Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Agent Mendez, Argo hero, reporting for duty

CIA agent Tony Mendez: "If you were in the field during the Blitz, you wore a trench coat. If you were tracking Ivan, you had Harris Tweed."

My first Gaelic column for the Daily Record  (Suil Eile, every Monday) was about CIA agent Tony Mendez, the real-life American hero behind the Iran hostage rescue featured in Argo.

While watching the Ben Affleck movie I said to myself: "Wait a minute, I recognise that jacket!"

Sure enough, some research revealed that Mendez, played by Affleck, always wore a Harris Tweed jacket. The  clothes designer on Argo dressed the Hollywood star in the same style and Affleck made 70s tweed look ultra all over again.

Someone obviously thought this was a marketing opportunity too good to miss. Now Agent Mendez, whose Harris Tweed jacket is giving the fabric its highest-profile Hollywood exposure in decades,  has been honoured for his services to the cloth, the Clo Mor.
Tony was guest of honour at the launch of a new social media site, Need for Tweed, in New York this week, a Harris Tweed Hebrides intitiative to celebrate the heritage of Harris Tweed in North America as well current, cutting-edge use.

Speaking in New York, Mendez confirmed that the movie reflected reality and that Harris Tweed had been “part of what every agent wore” during his time in the service. “I wore it all the time,” he  said.

"The jackets were representative of our group. Those of us in the CIA who did overseas work, work in the field. If you were in the field during the Blitz, you wore a trench coat. If you were tracking Ivan (the Soviet Union and its allies), you had Harris Tweed."

When Ben Affleck asked him how he dressed during the Argo mission, Tony couriered to Hollywood the jacket he wore during the rescue drama in Iran more than 30 years ago – and which he had refused to part with.

His wardrobe has now been replenished – Tony was presented with a brand new Harris Tweed jacket by Brian Wilson, the former Labour MP and journalist who chairs Harris Tweed Hebrides.

Brian said: “Argo is the perfect link. Tony represents an era when every well-dressed American had Harris Tweed in his closet while Ben Affleck confirms why that would again be a great idea.

“By telling the story and honouring Tony, we hope everyone who sees Argo will be more likely to say – that’s a great Harris Tweed jacket Ben Affleck is wearing. I want one of them”.

You know Brian, that's what I thought too. Seo an colbh mar a sgriobh mi air 25/02/13.

Sùil eile... air fasan nan Oscars

Am faca sibh na h-Oscars a-raoir? Ainm gaisgeil Gàidhealach airson prìomh dhuaisean saoghal nam fiolmaichean, nach e?

Am fiolm a b' fheàrr a chòrd rium fhìn, 's e Argo, le Ben Affleck, mu dheidhinn Aimeireaganaich a bha fo bhruid ann an Iran anns na seachdadan.

Coimhead ris a' fiolm, thuirt mi rium fhìn, “tha mi ag aithneachadh na seacaid sin,” is i cho coltach ri tè a bh' aig bràthair mo mhàthar.

Rinn mi rannsachadh, agus ceart gu leòr, mhìnich an tè a rinn an t-aodach ann an agallamh gur e seacaid Chlò Hearaich a th' air Tony Mendez, caractar Ben Affleck, fad a' movie.

Bho na seachdadan gun t-seachdain-sa chaidh, bho Tehran gu Àird Thunga, chan eil càil cho fasanta ris a' Chlò Mhòr.

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