‘The Bond franchise is a very unusual thing,’ said Lindy Hemming, who was the costumer designer from GoldenEye through Casino Royale (Louise Frogley replaces her for Quantum of Solace). ‘I’m not sure I properly realised it at first. These are films that are going to be watched for ever and ever. You need to watch out for the clothes. You need to make sure they can be looked at for years and years without looking too… fashion. With Roger Moore, I think the decision was taken to be fashionable. We laugh at it now, but I’m sure it all looked good at the time.’
Claiming Timothy Dalton’s Bond dressed like an off-duty policeman, Hemming wanted something different when Pierce Brosnan took over the role in 1995. ‘More modern. More European. Classic and beautifully tailored, but not so ex-military,’ she said.
Hemming went on to mention that she considered various European designers, including Armani, before finally choosing Brioni. ‘I was taken to the factory to see how they were made. They were absolutely open to any sort of idea. They have a lifetime of making clothes for presidents and politicians, and they don’t have that thing that they can’t change what is going on. Whether it be 13 inside pockets, or one jacket with no vents and another that needs to open down the back. Some other companies are like elephants. They take a long time to change direction.’
‘Our tailors would go to London for all the fittings,’ said Brioni co-chief executive Antonella De Simone. ‘Bond has always been an icon of style and sartorial elegance. And we dressed other characters, too. Mrs Moneypenny. In Casino Royale, everybody at that casino table was dressed by Brioni. And these were very strange guys. A big black man, a fat man, the models. All the people on the table.’
One thing both Hemming and Brioni insisted upon was that no money changed hands throughout the 11-year association between Bond and the fashion company.
‘This is not our policy,’ said De Simone. ‘We were chosen for our art, never for money. We want to be discreet and elegant. Outside the glamour and the noise.’
As several Bond collectors will already be aware, besides the odd film still, there was never a Brioni advertisement specifically featuring Brosnan or Craig. The only exception came in late 2006 around the release of Casino Royale when the company unveiled a £3,000 tuxedo with a stitched ‘James Bond’ included in the silver lining.
Daniel Craig is James Bond
Why the switch from Brioni to Tom Ford occurred isn’t quite clear to all the parties involved, but The Times article does point out that the departure of Brioni chief executive Umberto Angeloni occurred during the same time frame last year when Frogley replaced Hemming for Quantum of Solace.
British-based company Dunhill was also previously reported several times to be involved with Craig’s second Bond adventure. Craig himself wore a Dunhill dinner jacket to the premiere of Casino Royale.
When questioned, a spokesperson for the company said: ‘Nothing has been confirmed. Although there’s a possibility that it won’t be us.’
Officially, Tom Ford was even more quiet on the matter. ‘No comment’ was the spokesperson’s reply to the request for info from The Times.
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