When it comes to James Bond artists, names such as composer John Barry, designer Ken Adam and editor Peter Hunt are a given – rightfully etched in pop-culture stone forever more. But are names such as Tessa Welborn, Elsa Fennell, Marjory Cornelius, Julie Harris, Elizabeth Waller, Emma Porteous, Lindy Hemming and Jany Temime just as familiar? They should be. Because for every time a James Bond film was scored by Barry, housed by Adam or cut by Hunt, he was wearing the wardrobe choices of those and 007’s other mistresses of costume. For nearly seven decades, the history of Bond onscreen has been the history of costume design and both male [and female] tailoring. And that male tailoring particularly has always spilled out from the soundstage and big screen to the high street – enabling audiences to savour, sample and participate in that sartorial relationship 007 has always had with his clothing marques.

Because of this, the history of Bond’s onscreen look is also the history of Bond brands. Frank Foster, Lock & Co., Turnbull & Asser, Sunspel, Brioni, Anthony Sinclair, Tom Ford, Gucci, Jantzen, Floris, La Perla, Fila, Adidas, Bogner, Seiko, Barbour, Sanders & Sanders, Dents, Crockett & Jones, Dunhill, Orlebar Brown, Converse, Omega, Cartier, Guy Laroche, Nike, Church’s, Fred Perry, L’Oreal, Vuarnet, Slazenger, and even high street favourites Zara are all recent [and less recent] notches on 007’s bedpost of brands. The men’s fashion industry particularly has been wise to the pull and allure of Bond since the ’60s – with many brand names willing to kill to licence a new era of Bond clothing. As Dressed to Kill: James Bond – The Suited Hero (Flammarion, 1996) rightfully reminded back during the heat of Britpop when Bond’s clothing and vintage veneer was crucial – this is nothing new. UK chain Burton created a ‘Styled for Bond’ clothing campaign five decades ago, Bally proudly touted a ‘007’ leather shoe range, ’60s issues of GQ magazine, Playboy and their ilk ran constant articles about the style and aspiration of Bond clothing, high street brands like Jaegar would adorn their ’60s and ’70s catalogues with Bond-minded imagery, Colgate-Palmolive had their ‘007’ cologne, Noveltex released their ‘James Bond’ shirt, the ’60s spy-mania triggered Pelaco’s Bond shirts and suits in Australia, Ernest Hiller touted ‘The James Bond 007 suit’, France’s Boussac textile company launched an ensemble of ‘James Bond’ shirts, coats, shirts and towelling, and ‘007’ silk ties, swim-wear, night-wear, day-wear and footwear would be readily available to all. Heck, two Bonds – Roger Moore and George Lazenby – even initially came from a modelling and clothing commerce background. And in the early ’60s Bond creator Ian Fleming himself once even played ‘M’ for a Bond clothing photospread for the French men’s magazine, Adam. Fleming was not against a bit of brand-wear usage and association. His favoured Sunspel polo shirts were a constant of his Jamaican writing days – and often with that Riviera style crafted in Sea Island cotton that Daniel Craig later sports in 2006’s Casino Royale.

In the early ’70s, the third Bond Roger Moore was a brand and movie ambassador of Fabergé. Its CEO George Barrie set up Brut Productions and garnered Academy Award nominations for Fabergé’s movie output. Moore’s role as roving advisor was part of Barrie’s then pioneering thinking about product placement, the movies and celebrity endorsement. Moore and, of course, Sean Connery were no strangers to named tailoring too. Their Bonds wore the work of cutters such as Cyril Castle, Anthony Sinclair, Angelo Vitucci and Douglas Hayward because of their renown, quality and often the actor’s personal history with the tailors. Without the end results being readily available to the public as such, the cinematic Bond did however wear them as part of the transactional relationship the character has always had with his brands.

So, as Bond’s twenty-fifth bullet No Time to Die continues shooting a path towards its April 2020 theatrical release, it makes total sense that one of those historic, yet new era-minded brands N. Peal should now release their new 007 Cashmere Collection.

