Friday, 26 October 2012

Skyfall: Dare to be Bond

It's the opening weekend of Skyfall, the new Bond film, and after a couple of weeks of almost blanket coverage of the agent, the man who plays him and what he wears, I've been asking myself one question: is it actually cool to dress the same as James Bond? 

By this I don't mean to dress in the manner of Bond, with his English gent panache, his icy essence - that unquestionably is cool. What I'm talking about is wearing the precise items of clothing. Because let's face it. You couldn't imagine Ian Fleming's agent sitting down in front of his computer to trawl the internet for a Billy Reid peacoat or a Barbour Tokito sports jacket because he'd seen a bloke in a film wearing one. But try Googling either of them and you'll see they have both sold out since they were identified as items worn by Daniel Craig in the film. Then there's the watch. The Omega Seamaster. To own one is nodding to Bondishness, to own one with the 007 logo at the 7 o'clock marker smacks of fanboy geek with too much disposable income. And God help you if the target of your affections spots you wearing it in the bar. That is one mission you will be guaranteed not to accomplish, because there's no bigger turn-off for a woman than a bloke with an unhealthy obsession for a fictional boys-own character.

I admit, I was taken by the Billy Reid peacoat and its peak lapel - it does look the nuts - but I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. There were a few reasons for this - the customs charges (Billy Reid is American - do you know how much duty costs these days?), the risk that it would fit like a sack of spuds, the hassle involved with an exchange. But one of the reasons for my hesitation was the Bond fanboy factor, of being just that little bit too obsessed. It's the sartorial equivalent of having a massive great movie poster on your bedroom wall. And that is not cool. When you're 40.

So best to avoid if you ask me. There are plenty of Barbours and Peacoats out there for you not to have to slavishly follow Mr Bond into that dark place they call geekville. And no matter how faithful you are to the look, the true essence of Bond comes from within, from that steely gaze that says: "I could kill you with my little finger." That doesn't cost anything, but to a 007 geek it is the most unobtainable of all Bond memorabilia.

Mind you, the Skyfall wardrobe really is something else, and in the words of one Bond outing, Never Say Never (Again). Below top, and above: Billy Reid Bond peacoat; centre: Barbour Tokito sports jacket; bottom: Levi's Vintage Clothing 1930s leather bomber.

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