Casino – De Niro’s Red Silk Robe
Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Las Vegas, Spring 1973
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
Aren’t you gettin’ tired of all this shit? Bangin’ around, hustlin’ around?
Ah, yes. The words that every woman loves to hear.
BAMF Style is kicking off the annual Week of Weddings with a proposal. Sam “Ace” Rothstein, the analytical gambler played by Robert De Niro in 1995’s Casino, is at the top of his game by 1973 with a top job at the
Stardust Tangiers casino in Las Vegas, an endless array of loud and custom tailored suits, sport jackets, and shirts, and a beautiful – albeit troubled – ex-hustler named Ginger (Sharon Stone) on his arm.
Ace sets aside his excessive pragmatism for a romantic setting when he decides to propose to Ginger. The two are enjoying beautiful penthouse views of the lights of a Las Vegas night and the slow, easy sounds of Dinah Washington crooning “Unforgettable” when Ace pitches her the idea of marrying him, ultimately making it sound like more of a business investment than a romantic connection. Oh, Ace.
What’d He Wear?
Ace takes a debonair approach to his proposal, wearing a red silk dressing gown with gold pin-dots and deep burgundy piping on the edges of the shawl lapels and on the cuffs. If it’s styled like his other robes, it also has patch pockets on the hips and left breast as well as a sash that’s tied around his waist.
The light pink striped shirt was one of many made by Anto Beverly Hills for Robert De Niro to wear in Casino, made in Swiss cotton and distinctively detailed with a long “1977” point collar and single-button “Lapidus” tab cuffs. Both the plain front and cuff tabs fasten with pink plastic buttons.
A quick “bird’s eye” establishing shot that opens the scene reveals that Ace is wearing light pink trousers. Since he’s wearing a dress shirt, he’s likely wearing actual trousers rather than the pajama pants he sports with his “John Barrymore” pink robe later in the film. These are probably the same light pink trousers worn with the pink sweater-and-shirt ensemble when meeting with federal agents on his golf course, as he is definitely wearing the same shirt from that scene. In that case, these would have a flat front and plain-hemmed bottoms and almost definitely the same fitted waistband and frogmouth front pockets as many of his other ’70s trousers.
These may be the same pair of “pink silk pants” that is cataloged as #1273 in the collection at The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center.
Slippers would make the most sense in this context, so Ace is very likely wearing the same black velvet “Prince Albert” slippers – noted in the collection as Neiman Marcus slippers with a gold beaded “embellishment” on the vamp and – that he wears when Ginger later asks him for money before sneaking out to meet Lester at a diner.
Ace’s only visibly jewelry in this scene is the yellow gold 14-carat ring on his right pinky, boasting an emerald-cut diamond set in a geometric polished shank.
Despite Ace’s problematic proposal, Ginger eventually agrees and the next scene finds these two crazy kids actually getting married. Curious what he wore for the nuptials? Check out my 2013 post here.
Go Big or Go Home
The one thing Ace does right during his botched proposal to Ginger is set the mood. The views from his penthouse, ostensibly on the top floor of the Stardust Hotel and Casino, are spectacular at night. His romantic choice of music is also perfect.
Frequently associated with Nat King Cole, “Unforgettable” was written by Irving Gordon and published in 1951 after Gordon’s publishers wisely convinced him to change the title from “Uncomparable”. Nat King Cole recorded his first version of the song that year, using an arrangement by Nelson Riddle. The song was a romantic standard over the next few decades, recorded by artists ranging from Marvin Gaye and Sammy Davis Jr. to Aretha Franklin and Cole himself, who re-recorded it in 1961 for The Nat King Cole Story. In 1991, Cole’s original recording was edited and remixed to create a posthumous duet with his daughter, Natalie, and the new recording won three Grammy Awards the following year; the original 1951 recording would later be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.
One of the most notable versions to be recorded was Dinah Washington’s rendition, recorded in 1959 as a single and re-released two years later on an album of the same name. The song was just as popularly associated with her, and Aretha Franklin even titled her 1964 Dinah Washington tribute album Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington. Washington’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.
How to Get the Look
Ace dresses the part of a suave, romantic gentleman… but his efforts are wasted by neither him nor Ginger being the right person for that moment.
- Red silk dressing gown/robe with gold pin-dots, burgundy piped shawl lapels, patch pockets on left breast and hips, and tied waist sash
- Light pink striped Swiss cotton dress shirt with long point collar, plain front, and single-button “Lapidus” tab cuffs
- Light pink silk flat front trousers with fitted waistband, frogmouth front pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black velvet Prince Albert slippers with a gold-beaded vamp “embellishment”
- Yellow gold 14-carat pinky ring with emerald-cut diamond
For a similar example of a red silk dressing gown worn with black velvet Prince Albert slippers, check out Albert Finney as Leo O’Banion in Miller’s Crossing here.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
For a guy who likes sure things, I was about to bet the rest of my life on a real long shot.
I’ve been infatuated with robes lately after seeing Errol Flynn’s in “Never Say Goodbye”… it is fantastic and tailored like a suit. I absolutely need to get one for lounging around my place…
I love that style of robe! I recall seeing one similar worn by Paul Muni in Scarface (1932) and it set me off on a quest of my own to one day have a silk robe (with dark shawl lapels) tailored for me. I’ll wish us luck!
I still find that proposal incredibly romantic.
“When you love someone you’ve gotta trust them, there’s no other way. You’ve gotta give them the key to everything that’s yours, otherwise what’s the point?”
Great insight, Wendi! Ace brings a level of honesty to his relationship that would no doubt be refreshing for most romantic partners. I feel the romance of the scene is certainly heightened by Dinah Washington’s “Unforgettable,” which is always on my cocktail night playlists.