Something sparkling this way comes as N. Peal toast and introduce their equally sparkling new 007 Cashmere Collection / Photos © Mark O’Connell

As the UK’s captains of cashmere since 1936, N. Peal have an ongoing relationship with the Daniel Craig era of Bond – partly triggered by costume designer Jany Temime wanting to find winter-minded attire that matched the sharp blue teal of the actor’s distinct eyes for Skyfall. Already, the trigger for this new collaboration can be traced back to the artistry of a costume designer. N. Peal provided the Oxford Round Neck Cashmere Sweater for Skyfall (2012), the Turtle Neck Sweater for Spectre and the famous Fine Gauge Mock Turtle Neck Sweater for the Spectre teaser poster. And Craig sported N. Peal at the film’s press launch in December 2014. In partnership with the House of Bond’s EON Productions, that initial range has now extended to fourteen movie looks consisting of twenty-five pieces which officially launch in October 2019. And this bullet catcher was there at a preview launch held at N. Peal’s flagship store in London’s Burlington Arcade – not far from where founder Nat Peal set up his first haberdashery in 1936 (curiously, the same the year Ian Fleming’s travel-writing brother Peter first published his own look at the Kashmir region, News from Tartary).

The movie world of Bond is not just a realm of death, sexuality, shiny car bonnets, bullet-ridden car bonnets and Martinis. It is world of sophistication, travel, the finer details, a fitted cut and aspiration. At the height of Bond mania and that ’60s Bond merchandise fever, the title anthem for 1965’s Thunderball was all about someone watching and wanting to be Bond. That sense of aspiration is then reflected in the products and attire the Bond brand associates itself with. As the neighbouring retail lights dim in Burlington Arcade for the night and N. Peal’s buoyant managing director Adam Holdsworth and Head of eCommerce Jo McLaren lead other Bond minds and myself through the new range, it soon becomes very clear to those literally feeling their way through N. Peal’s wares that this collection is something special.

N. Peal’s CEO Adam Goldsworth (left) and Mark O’Connell flank the rails of cashmere goodness at the flagship Burlington Arcade store / Photos © Mark O’Connell & Peter Brooker / From Tailors with Love.

Taking the work of those lesser referenced yesteryear Bond costumiers and wardrobe agents, as well as the clothing minds furnishing the Daniel Craig era, N. Peal have created an ensemble that celebrates Bond’s past, present and maybe even future. Whilst the Beach Bond of Orlebar Brown’s 2019 Capsule Collection is a blue-skied Riviera array of summer looks and 007 vacation wear culled from six decades of cinema, the cast list of N. Peal’s new collection is firmly stitched to the autumnal and winter-minded Bond. This is the Bond of the ’80s and ’90s as much as it is the classic celluloid spy of the decades before. This is both a retro and contemporary minded Bond with a clothing timeline to die for that is the first collection to take in all 007’s incarnations. This is also the first chance this Bond fan can finally get his hands on Timothy Dalton’s Tangier look from 1987’s The Living Daylights. You don’t know much this ’80s kid tried to emulate that fawn anorak and black polo shirt ensemble via high street fashionistas* Clockhouse and C&A [*neither were fashionistas]. Thanks to N. Peal I no longer have to try. Nor publicly confess there was once a Dalton-obsessed teenager attempting Moroccan rooftop parkour in a black C&A anorak on the way to school.

N. Peal’s new 007 Cashmere Collection proudly waits in good company in Burlington Arcade’s flagship store, London. / Photos © Mark O’Connell

From the boundless steppes of Mongolia to the streets of London, New York and beyond, N. Peal’s newest espionage entourage makes up one sharp Bond collection. Stripping away the fitted formality of the tuxedo and lounge suit, N. Peal’s new 007 ensemble very much celebrates the working Bond. From Kashmir goat herds out in the field to cinematic agents out in theirs, this is about those working-day clothing choices that have come to define our man James as much as any midnight blue tux or lounge suit.

