For James Bond’s mission in Madagascar in Casino Royale he wears a comfortable outfit for the hot weather. The shirt is made up of a printed fabric in a tropical design consisting of a pale yellow and taupe ground with a red floral pattern on top. It’s amongst the loudest shirts Bond has worn in the series. Typically a spy should avoid wearing clothes that would attract attention, and Bond’s shirt is louder than what most of the locals are wearing. The shirt has a point collar with stitching 1/4″ from the edge, a placket front, a breast pocket and a straight hem with short side vents. The short sleeves have tabs and buttons to adjust the opening diameter. Academy Costumes made the shirt, and Academy Textiles created the fabric. He wears a grey crew-neck t-shirt under the tropical shirt. The t-shirt has striped bands on the sleeves.
James Bond’s trousers are beige linen with a drawstring waist. They have a loose fit, which is more comfortable in hot weather. Bond also wears a black web belt, but since there aren’t belt loops it’s not to hold up his trousers. The belt holds Bond’s holster and Walther P99. His shoes are the Converse Jack Purcell OTR in Chocoalte and Paprika. The OTR stands for “On the Road”, and it’s like a cross between a boot and a trainer. But in reality it’s simply a casual shoe and neither ideal for hiking nor athletic activity. James Bond previous wore Converse shoes in You Only Live Twice with his grey ninja outfit.
This hideous visitation says it all (I was hoping you might leave it to the last with the bargain basement Bond wardrobe part of the blog, Matt!) about what I cannot bear about Craig and why his interpretation of the character bears no resemblance to any of the other incarnations (except, in parts, Dalton). Right from the start of a new portrayal of Bond and this is what we get!!
I simply cannot, in my wildest dreams, imagine Sean Connery, George Lazenby or Roger Moore running around like some demented baboon in this ugly get up. Pierce Brosnan’s floral shirt wasn’t great either (you covered it a few weeks back) but nothing nearly as bad as this.
And before someone says it, no. A safari shirt WOULD be better, a lot better. Along with a different actor!
Ian Fleming would not only be turning but doing convulsions in his grave!
I equally can't imagine Craig in many of Connery or Moore's "casual wear" outfits.
Casualwear has undergone a great deal of change in the 50 years since Dr No. In all cases, Bond's outfits are representative of the casualwear of the period yet firmly on the smart side.
Having said that, some of Craig's casual outfits aren't all that different from Connory's – colours aside, dark blue polo shirt and chino-style trousers (worn by Craig in several scenes of CR and QoS) isn't a millon miles from what Connory wore on Dr No's Island?
To be honest I do not have a problem with his shirt at all. The floral shirt has always had its place in classic menswear, even tho mostly reserved for poolside or beach activities. And this one is a well-designed one, in my opinion. What I do have a problem with is the t-shirt worn under it which is a very bad look and contradicts the sartorial elegance 007 is supposed to embody. Looking further down it gets even worse: James Bond in sneakers? What happened to the good old brown suede loafers?
I take your point Matthew and naturally I do accept that fashions evolve. It’s just that, where 007’s style is concerned, this bears no relation to anything that’s gone before. I also believe that, generally and particularly in the last decade or so menswear has become particularly tawdry and casual seems to equal scruffy tat.
Maybe it’s just a personal thing but I simply took a strong dislike to Daniel Craig. His clothing and demeanour, for me, (who grew up with Connery and Moore) is far, far away from the suave and impeccably (British) dressed killer I knew and loved. I watched a DVD of Casino Royale, was just very, very disappointed and felt, if this was the direction the movies were taking then it was “bye bye 007” for me. I also made the point before that my wife, who is not particularly a Bond fan, memorably dubbed both Dalton and Craig “rapists” as they are raping the image of 007 as portrayed by Connery, Moore, Brosnan et al. As she pointed out, if you never saw the others and Craig was the very first 007 maybe you could accept him but she can see my point clearly.
I acknowledge too that the other actors weren’t flawless and, of course, they occasionally had fashion faux pas’ but, overall, the image was cemented in the public’s mind. Craig shattered that.
