Daniel Craig as James Bond, “resurrected” British secret agent
Shanghai, Spring 2012
Release Date: November 9, 2012
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
I’ve been on a Skyfall kick lately, so for the 007th of March I’ll once again be breaking down a sequence from James Bond’s latest cinematic adventure.
Continuing in order from where we left off in London, I should technically be writing about his swimming trunks in the Shanghai hotel*. However, I would feel awkward screencapping that so we’ll move right along to the next scene.
* If you actually are interested in what swimming trunks he was wearing, they are a pair of light blue Orlebar Brown Setter Sky shorts with a very short length and adjustable sides, recalling the similar blue shorts worn by Connery’s Bond in Thunderball.
What’d He Wear?
Earlier this week, I posted about the reefer coat worn by Michael Caine in The Italian Job. The reefer was traditionally a high-fastening, double-breasted, dark navy wool coat worn by seamen. Nearly 300 years after their conception, reefer coats – also known as pea coats – are still popular today as winter outerwear for military and civilians alike. Caine’s coat in the 1969 film was a very modern (for 1969) update made of brown suede and featuring very contemporary trends.
Daniel Craig first introduced the pea coat as part of James Bond’s on-screen wardrobe for the opening sequence of Casino Royale, but it is Skyfall where the coat is truly showcased. Given Bond’s naval background, a classic-looking navy pea coat is a very logical choice for a casual winter jacket.
In an interview with GQ, Skyfall costumer Jany Temime explained:
Another one of Daniel’s ideas: When he’s playing the chauffeur in the airport, he was the one who said, “I want to have a blue peacoat. I know Billy Reid makes very nice ones.” So I ordered ten pieces, and I must say, they put this little piece of leather on the back and it is beautiful. And paired with the chauffeur hat he’s wearing, it gives Daniel a sort of boxy look.
Bond’s navy pea coat in particular was manufactured by Billy Reid, a New York-based company that supplied twenty total pea coats to the Skyfall production, fifteen in size medium and five in size large. Since the costumers were aiming for a trimmer look in Skyfall, Daniel Craig wore medium-sized coats in his “hero” shots and large-sized coats for scenes requiring movement or badassery. (Thanks to James Bond Lifestyle for the size information.)
Craig himself ordered a Billy Reid pea coat post-production, and his choice of a size large indicates which scenes he preferred shooting in the coat. This is further indicated in the film itself, as Bond only buttons the center button as it would probably be too tight to move with all of them buttoned. The single rear vent also aids movement, as it would be difficult to move if the jacket was ventless.
Billy Reid’s site has offered the coat again on its site (and Amazon) for a cool $695. Given the necessary quality of a good and fashionable winter coat, this may just be worth your money. However, the coats used in the film were 100% wool while the newer run are 80% wool and 20% nylon. The coat is also unlined with cotton-bound seams.
Putting a contemporary twist on the classic pea coat, the Italian-made Billy Reid coat has a 6×3 double-breasted front, simpler than the 8 or 10-button varieties offered on most military pea coats. The buttons are brown natural buffalo horn, unlike the usual black plastic buttons with anchors on them. It has peak lapels with dark brown leather accents under the collar and underneath the pocket flaps. The hip pockets are flapped with a concealed button on the leather under each flap, but the vertical slash “hand warmer” pockets on the chest are open. Bond stores his PPK/S in one of these chest pockets before he (literally) jumps onto the elevator.
Due to their short length, pea coats are not typically worn with a suit, thus making them more informal by default. Bond skirts this issue by pairing his Skyfall peacoat with a sweater and necktie rather than a suit jacket or blazer, which would look sloppy and feel clunky. Bond looks very slick in this ensemble as he weaves his way in and out of a high-rise office building in Shanghai.
Underneath the pea coat, Bond wears a white shirt, black tie, and black sweater. It’s a look that could be indicative of either a private school student, a security guard, or a policeman, but it works very well for a secret agent. (Francis Dolarhyde would hate me if he had to read that sentence. Doubly funny now that he’s the new M.)
