The Spectrum of Bond Style

SPECTRE-FinalTrailer

The Spectrum of Bond Style

It is 10 years since Daniel Craig was announced as the sixth official screen incarnation of Britain’s least secret agent, following as every Bond fan knows, Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan. Our expectations of Bond, after decades of both sharp and dubious looks is one that always adheres to fine tailoring and those familiar with the suits of Daniel Craig era will notice considerable changes from Casino Royale up to Spectre. High fashion house Tom Ford took on the tailoring duties for Quantum of Solace (2008) and redesigned Bond’s suits to epitomise a hyper modern cut that is far more edgy than one would realise.

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Ralph Fiennes plays M in Spectre, seen here wearing a double-breasted navy pinstripe suit, blue semi cutaway tie and a purple tie.

The tailoring for Bond has been ultimately British conservative, with the films often featuring suits of the Savile Row influence, Sean Connery had his made by Antony Sinclair, Roger Moore’s were made by Douglas Hayward, while Pierce Brosnan was one of the first to don a suit from a non-English tailoring house. The Brosnan era was marked by a controversial move to Italian tailoring house, Brioni. Like the films of the Craig era, the garments of the latest 007 incarnation with the Tom Ford label represent a complete reboot of Bond as a brand that started with Quantum of Solace, was built upon in Skyfall, and became fully realised with Spectre.

Bond (Daniel Craig) following Marco Sciarra through the Dia de los Muertos procession in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions’ action adventure SPECTRE. Tolsa Square, Mexico City.

Bond (Daniel Craig) following Marco Sciarra through the Dia de los Muertos procession in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions’ action adventure SPECTRE. Tolsa Square, Mexico City.

Day of the Dead – Craig wears a blue Prince of Wales suit with blue windowpane check

Spectre features the widest range of suits that Bond has worn since The World Is Not Enough (1999), while it has been noted that this time round that Daniel Craig had some input in the cloth selection. The suits come from the Tom Ford O’Connor suit fit, one example of this comes in the blue windowpane check suit pictured above with narrow notched lapels, slanted pockets and a slim shaped cut. The trousers here have a flat front and look to have been extension to the waistband, one will also notice that 007 has turnups on the bottoms of the trouser leg. The extended collar points of the shirt is a trademark of Tom Ford and feature on the majority of Bond’s shirts in Spectre

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007 sports a grey herringbone track stripe suit that composition includes wool silk and mohair in the composition

Taking influence from the previous Bond suits through the decades, the jackets have a very structured and shaped cut, while the shoulders and chest have a lot of padding for a clean military look, but the jacket still feels natural because it is shaped to the body and doesn’t sit on top of the body. (Spaiser, 2015) Since Skyfall, Craig has worn his suits considerably tighter than any other 007 of the past, this is one major area of contention for Bond tailoring purists. A case has been made that the suits are too tight, too short (jacket length + trousers length) and ultimately too avante-garde to represent a proud tradition.

Craig wears a knee-length bridge coat, glasses, gloves and a powder blue shirt with a tie bar all by Tom Ford

Getting away from the suiting briefly, in the picture above we catch a glimpse of a double-breasted bridge coat. Knee-length jackets have been somewhat of a rarity in the Bond catalogue, although this cut does not come without influence, George Lazenby wears a similar designed car coat in Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

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George Lazenby’s car coat from Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

While they both feature a very prominent ulster collar, one of the crucial differences is in the name and the length of the coat.  Craig’s bridge coat is considerably longer than Lazenby’s car coat, but also takes influence from another iconic moment in menswear: Dennis Stock’s 1955 portrait of James Dean in Times Square (pictured below).

James Dean walks the streets of New York in 1955

Another outfit that excites the imagination is the light brown jacket with tan trousers that Daniel Craig wears in Morocco (pictured  below). The jacket and trousers are so close in colour that they look like a mismatched suit, but the jacket is darker and has more texture than the trousers have.

Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux onset in Morroco – Craig wears a mismatch suit with a jacket from Brunello Cucinelli

Bond tailoring expert Matt Spaiser highlights that neither item is from Tom Ford, interestingly the jacket is from a popular Italian fashion house, Brunello Cucinelli. The light brown jacket is likely made of linen or a linen and silk blend, and it is cut with soft shoulders and a close, short fit. (Spaiser, 2015) The white shirt is likely from Tom Ford, as the long collars would suggest, but this jacket is an interesting inclusion to the Bond tailoring catalogue, Brunello Cucinelli as a brand is very much in the spotlight at the moment for their finely crafted garments. It seems that this inclusion is a gentle nod to the Italian influence that we saw in Brosnan’s Brioni era, while also picking up on what is currently trending in mens fashion.

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Craig displays a blue sharkskin 2-piece suit, white kent collar shirt and navy/blue silk tie

In the climax of the film we get a look at a blue sharkskin suit—woven in dark blue and light blue yarns. Like most of the other suits featured in Spectre, this suit has straight shoulders with roped sleeveheads, the legs are narrow and the tie showcases a distinctive four-in hand knot. This is all brought together with a white shirt paired longside a folded white pocket square in the jacket’s breast pocket. This effect of this sharp look comes in its efortlessness, it is a pairing that is included in almost every 007 film.

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Sean Connery wears a grey 3-piece with the white shirt + white folded pocket square in Goldfinger (1964)

In many ways that has been the ideology behind the Tom Ford stylings for the Spectre Collection, it modernizes the Bond cut (to the dismay of the purists) but also pays tribute to a longstanding tradition of finely crafted garments. It could be argued that the tailoring for Spectre offers a more refined and sublte homage to previous films than the car chases, fist figths and the meglomaniac villians. 007 has always been noted for his charm, risiliance and fearless nature. While the films have seen an interesting mix of ups and downs, his garments have always been regarded as refined, adaptable and inately timeless. Spectre really shines brightest in its variety of outfits.

Bibliography

Spaiser, Matt. ‘Basted for Bond: Examining Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford Clothes in Spectre’, in The Suits of James Bond (29th of October 2015), http://thesuitsofjamesbond.com/basted-for-bond-examining-daniel-craigs-tom-ford-clothes-in-spectre/, (accessed 3rd of November 2015)

                       .‘The Final Spectre Trailer: Blue Sharkskin Suit and Light Brown Jacket’, in The Suits of James Bond (3rd of October 2015), http://thesuitsofjamesbond.com/the-final-spectre-trailer-blue-sharkskin-suit-and-light-brown-jacket/ (accessed 29th of October 2015)

                       .‘The Spectre Collection at Tom Ford’, in The Suits of James Bond (26th of October 2015) , http://thesuitsofjamesbond.com/the-spectre-collection-at-tom-ford/, (accessed 2nd of November 2015)

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