Anonymous, I don’t think this kind of shirt (while it may hold “its place in classic menswear) relates at all to a distinctly British character like Bond and I cannot see any sartorial elegance in it whatsoever.
Finally, Matt, out of curiosity. What is your personal opinion regarding this outfit in relation to the pedigree and evolution of Bond’s image?
I was never a fan of this outfit, particularly the shirt. I would much rather have seen him in a safari shirt, or at least something plain. But it could've been improved if he wore the shirt buttoned and without a visible under shirt. And I would've preferred the trousers to be pressed like the linen trousers in Quantum of Solace. A belt would be much better than a drawstring.
We seem to be forgetting that this is supposed to represent the "Pre-Bond". He is rough edged but ready to become the polished 007 we all know. Throughout the film we see both his demeanor and style evolve, until finally by the beginning of Quantum of Solace we are presented with a more a finished version. Look at his casual (and even dress) clothing in QOS and compare to this…definitely an improvement.
Absolutely agree Matt. 100%
safari shirt??? NO leave them in the Seventies!
I agree the undershirt is out of place and the trousers are poor…I just rationalise it that its some kind of disguise. Although I'm no fan of Craig.
What if I said bush shirt instead of safari shirt? There's nothing 70's about it.
Here's a classic example:
It's a classic piece of British clothing, not a leisure suit by any means.
I have to agree with Jon — we see just an agent who becoming Bond that we know. In QOS he's started to feeling style (in some scenes very, very dandy like his casual outfit in Haiti), in the next Bond film we maybe will see much more classy.
But after all I like this outfit better than some old casual Bond outfits (remember Crab Key Connery's outfit, brr… And, what is kinda funny, in book he was wearing simple navy shirt [polo shirt, I guess], black jeans and… sneakers. So eventually Ian Fleming's James Bond style was quite similar to this). And this marengo t-shirt fits Craig complexion. He was wearing similar at the Layer Cake, he was wearing two anothers at the Venice in CR [boat scene and Vesper betrayal scene]).
Good example, Matt. That would be modern while still preserving the traditional aspects of the 007 image. The problem is once you mention “safari shirt, jacket etc”, negativity and misplaced notions of “1970’s leisure suits” emerge in many people’s minds. Why anyone would be negative about a safari shirt like this and positive about this ugly garment escapes my reasoning except that anything traditionally smart in appearance seems to be out of favour with many.
ok…a bush shirt is basically a military style shirt in khaki or similar? I agree that is more elegant than the Madagascar costume or some of Moore's TSWLM monstrosities.
I don't think that a bush shirt would work in that scene as it DOES look military and Bond is trying (and succeeding) to look like a shabby civilian.
As for the safari suits D Marlborough likes most people, rightly or wrongly, think of them as Seventies outfits to be laughed at. Moore in The Persuaders and Crossplot looks like the oldest swinger in town. A middle-aged man desperately trying to be young. That's never a good look for anyone..certainly not Bond.
Whatever certain people think Dalton's clothing does not provoke the audience to derisive laughter, nor does Brosnan's or Craig's.
It's Moore's Seventies casual wear that makes him look ridiculous, particularly the safari suits.
I don't particularly have a problem with this outfit in concept – I think it fits the character and the time and place of the story quite well (a hot, grubby jungle in Madagascar, with a big action sequence that includes climbing around on a crane strikes me as no place for tasseled loafers). I am not a particular fan of the color scheme, though it fits Craig's complexion. Yes, the T-shirt is not good. The pants and shoes are fine. I do think that a safari shirt along the lines of Moore's Man With The Golden Gun look would make Craig's 37 year old Bond stand out in 2006 in a jungle in Madagascar.
Agree with Christian — to me it just seems like he's trying to blend in with the locals.
Don't see what's wrong with Craig as Bond. New actor, new interpretation. I only wish the last outing with him was better in quality.
