Ever wondered what it’s like to be the woman who gets to dress and undress James Bond? Er, Team LBD certainly has. So we sat down with the film’s renowned head costume designer, Jany Temime – who has also worked her magic on the sets of Harry Potter, Children of Men and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – to find out what it was like working with Daniel Craig, and how she took on the challenge of recreating the iconic Bond girl image for the latest franchise, Skyfall.
What was it like to be working on a Bond film? Did you feel the pressure working on such a huge production?
Of course! James Bond has been a part of my life since I was very young. I have always been a big fan, I have collected, I have watched – so working on Skyfall has been huge for me. Of course I wanted to make the costumes well, but it is very difficult as you have to be doing something new with something that you can’t change. Bond wears a suit, you cannot change this, the Bond girls are action women, but I have recreated and updated this!
So how did you recreate Bond?
With such a strict dress code – the look of the great English gentleman, any change will make an impact. James Bond’s job is to kill, but he is Bond so he is also very fashionable! We decided that for this film his suits needed to be tight-fitting, they needed to show off his body and his ability, but they also they had to be functional. He needed to jump on and off motorbikes in these gorgeous suits manufactured by Tom Ford! We stuck with classical tailoring which featured the most intricate detailing – everything down to the buttons is beautiful. I opted for a slight 60s influence with the close fit, the small lapels and the not too long, not too short jacket. It had a hint of retro but was for a very modern day man. Everything was handmade.
What was it like working with Tom Ford? How many suits were there?!
Tom Ford was lovely to work with. Such a nice man. He has such respect for me and what I was doing as a costume designer. He understood the skill in these fittings and in creating these characters through clothes. I chose the fabrics and told him what I and Daniel wanted after my fittings with him and he made these exquisite suits. Everything was amazing. He kept a close eye on me, and we really worked together to achieve this look. There were so many of them too – all these little bits of perfection shipped in from Milan, it was like Christmas! We needed lots of different lengths and cuts for different scenes and some needed reinforced lapels or panels in the trousers for the action parts.
Team LBD are big Daniel Craig fans! What was it like being the woman who got to dress (and undress!) him?
He is gorgeous. I particularly enjoyed my fittings with Daniel. Sadly you don’t get him for him for very long as everyone wants him! But he is very professional, and just looks fantastic. He has a very good sense of fashion. These young men have such a strong sense of fashion you see – they know what they want. Have you seen the tuxedo? He looks magnificent! And all the while I was thinking, don’t get anything on the white shirt! That shirt didn’t change for the whole movie.
Do costumes change once you meet the actors?
They can do but with Skyfall it didn’t need to much. The cast were amazing and had all this know-how. They know how important the clothes are and how they want them to look. Daniel and I had the same ideas; we agreed his look should be easy. He is effortless, he is glamorous but he is a man doing a job. He is gorgeous!
Now for the ladies. What was it like dressing the new Bond girls?
The girls were difficult. These are action women but they still have to be sexy and each had to be sexy in their own ways but as equals to Bond.
Naomie Harris is a field agent called Eve in Skyfall and dresses so. How important was it for her to dress in this masculine, understated way?
She thinks she is Bond’s equal and on many levels she is. Ultimately she is a member of MI6 and a field agent so she had to look professional but sexy. Running shoes that are sexy? That was a challenge! So we chose a lot of trousers (that hung off her bottom, she was so petite!) and chic jackets that were subtle but tough. We had Naomie mainly in Jimmy Choos and there was one pair designed by Louboutin which were beautiful and there were lots of tight skirts which were understated but sexy. She had an evening wardrobe too which was mainly inspired by 30s glamour. I went for dark oranges and gold which look warmer on film and matched her skin tone perfectly. It helped with the fiery element of her character too. She is the good girl of the two main women and she is still a working woman and a fighter.
Now Berneice as Severine was very different! She looks amazing in the full-length black dress with sheer sleeves! Were you trying to make the stereotypical Bond girl?
Berneice has a completely different body. She was voluptuous and very womanly. I had her in long, sleeves, a square neckline to really show off her collarbone and high Jimmy Choos. Her look was classical but again understated and like Bond, has a 60s feel. A Bond girl is sexy all on her own, the dresses just help. Her jewellery was designed especially for her by Stephen Webster. We actually designed a lot of the dresses ourselves.
Lots of Bond girls have worn the iconic black dress in the past. What does this say about them?
I think that like the little black dress the Bond girls have not changed over time. They are the same but they have always been modern women, they have always been very current, very strong and never these damsels in distress. More the femme fatale. And this fatale look has always been a red carpet favourite so the long black dress we have Severine in is perfect at recreating the modern day glamorous woman.
How has the role and wardrobe of the Bond girl changed over time? How have you changed them for Skyfall?
It’s the same as with James Bond, you have to reinvent a classic role. You have to remember the Bond girl is quite a woman, she is very ‘action’ and always in the field. Their dresses ooze their sexuality and I don’t think this has changed at all over time. They are the same aggressive, often very violent, equals of men. They just use their sexuality to get what they want more!
Any LBD moments for us to look out for in the film?
The first shot of Severine is the best LBD moment of them all. The camera comes in on the back of her and this is the first thing the audience will see of her. We made this magnificent, sultry black dress specifically for her. It features shiny tulle on the back and is so eye-catching.
What is the average day like for you as the Skyfall costume designer?
You live and breathe the clothes. You go from researching the clothes, to finding the clothes or designing and making the clothes – we made so many ourselves for Skyfall – to fittings and re-fittings and then watching the actors in the costumes you have picked for them. That is when the outfits really come alive and you know you have got it right. And it’s the same for all the characters because we design for everyone, even all of the extras.
Any tips for recreating the Bond girl look this Christmas party season?
Sleek, sexy but strong. It has to be feminine with a fearlessness. Show skin, but not too much by using sheer sleeves and side-splits like Severine in Skyfall.
So what’s new about this film, why should our fans go and see it?
I’ll tell you: I had my own private screening of the film. It was just me in this screening and I was yelling and screaming and crying. The characters are larger than life, the costumes are amazing and it all just feels so real. I have always followed Bond and this is the most real I’ve seen it; it is the first Bond where the characters are so extremely human.
Sum up the new Skyfall film in three words.