By Roger Stone

007 Xmas Release
I recently saw the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace starring Daniel Craig. The movie itself delivered all that one has come to expect from the Bond genre: a suave secret agent in a tense thriller laced with suspense and sex. Craig portrays a terrific Bond, but there is one glaring flaw in his character: his clothes are all wrong for a British secret agent. It seems commerce has won out over fashion in Quantum of Solace. First, it was bad enough that the shirt collar Craig wore on the train in Casino Royale was two sizes too big, causing an un-Bond-like gap between neck and tie, which I could almost forgive because Craig does sport an impeccably tied straight bow tie with a stiff shirt front in both his Bond movies, but the film's costume designers actually saw fit to dress him in Italian suits. Apparently, the venerable Italian tailor Brioni paid big dollars for the rights to clad Craig in the sleek-cut suits with their tight silhouette and high shoulders; however, I cannot suspend my disbelief to accept that James Bond would have ever forsaken English tailoring for Brioni. The major difference between British and Italian tailoring is the movement of the body the cut affords. British suits are based on military requirements and they offer a fuller cut with a soft-shouldered look. They are movement friendly, and this is the look that Savile Row has provided to British agents for a century. The two great Savile Row tailors Huntsman and Poole are particularly known for the ease of movement that their suits impart through a fuller shoulder blade and chest cut. Italian tailoring is sleeker. Brioni champions a form of Roman tailoring that is more structured and restrictive than that of the Neapolitans, whose cut is more akin to the English who prize comfort and ease of movement. British tailored suits move with your body; Italian suits restrict your body. Ian Fleming gives us little indication of Bond's dress other than it was always appropriate, but he does reference Bond in a dark blue suit and white shirt with crisply knotted black knit tie. In Quantum of Solace, Bond looks drab in Brioni's grays. By contrast, in Goldfinger Sean Connery rolled around with Pussy Galore in a three-piece English cut medium grey shark-skin suit with a waist-coat, a white shirt with a medium point collar and a small-knotted black necktie. That worked; Craig's lifeless gray wedding tie does not. It's a shame the Bond sartorial heritage has been sold to the Italians. POST NOTE That is not say that BOND is off Sartorially in every frame - only when wearing BRONI. Some of the tastiest things Craig/Bond wears on QOS are from TOM FORD who certainly understands the Savile Row aesthetic and adds just a pinch more shoulder. FORD and ALAN FLUSSER are the only two designers with this Old World sensibility. FORD's clothes reek of money, culture and class. http://www.tomford.com/