@ christian…100% agree
@ marlborough…why would Fleming turn in his grave? He wore similar shirts- often much brighter- from Antonio's in Falmouth.
Anonymous (1) "Moore's TSWLM monstrosities"??
What could be "ridiculous" about an item which is (as both Matt and I have pointed out, ad infinitumn) a classic part of British traditional clothing? These safari shirts just happened to become fashionable for a period from the late 1960's to the end of the 1970's and I don't think Moore wore them in an effort to look youthful or overly fashionable. In fact, he had worn them as far back as the black and white "Saint" episodes. Also, I would've though that the last image Bond would pursue is a "shabby civilian" which he never did until the Dalton years.
And "derisive laughter" at another person's choice of dress is a matter of bad manners and disrespect rather than anything else. Who knows, perhaps, in another thirty years Craig's ugly shirt will provoke a similar reaction.
Amen and amen to David's latest post; only men who are insecure or unformed in their tastes and preferences live and die by the latest fashion and presume to laugh at those who don't share their (lack of) taste.
Agree with Christian and Jovan. Bond is dressing appropriately for the mission and the setting. Remember, he's undercover in Madagascar, tailing a bomb-maker who happens to like watching fights between animals. It's not a restaurant in Paris or a casino in Monte Carlo, you know.
I for one love this outfit. It might not match up with how some people think Bond should dress….but a Saville Row suit would have looked pretty funny at a mongoose/cobra fight.
Someone who is in Bond’s position (undercover in an gritty, tropical African setting amongst a population that is predominately black) shouldn’t stick out by dressing to impress. He and Carter both already stick out like sore thumbs because of their color. As someone who is in law enforcement and wears suits and other casual wear on and off-duty instead of a uniform, I have the luxury of being able to tailor my wardrobe to fit the location where I will be working and the assignment. I also live in the American South which has mild weather 3/4 of the year. Where I live and often vacation, the shirt, pants & T-shirt blend right in and I have worn similar clothing to work before. For those that don’t think Bond should dress this way, who hate Craig and/or the way he dresses, look back to Connery in Thunderball. I don’t see much difference. As a matter of fact, not only have places like Royale Filmwear and Magnoli Clothiers made replicas of this shirt (of which I am now the proud owner), but also of the camp shirts that Connery wore in Thunderball. Mason & Sons have also commissioned reproductions of these as well. Let’s face it, most of us wear suits infrequently (Me? About half the time) and wear casual clothes instead. I welcome more dressy as well as non-dressy casual in the Bond world because I like forming my wardrobe around him and can’t dress in a suit all the time. As for the T-shirt…while I have done so, carrying a concealed firearm against your skin, even in a holster, is unnatural and often uncomfortable. A T-shirt can mitigate that. Think of it this way…at least it’s not as loud as those worn by Tom Selleck in “Magnum, P.I.”, but he’s at least dressing the way the locals dress in Hawai’i!
The problem here is that Bond does stick out and is not dressing like the locals. Bond should be dressing to blend in, not dressing like a tourist in a shirt that is louder than what the locals wear. I think Bond was put in this shirt so he does stand out in the crowd. Otherwise the audience wouldn’t be able to find him. But in Bond’s world it also makes it easy for him to be spotted.
Contrary to my comment seven years ago, I’m inclined to agree with Matt now. Can’t recall where he suggested it, but I rather like the idea of a bush/safari shirt with tab sleeves.
I was intrigued so I actually went and looked up the scene. While nobody else is specifically wearing a Hawaiian shirt, his color scheme blends in with the tones of everyone else around him and there are some people in brighter, louder clothes like dashikis (including a blue and green one on the guy by Mollaka when he receives his call). Since he’s a white British man in Madagascar, a more “tourist” look would actually fit whatever persona he should have.
What actually makes him stand out is his behavior: along with being the only craggy-faced white dude in the area, he’s very obviously staring at his target from a high vantage point. His partner does even worse by putting his hand to his earpiece when he talks.
What would have been a better choice for footwear with this outfit especially considering all the insane stunts Bond had to pull off?