If you’re lucky enough to be an American, today marks the release of Skyfall on DVD and Blu-Ray and, what the hell, let’s assume someone out there is still putting out VHS tapes as well.
British people, enjoy your extra SIX days of waiting. (Just kidding… it’s totally not fair that you guys invented Bond and have to wait longer to add the latest entry to your library. Sorry.)
Daniel Craig as James Bond, disillusioned British secret agent
Venice, Summer 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
I will unapologetically make no apology for the fact that I think Daniel Craig is the best thing to happen to James Bond since a badass Scotsman first caught the eye of Cubby Broccoli and the Bond producers in 1961. Craig exemplifies what a modern Bond would be: tough but considerate while being slightly arrogant and insecure. He’s got a few quips, but he’s not winking at the camera every five minutes nor is he more focused on staying in bed with his woman-of-the-week while there’s a job to get done.
That being said, I’m a huge fan of the Bond series and will watch any of the movies (maybe not A View to a Kill) any day. I’ve read all the books, blah blah blah… Besides giving Connery his just due, I would argue that Craig IS Bond, at least from the literary standpoint. He may not be what the public wants him to be/thinks he should be, but he delivers Ian Fleming’s original vision to the screen. A very close second to this would be Tim Dalton’s two works in the ’80s; perhaps if Casino Royale had been rebooted with him and it wasn’t the obnoxious ’80s, it would be a different story.
Rant aside, some have also argued that Craig’s Bond took casual wear too far. I would say that these people need to make better use of their time and emotions.
1) At the end of the day, he’s a movie character.
2) He actually nails the whole CASUAL thing, mixing comfort, practicality, fashionability, and readiness for action. Is he supposed to wear a damn three-piece suit everywhere? In this economy, no one can afford those luggage costs. Let him be comfortable and enjoy the damn movie already.
Wow, people get me angry. Here’s Dan kicking ass.
What’d He Wear?
Bond sails into Venice for the film’s finale looking on top of the world for someone who just quit his job and nearly had his testicles removed. Then again, he does have Eva Green on his arm. Guess the pros outweigh the cons here.
Unseen after their arrival in Venice, Bond wears a pair of sharp Persol 2720 sunglasses with turtle frames and green lenses (color code 24/31).
His base outfit is a gray T-shirt and very dark navy trousers, worn with comfortable Nike sneakers. When sailing, he sports a pair of sunglasses against the summer sun in the Venice canals. After some afternoon delight, Bond and Vesper go their separate ways to run the necessary errands for the day. For this, Bond layers a long-sleeve blue polo over it all.
Okay, let’s break it all down. The Internet gods have graced us with plenty of details, but – so far as I can see – this is the first time it’s all been Huffington Post-ed into one place.
The main item of the latter portion of the sequence is Bond’s long-sleeve polo. The color is a rich blue with a self collar. The shirt’s material is an interlock cotton. It fastens at the top with two white buttons, hidden in a fly placket when buttoned. However, Bond wears his polo unbuttoned. The cuffs are elastic.
Underneath, Bond’s undershirt is one of the many Sunspel T-shirts provided for the production. It is gray melange with an overlocked crew neck, making it just slightly more special than your average T-shirt. However, the material makes it a lot more special, described as a “fine gauge two fold long staple Egyptian cotton”. A tip for the everyman, when the word “cotton” is preceded by seven words, that probably means we’re talking about something pretty damn comfortable. James Bond Lifestyle has a link to Sunspel shirts used in the film and additional descriptions.
The pants were a little harder to pin down, but Matt Spaiser described it well on his blog as a pair of dark navy blue cotton twill chino flat front trousers. I was dubious at first, as the film makes them appear more like black jeans or possibly very dark blue jeans. Matt’s deduction is proved correct, though, by looking at production photos and certain scenes, such as when Bond has his hands in the open side pockets and a light-colored lining is seen, marking the pants as chinos rather than jeans. Still, I emulate this outfit with dark jeans and feel a bit more comfortable than I might in trousers. Do what feels good.
