Nov. 8, 2013
LET ME TELL you a story. When I was in London making "The Great Gatsby," I was having breakfast with Candice Bergen and she had this shirt on that I liked. She said it was Turnbull & Asser and if I wanted one, I should ask for Mr. Williams. On the way from breakfast to Pinewood Studios, I stopped there. It must have taken a half hour for the fittings.
I said, "It's Monday. I leave Friday. Could I have it before I leave?" Mr. Williams said, " Mr. Evans. It takes three months to make a shirt. And not less than three months. I know who you are, but we also take care of Prince Charles, Prince Phillip and this Duke and Gianni Agnelli. And they wait. I think you'll have to do the same." I said, "I don't think so, Mr. Williams. I'm doing 'Gatsby.' There's a scene where Robert Redford opens the door of his closet and you see 50 shirts. There are two ways of shooting it. One is: He opens the door and the camera goes on his eyes. The other one is over the shoulder, and you see all 50 shirts and they're Turnbull & Asser." He looks at me and says, "You'll have your shirt on Friday, Mr. Evans." Which I did, and I became his biggest customer. It was a beautiful plain shirt. That was close to 40 years ago, so I can't really remember what the detail was. But it still looked better on Candy Bergen than it did on me. Eventually, I stopped wearing Turnbull & Asser. I wore them out. I bought a shirt for $12 in Chinatown. Quite frankly, it was very similar to the Turnbull & Asser. I bought 20 or 25 of them.
I never liked to have anything that makes everybody say, "Gee what is that?" I like very plain things. Very simple, plain things. I want the things that I have to make me look good. I don't want to make them look good. I have one jacket in 20 fabrics. It's very plain. I like the feel and the cut of it. It's an invisible thing. —As told to Marshall Heyman