The Sopranos: Christopher’s Black-on-Black in “D-Girl”

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisani in "D-Girl", Episode 2.07 of The Sopranos (2000).

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisani in “D-Girl”, Episode 2.07 of The Sopranos (2000).

Vitals

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, New Jersey Mafia associate and aspiring screenwriter

New York City, Fall 2000

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “D-Girl” (Episode 2.07)
Air Date: February 27, 2000
Director: Allen Coulter
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

“D-Girl” is a turning point episode for Christopher Moltisanti. We had seen previous mentions of his screenwriting aspirations, including a poorly-written script on his Mac in “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti”, but “D-Girl” provides his Bugsy moment.

Through a chance meeting with his “civilian” cousin Gregory, Christopher becomes acquainted with his Gregory’s girlfriend, Hollywood studio VP Amy Safir. Amy has been working on developing a mob film with Jon Favreau (who plays himself) and offers Christopher the opportunity to provide input on the film set. After being infuriated by outsiders misunderstanding and elevating the mob status of his friend Brendan, Christopher leaps at his own opportunity to be treated like a made man despite still only technically being an associate in the Soprano crew (rather than a “made” soldier).

What’d He Wear?

Christopher dresses for his meeting with Jon Favreau in a very mobster-evoking outfit with a black-on-black jacket and shirt combination. The jacket is a very distinctive black sport coat.

SopC207d-CL-jkt-main

The casual sport coat is single-breasted with notch lapels. There are three plastic buttons on the front which fasten with a high stance, although Christopher wears his jacket open. The jacket also has a darted front and a single rear vent. The 3-button decorative cuffs match the plastic buttons on the front.

Although it has the standard welted breast pocket and flapped hip pockets, the most distinctive aspect of the jacket is a zip pocket on the right side. This pocket is higher than the hip pocket, opening just below the point where the elbow hits the side. The zipper has straight black tape with silver teeth and a silver round-ended pull tab that opens toward the rear of the coat.

Christopher's jacket features both standard flapped hip pockets and an additional zip pocket on the right side.

Christopher’s jacket features both standard flapped hip pockets and an additional zip pocket on the right side.

At 5’8″, Michael Imperioli is considered to be average height. Likely aware of this, Christopher would want a more imposing presence, which a jacket with padded shoulders can offer.

Although the padded shoulder effect is noticeably reduced when begging for another chance with a much taller girl who is standing a few stairs above him.

Although the “intimidating” effect of the padded shoulders is noticeably reduced when Christopher is begging for another chance with a much taller girl who is already standing a few stairs above him.

Underneath, Christopher wears a black short-sleeve cotton t-shirt with a crew neck. This is an appropriate accompaniment for such a casual sport coat that is obviously not meant to be worn formally with a tie. Also, the black t-shirt under a black jacket creates the “Mafioso” appearance that Christopher has been hired to provide.

Paired with the all-black top is a pair of light gray slacks. They are lightweight with a flat front and plain-hemmed bottoms. The front pockets have a fishmouth opening, and the jetted rear pockets close through a button.

I'll choose "awkward angles of Michael Imperioli's pants" for $200, Alex.

I’ll choose “awkward angles of Michael Imperioli’s pants” for $200, Alex.

Christopher wears his trousers with a black leather belt that closes in the front through a silver rectangular rounded clasp with a single prong.

Christopher correctly matches the black belt to his usual shoes, a pair of black suede slip-on loafers with short elastic side gussets and black rubber soles. Due to the casual nature of the shoe, Christopher wears them with no socks. He also wears these shoes in the next episode, “Full Leather Jacket”, with a casual light gray suit that was previously covered on this blog.

Christopher's shoes next to the Joey Gallo script after his tryst with Amy.

Christopher’s shoes next to the Joey Gallo script after his tryst with Amy.

On the inside of his right ankle, Christopher wears a simple black holster for his snubnose revolver. This ankle holster is designed for Christopher to reach down over the front of his leg with his right hand to draw the weapon, which is facing butt-forward.

Chris flashes his holster for Jon Favreau.

Chris flashes his holster for Jon Favreau.

Although many of the show’s gangsters opt for waistband carry, Christopher tends to keep his more compact weapons in an ankle holster.

Christopher continues his black motif even under his clothes, wearing a pair of black silk undershorts with an elastic waistband.

SopC207d-CL-under

His accessories are relatively few for a mobster, consisting only of his usual gold necklace with the round saint medallion and his watch.

