Inside the Style of Spectre

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‘Bond is not a hero… he is a Secret Service Agent. He enjoys the fight – he also enjoys the prizes. In fiction people used to have blood in their veins. Nowadays they have pond water. My books are just out of step. But then so are all the people who read them.’

IAN FLEMING

 

Ian Fleming is known all over the world for his escapist creation – a debonair lothario and deadly assassin who’s owned our swooning screens for fifty-three years. We refer of course to the man who needs no introduction, although he gives himself one anyway, albeit a simple, disassembled purr – “Bond, James Bond”.

Fleming’s secret agent has been rightly celebrated as Britain’s most stylish and influential fictional character. It’s quite a mantle to receive. Nevertheless Daniel Craig has taken it with a stoic shrug and thrown himself headfirst into some of the most brutal action sequences and intricate dialogue that Bond fans have seen to date. If Bond is a veritable mecca for fashion then Craig is the current messiah. Suffice it to say that the forthcoming fashion he sports in Spectre (the latest instalment in the Bond franchise) has drawn a lot of attention. In spite of what Fleming said about his amoral creation, Bond has become an archetypal hero, never unruffled or knocked off-kilter, but always clothed in unfailing class and good humour. Consequently his style has become an extension of his character and now the accessories he wears are practically talismans used to call forth an inner confidence – the Bond within us all.

Tom Ford has returned to style Daniel Craig for Spectre, bringing another impeccable wardrobe replete with some of the finest shirts and ties that money can buy. Ford has taken over from the menswear couture house Brioni who provided Bond with smooth, tailored suits until the Quantum of Solace. Evidently Tom Ford, American designer and director of ‘A Single Man’, has brought his A-game. Production stills and promos have already revealed some of the outfits Bond will be rocking this year. So far we’ve glimpsed the first off-white evening jacket since Sean Connery slid his on in Goldfinger. Can you believe that was fifty-one years ago? This seamless jacket has clearly been influenced by its black and blue counterparts, reinforcing Bond with a modern and yet seasoned air. By contrast Bond was also photographed on the snow-capped Austrian heights in sleek black ski-wear, or, to be more specific, a rugged overcoat with double-breasted closure and notched lapels. His discerning, crystal-blue eyes were covered with specialist glacier sunglasses from the stylish sport-orientated French company Vuarnet. These elite spy shades are fitted with bi-shaded mirror lenses for UV protection and reduced glare. Soft leather shields are attached on each side, guarding Bond’s eyes from the sheeting snow. To keep his grip on the handle of his silencer, whilst also warming his mitts with a cashmere interior, Bond wears Mulberry’s soft leather ‘day gloves’ in – yeah, you guessed it – black.

But what does the eponymous agent wear when he’s not slinking through the snowfall? Well, as you no doubt know already, he’s pretty much dressed to the nines from sunup to sundown. For formal espionage, when he isn’t leaping between cranes or scrapping on the roof of a train, Bond can now be found in several tailored outfits. The first is a blue sharkskin suit skilfully woven in light and dark blue, coupled with a three-roll-two jacket that’s close fitted and short in length. To go with it the stylists chose a simple white shirt with a pointed collar, double cuffs and plain navy ottoman tie. Another  suit , coolly worn in the sweltering heat of Morocco, includes a brown three-button jacket from Brunello Cucinelli made in linen and silk, cut with soft shoulders and matched with a flat fawn-coloured trousers. On his feet he wears a pair of shined Camberley double-strap monk boots made by esteemed British shoemakers Crockett & Jones. His wardrobe is invariably coloured with dark shades, save several fun exceptions, like a sleek, sand-coloured biker jacket and a warm woven silk-cashmere N. Peal turtleneck that Craig has sported in various snow-backed promos. At the same time, in the on-going effort to bridge the gap between Bond and the common man, Craig has assumed a more casual role, wearing slim cut Rag & Bone selvedge jeans tailored to suit Bond’s persona with a dark indigo wash.

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What we really find exciting about Spectre is the attention to detail and the prevailing fact that, as with all of the Craig revivals, the whole ensemble is handled with due interest and care. Take the feisty new Bond Girl, Lea Seydoux, for instance. In this movie she is a self-professed equal to Bond, cutting through henchmen in a fitted black overcoat that hugs her shoulders, whilst also allowing for a soft drapery effect around her torso. Then there’s the inexplicably sexy Monica Bellucci, who’s fifty-years-old and still able to own the screen with her enduring beauty. Finally there’s the sly, shadow-covered enigma, Oberhauser, played by Christoph Waltz, who sits in the Spectre headquarters clad in an oriental ‘Nehru’ bespoke jacket, keeping that vibrant international flair alive. The uniform neutral colours and neat tab collar serve to evoke a calculated man of business – a clinical tactician with, undoubtedly, a number of skeletons hugged close to his chest.

Of course we’re in the business of timekeeping and so we’re also fascinated by the latest flash of silver on Bond’s wrist. We’re glad to see he’s continuing to promote iconic Omega pieces with a commemorative Seamaster Aqua Terra and a striped Seamaster 300. The steel Seamaster 300 has been revamped with black and grey stripes encircling a NATO strap. It’s reminiscent of the classic nylon-strapped Rolexes that Sean Connery popularised in Goldfinger and Thunderball. The second piece, and the dressier of the two, is the Seamaster Aqua Terra. For this one the beauty is in the minutiae, like the thin yellow seconds-hand, the tip of which is emblazoned with the Bond family coat of arms. It also features a cool blue PVD dial and sapphire crystal caseback, but let’s set aside the aesthetics for a moment – the inner workings of these Swiss diver watches deserve some consideration. They’re specifically designed for professional underwater use and also powered by a matchless anti-magnetic Omega Master Co-Axial mechanism.

 

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