Blair Ballard of The Bond Experience interviewed Skyfall‘s and Spectre‘s costume designer Jany Temime to find out more about her experience and ideas for dressing Daniel Craig as James Bond. Temime spoke about her process for finding and designing clothes for him to wear, Craig’s input and working with Tom Ford. Watch the interview and read more below.
Since Tom Ford was already associated with the Bond films from Quantum of Solace, Temime had no plans to find a new brand to associate with James Bond. She spoke about how Daniel Craig’s own vision was her starting point for the style of his suits in the last two Bond films:
I didn’t really decide for a brand because when I stepped in I knew that Tom Ford was a sponsor. I had a meeting with Daniel to ask him what he wanted, and he showed me some pictures of clothes for which direction to go. And we had the same idea about something, which was easy, very physical. A suit that is a continuation of your body, a suit that is like a second skin. Not something that is protective but something which moves with his body … I wanted a suit that would just follow his shape, so that you could see his muscles moving when he was running, so that you could see his shoulders moving.
If anyone is to take responsibility for the style of the suits in the last two Bond films, Craig is the one behind it because it started with his ideas of how he likes a suit to fit. Temime’s idea for a suit that is a continuation of the body and a suit that moves with the body like a second skin is a wonderful concept. No matter the cut of one’s suit, one must always be comfortable in a suit and be able to move naturally in it. A suit should never be a hindrance.
Tom Ford’s suits are generally constructed in the armour-like Savile Row tradition, which does not lend itself to being so much like Jany Temime’s idea of a second skin. A stiffly canvassed chest and structured shoulders can not follow the body in the same way a softer, lighter suit can. Ford’s suits are designed to work with the body and give it a more regal silhouette.
The highest-quality fabrics that Tom Ford uses do not blend synthetics with the fine wool, mohair and silk, so they can’t stretch to show off Craig’s muscles so much either. A suit can certainly function like a second skin, but there are limitation to how much it can follow all of the curves and crevices of the body. Whether or not Craig’s suits fit exactly the way they were intended to fit, the concepts behind the fit are perfect for an action hero.
The cut of the Brunello Cucinelli jacket that Craig wears in Spectre does the best job at being like a second-skin for Craig of all the tailored clothes in his Bond films. Craig is a huge fan of Brunello Cucinelli in his personal life, and their soft construction best aligns with his personal views of how a suit should fit. The jacket has a soft construction with soft and natural shoulders that are best able to follow the lines of Craig’s muscular body in most places. Brunello Cucinelli’s jackets, however, are not shaped as dramatically through the chest as Tom Ford’s are and thus don’t do as good as job at fitting Craig’s big chest in relation to his small waist.
Temime further explained her experience working with Tom Ford to get the suit that she and Craig wanted:
I went to New York with six trousers, six jackets, six waistcoats and six shirts from everybody, and then we tried it just to define the shape. When I had that shape, I went to Tom Ford, and I said ‘this is what I like’. And then I thought, well he might throw it in my face and say ‘I’m doing my own things and forget it’. But he was extraordinary. He said he understands because he’s a filmmaker himself, so he understood it was the job of the costume designer and said ‘if it’s what you want, it is what we will do.’ He sent me his tailor, and his tailor did exactly the shape that I wanted. Then we had two more fittings with Daniel and the Italian tailor, and they were great. They understood immediately what I wanted. Because it is so near the body, it has to be excellent.
This clarifies that Jany Temime designed the O’Connor suits in Skyfall and Spectre, not Tom Ford. Whatever your opinion of those suits may be, Tom Ford cannot take credit. Some details are Ford’s, like the roped shoulders, barchetta breast pockets, rolled lapels and side adjusters on the trousers. With the idea to fit the suits as close to the body as possible, it is impossible to get a perfect fit with the way Craig’s body shape fluctuates. Gaining a kilogram of muscle or fat—or even just eating a meal—will be immediately noticeable with a suit that fits so closely, and with each film taking months of filming, there was certainly some of that at play. Realistically such a close fit cannot be done perfectly with the way the body fluctuates.
Jany Temime earns a lot of points for being a firm believer in the suit. She had the perfect response when asked about putting James Bond in a suit when suits have become less relevant today:
I would still put him in a suit because I think that the suit is the most perfect, elegant, sophisticated piece of clothing for a man. What you have to care is about good tailoring; good tailoring means a good suit. If your suit is well cut, if your suit is good enough to be worn with nonchalance, elegance. The association of a suit with armour isn’t good. A suit can also be a continuation of yourself. You should be able with good tailor to forget that you’re wearing a suit, and then you are really elegant.
These are words to live by.