The Fashions of "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) - A Hand Tailored Suit

The Fashions of "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017)

Hercule Poirot is a name synonymous with the crime fiction world, being the world's most famous Belgium detective who, through the words of author Agatha Christie, has embarked on many famous cases - one of them being Murder on the Orient Express.

First published in 1934, the book has been adapted a few versions of the famous novel: one version in 1974 starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot and another in 2010 starring David Suchet during his long spell playing Poirot. Fast forward 12 years and we are highly anticipating the release of Kenneth Branagh's second film as the famous detective himself in Death on the Nile (check out our blog post ahead of the film's release here!)

But let's not forget his fantastic role making his debut of the detective in 2017's "Murder on the Orient Express", where he starred alongside other famous faces, including Dame Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leslie Odom Jr. and more. Travelling on the famous train, Hercule Poirot is soon investigating the death of a passenger and the most important question of all... who did it? To remind you of the film, or give you an insight if you've not watched it previously, watch the trailer below and note the classic fashion of the early 1930's as we analyse: who wore what?


There's only one character to begin with... and that is indeed Hercule Poirot. Played by Kenneth Branagh, and as the character has portrayed over the years, he is very particular and has things set in his ways; but one factor you cannot take away is he knows how to dress impeccably well. Standing in front of the famous train, Poirot is pictured wearing a long and thick woollen double-breasted overcoat that's designed with a wide collar and worn over the top, draped on the shoulders and a detachable hood, as indicated with the buttons on the collar. Underneath, the detective wears a dark blue three-piece suit over a striped formal shirt designed with a white contrasting collar. Peak lapels feature on the jacket as the double-breasted waistcoat sits high on the body. The trousers also feature pleats from the waist and with an eight-button front, a pocket chain sits in the garment too.

The tailoring continued to be sharp through the cast of the film as we see above Tom Bateman playing the manager on board of the train, Mr. Bouc, who jumps to help the famous detective. With his role of a grand train, you'd expect his fashion to be certainly crisp and dapper. Above he wears a double-breasted grey suit, possibly tweed, styled with a six-button front and wide peak lapels with a rounded point. The shoulder line is structured to enhance the status of him as the train owner, along with the subtle fold of the pocket square in the welt pocket and lapel pin accessory. His shirt is also a striped design across all parts, before styling with a navy blue tie and thin knot.

Willem Dafoe stars as Professor Gerhard Hardman, another guest on board the Orient Express, whose attire is certainly traditional also. Here, the professor also wears a three-piece suit with a tweed overcoat with raglan sleeves and wide notch lapels. Sleeve belts and flapped pockets are features of the design as a classic single-breasted waistcoat in the same or darker shade of grey/green tweed is worn. A lighter shade is worn for the suit jacket underneath, but are pieces that are thick enough to protect the professor against the cold. The shirt is also striped design with a curved white collar, accessorising with an intricate patterned tie that brings together the shades of hues of the overall look.

Starring as a salesman in the film, actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo plays Mr. Biniamino Marquez who above, is pictured wearing a brown fedora hat and check bow tie as his chosen accessories. Styled with a check scarf draped round his neck, it pairs up nicely with his check waistcoat that's single-breasted in cut and sits high on the chest, just as the fashion of the era conveys. The matching suit jacket and trousers are grey with a subtle brown undertone, flapped and welt pocket on the jacket and pleats on the trousers to create extra shape on the legs. His brown coat is designed with sleeves belts and relaxed shoulders, but this is contrasted heavily through the sharp points of the wide collar and small notch lapels.

Miss. Mary Debenham is the governess on the train and played by Daisy Ridley who, as pictured above with Hercule Poirot, wears a knee-length brown plaid check overcoat with a fur collar. The sleeves are slightly different and makes this coat a little more fancy as sleeves extend outward from the sleeve on this double-breasted piece. The coat belt appears to be buttoned down in this scene as she leaves her overcoat unfastened and her olive green skirt suit can be seen. The suit jacket is slightly fitted to the waist to create a subtle flare to the hem to sit over her calf-length pencil skirt. A back belt is incorporated into the jacket back for that fitted shape, along with a short double vent to allow some ease in the attire.

