HOW TO BE AS COOL AS JAMES BOND
Award winning costume designer Jany Temime doesn’t just have the kind of job most women would love to have – in kitting out Daniel Craig as 007, she also has a job most men could learn from. Since Skyfall hit our screens in 2012, she’s been responsible for ensuring that Bond always looks effortlessly stylish, whether he’s street jumping in a suit or gunning for the enemy in a gillet.
And like Bond himself, Temime is someone who takes no prisoners. “A man should never look shabby,” she says, in a tone which suggests it’s an order rather than a request. “He should always be perfectly groomed.”
“You should see the man first and the clothes second”
In her role as global ambassador for Gillette’s ‘Bond Moments’ campaign, she’s also keen on pointing out that it’s not just clothes that matter but a good haircut and a smooth chin, too. “Men often dress immaculately but then forget about the grooming. No! No! No! That’s terrible!” she says in a heavy French accent. “If you don’t attend to details like that that then it won’t matter how well you’re dressed!”
So, clean-shaven good looks aside, what is the key to Bond’s sartorial success? According to Temime it’s not so much about the clothes themselves but the effect they have on the wearer. “Women find Bond’s style so attractive because he always wears clothes that make him feel confident,” she says. “And it’s that confidence, not the clothes, that’s so attractive.”
Her advice for men who want a little of 007’s style savvy is refreshingly simple but nonetheless very useful.
So if you want to look as good as Bond, here’s what to do…
1. Invest in a decent whistle and wear it – lots
“A suit – not a good suit but a very, very good suit – is the one garment a man can wear that can make him feel like he owns the world,” says Temime.
A advocate of men wearing suits more often (Bond never just reserves his for meetings with M), she suggests sticking to a classic cut and going bespoke. “I prefer a simple, single breasted suit because you can always dress it up or down,” she says. “Double breasted ones always look shabby when opened.”
Tailored isn’t just better for the fit but for function too: it’s because Bond’s suits fit him like a second skin that he can in do so much in them.
2. Choose colours with care
There’s a reason you never see 007 in a lilac and green tank top or an op-art blouson and it’s not just because he doesn’t have the time to cruise the Mr Porter site for the most outrageous thing possible.
“Clothes should never dress the man or overpower him,” says Temime. “You should see the man first and the clothes second, which is why Bond’s wardrobe is based around a neutral palette – it allows his personality to shine through.”
Sombre it may be, but a palette of blacks, greys, whites and blues also means there’s less chance of you making any sartorial slip ups.
3. A glove should always fit … like a glove.
Like a lot of men I quite like gloves but have probably never spent more than about 45 seconds trying a pair on before making a purchase. Bad move, says Temime. “No joking, we had to fit Daniel with about ten pairs of gloves before finding the perfect ones, because a man needs to forget he has them on,” she says.
“They should look beautiful but nobody should really know why – they should just be part of you.”
4. It’s the body that makes the suit
It sounds obvious, but it’s one thing a lot of blokes with burgeoning dad bods forget: clothes may maketh the man but it’s the body that maketh the clothes.
“You cannot hang a fantastic suit on a bad body,” says Temime bluntly. “Daniel Craig has an amazing body – he’s muscular but not big. Looking as good as he does in the clothes he wears doesn’t come all by itself – he trains for two hours a day to look that good.”
And once you’ve got that perfect bod? Avoid the too-tight fitted shirts you think make your heavage look hot and get a good tailor instead. “If there’s one things I’ve learnt from dressing muscular villains in the past it’s that a good tailor is essential if you want that body to look its best,” she says.
5. Remember, the devil’s in the details
“You came across me so many times you never saw me,” says Bond’s nemesis in SPECTRE. The same could be said of accessories: according to Temime, they should be there but never too obvious. “Little details – things like amazing cufflinks – are so important when it comes to dressing like Bond,” she says. “And they should say something about the man you are and have a history behind them.”
But whilst details matter, they should never dominate an outfit. If you’re nervous about accessories she suggests paring things right back to a pocket square. “You can say so much with something as a simple a pocket square,” she says. “It’s a specific and precise detail which always adds a touch of understated elegance.” To make sure it’s on point she suggests wearing it straight, Bond style, allowing exactly 1.4 of an inch to show above the pocket.
