How the New Hannibal Lecter Became the Best-Dressed Man On TV

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If you haven’t yet started watching US TV import Hannibal, now showing on Sky Living HD, then you need to get involved.

The gore-filled psychological crime thriller is set prior to the events of Thomas Harris’ popular trilogy of books that introduced the world to the now infamous Hannibal Lecter character.

This time around Lecter, played by the always brilliant Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, is a practicing psychiatrist brought into the FBI fold to give psychiatric services to criminal profiler Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy.

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Aside from the legion of corpses, well-played cameos (Laurence Fishburne stands out) and nice balance between serious and kitsch, what really made us sit up and take notice was Lecter’s shirt and jacket combos.

This is one sharp-dressed psychiatrist-cum-serial-psychopath. Every scene, Lecter seems to be in a new ensemble; three-piece suits, prince-of-wales checks, rich colours, paisley ties with double Windsor knots (that Mikkelsen tied himself) and tailored casual wear. So why have the producers made Lecter's style such a big part of his character? 

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"Lecter is really a bit of a dandy and someone who loves the finer things in life - someone who would have a bespoke wardrobe.” Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller told us on the phone from LA. “I thought of Hannibal Lecter as this man who appreciates the beauty in life, who would love colour and pattern and stimulating fabrics.”

The Thomas Harris books depict Lecter as a well-dressed aesthete and it seems Fuller wanted to bring this out even more in the TV show.

"For me, the Duke of Windsor is a huge fashion icon, so I wanted to make sure we had that classic gentleman represented on the show, because Lecter really is that devil in a blue suit.” 

Hannibal continues on Sky Living HD, every Tuesday

Read our Q&A with creator Bryan Fuller on the story behind the show here

 

How to Get the Lecter Look

The Lector look relies on getting his tones right, where different shades of the same colour are layered to create an effect that's part understated, part show-off. Contrasting or complimenting colours are off the menu, so a peacock-blue suit is worn with a cobalt paisley tie and azure shirt. Add in finishing touches such as pocket squares and slick shoes and he may well be the best-dressed television character since that guy off Mad Men.

If you fancy yourself as a Hannibal in the making, minus the casual approach to cannibalism, check these suggestions – perfect for an evening dinner party, or a quick trip to Morrison’s.

1 Three-piece suit, by Canali

To really nail Lecter’s style, it’s all about the jacket. This Houndstooth Check Linen Blazer by Canali is a good base for building a tonal outfit and can be worn with some black or dark trousers as part of a broken up suit.

2 Piece-dye poplin shirt, by Gucci

This beige shirt from Gucci is washed-out enough to compliment the suit, and will build up Lecter's tonal style. From MatchesFashion.com

 

3 Tussah silk tie by Drake's

Although Lecter likes a Paisley tie, let the jacket do the talking with this textured tie from accessories wonderland Drake's.

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