It would be interesting to see what people would have turned up in had the Bond premiere not been of the Royal variety with a black-tie dress code. Perhaps Daniel Craig in Yeezys or Lea Seydoux all Parisian chic in a pair of jeans and sweatshirt, we can but wonder. It is a relief that people didn’t treat it like the Met Gala and turn up in anything but the dress code.
The turnout was extremely good for the sartorially minded, including from the guests. Jason Momoa showing up in a Henry Poole tuxedo juxtaposed his hobo-rambler-surfer vibe. This came as less of a surprise to me as he is often posting about deliveries of rings and accessories from artisans and I know he has a few bespoke shoes from Gaziano & Girling. Dishy Director Cary Fukunaga wore a striking pair of white and black correspondents with a black velvet smoking jacket with grey facings that matched the trousers (very slick). Prince William seems undeterred by my piece about his black-tie habits, and showed up with his signature undone jacket button (less slick). Prince Charles has had a few misfires recently with his suits because his shape is no longer that flattering with soft-shouldered suits which he insists on wearing, but he looked terrific, especially next to his ruffian firstborn.
The man of the moment of course was Daniel Craig, who was wearing a jacket that has been described as every colour that it isn’t. Contrary to Piers Morgan's dismissal of the jacket as 'pink suede', he wore a double-breasted velvet cerise smoking jacket. It was quite the statement, the boldness of Bond blended with the attention-seeking needs of the red carpet.
When I was in my early twenties, I was told that real men wore pink. I think it was the Jack Wills era and so I spent a lot of time in a pink shirt and white linen trousers. A sort of louche cry for help. My foray into pink only extended as far as shirts but I learnt that limiting it to women was ridiculous and with the right ensemble it works very well. For example, if you’re dark haired, pink pairs perfectly with black suiting. Elvis’s pink jacket was great but the pink socks between well-polished black shoes and trousers was what was really striking. Robert Redford wore pink better than di Caprio in The Great Gatsby but both looked every bit the literary style icon.
I have my criticisms of Craig's jacket: too short, better with a subtle touch of frogging, and he should have worn a cream silk shirt rather than white, a good rule of thumb for anyone wearing a smoking jacket. However, it was a great moment for classic style – an exhibition of British craftsmanship and excellence. It was made especially for him by Anderson & Sheppard, known for soft tailoring, who have dressed an almost incalculable number of glamorous society bigwigs. The trousers are by Henry Poole, who boasts more Royal Warrants than any other tailor.
Colour in tailoring is on the rise; Craig isn't the first to discover that a loud colour can bring alive classic tailoring. And, contrary to Piers Morgan's put down that he looked like 'an Austin Powers tribute act', he pulls this look off. He seems completely at ease in it, and quite right too.
It would be great to see Team Broccoli following Craig’s footsteps and have Savile Row make all Bond’s suits in the next film. I am aware they get trashed during production but there is not one tailor who would say it is not a sacrifice worth making to put the street’s prowess and the ability to create heroic clothing beyond any doubt. For now, Craig has started spinning the plates, the franchise now needs to take over.