Being a billionaire does not automatically create a fashionable man. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates could easily afford to keep designers, tailors and stylists on the payroll. Yet neither man looks markedly different from men whose annual incomes are what they earn hourly.
Style cannot be bought. Still if one happens to have an innate sense of fashion and is a billionaire, then he can become the pinnacle of style – witness Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) of CBS’ Tuesday drama “Person of Interest.”
Although such superlative statements are tinder for arguments, it’s fair to say that Finch is the most dapper character on television. That is thanks to Gary Jones, the show’s costume designer, who quickly volunteers he arrived after some of the look was set.
“Finch’s storyline involves a character who is, in fact, no longer on the show,” Jones tells Zap2it. “And so at one point, he had adopted this dapper and vested look in honor of the love of his life, and because she had given him a vest, so that started the vest thing. Now that we have been working together for a while, we have come into Finch is becoming a little freer in his approach to things.
“That doesn’t mean he is becoming casual or anything like that,” Jones continues, “but he is able to use some of his former look, and he is also branching out into other things and becoming as much of a dandy — in a subtler way.”
Someone like Finch would not buy off the rack, and since price is not an issue, he has everything custom-made.
“He has bespoke suits,” Jones says. “He also has suits from Armani, suits from Phineas Cole, which is a tailor that is specifically filled at Paul Stuart. He also has suits from Paul Stuart. He has suits from Joseph Abboud.”
Though Finch knows what he likes, his taste has evolved, and he cares more about fashion now than he did when he was younger.
“He is someone who there is actually not any vanity about his look,” Jones says. “He just loves that he feels good, and I would have to say he does not have an Armani suit because it is an Armani suit. He has it because it is the thing that feels good to him.”
His most flamboyant suit is the plaid one. By definition that’s flashier than navy serge, yet there is something about Finch that tamps down the plaid, making it sedate.
Initially, his palette was darker, but he’s worn lighter colors such as the cream-colored trousers with a houndstooth jacket he had on in a cafe in Italy.
“As much as fun as it is to do his clothes,” Jones says, “it is always important for me to stand back and say, ‘Let’s take one thing away’ — the Chanel rule.”