Dressed to Kill

by Elysian Magazine

Two Women Costume Designers Who Fashioned the Modern Bond Girl 


Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Annie Hall. The Devil Wears Prada. Sex and the City. Film has long influenced American and international fashion. Women suddenly craved the Dior-designed “little black dress” and string of pearls that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s unaware the look had been created years before by Chanel and Hattie Carnegie.  Notwithstanding, every fashionista wanted to look just like Hepburn. Diane Keaton’s funky, layered “look” mixed classic, tailored fashion with ease and comfort in 1977—and helped put Ralph Lauren on the map when, the year after, his signature women’s collection of tweedy coats, skirts, and vests debuted for the first time, at Bloomingdales in New York. 

Meryl Streep’s oversized glasses and not-a-hair-out-of-place coif defined the reserved,  power-professional woman. And the four Sex and the City co-stars inspired countless fans to dress just like them. 

Not so the Bond beauties. For years, 007’s women were cinematic eye-candy. Sexy,  slender, without an ounce of cellulite on their curvaceous bodies, the average woman not only could not dress like them but didn’t want to dress like them—until, that is, Skyfall.  Then everything changed. 



The costume designer who invented the modern Bond Girl

“I knew I wanted to create a bespoke crystal ‘Tattoo’ design for Sévérine’s dress,” recalls Temime, whose costumes for Skyfall broke the mold and redefined the modern Bond Girl. “We applied the crystal tattoos, with over 60,000 Swarovski elements, onto very fine tulle for the arms, neckline, back, and sides of the dress accentuating Sévérine’s exquisite figure.” The “dragonesque” gown, worn by French actress Bérénice Lim Marlohe (above) visually defines the character of the anti-heroine.


Award-winning French costume designer, Jany Temime is no stranger to film. She designed the costumes for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Victor Frankenstein, Judy, and six of the eight Harry Potter films. Born in Paris to parents who owned a ready-to-wear company, Temime began designing costumes at the age of eight. Her first job was at the French fashion magazine, Elle, but soon after an opportunity arose in the Netherlands to design costumes for short films and commercials which set her professional life’s path. She moved to London when she was invited to design the costumes for the Harry Potter franchise, followed by the space-age film, Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock. 

Temime chose the London fashion house, Ghost, to design this clinging, floor-length vicose dress worn by Léa Seydoux in Spectre. Click to order: www.ghost.co.uk, $291


Temime had a new vision of the Bond Girl. Rather than conforming to the traditional Bond Girl image, she created a modern ideal of femininity, sophistication, and style which brought her international recognition. She commissioned London designer, Amanda Wakeley to create a number of looks for Skyfall.

London designer Amanda Wakely’s glamourous, yellow satin, bias-cut, floor-length gown for Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall helped set the bar for the modern Bond Girl


“The wardrobe designer, Jany Temime, approached us and selected a number of our autumn/winter 2011-12 dresses,” Wakeley told British Vogue. “Since much of the film takes place in London, I think that Jany was interested in working with an iconic London designer. We could have designed  something special for the movie, but when Jany and I looked through the collection together, there  were a number of dresses that really seemed to fit the brief.”  


Fashion that thrills in No Time to Die 

Pictured above, Ana de Armas as CIA agent, Paloma

American costume designer, Suttrirate Larlarb, created the costumes for the new Bond film, No Time to Die. She faced a genuine challenge with one of the most diverse Bond films to date, dressing four very strong female protagonists. “For me,” says the Stanford and Yale graduate, “the brand involvement was always secondary to what the requirements of character and costume design were. So, if a brand had traditionally worked with the Bond franchise I knew that I could go to them to potentially help us produce what we needed.” 

In the film, English actress Naomie Harris reprises her role for the third time as Eve Moneypenny; British actress Lasahana Lynch, the first black woman to play a 00 agent in six decades, as Nomi; French actress Lea Seydoux reprising her role of Madeleine, the high-profile psychologist; and Paloma, a  CIA field agent on her first mission, played by Cuban-born actress Ana de Armas, each required a wardrobe that offset the personality of their respective characters. “Traditionally, one could say that many female characters in the past, even though they’re iconic figures, could be relegated to the realm of feeling a little bit like wallpaper, and these characters are absolutely not that at all. ”  Larlarb explained. “They are strong, self-possessed, important, plot-driving women, all in their own  right, and this was a really fantastic opportunity to be able to put a stamp on those kinds of female characters in a Bond film.”

Lasahana Lynch as Nomi and Ana de Armas as Paloma in No Time to Die


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