In association with EON Productions, their archives and titles, N. Peal have looked beyond the instant iconography of 007 to celebrate, re-imagine and provide pieces and looks that sixty years of ardent Bond fans will instantly recognise. This is not office party Bond. This is not cosplay. This is a collection that knows a retro-minded turtle neck does not just scream late Sixties Bond, but an intrinsically mod-culture look that has rarely left British menswear. As the costuming and wardrobe decisions of Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood (2019) have more recently suggested, the movie’s fashion boys like Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Alain Delon and James Bond himself are having a moment all over again. With an emphasis on ‘inspired by’ rather than exact costume copies (which are impossible to match for fabric, material, historic, cost and practical reasons), N. Peal have instead clearly studied the cut, shape and purpose this 007 clothing. This is a collection that screams Bond to Bond fans. But it is also made for the men and women on the street who recognise the tenor and palette of that world without wanting to own a sweater with that 1987 movie The Living Daylights plastered all over it (admittedly, I don’t know who wouldn’t want to wear a jumper with that 1987 movie The Living Daylights plastered all over it?!). These clothing collections have to work for all – whether it is you, me, Prince Harry or Pierce Brosnan himself (a recent visitor to the Burlington Arcade premises). Admittedly, there has still been a lack of women’s clothing with a Bond veneer from any marque – somewhat scandalous when you consider the costumes, looks and iconography of the women of 007’s world is often the fruits of female designer minds. As a women’s clothing favourite that can count Sophia Loren, Kate Middleton, Princess Grace of Monaco, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor as customers, this is however is something N. Peal are highly alert to – and have a Goldfinger inspired piece in this collection. A May Day snood in cashmere would be sensational! As might a cashmere Octopussy robe! Or a Michelle Yeoh catsuit zipper suit!

So, as the collection is now available to agents the world over, here’s a mission briefing of the available looks, outfits and pieces that set out to stitch a spy…

FINE GAUGE V NECK SWEATER (BLACK) / Sean Connery / Goldfinger / £295

FINE GAUGE POLO T-SHIRT (BLACK) / Sean Connery / Goldfinger / £199

FINE GAUGE MOCK TURTLE NECK (DARK CHARCOAL) / Daniel Craig / Spectre / £259

MILANO KNITTED JACKET (NAVY) / Sean Connery / Goldfinger / £795

MILANO KNITTED WAISTCOAT (FUMO GREY) / Sean Connery / Goldfinger / £329

KNITTED CASHMERE TIE (NAVY) / Sean Connery / Goldfinger / £95

CABLE CREW NECK SWEATER (NAVY) / Pierce Brosnan / GoldenEye / £329

CHUNKY RIBBED POLO NECK SWEATER (DARK CHARCOAL) / Pierce Brosnan / Die Another Day / £395

5 BUTTON POLO SHIRT (NAVY) / Timothy Dalton / The Living Daylights / £295

ZIP THROUGH BOMBER, LIGHT BLUE / George Lazenby / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / £379

ROLL NECK SWEATER (IVORY) / George Lazenby / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / £249

 

BOMBER JACKET (HEATHER BARK) /  George Lazenby / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / £349

FINE GAUGE MOCK TURTLE NECK (ORANGE) / George Lazenby / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / £159

 

FISHERMAN’S RIB ROUND NECK SWEATER (DARK CHARCOAL) / Timothy Dalton / The Living Daylights / £395

FINE GAUGE CHECKED SCARF (MID GREY CHECK) / Timothy Dalton/ The Living Daylights / £229

CHUNKY RIBBED HAT (NAVY) / Daniel Craig / Spectre / £119

CABLE ROLL NECK SWEATER (FUMO GREY) / Daniel Craig / Spectre / £339

LEATHER & CASHMERE LINED GLOVES (BLACK LEATHER) / £129

CREW NECK SWEATER (BLUE WAVE) / Daniel Craig / Skyfall / £269

 

HERRINGBONE SCARF (BROWN / GREY) / Daniel Craig / Skyfall / £95

DIAMOND PADDED WAISTCOAT (LAVA BLUE + NAVY LEATHER PATCHES) / Roger Moore / For Your Eyes Only / £495

CHUNKY MARL SWEATER (GREY MARL) / Roger Moore / For Your Eyes Only / £395

CLASSIC POLO NECK (BLACK) / Roger Moore / Live and Let Die / £295

 

SUPERFINE ROLL NECK SWEATER (BLACK) / Tania Mallet / Goldfinger / £249

 

From the cocktail lounge of Bar Americain in Piccadilly’s Zedel’s via N. Peal’s Burlington Arcade London home to the banks of Glen Coe, Loch Sunart and the Laudale Estate in Scotland, N. Peal have created a slick new featurette tease of their 007 Cashmere Collection. Starring actor and model Paul Sculfor and with a theme by five-times Bond composer David Arnold, From N. Peal with Love spins a few 007 movie tropes on their head whilst remembering the splendour, design, heritage and intrigue of Bond.

 

The N. Peal 007 Cashmere Collection is available now from N. Peal and the 007 Store.

With thanks to N. Peal, the staff of N. Peal’s Burlington Arcade store, Adam Holdsworth, Jo McLaren, David Zaritsky, Anahita Dehagi, Bollinger and EON Productions.