The cool, calm, suave and sophisticated 00 agent James Bond, in ‘Casino Royale’ was the catalyst for what GQ magazine called the “Style Reconnaissance” of men’s style in the last decade or so… Over the past 20-25 years, we’ve only seen a limited number of films attempt to describe a male lead’s disposition simply by the way he dresses.
Bond manages to do what most men think they can’t: always be the best-dressed man in the room. Fifty percent of this persona is inherited from Bond-creator Ian Fleming, who based his creation on a number of individuals he came across during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War. In Chapter one of Goldfinger Fleming wrote, “It was part of his profession to kill people. He had never liked doing it and when he had to kill he did it as well as he knew how and forgot about it. As a secret agent who held the rare double-O prefix – the license to kill in the Secret Service – it was his duty to be as cool about death as a surgeon. If it happened, it happened.”
The other half, however, can be attributed to tailored Brioni suits, Persol sunglasses, John Lobb Luffield shoes and of course, the Daniel Craig swagger. ‘Casino Royale’ took Bond (and men’s style) one-step further by focusing on the details and accessories that create the truly fashionable modern ¬man… S.T. Dupont cufflinks, an Omega Seamaster and crisp white Turnbull & Asser shirts.
Bond in ‘Casino Royale’ represented a shift in the new generation of men who put more of an effort into getting dressed and caring about the way they look. Fitted suits are flying off the racks and men are now trying out never seen before patterns with varying combinations. It’s like Oscar Wilde once said, “Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.”
However, that’s not to say that this “Style Reconnaissance” is complete. Even today, many men shy away from bolder cuts and brighter colours.
Gradually, however, that will also change as more men embrace the evolution of men’s style, along with the notion that confidence is obtained, in part, by how you present yourself and what you have on… I for one, happen to believe that just as much as Mr. Bond.