SopC207d-CX-watch

The watch, likely a Rolex DateJust, has a two-tone (silver and gold) mixed metal “Jubilee” link bracelet, a stainless case, and a round yellow gold dial, worn on his left wrist.

Go Big or Go Home

Christopher spends much of the episode at what he believes to be a crossroad of his life. While the audience is made painfully aware the entire time that he is destined for a life of gangsterdom, he truly believes that this may be his chance to live his dream as a Hollywood screenwriter. Unfortunately, his simple-minded street mentality and his deep ties to Tony Soprano prevent him from ever truly having a chance of being anything but a Jersey hood.

He blames his frustration on food:

Enough! I am so sick and tired of hearing you people talk about food, food, food! Proscuitto, cheese, and damn fava beans. I’m drowning here!

…although the only honest part of his rant are the last three words.

Christopher pitches his pants tent in the hotel lobby.

Christopher pitches his pants tent in the hotel lobby.

Parts of the episode do show an interesting comparison between the mob and the film industry, though. Even small things, like Christopher refusing to quit smoking his Marlboros in the hotel lobby after repeated urging from the concierge, would be characteristic of both a stubborn mobster and an egotistic movie bigshot.

How to Get the Look

Christopher is proud to be a gangster, especially when he’s surrounded by Hollywood types in awe of him. He dresses the part when he goes to meet them, putting aside his usual track suits for a black-on-black ensemble instead.

"Ya fuckin' d-girl!"

“Ya fuckin’ d-girl!”

  • Black single-breasted sport coat with notch lapels, high 3-button stance, padded shoulders, welted breast pocket, right side zip pocket, flapped hip pockets, 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs”, single rear vent
  • Black cotton short-sleeve cotton t-shirt
  • Light gray casual flat front trousers with belt loops, fishmouth front side pockets, jetted button-through rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Black leather belt with a silver rectangular clasp
  • Black suede loafers with short elastic side gussets and black rubber soles
  • Black RHD ankle holster worn on the right inside leg (for a 2″-barreled revolver)
  • Black silk undershorts
  • Thin gold necklace with a round gold religious medallion
  • Rolex DateJust with a gold dial and mixed metal Jubilee bracelet

The Gun

According to IMFDB, Christopher uses a total of 13 handguns during the duration of the series; most of which are are only seen one or two times, with the exception of his Glock 19. This frequency is second only to Tony, who uses a total of 16. Many other shows and films give their characters a “weapon of choice”, but in the organized crime world where many of the convicted felons are not permitted to carry guns, a person’s armament is constantly changing based on availability of illegally acquired firearms.

In “D-Girl”, Christopher’s gun-of-the-day is a Smith & Wesson Model 38 “Bodyguard” revolver. The Model 38 is a .38 Special revolver designed as a concealed carry backup weapon that found early favor among bodyguards and plainclothes policemen or agents, hence receiving the “Bodyguard” moniker. It is similar to the Model 36 “Chief’s Special”, a .38 Special snubnose with a five round cylinder, except the Model 38 is fitted with a hammer shroud, concealing the hammer and preventing it from snagging on clothing while drawing it. The shrouded hammer, along with the compact and lightweight frame, make it easily concealed in either a holster or a pocket.

An alloy-framed Smith & Wesson Model 38 "Bodyguard" revolver.

An alloy-framed Smith & Wesson Model 38 “Bodyguard” revolver.

The classic Bodyguard revolver series is comprised of the Model 38, Model 49, Model 638, and Model 649. The Model 38, which Christopher carries, has an aluminum alloy frame and a carbon steel barrel and cylinder that carries five .38 Special rounds. It was originally developed in 1955 as the “Airweight Bodyguard”. When Smith & Wesson began numbering its models in 1957, the Airweight Bodyguard became the Model 38 but retained its “Bodyguard” nickname.

The next entry in the Bodyguard series is the Model 49, which is manufactured totally of carbon steel without the lighter weight alloy frame. Like its predecessor, it has a five-round cylinder for .38 Special ammunition. It was developed in 1959.

The two stainless Bodyguard revolvers are the Model 638 and the Model 649. The Model 638 is naturally aluminum-framed with a stainless cylinder and barrel, while the Model 649 is all stainless steel. Both have five-round .38 Special cylinders, but the Model 649 can also fire .357 Magnum rounds.

