Pierce Brosnan’s Classic Black Swim Trunks in GoldenEye

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Some Bonds, like Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, like to swim. The others not so much. One of the rare times we see another Bond in swimwear is with Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye, when he wears a pair of basic black swim trunks for a relaxing swim at the Grand Hotel Europe’s pool—which is actually a beautiful set—and a grueling sex scene with Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp in the hotel’s steambath. Though summer is now at its end (in the Northern Hemisphere), Bond wears these trunks in a city that hardly even has a summer, St. Petersburg, Russia.

These black swim trunks are not anything remarkable, and despite Bond wearing them in an iconic scene they are not all that memorable. But that doesn’t mean the swim trunks aren’t nice, and they are a classic style that still looks good today. The style of the trunks is one that Vilebrequin, a luxury French swimwear brand, is know to make. There is a white logo at the bottom of the left leg, but it isn’t the Vilebrequin logo. Whatever they are (and please leave a comment below if you can identify them), costume designer Lindy Hemming likely purchased them in England where this scene was shot. The trunks have a mid rise, a full fit around the hips and a trim leg to the mid thigh. The swim trunks have side pockets with a light blue lining and a ruched waistband with a black outer draw string.

Bond was thankfully spared the long and baggy board short trend that was coming into fashion at the time of GoldenEye. Classic swim trunks such as these fell out of favour with the younger generations, who wouldn’t wear shorts or swim trunks above the knee and often sagged the shorts low on the hips for a longer leg, often exposing buttocks cleavage in the process. Europeans and others who still preferred Speedo-style swim briefs were the exception. The next time Bond would wear swim trunks was in Casino Royale, 11 years after GoldenEye. At that time the long board shorts were still fashionable, but Bond changed that.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article Mr. Spaiser and I also saw you made a great appereance on The Bond Experience. I have two questions though?
    How fast is the travel from place to place and was the button device made by Q?

  2. Finally ! Thanks Matt.
    I am surprised Hemming didn’t choose something a bit more elegant. It looks really like the everyman swimming trunks, and contrasts strangely with his 3-piece suit.
    Brosnan being very slim here, it was the occasion of putting him in something maybe more flattering. I still think just a change in color (anything from pale blue to navy) would have looked nicer. But I confess that when I saw the scene my mind was much more interested in Mrs. Onatopp’s bathrobe !

  3. Pierce Brosnan wouldn’t have looked good at all in long board shorts. He looked far more elegant,
    or as elegant as one can look in swim trunks, the black colour is classic. He brought a trim, fit presence to Bond’s physique, but considering most leading men weren’t extremely muscular in 1995, he never looked out of place.

  4. I was waiting for this. I was pondering whether they were black or navy and now I know. Brosnan a better Bond than Craig!

    But again I’m the black sheep aren’t i?

  5. Those very swim trunks were my inspirations for the years to come. Absolutely impossible to find anything similar between 1995 and 2010, when I finally discovered the black Bulldog version of Orlebar Brown. Discrete, understated, nearly classy, yet seriously overpriced, even in the pre-Bond era.
    Still don’t know what brand this was, and when I saw the title of your article, I was filled with hope again 😉
    We should definitely ‘never surrender’ in our endeavors. Homage to the Bulldog..

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I watched this scene, but not for the shorts. It reminds me of the scene from Gilda when Rita Hayworth rocks up and does ‘that thing’ with her hair. As immortalised by The Shawshank Redemption.

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