Michelle Pfeiffer steps into the shoes of widow Caroline Hubbard, another fellow passenger aboard the famous train and one who delivers a few strong looks, including a dazzling purple evening gown piece; but one garment to notice is the one above. It's a brown gingham check piece with decorative soft fur trimmings around the sleeve cuffs, on the outside of the sleeves and her collar also. At least three flapped pockets can be seen on her garment and these are fastened with matching fabric buttons. Her accessory of choice is a yellow necktie with hints of black, brown and white included in this artistic print.

Leslie Odom Jr. plays Dr. Arbuthnot on board the Orient Express and, like the other gentlemen on the train, is very smartly dressed. For his style, the doctor can be seen wearing a classic single-breasted grey suit, designed with four-button cuffs and a back belt for that tailored fit, as was the common day suit style. The flapped pockets maintain the traditional look of the piece, along with the double pleats on the trousers to provide a wider leg. As he poses with his hands in his side trousers pockets, it allows the single-breasted black waistcoat to convey the tall notched hem with the bottom button left undone. It sits high on the chest as the tall shirt collar points almost meet with the waistcoat neckline, accessorising with a thin silver tie and a pocket square with a hint of burgundy in the welt pocket.

Not one, but two characters who are also on board the train are Hector MacQueen and Edward Ratchett, played by Josh Gad and Johnny Depp respectively. Beginning with Mr. MacQueen, he wears a brown Glen check three-piece suit with the waistcoat sitting high on the chest too. The notch lapels sit flat against the chest as he wears a cream formal shirt with a lighter brown tie and collar pin to keep the ensemble looking smooth. He is the assistant to gangster, Edward Ratchett, who also wears a trilby hat but in a camel shade, unlike Hector's dark brown choice. Mr. Ratchett is finely dressed wearing a sand coloured jacket and over the top, a light brown wash leather jacket which he's fastened using the matching belt across the waist. Buttons help to keep the notch lapels flat across the chest for a streamlined appearance. His well-dressed characteristic continues to another number on the train, sporting another suit with curved contrasting peak lapels over a tall collar shirt with double cuffs.

Olivia Colman plays Hildegarde Schmidt, lady's maid to the Princess Dragomiroff, as played by fellow actress Dame Judi Dench. In comparison to her employer, Hildergarde's style is very toned down and minimal, pictured here wearing a dark brown tweed overcoat cut in a double-breasted form to wrap across the centre. The notch lapels and collar are wide to at least provide some shape to her relaxed overcoat, two button loops included on the one lapel and a brooch securing the other side down. As she wears a floral printed necktie, the Princess epitomises the luxury of her lifestyle by accessorising with multiple necklaces. Her coat is a fur piece with a thick shawl collar that was too the style of the time in the wealthy society.

Pilar Estravados is a missionary who wants to travel the world and finds herself in the midst of this crime as she travel on the Orient Express, and Penelope Cruz's character's style is very simple also. Sitting in the dining car of the train, she wears a grey knitted cardigan with dropped shoulders and no clear lapel or collar style. The vest underneath is beige with either a texture or micro check pattern that's bound with in dark green and decorated with a delicate floral print. The shirt is a combination of a olive and khaki green, designed with a wide button placket and the shirt collar completely fastened, but she has a black speckled wool overcoat with her on her journey.

Husband to Countess Andrenyi (played by Lucy Boynton), Count Rudolph Andrenyi's style also epitomises the higher class as, along with wearing a sharp white dinner jacket in the film, he also wears a black evening suit with a pleated dress shirt. Played by Sergei Polunin, the dinner jacket features its classic wide contrasting satin peak lapels that includes a buttonhole on the one side. The shoulders are soft yet structured for a balanced silhouette and one to convey his well-tailored style. The jacket curves softly to the straight hem and sitting in his welt pocket, is a crisp white pocket square arranged to show the pointed edge.

Now you've seen a few of the suspects on board the train, who do you reckon Hercule Poirot will detect was the murderer? Note also Derek Jacobi playing Edward Henry Masterman (butler to Edward Ratchett), Countess Andrenyi (played by Lucy Boynton) and the train's conductor, Pierre Michel (played by Marwan Kenzari).

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