Where/how do I get ahold of a "Big Suit" like David Byrne wore in _Stop Making Sense_?
October 11, 2007 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Where/how do I get ahold of a "Big Suit" like David Byrne wore in _Stop Making Sense_?
posted by Tasanova to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You might have to make one. I gather some of the styling cues are taken from Noh theater. You'd have to pad the shoulders quite a bit.

Here's Byrne talking to himself about, among other things, the Big Suit.
posted by breezeway at 11:52 AM on October 11, 2007

This is a large suit with very small lapels. The bottom button is very close to the bottom of the jacket, which suggests the jacket was shortened substantialy. Buy a suit that is both way too wide and too long for you at a big and tall shop, or find one at salvation army. Take it to a tailor, or do it yourself, and make some modifications:

* change the lapels to tiny
*shorten the sleeves and pant legs to fit you properly.
*shorten the length of the jack to fit you properly
* add very sturdy should pads. These can be purchased at a fabric store, or a tailor will have them
posted by Eringatang at 11:58 AM on October 11, 2007

I've gotten a similar effect by buying a, well, big suit and having it tailored. I imagine your best route would be to buy separates off the rack and have a trusted tailor take up the sleeves a bit and try to narrow the back. Talk to your tailor first though. They may have suggestions on how best to do this, and give you an idea of what you can expect from the final result.

You can do a "dry run" buy buying a large suit at a second-hand store like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. This shouldn't cost more than $15. Then take it to your tailor (or Men's Wearhouse if you're desperate) and drop another $35-$50 to have it tailored to fit you. This will give you a relatively inexpensive idea of what you can expect.
posted by lekvar at 11:59 AM on October 11, 2007

If you manage to find "should pads" let me know, I'd like to buy some too! I meant shoulder pads.
posted by Eringatang at 12:02 PM on October 11, 2007

Get a giant jacket at a thrift store, get a stick the right width of the shoulders and stick it inside the jacket to hold the shoulders up and out. Hem the sleeves.
posted by wsg at 4:43 PM on October 11, 2007

Hey, I'm interested in this too, and I was googling just now and found a short excerpt of the woman who made the suit talking about it, from the NYT. I hope it helps.

Suit for Talking Heads Film Was Architectural Project

''Why a Big Suit?'' is one of several questions printed on the cover of the soundtrack album for the new Talking Heads film, ''Stop Making Sense.'' More to the point, How a Big Suit? The outfit is one in which David Byrne, Talking Heads's lead singer, appears during the latter part of the concert film, and it closely resembles the droopier white suit he wears in earlier scenes. The difference is that the Big Suit, as designed by Gail Blacker, makes the gaunt Mr. Byrne look about twice his normal weight. The outfit is so ingeniously designed that it shows no obvious signs of padding. Mr. Byrne is even able to take off the jacket without disturbing the costume.

Miss Blacker describes designing the suit as ''more of an architectural project than a clothing project.'' After experimenting with various interfacings and heavy fabrics, she settled on a lining of needlepoint canvas. Beneath the suit, Mr. Byrne wears a layer of padding that she describes as ''almost an armature, although it's very soft.'' The suit does not stand up by itself, although it looks as though it might. Mr. Byrne wore it only briefly during last year's concert performances because the outfit, Miss Blacker explained, is too hot for him to wear very long.
posted by Arturus at 3:19 PM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

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