Worried you’re packing more accessories than Q? “It’s always better for a man to take something off rather than to add something,” she says.
6. Forget fashion
“Fashion itself has nothing to do with Bond, nor his elegance,” Temime points out firmly. ”Bond is a man who has created his own style – one that’s outside fashion. This is why he always looks timeless.”
Key to this elegance is choosing classics, paring things back and keeping things simple. “That applies to causal wear too,” she says. “Stick to classics like roll necks – in cashmere because a man’s clothing should always feel soft and luxurious to the touch – and polo shirts in neutral colours and you will always look elegant.”
And you really don’t want to argue with her – after all, she has friends in high places. MI6 mainly.
Spectre wardrobe secrets
Speaking to the IBTimes UK, Temime told us that “Tom Ford was in the picture as a sponsor when I arrived on Skyfall. He was there to manufacture [Daniel] Craig’s shoes so that’s how we worked together. I designed the shoes and told him which shape I wanted and he manufactured it. He was very respectful of the job of a costume designer, you know, so he knew it was going to be my style and the way I wanted to design Bond.”
With Spectre being their second film together, Jany confirmed that the partnership between herself and fashion designer Tom Ford worked extremely well, and even more so for Ford after Skyfall.
“The partnership worked really well because for Skyfall it was a great success and it came back to [Tom Ford’s] sales and they sold a lot of the dark suits we designed for Bond. It was not at all the suit they sold in the shops but made especially for Bond.”
For Spectre the pair worked very closely together to develop bespoke ski wear that Jany created for Bond and Tom Ford manufactured. More importantly though, was the update of Bond’s all important suits.
“I changed some details for the suit as [Bond] was in a lot of different situations so the suit had to reflect the situation that he was in. There is a scene in Rome and he had to look like one of the other Italians so we had to disguise him to fit in with the other Italian men there. Also I have a new colour of tuxedo because he is in warm countries so it is all an evolution. New situation, new suit.”
With skiwear, travel and a departure from Bond’s classic dark suits, it might seem that 007 was getting a bit more casual in his old age, especially with Craig attending the photo call in a Canada Goose quilted jacket and the teaser posters featuring him in a cashmere turtleneck from British brand N.Peal. However, Temime was quick to inform us otherwise.
“Bond is not a casual man – we just see him in different situations now where he must wear casual clothes, although are not actually that casual. I mean, he cannot ski in a suit. In Spectre we see him in many situations, so he has a broader wardrobe and definitely more sports-wear than Skyfall.”
Also she told us that “[Daniel Craig] is not wearing Canada Goose in the film, those are his own clothes, he just wore it on set to keep warm.”
Aside from selecting his own ski wear off set, Craig apparently had a great deal of input into his Bond’s wardrobe and helped Jany develop the character, which she loved. “Every single actor has to carry the character and is aware of the character. Daniel knows the character better than anybody else, and he also has (which is fantastic for me) an incredible sense of fashion, so it is really nice working with him as he knows what he is talking about.”
She noted that the white tuxedo Craig wears in Spectre was his favourite look “it was fantastic because there was a flower was on the table and [Daniel] had the idea to put it in his button hole and I thought that was such an incredibly romantic gesture and I hope that we start wearing button holes again – it is really such a romantic idea.”
When we asked her to pick her favourite look, the answer was a little more difficult. “I like all of his looks because they’re my babies, I’m just dying to see them on screen!”
It would seem with a film like Spectre, set in so many varying climates from Tangiers and Rome all the way to Mexico that it would be a mammoth task to create so many looks. Jany Jany told us “the locations themselves were so exotic and so full of story and the script was very rich that the ideas were coming by themselves.” She also attributes the richness of the costume to working with director Sam Mendes.
“Working with Sam is such a pleasure because he gives to each of his characters such a fullness. Every single part is so analysed and is so full of story that nobody is insignificant, this is what I love so much with Sam, he gives you the life story for every single character and that is why it is so fascinating doing costume for him.”