Icons of Fashion, the Bond Girl Edition
24 movies and almost 55 years later, James Bond is still one of the longest running and most iconic film series of all time. Apart from featuring exotic locations, flashy supercars and smooth talking heroes; the movies always include one or two so-called ‘Bond Girls’ who sport lethal weapons, drop dead gorgeous looks, questionable names and a demure submissiveness only Bond can bring out. We go back in history and pick four iconic Bond Girls who represented key fashions of the time.
Claudine Auger as Dominique “Domino” Derval
Bond rescues Domino while snorkeling and this theme of Domino swimming, continues through the movie. The mistress of a Spectre agent, Domino is beautiful and glamorous and their subsequent romance also ensues while in the water. Her outfits are mainly monochromatic and her fashion tends toward a French vein sexy while sophisticated.
Set in 1965, Thunderball came out around the end of the mod scene in the UK. Mod style was sharp and stylized and was being copied around the world. The key elements of this time period were cut-outs, black and white and geometric designs all of which are seen frequently throughout the film.
Grace Jones as May Day
A perennial fashion icon, Grace Jones took architectural fashion to new highs with her hi-top fade and urban street style. Not a typical Bond Girl, May Day tries to assassinate the hero a few times before they help each other escape death. Her two toned hooded outfits featuring leather and structured silhouettes are a great indicator of the direction mid-80s fashion was taking.
In the 1980s, designers abandoned convention and the silhouette goes from feminine to structural. Pop stars like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper begin to dominate trends with layers of netting, a higher waist, shoulder pads and (very) big hair.
Eva Green as Vesper Lynd
The ultimate Bond Girl, Vesper Lynd is smart, sophisticated and incredibly sexy. Her classic yet daring styles are almost the cause of Bond’s resignation as they fall deeply in love and James dreams of leaving the secret service. Ian Fleming says of Lynd’s character that, “she’s the only woman that Bond falls in love with, and she shapes him and she’s going to have a great impact on his life. He’s going to become the Bond that we know, and that makes it interesting.”
Here the role of jewelry in fashion is acknowledged as her knotted necklace, designed by Sophie Harley, is where the movie’s romantic sub-plot stems from. She dresses in Versace and Roberto Cavalli gowns that represent a timeless simplicity that won’t play second fiddle to Bond’s dapper suits but become equally important.
Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann
The most recent and perhaps realistic of Bond’s femme fatales; Madeleine Swann is the atypical Bond Girl who can play alongside Bond at his own game. An independent psychologist, her fashions are more Theory, Chloe and Ghost than skimpy bikinis and leather cat suits.
Her streamlined aesthetic and minimalistic outfits reflect a changing time for fashion. No longer are trends dictators of overall looks but it is individual pieces that speak the loudest. Neutral tones, lingerie inspired dresses and simple lines make Madeliene Swann’s character current and stylish.