SKYFALL’S BOND A TRIFLE BLAND

EARNS YELLOW CARD FROM THE STYLE REFEREE

-name taken for lacklustre, middle-of-road tailoring-

Let’s get one thing straight: I love Tom Ford’s signature work, particularly his tailoring. Hope not gonna find self in bad books at the house of Ford, but I’ve gotta lay this down. Bond’s suiting wasn’t up to scratch in Skyfall. Name taken for various affrays, stays on pitch/screen by skin of teeth. Let’s not get sucked into endorsement debate or we’ll never get the DB out of the car park, right? Okay, from the top, should Bond be wearing British tailoring? Initial reaction is yes, course. Then again this is effectively costume and not a statement of plot intent, so in theory anyone could make for him. If Ford could deliver a Savile Row Brit-look correctly then let it roll. They flopped though. You didn’t look at JB and think, yup, would like to be him/look like that (which for many men, is supposed a prerequisite of the Bond thing, isn’t it?). Nothing demonstrates this look isn’t ready-to-wear. There’s almost no rope to the rope shoulder. The narrow lapels are a bit too narrow, a step away from the zeitgeist in the wrong direction and as a reader of S&E pointed out, the armholes look too big (thanks Rups). The grey fresco looking suit seems a bit cheap, and styled with a white shirt Craig looked more like a sales rep taking his scrambler up and down the M4 corridor, than an educated, worldly bloke with serious resources and background.

The blue pinstripe was weak. Zero umph. Bond in pinstripe, yes, but it needs to be ballsy Brit-Pinstripe. While moments of the plot included a ‘Make-Do-And-Mend’, A-Team like improvisation armoury section, the styling contrived to deliver ‘make-do-and-blend’. Let’s allow the idea that Agent Bond doesn’t want to stand out, and an elegant British man might exhibit the epitome of low-key taste, but even very understated Savile Row tailoring can conjure up a potent resonance that the viewer can feel whether they know why or not. That’s what Bond should be channelling. This subtle allure was absent. The tab collar shirts did pull it round on the attitude stakes, saved the day for him really. That’s quite a Fordonian thing, along with collar bars. Not particularly British, but we like. But then the little strip of pocket handkerchief was apologetic, not slick. The black shoes which could read as stoic and unfussy, the mark of a serious man, in fact looked a bit clumpy and inelegant. Perhaps that’s why in the film Bond runs like T2/Terminator in school sports day fathers’ egg race?

Shall I mention his watch, The Omega SnoozeMaster? Best not. His sunglasses were dull, in the manner or William/Harry at Lords. His Walther gun was fetching, but standard Bond stuff, though the holster did crank it up a bit in jacket-less scenes. Christ, even writing this hasn’t been exciting. Okay, what can we mention that’s positive? Shawl collar evening suit is a good idea. But then the material not madly convincing and tie too small for the width of collar.. Er, also liked the bit of leather trim on his overcoat behind the collar. Almost fetishistic. Maybe that’s where Bond should be going: Pinstripe, double breasted fetish banker. A bit of Kenny Everett almost. Just a thought. Sorry to have bored ya, but James Bland just got me down. Gonna channel this into something. Going down Mount Street to start a petition I think. Hayward were good at Bond. They understood what the service requires from a tailor. Maybe it should be a Brit’ making Bond’s whistles. It wouldn’t have been correct if an Englishman had dressed Dirty Harry, so all I can say is Tom, in the unlikely event you’re reading this, am loving your work, just not your Bond.

Stubbs out.

PS. It appears Skyfall is on at cinemas today. Go and have a look if not to see Daniel’s funny run, Ben Whishaws cardigan and some great homosexual overtones from the brilliantly dressed Javier Bardem character. In the interests of impartiality am doing him next by the way.


16 Responses to “SKYFALL’S BOND A TRIFLE BLAND”

  1. Sean Says:

    Saw it this afternoon and agree with everything you say, with the exception of the watch. (It does look better on a rubber strap though – Casino Royale). Barbour hi-jinks in Scotland (not mentioned by you) nice to see. Chester Barrie MTM would have looked better and saved EON Productions a right packet. Think your veiled assertion about ‘product placement’ right on the money if am honest.

  2. Sean Says:

    Further to last: OB Setter trunks in Shanghai hotel roof-top pool scene bring a bit more Brit style to the production.

  3. Rups Says:

    Got to give you props for writing this Stubbs as you got to make a living in the industry..the sad think is I’m sure other mainstream men’s fashion mags etc will delusionally fawn over the bond movie and what was worn in it as thats what sells mags & the accompanying ads.

    The pocket square done as a tv fold is the icing on the cake ..why would a ’sophisticated Englishman’ character wear a pocket aware like a 1960s American news anchor?! Ridiculous! If I was a bond baddie I wouldn’t be able to even try and kill him in some inventive fashion as I would be laughing my socks off :)

    The shoes I believe were supplied by c&j which is obv English middle of the road shoe territory. If they looked bulky I would perhaps point blame at the tapered trouser leg of that monstrosity of a suit which is then creating a bulky look to the foot .. an English shoe is solid looking and goes perfectly with the caveat that you wear a proper full cut English trouser, not a carrot jean style suit trouser.

    Stubbs, you need to style the next bond, and tom ford frankly should be locked up for this offense. He should know better even if he did spend moworkings adult life working for an Italian handbag maker ;) Also i would be happy to provide my services as a consultant for free on any future projects you may need a hand on .. it could be like batman and robin (don’t get me started on Christian bale’s suits as a supposed billionaire in dark knight grrr).

