Monday, 16 January 2012

4 Reasons why Moriarty is better than Sherlock (sartorially)

When he first appeared on our screens in the BBC's modern adaptation of Conan Doyle's classic stories Sherlock, wearing a perfectly chosen suit by Vivienne Westwood, I knew I was in love with Jim Moriarty. Not only that, I was inspired by his simple yet utterly dapper and charismatic style. So much so that I named a blog after it. Thus, Fashion Moriarty was born.

It may seem odd that I chose a male character to be the namesake, but my other two major influences from film and TV have been Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Jamie Campbell-Bower as 11-12 in the remake of The Prisoner. Now, Fashion 11-12 doesn't sound that great, and the other connotations of the word 'Sloane' were not what I was going for.

But why not Sherlock? Or Holmes, Watson, Adler? All perfectly good names and stylish characters (well, perhaps not Watson...) but the there is something about Jim that caught my aesthetic's eye. So, let me outline to you exactly what I saw in him.

He understands the science of suits
On the Westwood suit from The Great Game, Sarah Arthur (the costume designer for Sherlock) said: “[Moriarty’s] suit was Vivienne Westwood. Westwood can be very extreme but this wasn't. Originally I think in the script it was another make, but the suit was just perfect for him and the colour was different and unusual.” I agree. I don't think there's a better designer to clothe a super-villain than Westwood. Plus, if you saw the show last night, you can't have missed the ominous shadow which Jim cast as he came to visit Sherlock. The line of his suits works perfectly on him.

He thinks about the details
Last night, Moriarty stood trial for attempting to steal the crown jewels.On a trial like that, you know there will be press coverage, and a lot of it. Rather than just his standard workaday Westwood. He went all out in what is possibly the best suit anyone has ever worn on my TV. Such a daring choice of colour! Such an excellent cut! He looked so suave and perhaps a touch Italian. But the real reason it worked? The tiepin. And if you were watching closely, you will have noticed that Sherlock was not happy to get a tiepin because "I don't wear ties." That is where Sherlock loses style points. And that is why Jim is master of all he sartorially surveys.

He has no great big coat which could flap about in running scenes
And do you know why? It's because he has no running scenes. Jim is always calm, always in control of the situation and never, ever runs away. I know that the flappy coat has long been the cover-up of choice for cool BBC characters (Dr Who, Captain Jack, Peter Boyd) but maybe the sign of who's really in charge is whoever hasn't got a coat which will make it look cinematic when they leap from a building...

When he accessorizes, man, does he accessorize...

OK. Love letter over. Thank you for listening.


Amber said...

I have never heard of this, but it sounds very cool!

Julie Cohen said...

I do like the Epic Overcoats, but I agree that Jim Moriarty has real flair.

On the other hand, Hollywood has given us this:

Which is not quite as stunning.

Gideon said...

Nicely written and keenly observed. :)

bhavan_p said...

You wouldn't happen to know what jacket Moriarty was wearing on the rooftop in the reichenbach fall would you?

Anonymous said...

Since Holmes and his nemesis Moriarty (except Conan Doyle had to resurrect his great detective due to public pressure) met their end at the Falls in Switzerland, they would probably have worn alpine garb, designed to walk in the mountains. Swiss Alpine hat, shorts, walking shoes, jacket. I suppose you could make a sartorial statement walking around Winchester in this, but it might be a push :-)

Anonymous said...

Well technically Jim ran away when pretending to be Richard Brook

Anonymous said...

You've got a point about the coats - the guy calling the shots doesn't need to run anywhere.