By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood December 21, 2012 at 1:30PM
Jany Temime effortlessly transitioned from dressing Harry Potter to James Bond because 007 has always been a part of her life. Temime knew exactly what she was getting into when she got the call from director Sam Mendes: "When you get to do a Bond, you take with you all that makes Bond," she proclaims. "When I was designing I knew I was going to have a suit, a sportswear outfit, a bathing suit, a tuxedo. But the interesting thing we had to do was make it new and fresh and especially in 2012 with the 50th anniversary."
Of course, working on "Skyfall" revolved around fitting the needs of Daniel Craig, who first insisted that Tom Ford produce her designs and then requested a slim-fit '60s-style suit tailored very near his body, a suit that moved with his body during action scenes that fit like a second skin. "We both had exactly the same ideas and I created the look with him; then I went to Tom Ford and said, 'This is what we want.' I thought he was either going to throw me away or he will accept, and he said he was a director himself and understood perfectly. So all the suits were created for us and the Italian tailors were very, very serious about it. Every length of trouser was like a one-and-a-half-hour meeting."
Temime wanted Bond to look perfect all the time, classically stylish but in fashion with what's hot today, much like the old/new theme that underlies "Skyfall." But she wanted you to forget that he's wearing a suit, which is associated with a businessman. "Of course, Bond is an English gentleman, so he has the class and the background for it. But you shouldn't see the suit and then the man: you should see the man, who's also wearing the suit."
Temime additionally chose Ford shirts with tabs under the collar (again, fitting for action scenes) and light blue and sky blue colors to complement Craig's eyes; ties were not too loud; and trousers were flat-front and belt-less (also good for action scenes). What other suggestions did Craig have? He wanted to look shoddy after his "fall," so she gave him a Levi's Vintage leather jacket. He also wanted a blue Billy Reid pea coat when playing a chauffeur in the airport, and a scarf in Scotland at the end, something to protect him that belonged to his family, so she selected a an expensive cashmere Ford scarf that brought out the coldness in his blue eyes.
As for Javier Bardem's flamboyant blond baddie, Silva, he represents "a fallen angel," according to Mendes. Temime played off this nicely by giving him a stylish white suit and Prada print shirt during his memorable introduction. He definitely wanted to impress Bond.
"I think that being blond helped him be different than anything he's been before," Temime continues. "And the man is also a complete fake and I think that gives him an extra dimension. It's odd and so when you see the two of them together, it's completely opposite: the bad one is dressed in white and the good one is dressed in black." Indeed, it turns out that Silva has remade himself from the inside out.
However, when Silva impersonates a London police officer, Temime first designed an ordinary uniform, but Mendes complained that he looked too drab. He wanted him to stay in nouveau riche character. That meant refitting Bardem more stylishly along with all the other extras so they would match.
When it came to Ben Whishaw's young and nerdy Q, Temime had an opportunity to step up what she previously did with Harry Potter. Like Bond's first meeting with Silva, though, his initial encounter with the gadget wizard in the National Gallery had to be extraordinarily special. "When I put the glasses on Ben, he thanked me because then he felt like Q. Then I tried lots of things because I wanted him to be a real nerd with lots of money but always the wrong clothes [Margiela jacket under his duffle coat]."
Again, it was another attempt to impress Bond. But after 50 years, Bond continues to impress us with his sartorial elegance, even when he's dressed to kill.