On his feet, Bond wears a pair of dark gray Nike Air Articulate II sneakers. People were upset about this (and by “people” I mean nauseating fools) because they were used to seeing Bond in a pair of dress shoes. To this, I hopefully join the rest of the world in saying, “Come on.” It was 2006, not 1956, and Bond needs a pair of comfortable shoes that he can run, jump, and climb trees in*.
*He doesn’t climb trees in this sequence, but Eddie Izzard fans should get that one.
Bond also wears the Omega mentioned earlier in the film, particularly an Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 2220.80.00. It is stainless steel with a blue face, blue bezel, and stainless steel bracelet. Additional features are a self-winding chronometer, co-axial escapement movement with a rhodium-plated finish, a 48-hour power reserve, and a 41mm case diameter. You might be thinking, “Oh, a $2,800 watch is too fancy for all of his stunts! He’ll break it! For heck’s sake, he goes underwater!” Au contrare, as the name should imply, it is a “Professional Diver” and is water resistant down to 300 meters (1000 feet for normal people).
It is $2,800 though, so…
Go Big or Go Home
Bond really lives up his brief retirement here. He and Vesper sail from Montenegro to Venice on a 55-foot-long Spirit 54 sailing yacht. Although, Bond doesn’t take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (as sailing through the canals on a private yacht isn’t allowed) to take in the views as he is too focused on writing his resignation letter to M on his Sony VAIO TX notebook computer. Luckily, Vesper has her Sony digital camera on her to take pictures… oh, I’m sensing a theme.
Bond and Vesper also each sport Sony mobile phones. Bond’s particular version is a silver Sony Ericsson K800i Cybershot, equipped with “a 3.2 megapixel camera with Autofocus [and] Xenon flash for lowlight conditions”.
How to Get the Look
It’s a good casual look, although may not be easy for everyone to pull off. It sets a good guideline to go off of, with variations including no undershirt or wearing a short-sleeve polo instead. At the end of the day, do what feels good.
- Blue cotton long-sleeve polo with a self collar, hidden fly placket with 2 white buttons, and elastic cuffs
- Gray melange cotton short-sleeve overlocked crew neck T-shirt
- Dark navy blue cotton twill chino trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms and open side pockets
- Dark gray Nike Air Articulate II sneakers
- Black socks
- Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 2220.80.00 stainless steel wristwatch with blue dial and bezel on steel bracelet
- Persol 2720 sunglasses with tortoise frames and green lenses (color code 24/31)
Some behind-the-scenes photos show Dan and Eva hanging out with the press as Dan wears a gray hooded windbreaker with blue trim, presumably to keep warm/dry. Should conditions require it, this looks like a great jacket to accompany the attire in a casual situation.
Iconic Alternatives has a great rundown of affordable options to channel this and many other 007 outfits.
Having updated his sidearm from the venerable but aging Walther PPK in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale saw the final return of Bond’s new Walther P99. The P99 was a solid choice for Bond’s updated hardware; it maintains the Walther tradition and is a practical, lightweight pistol with universal ammunition. In addition, it has a slick, unique look as compared to similar pistols like the Glock or the Beretta, which are more common in both real life and fiction.
The P99 was first introduced to the market in 1997, making it fresh for its appearance in Pierce Brosnan’s hands in Tomorrow Never Dies. It weighs 22 ounces, which is only one ounce heavier than Bond’s previous pistol, the all-metal PPK. Accounting for the weight loss is the P99’s polymer frame, perfected by Glock in the 1980s and now leading the way with semi-automatic pistols.
The P99 can carry 15 or 17 rounds of 9×19 mm Parabellum ammunition per magazine, both doubling the capacity and increasing the power from the 7 round magazines of the .32-caliber PPK. The P99 is slightly larger but is still slim and lightweight enough to be carried with ease.
Craig’s Bond carries the P99 in an IWB holster on his right side (strong side) with accessories such as a long suppressor and extra magazines.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the film.
After discovering Vesper’s treason, Bond is notably upset…
Gettler: (holding Vesper hostage) I’ll kill her!
Bond: (coolly) Allow me.
As usual with Bond posts, thanks to Matt Spaiser’s great blog for a few nods in the right direction. Also, being a newer Bond, James Bond Lifestyle has plenty of links to products and attire seen here to give you a nudge towards your own Bond lifestyle.