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Bond gives tailors a licence to thrill

There are moments of great luxury in the life of a secret agent, and James Bond provides an insight into the evolution of the male wardrobe.

However, Daniel Craig wears much the same kit in the latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace, as Sean Connery did in Dr No. Brits prefer to see Bond in Savile Row suits, but for the super spy’s new movie, Tom Ford is his tailor.

The former Gucci creative director does a beautiful job and it is not so radical for 007 to have a Texan dresser. In Live and Let Die, Bond is kitted out by a New York tailor, with “two single-breasted suits in dark blue lightweight worsted”. On screen, as embodied by Sean Connery, Bond’s masculine style is modern and powerful enough to inspire the recent revival of tailoring brand Chester Barrie . When Connery’s Bond is asked who cut his suit, he replies: “My tailor, Savile Row.” Of course, you dolt.
Today, though, the tailor needs a name. And who possesses the clout to stand alongside Bond? Burberry and Paul Smith are maybe a little fey for 007. Ozwald Boateng, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen are too fancy.

Tom Ford is a strong choice for Bond, making him modern, international and aspirational. But the big surprise is that Bond wears jeans, namely Levi’s. In Quantum of Solace he opts for blue 501s (just as the 501 one-fit goes global – great timing).

Happily, it looks like British underwear brand Sunspel has supplied Bond with a polo shirt or two, so local clothing talent wins some screen time. He is still driving Aston Martins, and there are still two great-looking women (not counting Dame Judi Dench). Bond is back.

Oliver Horton is a freelance fashion writer and commentator

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