Last night at the No Time to Die premiere, Daniel Craig made a style statement that was a fitting farewell to a Bond era which has ruffled some traditionalist feathers. Dressed in a cerise pink suit jacket from Anderson & Sheppard, his jazzy Teddy boy style was a far cry from the traditional black tuxedo look we have come to expect.
Stripping James Bond, our most masculine icon, of his black tux and instead going for a suit jacket in a colour historically associated with femininity is an act of subversion, but also sabotage.
“Previously, Daniel Craig’s red-carpet attire was consistent with his character’s approach to the formality of black tie; in effect, we were witnessing James Bond at past premieres,” says Professor Andrew Groves, director of the University of Westminster’s Menswear Archive. “Craig’s choice of a double-breasted jacket instead of a single breasted would have been enough to signal a stylistic departure from Bond’s approach to formal attire. The shocking-pink tailoring makes it patently clear that he no longer wants to be seen as James Bond.”
The pink suit is very 2021: this week, both Jake Gyllenhaal and Pose’s Jeremy Pope wore pink suits to the Tony awards. While, according to the Savile Row Company, Timothée Chalamet’s pink suit at last month’s Venice film festival caused internet searches for them to increase by 140%. “I think it’s high time we embraced a pink blushing Bond,” says Phoebe Gormley, tailor-in-chief at Gormley & Gamble. “More and more men blurring the lines of femininity in reverse.”
The pink jacket was a continuation of a Bond who, stylistically, has gone beyond the established template, in Tom Ford suits and in this new film, combat trousers. In some ways, Craig took it further than ever before. As CNN pointed out, his Bond was less about the clothes and more about his body, as signalled by his first appearance in 2006’s Casino Royale. The now legendary scene of him rising up out of the water in swimming trucks and a Greek god body was a gender-reversing update of Ursula Andress’s iconic scene in Dr No. In a cinematic universe where the male gaze ruled, the scene established Craig’s Bond as an equal-opportunities ogle and a Bond caught between the metrosexual and spornosexual eras, where a gym body trumped a suit as an animalistic symbol of alpha primacy. It was only reinforced by last year’s GQ photo spread to promote No Time to Die, which made headlines for its focus on Craig’s torso. Forget the tux, here was the real power suit, it seemed to be saying.
That Anderson & Sheppard jacket was in the spirit of this: traditional rules about men’s dressing are getting gently twisted in Bond’s universe. How will 007 dress from now on?