Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, “in your words, the world’s greatest detective”
Spetses, Greece, May 2020
Film: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Release Date: November 23, 2022
Director: Rian Johnson
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
As its quick ascension to the #1 movie on the service suggests, many are spending their Christmas holiday and its surrounding days watching Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which had only a one-week theatrical release earlier this year before it premiered on Netflix on December 23. My wife and I watched it last night and enjoyed yet another fun, stylish, and unorthodox mystery centered around Southern-fried investigator Benoit Blanc, reprised by Daniel Craig after his entertaining turn in Knives Out.
Thanks to accounts like @whatsdanielwearing—which has long identified all the brands mentioned below—fans have long anticipated seeing how the idiosyncratic detective would be dressed in this latest installment.
Acclaimed costume designer Jenny Eagan updated Blanc’s closet from the tweedy threads appropriate for the autumnal New England setting of the first Knives Out to a warmer wardrobe befitting the sun-baked Greek seaside setting in Glass Onion. “There’s a dandy about him that takes you back to a time before,” she explained to Entertainment Weekly. “It borders on period and old-fashioned but yet contemporized a little bit. He’s a character dressing for where he’s going and what he’s getting into.”
Craig’s on- and off-screen style has often been compared to Steve McQueen, but his latest portrayal of Blanc adds another iconic influence to the mix: Cary Grant.
“In my dreams, I could look like Cary Grant,” Craig joked in a Netflix interview, adding that “the references for this are basically Jacques Tati and Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief.”
The most obvious visual reference to To Catch a Thief may be the flashback to the evening before a group of frenemies sails out to the innovative island estate owned by obnoxious tech entrepreneur Miles Bron (Edward Norton). While Blanc is content to allow Miles to believe that pandemic-driven boredom inspired him to follow the perhaps mistaken invitation to the island, the flashback reveals that it was part of a plan designed with Helen Brand (Janelle Monáe), twin sister of the recently deceased Andi Brand, who contacted Blanc and will be posing as her own dead sister to try to drive out her potential murderer during the weekend.
We’re informed multiple times that the action is set during May 2020, with the restaurant terrace full of masked waiters and sanitizers on the tables reminding us that this was the height of COVID-19 as Blanc and Helen meet one last time before the boat journey to finalize their plan. Proving that he doesn’t need one as a mystery-solving prize, Blanc sets down his iPad upon Helen’s arrival and shares that he’ll be at the dock early to “really lay on some Southern hokum” among their handful of suspects.
What’d He Wear?
Unlike his relatively limited wardrobe of shirts cycled with the same hopsack jacket and trousers in Knives Out, Benoit Blanc cycles through four outfits on screen during his trip to Greece in Glass Onion, including a tan suit with the jacket removed for his arrival, an old-fashioned seersucker swimsuit made by Anto Beverly Hills, and a beige linen safari-styled suit that was the focus of Bond Suits’ excellent post yesterday.
Worn the prior evening before Blanc joins the rest of the guests at the Glass Onion, the fourth outfit consists of a rakish casual look of a striped jumper, neckerchief, and slacks that was directly inspired by Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. It feels like an appropriate time for Blanc to don the look as the scene depicts his seaside scheming, not unlike Grant as the mischievous yet charming cat burglar John Robie.
A uniting element of Benoit Blanc’s Greek style is the addition of a neckerchief, whether under the open collar of his shirts or banded around the top of his crew-neck sweater à la Robie. Consistent with the summery light colors of his outfit, Blanc wears a pale pink kerchief with a white repeating print, which @whatsdanielwearing identified as the Last Chance Textiles “Cotton Daisy Bandana” in shell pink organic cotton, though this colorway appears to be discontinued as of December 2022.
Knotted at the front of his throat, the bandana serves more than just an aesthetic purpose, catching sweat to protect the sweater’s neck-line.
