Bond’s style influence shows no sign of waning, with websites such as the US-based www.jamesbondwatches.com and the Dutch-based www.jamesbondlifestyle.com revealing the obsessiveness of Bond followers. And now Bondophiles can do more than sip martinis like their hero – they can dress like him too. Entrepreneur David Mason, who bought the rights to the name and archive of Anthony Sinclair, the British tailor who first outfitted Connery on camera, is offering bespoke versions of the original suits.
Mason and Richard Paine, a former apprentice to Sinclair who ran the business after Sinclair’s retirement in 1982, are selling replicas of an evening suit from Dr No, which features a single-breasted jacket with a silk satin shawl collar and turnback silk satin cuff, and a three-piece glen-check suit from Goldfinger (1964). Both suits are available to order in a bespoke version, from £3,500, and made-to-measure from £1,950, at the Savile Row tailors Meyer & Mortimer.
The replicas of the two suits were unveiled at the recent Designing 007 exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre, now set for a world tour. In an opening tableau, a model of Connery as 007 leans against Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, wearing the three-piece suit in which he wooed Pussy Galore. Also included was the midnight blue evening suit Connery wore in Dr No, playing chemin de fer at Le Cercle casino in London while flirting with Sylvia Trench, the first Bond girl.
To recreate the designs, Mason borrowed one of the few original Bond suits in existence from movie and TV memorabilia collector David Abberley, a project manager for Lloyds TSB in the City of London. He acquired the suit, made by Sinclair for Connery to wear in You Only Live Twice (1967), from the son of a technician who worked on the early films.
Abberley does not intend to wear his original suit. “That would be sacrilege,” he says. “I’ve had a special mannequin made to the right size and I display it in a glass case in my house.” Tony Gibbon, a partner in London-based property firm GM Real Estate, has ordered the Goldfinger suit and plans to buy the evening suit too, and have it adapted to wear at work. “I grew up with Bond and remain in love with him. Of them all, Connery is the man.”