Approved by Bond – Spice up your 007 wardrobe with N.PEAL Sweaters worn by Daniel Craig
By Benjamin Lind on April 26, 2015
In the long history of the Bond films, agent 007 has worn countless elegant suits, shoes, shirts and watches, always representing the style of each decade. When the Teaser Poster of the upcoming film ‘SPECTRE’ was released on March 17, fans were surprised to see the return of a fashion icon in its own right: the turtle neck (also known as polo neck or roll-neck in the UK).It had previously been prominently featured in Roger Moores first Bond film ‘LIVE AND LET DIE’ (1973) where he wore it towards the end of the film.
The ‘SPECTRE’ Teaser Poster features Daniel Craig wearing a mock turtle neck Cashmere Sweater provided by N.PEAL, a luxury cashmere knitwear and accessoire specialist founded in London in 1936.
Since many of us fans love to adopt Bonds style, let´s have a look at N.PEAL and the reasons why a Cashmere Sweater would definitely spice up your spy wardrobe full of tuxedos and dinner jackets.
The Turtle Neck – A rebellious fashion statement?
What some of you might not know, turtle necks are actually being worn since hundreds of years with the first versions originating in the 15th century. In the late 19th century, they became quite common among athletes, sailors and naval officers before being closely associated with radical academics, philosophers, artists and intellectuals in the middle of the 20th century. Once European film stars such as Marcello Mastroianni and Yves Montand had been seen wearing the sweaters, they rapidly became a fashion sensation among wealthy young men.
When British playwright and actor Sir Noël Coward turned turtlenecks into a brief middle-class fashion trend in the 1920s and feminists made them a unisex item, they had found their way into the American fashion market. In the 1950s the black polo neck became a distinctive mark of existentialists. Absorbed into mainstream American fashion by the mid 20th century, the turtleneck came to be viewed as an anti-tie, a smart form of dress for those who rejected formal wear. Senator Ted Kennedy, pianist/conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor Seiji Ozawa, philosopher Michel Foucault, singer Barry Manilow, scientist Carl Sagan and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs were among those often seen in turtlenecks.
Turtlenecks have historically (and controversially) acted as substitutes of the traditional and dominant shirt and tie look. Some of the fiercest conflicts regarding the turtleneck’s use took place in upscale restaurants and in weddings, where turtlenecks have been used in violation of the shirt and tie.
N.PEAL – Traditional Britishness since 1936
When a vacant shop in Londons famous Burlington Arcade in Mayfair caught the eye of suave businessman Nat Peal, it was the beginning of cashmere brand N.PEAL. During WWII, Nat Peal resided on the Shetland Islands and was able to supply his new store with the finest and most beautiful sweaters woven directly from the wool of Scotlands famous sheep. With Great Britain being on rations during the war, the high quality products offered at N.PEAL were in high demand.
Nat Peal extended his reach to America in the 1950s where he presented himself and his brand in the most luxurious hotel suites to representatives of the press and potential clients. Soon after, Hollywood legends such as Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant (who was desired by Ian Fleming to portray James Bond on screen) or Ava Gardner began wearing N.PEAL and even style-icon and First Lady Jackie Kennedy was impressed by the high quality and craftsmanship of the products.
The success of the brand and its products continued through the years with more and more celebrities and even royalty like Princess Grace of Monaco or Princess Diana favouring the exquisite designs. Today, almost eighty years after the foundation of the Burlington Arcade flagship store, one of four stores in London, N.PEAL is still as fashionable and desirable as ever.
Bond changed, so did his wardrobe
With the introduction of Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘CASINO ROYALE’ (2006), fans and moviegoers were introduced to a new Bond. Not just a new face but a total reinvention of the character. Suddenly, Bond was seen at the beginning of his career as a 00 agent chasing a bombmaker through Madagascar in a casual shirt before we later discover, that he actually had a past. A troubled one. Bond had changed and his wardrobe was updated accordingly. Of course there were still the iconic suits and tuxedos, but also more relaxed clothing like Neck T-Shirts as well as jackets by Levi´s and Barbour for a more rugged look.
N.PEAL first got involved with James Bond in ‘SKYFALL’ (2012), where Bond can be seen wearing a blue round neck cashmere sweater in the Scotland scenes, made from the finest 100% Mongolian cashmere. A total of 25 sweaters were used during the action sequences and Daniel Craig wore it again at the ‘SPECTRE’ press launch event on December 4, 2014.
For the upcoming adventure ‘SPECTRE’, N.PEAL will once again supply cashmere sweaters for Bonds impeccable and iconic look. As mentioned in the introduction, the Teaser Poster provided us with the first glimpse which is unmistakably reminiscent of Roger Moores ‘LIVE AND LET DIE’ turtle neck – even the shoulder holster matches. From what we´ve seen so far, the new Bond film promises to be a more classic one when it comes to fashion. The partnership with N.PEAL certainly emphasises that as the products are far from being visually obtrusive but well-defined representations of a subtle secret agent style.
I myself have recently come to appreciate the comfortable advantages of sweater combinations, especially in business situations where I don´t want to overdress but still look elegant and sophisticated. Sweaters have become a very versatile component of my wardrobe and I firmly believe, that every man should at least have a couple of them.
If you want to copy Bonds latest style, and I know many of you do, N.PEAL is definitely the brand to keep an eye on. On the official homepage, you will find a special section on the Bond Sweaters where you can order them directly. In case you have already set your sights on the latest ‘SPECTRE’ turtle neck sweater, you can order it here.
Benjamin Lind became a James Bond fan at the age of 15 and has since closely followed the production of every film since 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. Apart from writing about Bond, he is a founding member of the James Bond Club Germany and holds a position as advisor in its executive committee. In 2016, Lind released a charity documentary film entitled 'A Bond For Life - How James Bond changed my Life' in support of UNICEF.