Blanc wears a Boss Hugo Boss sweater in “beige multicolor” 100% cotton, which would wear comfortably cool in the heat of an evening in Spetses, where low temperatures rarely dropped below 76° in July 2021 when these scenes were being filmed, though it would have been about ten degrees cooler in May 2020, when it was set. (As of December 2022, the exact Boss sweater can still be sourced from outfitters like Saks Off 5th, though size availability is dwindling.)
The sweater has set-in sleeves finished with tan ribbed cuffs that echo a ribbed hem that goes unseen as Blanc wears the sweater tucked into his trousers. The crew-neck is banded with two black stripes narrower than those on the sweater’s body and sleeves.
The black bar stripes balanced against an eggshell white ground recall Breton stripes, which have been associated with the sea since their standardization for French sailors during the 1850s. Whether indicating significance or consequence of coincidence, Blanc’s stripes also echo the similarly striped cardigan that Helen wore while identifying Andi’s body at the morgue during a flashback-within-a-flashback.
Blanc’s off-white linen trousers echo the tailoring and style of his other suit trousers, with a classic high rise to Daniel Craig’s natural waist where they lack belt loops or braces (though that’s not to say there aren’t inside buttons for the latter), suspended by a slide-buckle adjuster on each side of the waistband.
Rather than traditional pleats, the trousers have an inverted box pleat on each side of the front, forming an inverted “V” shape that peaks just below the waistband and looks even more exaggerated when Blanc places his hands in the slanted side pockets, stretching out the fabric between the pleats. The trousers also have jetted back pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms with a full break.
Blanc wears a different pair of shoes with each outfit, beginning with these white loafers that @whatsdanielwearing identified as the Rivieras “Classic” slip-ons, worn either sockless or with low “no-show” socks. The shoes have white cotton canvas uppers, each consisting of a front piece and back piece that are trimmed with dark brown piping and finished with short white elastic side gussets.
For his brief stroll with Helen from the restaurant to the ice-cream stand, Blanc pulls on a soft khaki canvas trilby similar to the style famously worn by French comic Jacques Tati in a quartet of mid-century movies as Monsieur Hulot, whom Craig specifically cited as a direct influence on this part of Blanc’s costume. Like a cross between the slouchy bucket hat and a traditional trilby, Blanc’s soft-crowned hat has a narrow self-band and a short, stiff brim that’s elongated in the back.
Seen in beautiful close-up earlier on screen, Daniel Craig continues his Bond-informed tradition of wearing beautiful Omega watches on screen, here sporting the Omega Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial Master Chronometer Small Seconds, part of the Swiss watchmaker’s “1948” heritage series launched four years ago to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Seamaster and limited to only 1,948 pieces.
Blanc specifically wears the ref. 5220.127.116.11.02.002 on a brown non-grained calf leather strap with a 38mm stainless steel case. The silver domed dial boasts a “small seconds” sub-dial at 6:00 as well as non-numeric hour markers aside from 12, 3, and 9, all in 18-karat white gold that match the leaf-style hands.
How to Get the Look
Flashy dressing doesn’t always have to be complicated, as Benoit Blanc illustrates with his relatively simple and retro-minded casual seaside outfit in Glass Onion, combining inspiration from Cary Grant, Jacques Tati, and Daniel Craig’s own personal style in a light striped sweater, neckerchief, pleated trousers, and classic Omega.
- Eggshell-white and black bar-striped cotton crew-neck long-sleeved sweater with tan ribbed cuffs and hem
- Pale-pink and white-printed cotton bandana
- Off-white linen high-rise trousers with inverted box pleats, slide-buckle side adjusters, slanted side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- White cotton canvas slip-on shoes with brown piping
- Khaki canvas trilby
- Omega Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial Master Chronometer Small Seconds ref. 518.104.22.168.02.002 with stainless steel 38mm case and silver dial with 6:00 sub-dial on brown calf leather strap
- Vintage gold Omega Seamaster DeVille watch with round gold dial on textured dark brown leather strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie, now streaming on Netflix.
I’m very bad at dumb things!