To coincide with the release of Spectre in 2015, the Madame Tussauds wax museum put together an exhibit of the first five James Bond actors, portrayed as they were when they played James Bond. New wax figures were created of the first five Bonds, and special consideration was given to costuming them. Daniel Craig was already a part of the Madame Tussauds exhibits and was not included in the exhibit with the new five figures. Since the exhibit was created, it has travelled from the London museum to other locations around the world, and I was able to see the exhibit at the New York museum in the spring of 2016.
Lindy Hemming, costume designer of the five Bond films from GoldenEye to Casino Royale as well as a curator of the “Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style” exhibition at the Barbican in London, was called in to bring together the costumes for the previous Bonds. She worked with previous Bond’s tailoring firms to recreate the looks of all the Bond, but with a slightly modern take. Hemming said:
“What we tried to capture in the Madame Tussauds exhibition is a feeling of the period of each of the Bonds, but we’ve tried to make it still accessible to people so that they like the clothes and don’t think that they look too period, but also keep the Bonds as immaculate and beautiful as they were when they were in the films.”
Each Bond is dressed in their quintessential black tie look that made their outfits most different from the other Bonds.
Sean Connery is dressed by David Mason at Anthony Sinclair (now part of Mason & Sons) in in a copy of his midnight blue dinner suit from Dr. No, originally tailored by Anthony Sinclair. For this suit, Lindy Hemming chose a lightweight midnight blue basketweave in a 3-ply blend of 55% wool and 45% mohair from Harrisons of Edinburgh’s Evolution range.
The button one dinner jacket has lightly padded shoulders with roped sleeve heads and is cut with a full chest and a nipped waist. The jacket’s satin silk shawl collar has the belly of Connery’s shawl collar in Dr. No, compared to the leaner shawl collars he wears in From Russia with Love and Thunderball. The jacket is detailed with four buttons on the cuffs, turned back gauntlet cuffs, jetted pockets and double vents. The buttons, gauntlet cuffs and pocket jettings are trimmed in black satin silk. The shawl collar and gauntlet cuffs set Connery’s dinner jacket apart from the other Bonds in the exhibition. The trousers are cut with double forward pleats and tapered legs.
Connery’s shirt, made by his Bond shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser, has a wide spread collar, double cuffs and a pleated front. The front of the shirt fastens with mother-of-pearl studs in a gold case, though dressing Connery in studs is an inaccurate choice because he never wore studs in his Bond films. Connery’s bow tie from Turnbull & Asser is a medium-width butterfly shape without much taper so the knot is large. It is unfortunately not much like the narrow batwing bow ties he is known for wearing. His shoes are two-eyelet black patent leather derbys.
David Mason said that while it is a challenge to tailor garments that move with a person’s body, it is even more difficult to tailor for a static wax figure. While a suit tailored for a person needs to look its best when the person is standing naturally, a suit tailored for either of the James Bond wax figuers pictured above needs to look its best in the static and unnatural pose of figure. The suits for Connery and Moore were cut with curved sleeves to lessen the tension when posed with a gun. Because of this, these suits would not look good on a person standing naturally.
George Lazenby is dressed by his original Bond tailor D Major Bespoke Tailors in a midnight blue barrathea dinner suit that is a copy of his dinner suit from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The button one dinner jacket has softly padded shoulders and is cut with a full chest and a suppressed waist. The jacket is detailed with peaked lapels, three buttons on the cuffs, jetted pockets and double vents. The buttons and lapels are trimmed in in midnight blue satin silk. The trousers are cut with either a darted or a plain front and have slim tapered legs.
I asked Andrew Major, the son of Lazenby’s tailor Dimi Major, about the experience of working on this exhibit:
It was fantastic to have had the opportunity to work on the suit and to see the processes involved in producing the figures and styling them. Additionally, we got to meet with the team at EON Productions who where closely involved, and also some of the tailors who were working on the suits for the other Bonds
We were fortunate enough to still have George’s pattern on file, so the style details of the suit could be faithfully reproduced; it was quite an experience dressing and undressing the figure (a lot trickier than you might think), and we had to be very careful about keeping the whole thing confidential until after the launch. We also had some of the original order books still in existence in our archive, which EON were very excited about from a historical point of view.
The shirt, made by Turnbull & Asser, has a spread collar, double cuffs, buttons down the placket and a pleated bib with lace sewn in between the pleats. This fancy front is reminiscent of the ruffled shirt that Lazenby wears in the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service pre-title sequence on the beach. Despite being flamboyant, this shirt looks elegant today. The bow tie is a typical butterfly from Turnbul & Asser that is similar to what he wears as Bond. Lazenby’s shoes are patent leather plain-toe slip-ons with silk bows.
