Style Icon: Lord Darlington

Monday, March 15, 2010
The Remains of the Day is an absolutely wonderful film - a great example of a Merchant Ivory production, and Anthony Hopkins in one of his best roles as a Butler so concerned with maintaining the appropriate 'dignity' for his position that he permits almost no emotion to interfere. James Fox is also excellent in the crucial role of Lord Darlington, his employer. Although he probably wouldn't be described as a particularly 'stylish' man - merely well-dressed in a way befitting his position - he does appear in some wonderfully aristocratic, slightly dishevelled, outfits.

Cardigans, soft shirts, knit ties and ventless tweed jackets are a staple when he is at home alone (save for the servants...), and he looks utterly at home in his equally dishevelled but equally magnificent library. When necessary he does, of course, scrub up well in black tie or white tie, but it is his more casual clothing that I particularly like. Early in the film he appears in a beautiful camel-coloured polo coat and, later, in this beautiful three-piece tweed suit.

This look comes naturally to his Lordship, and it's not the sort of style that is necessarily easy, or sensible, to mimic artificially. However, I do like cardigans, knit ties and soft tailoring, and there's definitely a temptation to add a bit more to my wardrobe - if only for those weekends in the country.