Exotic locations, beautiful women, bad guys willing to conquer the world, fully equipped cars. The starter pack of the secret agent at the Secret Service of Her Majesty is almost complete. But it’s still missing something.
Can you imagine James Bond enjoying a ‘shaken, not stirred’ Vesper Martini wearing a sweatshirt and jogging pants? Could he ever, unshaven and uncombed, exchange a seductive gaze with the babe of the day at the chemin de fer table?
We have seen Daniel Craig taking a swig from a Heineken bottle, not really following the proper British etiquette, hungover and disheveled, true. But we all have to start from somewhere, right?
The actor from Chester is nothing but version 2.0 of the Sean Connery launched in 1962: a diamond in the rough shaped by director Terence Young. Through English gentlemen etiquette “lessons”, and suits tailored by Anthony Sinclair, Daniel Craig was able to impress producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli during the final screen-test.
From the Turnbull & Asser tailored shirts of the 60s, to the eye-catching looks of the 70s / 80s and the flawless mise signed by Brioni, to today’s Tom Ford custom-made suits, we witness that fashion (and actors) are constantly changing, but the character’s appeal remains the same.
Almost everyone identifies Bond with Sean Connery’s fascinating features, although traces of Roger Moore’s fine irony, thank God, are still there too. Don’t forget about Australian model George Lazenby, a one-time James Bond in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (1969). Timothy Dalton with his icy stare and melancholy look was the most faithful to Ian Fleming’s spirit. Pierce Brosnan, a refined gentleman, rediscovered classic style and taste. And then the Craig era: the sum of the “Bondian” spirit perfectly modernized the contemporary context. Audrey Hepburn once said:
“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.”
The beauty of a cinematic universe that has lasted for 55 years, lies in the fact that whenever we watch a gun barrel sequence on the screen, we can start dreaming with open eyes. The stories told in the films, in Fleming’s words, “go wildly beyond the probable but not, I think, beyond the possible.” Here’s hoping that the series may last another 55 years.