The sweater is a black John Smedley “Bobby” v-neck pullover jumper made from 30-gauge extra-fine New Zealand merino wool. The v-neck is deep enough to show off the tie, but not quite so deep that it’s quoting Sylvia Plath. The cuffs are gently turned back, allowing Bond’s shirt cuffs to show. It is another classic item, and the official John Smedley site is still offering it in 11 different colors for £130. (Naturally, Amazon‘s also got you covered.) The other colors range from Papaya orange (eh) to midnight blue (ooh); the latter would be a very Don Draper-ish item if you’re in the mood to pick up extra Smedleys.
The white cotton shirt underneath the sweater was made by COS and has a slim spread collar and buttons down a plain front with no placket. Unlike Bond’s other Skyfall dress shirts, it has rounded single-button cuffs rather than French cuffs, but this is the appropriate choice since it’s a more informal outfit. It is still available on the COS site for £45.
Bond’s slim necktie, also from COS, is black woven silk. COS still offers ties on its site, for only £29, but I’m not sure if any are specifically the Skyfall tie.
Bond’s flat front trousers are a pair of “shark gray” – actual black and light gray weave – wool trousers made by Acne Studios for their “Wall Street” line. The trousers are very slim, as one would expect of Jany Temime’s Skyfall costuming, with a high rise and a tight fit particularly around the legs and waist. They fasten on the extended waistband with a double button and a hook-tab closure over a zip fly, with adjustable tabs on each side of the waist most of the Connery trousers.
The trousers have four pockets, but not in the traditional layout: two front pockets, a coin pocket under the right front waistband, and a button-through pocket on the right rear; there is no left rear pocket. The bottoms of the slim legs are plain-hemmed, breaking short over the shoes. The trousers are still available on Acne’s site for €220. James Bond Lifestyle also has more information about these trousers.
Bond wears a pair of black 2-eyelet Crockett & Jones “Tetbury” chukka boots, made from antique nubuck with the renowned Dainite rubber soles for additional traction during action scenes. Crockett & Jones still offer the boots for £355, and James Bond Lifestyle features more information and photos for your perusal.
If the Tetburys look familiar, it’s because Bond also wore them previously with his gray suit in Istanbul. He wore the Highbury model, a more traditional derby, for the London suit scene just prior to this which required less stunts and thus made a more traditional dress shoe more appropriate than the boots.
For an additional level of professionalism, Bond wears a pair of black unlined leather gloves from Dents, which go for around £65 on the Dents site. The product code for the gloves just happens to be #5-1007, according to James Bond Lifestyle. Bond Lifestyle also organized a “Super Contest” last December, offering a main prize of a framed pair of Dents gloves and photo signed by Daniel Craig. Online shoppers who missed the contest can still check out Amazon for a pair… although I doubt Dan Craig is sending any autographed pictures from there.
Naturally, Bond also wears his trusty Omega in Shanghai. It is the same Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Mid Size Chronometer he wore in London, with reference number 188.8.131.52.03.001. It has a stainless steel case and bracelet and a blue dial with a date indicator at 3:00. This is the watch he wears for the majority of the film, up through the finale.
Bond completes his Shanghai ensemble by converting it into a chauffeur’s uniform to disguise himself at the airport. He adds a traditional black chauffeur’s peaked cap, but the coolest part of the disguise is a pair of Tom Ford Marko TF144 “18V” aviator-style sunglasses with silver rhodium frames and blue lenses. If you have an extra $200 laying around, you can pick up a pair on Amazon. Despite the new Tom Ford-James Bond association, the sunglasses are the only visible Tom Ford item he is wearing (since I can’t attest to the maker of his underwear or socks).
Bond evidently carries his sunglasses to the Macau casino, since he has them on hand when meeting Silva the next day. But we’ll get to that later.
Go Big or Go Home
Bond says about six words in this whole sequence, all of them demanding information from a man who is about to fall about 2,000 stories to his death. Avoiding the urge to be blabby, Bond’s quiet efficiency from the airport to the office building is evocative of some of the silent killers from early films like From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball, where the quietest men was Bond’s deadliest enemies.
A major takeaway here is that it’s possible to do something without providing a running commentary. Two Steve Buscemi characters failed this test of laconicism and ended up either going through a woodchipper or suffering from a heart attack after a confrontation with German nihilists.
