007 and his girls are back with a crisp new look
The styling in the latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, is decidedly sharper and more polished, writes Jessica Fellowes in The Telegraph
Think of a Bond movie and it's not the plot you remember - it's the style. Connery with his narrow Sixties suits made by his Mayfair tailor, Roger Moore in that safari outfit and Pierce Brosnan in black tie by Brioni. Even the beauty of the Bond girls is secondary to their apparel: Ursula Andress's bikini in Dr No, Honor Blackman's tight waistcoat in Goldfinger and Halle Berry in - what else? - a bikini in Die Another Day. The villains are also remembered for their sinister outfits - Auric Goldfinger's plus-fours, Oddjob's bowler hat and Blofeld's high-collared, big-buttoned suits.
So it's no surprise that the new Bond vehicle, Quantum of Solace, is just as much about the cut of 007's cloth as the car chases (pure Bond), explosions (big, orange and full-on) and cool gadgets (best yet).
After completing 21 films in the franchise, it seems that the producers have decided to strike out in a more grown-up direction. Daniel Craig's Bond will not say, "The name's Bond, James Bond", nor order a martini "shaken not stirred". The smoothness of Sean Connery, the comedic turn of Roger Moore, and the "ironic" arched eyebrow of Pierce Brosnan have been decisively left behind. And so have the ridiculous outfits, thanks to Quantum's costume designer, Louise Frogley, whose previous credits include Ocean's Thirteen.
"Daniel's Bond is unlike all the others," says costume supervisor Lindsay Pugh. "Before him, Bond was becoming a parody of himself. Daniel is not quite as tongue-in-cheek - he's more real and gritty. The script, too, is more realistic. So it followed that there wouldn't be any parodies in the costume."
Italian tailors Brioni, who dressed Bond from Goldeneye (1995) to Casino Royale, have been moved aside in favour of sharp suits by the American designer Tom Ford.
"The Brioni suits were too relaxed," explains Pugh. "The way that Daniel wears his clothes required something sharper. For us, it was the perfect partnership - Tom Ford understood exactly what we needed, and worked hard to give us what we wanted, while staying within his own design."
Not that the look offers any nasty surprises. Bond aficionados will be pleased to hear that "there are a lot of nods to Connery's Bond - we styled Daniel in a slightly Sixties way for this film".
Ford, who dresses Brad Pitt, Ralph Fiennes, Will Smith and David Beckham, was thrilled to be part of the action.
"I was very excited when I was approached by Barbara Broccoli [the producer]," he says. "Bond is a British style icon and to dress him is a huge privilege. As Daniel had been one of our customers in real life from the beginning, it was not hard to imagine what would look good on him and what he would like. I wanted Bond to be like the Tom Ford customer - chic, well-dressed, polished, yet leading an exciting life."
"It is a stylised look," echoes Pugh. "We wanted to strengthen Bond's image and, with variations on the monochrome theme, gave him a sharper look - it's a sort of uniform."
Black, white and a splash of silvery-grey extends to the whole cast, whether it's Judi Dench's M in crisp white shirts over sharp black suits or the Bond girls themselves. "For them we wanted toned-down starkness with unfussy lines and no frills," says Pugh.
"We didn't want costume pieces. We just went to the shops. It turned out that Prada had most of the solutions."
Gemma Arterton, 22, the hot British starlet of the moment, has a strong Sixties look as Agent Fields, her belted Burberry trenchcoat and knee-high boots a happy throwback to Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. But her real style moment is when she arrives at a party, reddish hair piled high in a chignon, in a silk and wool black Prada shift-dress with a silvery-grey panel and bow detail. The dress, which cost in the region of Â£1,000, was part of the collection for last autumn/winter. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, had it in several versions. The striking prasiolite, or green amethyst, necklace worn by Arterton in the same scene is by Lesley Schifft of London's The Talisman Gallery (seek solace in your own for Â£595; call 020 7351 2400).
But it's Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko as Camille who has the edge. She is perhaps the first credit-crunch Bond girl, driving a metallic gold Ford Ka and dressing in Jasper Conran, best known for producing collections in association with Debenhams. In line with this season's key looks, Kurylenko also wears a statement necklace - a chunky gold chain with a fish pendant from Conran's spring/summer 2008 collection, made to order, from Â£395 (020 7292 9080, jasperconran.com). Not as cheap as chips, perhaps, but less than the cost of painting your body in liquid gold. Kurylenko's two main looks are as affordable as the jewellery: her tight-fitting, orange ''Swimmer", or vest top, is Â£275, and the high-waisted bronze skirt Â£595. Her sleeveless Prada black dress in poplin, nipped in at the waist and ruched on one side, was a one-off for the film but Prada does a variation every season; it's always a sell-out, despite its Â£800 price tag. Complete the look with heels from Gina.
The Quantum villain, "ruthless businessman" Dominic Greene, is played by Mathieu Almaric, who is dressed in "laid-back casual clothes," says style adviser Lindy Hemmings, "because he was in a very hot place". But the French actor's desert garb is accessorised with gothic-style jewellery for men from Foti by Chrome Hearts (The Wonder Room, Selfridges; 020 7318 3126), a design company founded by bikers in Los Angeles. The pieces include sinister silver skulls on top of a variety of figures - from lizards and little girls to dogs and astronauts - which can be hung from chains (from Â£205). Apparently Almaric was so taken with the rock 'n' roll look that Barbara Broccoli gave him a piece to keep.
Daniel Craig's James Bond, of course, would not be seen dead in it. For him, jewellery stops with the requisite hi-tech, alpha-male watch. Some looks cannot be bettered.
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