    Rups

  4. Bryan Ferragamo Says:

    Picky, picky, picky. You’re like a bunch of bitter Apple-freaks bitching about the Ipad Mini’s clock rate. ‘Oh they should have used the A6X chip, Dougie Hayward gave it a lovely blue tinge’.

    Okay, so Craig’s wardrobe is not all it could be. But come on, it’s not Graham Norton, is it? And let’s be frank Stubbs, if Dave Berry was wearing that suit, you’d have come in his pocket.

    99.9% of the two zillion men who watch Skyfall WILL want to look like Craig. And Christ, imagine if all sales reps DID dress that well.

    P.s. Shoreditch, Stubbs?

  5. Rups Says:

    Bryan i think your being massively unfair to graham norton .. the bond suit is horrendous. Cutting a good suit is an art which ford clearly hasn’t mastered if he’s pleased with this work.

    I agree that 99.9% of men will prob want to look like craig, but this is because most of them have little experience of good tailoring and the fact that their reference points come from popular culture means they take cues from things like this bond movie. It’s sort of like saying a lot of people may think Smirnoff vodka is cool when bond drinks it neat from the bottle as a product placement vehicle, but doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a cheap rough tasteless spirit favoured by farmers in Siberian wasteland.

    Bottom line is that the suit bond is wearing doesn’t flatter him, you may argue this is subjective but i would bet that if I showed you craig in a suit cut by a decent tailor vs this one you would agree the former looks better by a mile. Now, I take your point about discussing the finer details, but isn’t that what a style website is all about? I know that other things are more important for instance global political instability in the middle east, the euro debt crisis, wealth inequality, treatment of epidemics in Africa and so on and so on, but these all have their place and since this is a style site you have to sort of stick to the subject ..

    Rups

  6. Sean Says:

    Screenplay: Go to a gym, bulk up on ’supplements’ go to Top Man for an ‘off the rack’and look like James Bond. Done.

  7. Sean Says:

    Any comment Bryan?

  8. Bryan Ferragamo Says:

    ‘Bryan, you’re being massively unfair’…

    You’re new here, aren’t you?

  9. Rups Says:

    Oh I pop up here and there making trouble where I can ..but I know a nice suit when I see one ..

    Tom Ford is probably taking the piss out of everyone with this outfit .. probably sniggering with his boyfriend at the back of the premiere at how he made bond look like a dixons salesman .. and the punch line is that people think he’s cool and may well look alfor a suit just like it .. That’s conditioning of the masses through modern popular culture for you lol .. Well either that or he just couldn’t be bothered as he was too busy releasing a new range of synthetic colognes ..

    Rups

  10. prairie_oysters Says:

    As the Ms. astutely pointed out they’ve styled a 44yr old man to look like he’s shoehorned into a suit from Topshop in a manner akin to some nimrod like Russell Kane. Craig is gym bunny stocky; that tatty grey suit makes him look like Pee Wee Herman.

    Allegedly the rigours of filming the opening sequence required 60+ suits to be trashed. I doubt Saville Row would willingly cough up so many, whereas Ford’s Italian sweatshops could knock ‘em up in a day.

  11. Quintons Crisps Says:

    Does Stubbs fancy Dave Berry??? Why???

  12. Bryan Ferragamo Says:

    Because he’s so lovely.

  13. Venice Punt Says:

    I hardly think Zegna state of the art factory can be considered a sweatshop PO?

  14. Stubbs Says:

    Actually Venice, thats a double good point. Zegna makes Tom Fords clothes. Forgot to mention.
    Stubbs.

  15. Roberto Says:

    Oh what lively debate. Why have I never explored the comments section before?

    I didn’t like the suits. First of all, to my uneducated eye, they seemed ill-fitting and certainly not tailored, almost as if DC had found himself between sizes in an RTW range and had tried to cram his considerable frame into the smaller size (okay, an exaggeration, but you get the idea). Second, Bond was clearly been dressed with fashion, rather than style, in mind. Tight (sorry, “form-fitting”) short jackets and who the hell told him to run around with his cuff buttons undone? I’m not normally the sort to criticise aspects of a Bond film for not being “Bond enough”, but as TS more or less said in his piece, for his wardrobe one would expect classic Savile Row rather than top end high street. I was left thinking that if you were to watch the film in 10 years time, the suits would look very incongruous. Unless of course fashion has come full circle by then, in which case everyone else will be hailing Ford’s genius for creating timeless classics and we’ll all have fashion pie all over our shirts.

    It was only afterwards that I discovered the suits were Tom Ford creations. (When my wife if I knew who had made them, my initial response was to guess Hugo Boss!) I am generally a fan of Tom Ford’s stuff, although don’t quite get his near-deification and, when his RTW clothes carry bespoke price tags, can rarely justify the price tag for anything more than a pair if sunglasses. Which gives me a flimsy excuse to tell you about how I was passing the TF store on Rodeo Drive a couple of weeks ago when I saw a very handsome alligator overnight bag in the window. I went in to have a closer look (turns out it was crocodile – how did I miss that?) and it was genuinely quite beautiful. I asked the assistant for the price. While rummaging around for the tag she said, “I think it’s thirty-two… or thirty-three…”. Conscious of the American habit of doing their math by the hundred, I imagined for a brief, surrealistic moment that she was going to tell me that it was $3,200. My hand involuntarily twitched toward my wallet. Before it could get there, she found the price tag. “Yes, I thought so! Thirty-two thousand.” My hand and wallet stayed where there were.

    “Plus tax.”

  16. Stubbs Says:

    Yes, its not a budget choice Croco by Tomo. Good comments Roberto, thank you, very entertaining.
    Stubbs

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