customer.
In the Montagu Square apartment, David and I discuss the details of the suit and he writes down my requirements in a small notebook. Since I have already indicated that I would like the bespoke Goldfinger three-piece suit, some things are already set, like the grey fabric with Prince of Wales pattern and of course Sinclair's signature Conduit Cut with its distinctive 'hourglass' shape.
For the trousers I decide to go without pleats (Connery has front-pleats, but this is a bit too old-fashioned for my taste) and straight bottoms (Connery also wears straight bottoms in Goldfinger, but turn-ups are an option of course). For practicality I decide to go for a zipper fly instead of buttons, two back pockets and side belt-fasteners. The waistcoat gets lapels, just like in the movie, and two small front pockets. The back of the waistcoat and the inside of the jacket will get the same grey lining.
In only a few measuring sessions, David measures every detail to make sure the suit will fit and enhance my body shape (the ideal length of the jacket and trousers depend on your specific body shape and Mason knows like no other how it should be). The measurements are written down and kept for the records, in case I need another suit, trousers or jacket made.
The waistcoat has 6 buttons, the bottom one is left unfastened
During one of the last visits to Montagu Square, I have the unexpected pleasure of running into mr. Bond himself, Sir Roger Moore with his wife Kristina. Sir Roger is also using David Mason's skills to suit up properly before appearing on a morning tv show and going on tour through the UK. I have the chance to exchange a few words with the legendary actor and his lovely wife, before they leave on their next adventure.
The jacket has dark grey lining, the same material as the back of the waistcoat
Time to shave and look the part
Looking like Bond
Bespoke tailoring is Anthony Sinclair's core business and the Goldfinger suit one of the best sellers, so I was confident that the end result would be great. But not until I actually wear the final suit, I realise it is not just great, but spectacular. There was not much time between my first meeting and the moment I needed the suit, but the experienced people at Anthony Sinclair have made sure my suit was ready in time, which is nothing short of a miracle. At the final fitting at 34 Montagu Square the suit fits perfectly and looks stunning. I'm impressed by how well the suit fits and how good it feels: the rich fabric, the immaculate details, the unique shape. This is by far the best suit I have ever owned and together with the experience of working with David in the famous Montagu Square location, this is one of those once in a life-time events that I will cherish forever.
If you are interested in getting a bespoke suit or maybe a pair of trousers similar to the ones worn by Connery in Goldfinger during the famous chase in the Swiss Alps, be sure to contact David Mason for an appointment, or visit the website Mason & Sons (formerly AnthonySinclair.com) for more information, or follow Anthony Sinclair on Facebook, the Blog or Twitter.
Text © 2013-2014 Remmert van Braam - studio photos by Sam Asaert © Bond Lifestyle
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