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.
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.