Fashion: Movers and shakers in the Bond market

When `Tomorrow Never Dies' opens next week 007 won't be the only one in for the kill. Designing clothes for the world's most stylish secret agent - and his enemies - can be a licence to sell, says Francesca Fearon.

You think you're watching action heroes, but you're really window shopping.

That's the conclusion that the likes of Armani and Cerruti and Hugo Boss have reached, and you know they can't be wrong. Armani has worked on more than 90 films, including Batman and The Bodyguard; Cerruti has notched up a similar number. Italian label Ermenegildo Zegna's latest credits are The Devil's Advocate, and Kenneth Branagh in The Gingerbread Man.

Ever since the first moving pictures were shown, films have proved to be the perfect forum for showing off fashion. With audiences held captive for two hours while the camera magnifies every designer detail on to a huge screen, it is surely the most profitable form of free advertising there is. The designers provide the clothes free, of course - and, of course, it's dead important that the folk see the label.

It was no accident that Armani launched his menswear collection in the US on the back of the success of American Gigolo. The timing was certainly right.

"In the Eighties men started to focus more on fitness and the right dose of vanity," says Giorgio Armani. "They tended to be more flexible in the way of clothing ,and became less conservative and traditionalist."

Rocky IV propelled Hugo Boss into the US market. But now it's that James Bond moment again: Tomorrow Never Dies premieres next week. Enter the Italian bespoke tailor Brioni, with a licence to dress.

Bond has had a tricky sartorial history, and that's down to the different actors who have played the role over the years. The truth about Bond and clothes is the same as the truth about Bond himself. Sean Connery was the only one who was really the business. Roger Moore is remembered for his Seventies slacks, and Timothy Dalton for his complete lack of dress sense; Sean Connery's timeless Sixties tailoring is the look best liked on Bond.

"It was simple, classic and partly period," explains the costume designer, Lindy Hemmings.

That is just the image she was seeking for Pierce Brosnan, the first Bond since Connery to look and feel right: the first one really worth dressing (or undressing). "I wanted a look that Bond would have chosen for himself - slightly Savile Row - but would not make him stand out in a crowd," she says. So Hemmings chose Brioni to kit out Bond, because the tailors of Savile Row did not have the capacity to produce within two weeks the 17 suits required, complete with special inside pockets in which 007 could stash his Walther PPK.

Rather than impose a current season's look on her characters, which she believes would have dated the film, Hemmings has used clothes to define each personality. In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond is classical; Jonathan Pryce as the villain, Carver, is modern and minimalist, wearing clothes adapted from Kenzo; and the henchman, Stamper, played by Gotz Otto, wears Ozwald Boateng, which, says Hemmings, is "the reflection of a young, modern hard man."

At Christie's, South Kensington, you can buy suits straight off the screen if you've a few tens of thousands to spare. The navy suit Harrison Ford wears in Airforce One is one he bought off the rail from Cerruti and thought would fit the part. Cerruti then ran up 36 copies, to be worn by Ford and his stunt doubles in the film. Very few of them survived the rigours of filming, but one that did is being sold for between pounds 1,800 and pounds 2200, complete with two bullet holes and imitation blood.

Alongside the Cerruti at Christie's will be a dress suit, a navy three- piece and a cream linen suit designed specially for Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever, both estimated to sell for between pounds 4,500 and pounds 6,500, and a brown wool suit from Thunderball. The most sought-after item however, will be the black wool dinner suit with claret lapels and matching trousers, that was made for Sean Connery, again for 1971's Diamonds are Forever. The lowest bid expected for that is pounds 6,000.

So if you hanker after a suit once worn by your hero, then, at last, if you have the spare cash, this is your opportunity to realise a Hollywood dream, bullet holes and all.

`Tomorrow Never Dies' premieres in London on 9 December, and goes on general release on 12 December.

Christie's Film and Entertainment Memorabilia sale will be held on 11 December at 85 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington,London SW7, from 2pm. Call 0171-581 7611 for further details, or 0171-321 3152 for a catalogue.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.


ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent