If Ian Fleming were alive today, he’d be furious. He’d be angrily tapping away on his typewriter, and stress smoking his favoured Morland cigarettes. 2020 has been a rough ride for everyone, but it would have been a true annus horribilis for the author.
Why? Plenty of reasons. First up, the obvious; the latest film in the James Bond franchise, No Time To Die, has been pushed and shoved and kicked down the field like an old football. Also Dukes London, where Fleming would sip his ice-cold Martinis, had to shut up self-isolated shop. Even Jamaica, home of Fleming’s coastal Goldeneye estate, hasn’t made it onto the Government’s ‘safe travel’ list.
And yet, despite all of this anti-Bond upset caused by the coronavirus, 2020 would still hold a glimmer of good news for Fleming. Sunspel, the luxury British clothing brand, has launched a new sartorial winter collection, crafted in close collaboration with the late author’s estate.
It’s a natural fit. Fleming was a famous advocate of Sea Island Cotton — the material used to create some of Sunspel’s most luxurious garments. It’s even an appreciation the author passed onto Bond himself. This new winter collection from the British brand incorporates the fabric, along with other elegant textiles, as it recreates Fleming’s winter wardrobe.
From flannel trousers to tweed overcoats, Sunspel’s latest offerings take inspiration from both Fleming’s life and sartorial details in the Bond novels — putting a modern spin on some of the author’s most timeless winter weather looks. There are accessories, too — with one of Gentleman’s Journal‘s favourite pieces being the knitted black silk tie you can see above; textured and almost identical to the neckties worn by both Fleming and his most famous creation.
In another nod to its heritage influences, the whole collection also follows a suave, sophisticated monochrome colour scheme. Pull on the grey cashmere crew neck, or shrug on the black shawl neck cardigan and you’ll begin to look like Fleming himself — stepped straight out of a black-and-white ’50s photograph.
The textures, too — a signature of Sunspel clothing — add interest to the garments. The grey tweed overcoat, woven by Outer Hebridean islanders in their own homes, has a refined-yet-rugged look — and looks like something Bond himself might wear during an assignment in a brisk Alpine city. The wool flannel trousers, too, in grey puppytooth, are only lightly tapered to maintain a vintage feel — but have a drawstring for a modern, practical touch.
But that’s the selling point of Sunspel’s winter Ian Fleming collection; the practicality. You can cover formal bases with the black silk tie and smart Sea Island Cotton shirt (deftly tailored on the shoulders and with removable collar stays), but there are also garments to ensure your work-from-home wardrobe remains comfortable in the cold.
There’s the aforementioned cardigan — woven from soft merino in a compact rib knit — and two cashmere crew neck jumpers, each spun in Bond’s childhood country of Scotland and easily dressed up for business with a jacket or blazer.
Sunspel Harris Tweed Overcoat
Sunspel Cashmere Flannel Slim Fit Trouser
Sunspel Merino Wool Shawl Cardigan
It’s classic Sunspel. Ever since the James Bond franchise approached the brand back in 2006, and costume designer Lindy Hemming worked with Sunspel to create Daniel Craig’s iconic tailored luxury Riviera polo shirt, the two British icons have been intrinsically linked; joined together in the mutual pursuit of both style and substance.
This latest drop is perhaps the best yet — managing simultaneously to emulate Fleming, combat the cold and capture the spirit of 007 himself.
The Ian Fleming™ Collection
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