Smith & Wesson refreshed the Bodyguard series in 2010 with the introduction of the semi-automatic Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 with a lightweight polymer frame. It is double-action-only in the spirit of the classic revolvers, and it has a six-round magazine for .380 ACP ammunition. Smith & Wesson recently introduced the Bodyguard 38, a revolver with a shrouded hammer and five-round .38 Special cylinder, recalling the earlier Model 38. Both Bodyguard variants have an Insight red-dot laser sight integrated into the grip.

Christopher carries his classic alloy-framed Model 38 in a simple black ankle holster on the inside of his right calf. This is shown to be Christopher’s holster of choice on at least four occasions, including the following episode when he carries a Walther PPK in the same location. He irresponsibly taunts Jon Favreau with it when Jon asks him if he is “strapped”.

Well, that just isn't very nice.

Well, that just isn’t very nice.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the second season.

The Quote

That fucking cocksucking mezzofinook!

7 comments

  1. Teeritz

    Looks like a Rolex DateJust on his wrist, based on the Jubilee bracelet and the slight blemish on the right hand side of the dial (in the screencap), which may be the Cyclops lens that magnifies the date. Another great write-up, LS! I think I’m gonna have to get the complete “Sopranos” series at some point.

    Like

    • luckystrike721

      Wonderful, thanks! Would that mean the DateJust is the same watch worn in the next episode also? (https://bamfstyle.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/sop208c-holster1.jpg)

      I picked up each season of the show individually, which was fine until 2012 when they released the entire series in what looks like a magnificent bundle pack (http://www.amazon.com/The-Sopranos-Complete-Series/dp/B006CR2OOA/). At $250ish, it’s certainly price efficient vs. the $50 each season retailed for on its own! Truly a magnificent show and the pinnacle of modern American storytelling.

      Like

      • teeritz (@teeritz)

        Looks like the same watch. That would make sense, in the interests of continuity. Of course, without a decent close-up it could be anything from a Titoni to an Orient to a ’70s Rado, since these brands (amongst many, many others) produced a DateJusty-styled watch throughout the ’70s to the present day.

        So many TV shows I’d love to get. The rest of “The Wire”, all of “Breaking Bad”, maybe even “Six Feet Under”. It’s great that HBO and others are putting out better content than big-screen Hollywood these days.
        And did you ever see the Kate Winslet “Mildred Pierce” mini-series? It would be super-cool if HBO took one hard-boiled noir novel each year and made a six-hour mini-series out of it with a great director at the helm. I’m thinking something like Hammett’s “Red Harvest” (story’s been done again and again- “Yojimbo” in 1961 and “Last Man Standing” was perhaps the most recent) or “The Dain Curse” , directed by Soderbergh.
        I’m allowed to dream, ain’t I?

        Like

        • luckystrike721

          Thanks – I’ll see if any surrounding episodes have a better shot of the watch. I own and loved The Wire and Breaking Bad; I have yet to watch Six Feet Under, but I know I’ll enjoy it. Have you ever caught any of Justified? I’d long been hearing that I would like it, and when people started asking to see it on BAMF Style, I had to hurry up and get moving – very fun show and it’s good to see Olyphant enjoying himself in such a cool role.

          I haven’t seen the Mildred Pierce series yet – just finished rereading the book, coincidentally enough. I’ve heard it’s as accurate as a novel-to-screen adaptation gets! It would be great to see HBO take on the great hard-boiled noir as long as they leave The Thin Man alone 😉 Even The Big Sleep, which is a Bogie classic, could use a well-made (and I stress “well-made”!) HBO treatment. It might even clear up some of the loose ends Chandler himself didn’t know the answers to.

          Like

          • Teeritz

            “Mildred Pierce” was very well done. As for “The Thin Man”, it’s one of my top three favourite novels, but I could never buy William Powell as Nick Charles after reading the book. Myrna Loy was perfect as Nora, it would be tough to re-cast her role nowadays. Maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal (she has a 1930s face) or perhaps Rose Byrne?
            I have two or three copies of “The Big Sleep”, but I’ve never read it. I’m savouring it, along with two other Chandler novels. Same with Hammett. I haven’t read “Red Harvest” yet.

            As for “Justified”, I’m not sure if I’ve seen it on store shelves here. Might have to do some research on it.

            Like

  2. Pingback: The Sopranos: Christopher’s Blue Herringbone “Made Man” Suit | BAMF Style

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