Lindy Hemming asked David Mason if Anthony Sinclair could also dress Roger Moore’s figure. So for Moore, Mason made a black silk dinner suit in the style of Cyril Castle, who tailored Roger Moore for his first two James Bond films. The suit is made from a lustrous blend of 60% summer kid mohair and 40% wool from Harrisons of Edinburgh’s Cape Kid range. It is inspired by Moore’s black dinner suit from Live and Let Die promotional stills and by Moore’s ivory dinner jacket from The Man with the Golden Gun. Double-breasted was chosen since it is almost unique to Roger Moore’s Bond, and he wears double-breasted dinner jackets in four out of his seven Bond films. Timothy Dalton also wears a double-breasted dinner jacket in the final scene of The Living Daylights, but it’s practically not seen.
The double breasted dinner jacket is a button two, show three style with peaked lapels. The black satin silk lapels are wide, but because they lack belly they don’t look absurdly wide. Their high gorge lends a modern look to the lapels. The jacket’s buttons are covered in black satin silk, as are its slanted pocket jettings. The jacket is detailed with double vents and flared kissing cuffs, but there is only a button on the outer face of the cuff. In the Bond films, Moore’s flared cuffs have kissing buttons on the outer and inner faces of the cuff. The trousers have Moore’s infamous flared legs, but like in his first two Bond films the flare is a subtle bootcut so not to make Roger Moore look horribly dated in this exhibition.
Turnbull & Asser’s shirt for Roger Moore has a large point collar, double cuffs, buttons down the placket and a ruffled front. Moore never actually wore a ruffled shirt in any of his Bond films but he can be seen wearing one in iconic promotional stills for Live and Let Die. Instead of this shirt, Moore should have been dressed in a cream pleated shirt, something he—and only he—wore on multiple occasions as Bond.
The Turnbull & Asser bow tie is a wide butterfly that is similar to what he wears in The Spy Who Loved Me, but it’s not extremely wide like what he wears in The Man with the Golden Gun. The shoes are sleek Italian apron-front slip-ons with a strap and a metal ornament on the outer end of the strap.
Timothy Dalton’s figure was tailored by Adrian Gwillym at Acamedy Costumes in London. Gwillym has worked with Lindy Hemming before and made Daniel Craig’s printed shirt for Casino Royale as well as other pieces for Designing 007. Dalton’s dinner suit is not an exact copy of anything Dalton wears in his Bond films, though it takes elements from both the notched lapel dinner suits that he wears in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.
Gwillym did a superb job at combining elements from these dinner suits and made a beautiful suit despite the flaws in quality, fit and poor fashion choices of Dalton’s original suits. The dinner jacket has large, padded shoulders, a full cut through the entire body, a low single-button fastening, jetted pocket, no vents and four buttons on each cuff. The dinner suit’s trousers have full, tapered legs and pleats. It looks like a suit from the late 1980s, but it is somewhere between the more classically proportioned and detailed suit in The Living Daylights and the more fashionably proportioned suit in Licence to Kill. The fit is not so great, but through this Gwillym captured the essence of the poorly fitted suit in Licence to Kill.
Dalton’s shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a spread collar, double cuffs, a placket with three onyx studs with a gold cases, and a classic pleated bib. Like the suit, it’s a cross between what he wears in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill. The overall style of the shirt is reminiscent of what he wears in The Living Daylights, but it has the onyx stud set from Licence to Kill, which is a one-time detail that sets his dress shirt apart from what the other Bonds have worn. Dalton’s figure’s studs are onyx in a gold casing.
The bow tie is a typical butterfly from Turnbul & Asser that is similar to what he wears in The Living Daylights. Dalton is the only Bond of the five in the exhibit who wears a cummerbund, though Daniel Craig (who isn’t part of the exhibit) also wears a cummerbund. Dalton’s shoes are black patent leather apron-front slip-ons.
Lindy Hemming brought back Pierce Brosnan’s Bond suitmaker Brioni to dress his figure in a black three-piece dinner suit reminiscent of the one Brosnan wears in GoldenEye. The cloth is smooth, perhaps in a worsted wool and mohair blend. The dinner jacket fastens with a single button and has imposing peaked lapels, jetted pockets and no vents. The lapels and buttons are trimmed in black grosgrain silk, and Brosnan is the only figure to be dressed with grosgrain trimmings. The cut is trimmer with a higher button stance than what Brosnan wears in GoldenEye and is more reminiscent of what he wears in Die Another Day so it looks more up-to-date, but it still has the large, padded shoulders from GoldenEye.
Hidden under the jacket is a button three single-breasted waistcoat with shawl lapels. Brosnan is the only Bond who has worn a waistcoat as part of a dinner suit, and that unique feature of Brosnan’s black tie outfit had to be included.
The shirt from Turnbull & Asser has a marcella spread collar, double cuffs and bib fastened with white studs. While the dinner suit most closely resembles the one from GoldenEye, the shirt is a replica of what Turnbull & Asser made for Brosnan to wear in Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. The bow tie is a medium-wide butterfly from Turnbul & Asser that is a bit narrower than the wide bow ties he wears in all of his Bond films. His shoes are black patent leather oxfords.
Daniel Craig was dressed in his midnight blue Tom Ford dinner suit and outfit as seen in Skyfall, but he was proudly posed in the ground floor lobby rather than with the other five Bonds.