That being said, these scenes coincidentally also showcase Bond’s product placement-guided choice of cellular communication in Skyfall, a Sony Xperia T.
Upon its reveal in 2012, the Xperia T was even described by Sony as “the James Bond phone”. This sort of cellular marketing is nothing new to the Bond series, dating back to the Ericsson “JB007” offered around the release of Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997.
With the introduction of the Xperia T, Sony also developed the special Xperia T “Skyfall Edition” for the UK market with some preloaded Skyfall-related stuff for users like a ringtone and 007 images. There’s nothing overly Bondian about the new phone; it doesn’t have a laser or anything like that.
Remember this: Even if you carry a top-of-the-line phone and have a sweet job with unlimited expenses, know when it’s time to “shut the fuck up, Donny.”
How to Get the Look
Thanks to the Internet – James Bond Lifestyle to be specific in my case – we can identify nearly every part of Bond’s outfit here if you want to recreate it on your own. However, Bond’s budget is a bit more inflated than most people’s, so if you pay attention to the details rather than the brands, you have a nice shot of Bonding yourself on a budget.
- Navy blue double-breasted wool pea coat with a 6×3-button front, peak lapels, “hand warmer” chest pockets, straight flapped hip pockets, and rear single vent
- Bond wears a Billy Reid “Bond” peacoat, set apart by its brown horn buttons and dark brown leather accents under the collars and pocket flaps. $695.
- Black v-neck merino wool sweater
- Bond wears a John Smedley “Bobby” sweater. $230.
- White slim-fitting long-sleeve dress shirt with narrow spread collars, single-button cuffs, and a plain front
- Bond wears a COS shirt. $75.
- Black slim silk necktie
- Bond also wears a COS tie. $49.
- Gray wool flat front trousers with adjustable side tabs, extended waistband, plain-hemmed bottoms, and a slim fit
- Bond wears Acne Studios’ “Wall Street” trousers in shark gray. $280.
- Black leather 2-eyelet chukka boots
- Bond wears Crockett & Jones “Tetbury” boots in black wax calf. $600.
- Black dress socks
- Silver rhodium-framed aviator sunglasses with blue lenses
- Bond wears Tom Ford Marko TF144 “18V” sunglasses. $200.
If you were doing the math, you can accurately replicate Bond’s look for just over $2,100… given that they have your size in stock. Since Bond’s clothing immediately becomes the most in-demand menswear for years, you may face a few hurdles there.
Iconic Alternatives has a great rundown of affordable options to channel elements of this popular look, such as the dark pea coat, gray trousers, the Crockett & Jones chukka boots, and many other 007 outfits.
I have personally tried a similar look wearing a military surplus Schott 40-N naval pea coat, a black Italian merino wool v-neck sweater from Express, a white Express 1MX shirt, a slim black silk tie from H&M, dark gray herringbone trousers that are part of a John Alexander suit from the ’80s, and black leather Chelsea boots from Timberland. It’s a relatively budget-friendly combination (except for the surplus pea coat, which was a lucky hand-me-down), especially when compared to the high prices of Bond’s attire.
While I haven’t leapt on elevators or fought hand-to-hand next to an open skyscraper window, I can attest that is a comfortable outfit that adds a level of class to a casual look, further enhanced with a blued .380 in the coat pocket.
Remember when Bond got that custom-designed “Walther PPK/S nine-millimeter short, it’s been coded to your palm print so only you can fire it” from Q? Well, you should because I wrote about it in my last Skyfall post.
Bond takes the Walther along to Shanghai, keeping it tucked into one of the chest pockets of his pea coat when he’s not using it.
The “Chekhov’s PPK” rule doesn’t come into play here, as Bond is the only one using his gun so the palm print reading gadget is just a novelty rather than a plot point. It will, however, save his life in the next scene at the Macau casino.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie. You can also easily buy the components that created this outfit online, but have a little fun seeing if you can go through your own wardrobe and put something similar together. And don’t worry if your PPK doesn’t have a palm print reader; most of them don’t.
Tons of help, as usual, came from James Bond Lifestyle, a definitive resource for identifying and obtaining the same brands worn by Bond.