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Jany Temime: Dressing James Bond

Over the course of two movies, award winning costume designer, Jany Temime, helped reinvent the style of James Bond for a whole new generation. With a film franchise that boasts a tailoring heritage like no other, and a leading actor whose sartorial influence reaches far beyond that of those have who have played the part before him, Jany spoke to The Journal about the inspirations, challenges and good old fashioned hard work that goes into dressing Daniel Craig's James Bond.

 

Bond is, without question, one of cinema's most iconic characters. When you got the gig as Costume Designer, where did you start?

For me, the process always starts with the director who, in this case, was Sam Mendes. He always asks the question “Why?”, rather than choosing something because it is fashionable. He had a very strong vision for the movie and we had to find a new aesthetic for the character of Bond, as we were doing a film that was dramatically different. We wanted to create a new Bond, a Bond that people were not expecting. I had in mind a very physical Bond and I wanted to see a body, not a fashion caricature. I start with initial sketches, have time with the actors, try different pieces and, gradually, we create the costume. Daniel is a wonderful actor but he also has a great body and I wanted people to see that, it was his second skin. I wanted to get completely out of the image of formal tailoring that you associate with the old Bond – stuffy, formal, conservative. It should be something that he can move in, fight in, make love in. But we also wanted to create something sexy that a younger generation could relate to, and the only way to have a young guy wear a suit is to show him how sexy you can look in a suit.

 

When does the work begin on a Bond film?

On Bond we have a lot of time to prepare. Typically, we begin the prep work up to a year before filming starts. But, like with all things, there is always a lot of last minute work to be done!

 

Daniel Craig has had a huge influence on the development of Bond over the course of his five movies. How much did you collaborate with Daniel when it came to style?

Oh, a huge amount. Daniel went to an art school so he has a very strong aesthetic sense. It’s a collaborative process and he has very good ideas. Daniel had a strong sense of what he wanted the character to be and it was my job to take those ideas and work them in a way that ensured we stayed on the right track.

 

Did you draw inspiration from previous Bond’s?

Only Sean Connery. You look at Sean back in the 60’s and he was an incredibly sexy man who can carry off any outfit he wears. He had that special something that you can’t explain. If we knew what it was we’d all be doing it! For Spectre, I was influenced by Connery in Goldfinger, in particular the white dinner jacket he wears, and we kept some of the details from that look for Daniel. In fact, I always had a picture of Sean whenever I was dressing Daniel. But, even if the “look” has been done before, you have to bring something new to it.

 

How do you work with brands and fashion houses?

It’s certainly a collaborative process. Many of the brands we worked with could deliver quickly and had people who could help us. They would alter the design of a garment or make garments in different colours, and that was one of the reasons we worked with them. For instance, the famous Barbour jacket that Daniel wears in Skyfall was not an already established design. We completely customised a pre-existing jacket to reflect the origin of Bond, removing a number of details that weren’t necessary - such as the pockets and collar - just to keep it clean. And then we added the other elements of the outfit, such as the slim cashmere scarf which was Daniel’s idea.

 

When it came to Bond's tailoring, you went to Tom Ford who had been involved in Quantum of Solace. How was that?

Tom is a creative and he understands the job of a costume designer, so it was a very collaborative process. From the start I explained the aesthetic we were aiming for and, though it wasn’t necessarily the Tom Ford “look”, he understood completely what we were trying to achieve. He gave me his tailor in Italy, gave me complete creative freedom and said “I trust you, go for it.” He was wonderful. But, once again, the tailoring had to come from the “Why?” Skyfall, for instance, was a very minimalist film and, working with Tom, we wanted to keep that minimalist aesthetic in the suits which, personally, I like very much.

 

How did you develop Bond's casual wardrobe?

When you work with a director like Sam Mendes, the psychology of the character is primary and this is reflected in the wardrobe. The character is wearing these clothes for a reason. Bond is multi-faceted, he is sexy, but he is also a guy who has problems. He’s physical; he’s strong; he’s vulnerable…there has to be a reason for the clothes he wears.

 

Daniel Craig is renowned for his physical commitment to the role of Bond. How does this affect the costume?

It’s a logistical challenge. Whatever suits we are using, I always have them made in different sizes – for Daniel and the stunt doubles. A Bond shoot takes the best part of a year and during that time Daniel’s body will always fluctuate in size. When he is doing fight scenes his suits require padding, or if we are on location and it’s cold then he will wear a larger size so he can layer underneath. I will have a 38” for when Daniel is at his slimmest, and then size 40, 42 and 44 depending on the physical changes.

 

Finally, as a costume designer, do you think tailoring remains relevant?

It is not only relevant, it is essential! It is essential in the same way I find couture essential. People have one body and they should wear tailoring to flatter that body. It should be your second skin and your tailor should be your best friend, helping you to look good and to feel powerful. A man should have 4 well-tailored suits rather than 20 poorly fitting suits - a bad suit is the worst thing that anybody can wear. A well-tailored suit is elegant, it is light, and you can wear it forever. Nothing beats it!

 

Jany Temime is an award winning costume designer. She is known for her work on six of the Harry Potter movies; Gravity; Skyfall; Spectre and the Judy Garland biopic, Judy, starring Renne Zellweger.

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