Is N.Peal Cashmere-ing in on James Bond?

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On Global James Bond Day, N.Peal announced their latest cashmere collection, a collaboration with the James Bond franchise. How did this news go down with Bond fans, what were the highlights from the collection and is it now becoming an expensive hobby to be a Bond fan? 

After I received the news I immediately called up my James Bond style correspondent (that's how he likes to be called by the way) Peter Brooker, editor of From Tailors With Love. Of course he was at the event hosted at N.Peal in Burlington Arcade. 

Here are some of the exchanges we had. 

Pete, talk to me about N.Peal the brand. How has N.Peal got involved with the James Bond franchise? 

N.Peal first appeared in the Skyfall. When Bond returns home to his Scottish lodgings (Skyfall) he substitutes his Tom Ford suit for a Barbour Jacket and N.Peal Cashmere sweater. The costume department wanted a very visceral blue to bring out the colour of Daniels eyes. 

Another 3 N.Peal sweaters turn up in Spectre. Two mock turtles, one featured on the teaser poster. He is also wearing that at the end when he's takes down an entire helicopter with his Walther PPK. The second he wears when he rocks up in Austria and tells Madeline Swann he's the best chance she has of staying alive. I don't know she's even doubting him. He's just driven a plane through a log shed to save her. 

Oh and the third is that cable roll neck one he wore when he played mind-chess with Mr White. 

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Got it. So what's unique about this collection? Do you approve? 

Adam Holdsworth, the Managing Director of N.Peal is a huge James Bond fan. Even before they got involved with the franchise. So this collection has been done with candour. It's been done with a huge heart and it's integrated some very neat outfits that span the entire series. When people think Bond they might think Roger Moore safari jackets, Daniel Craig in Tom Ford suits, or Sean Connery in a 3-piece glen check suit. 

But there's been so many other great outfits worn by Bond over the years. 

Haven't Orlebar Brown already covered this? Is this just EON cashing in? 

Orlebar Brown released a great collection. They really got people talking and made some ballsy choices with their collection. The Piped Blouson Jacket from A View to a Kill for example. I love that jacket, I have it. But few people even talk about that movie let alone that outfit. What a stroke of genius. 

But what N.Peal has done here is something completely different. For a start N.Peal only produce Cashmere products, so you're not going to see any towelling Onesies here. It might be a bit more conservative, arguably more practical, but they've covered all the Bonds. Timothy Dalton is largely considered the closest Bond to Fleming's Bond, but is never rated as one of the best. Even Dalton is recognised in this collection, so there is something for everyone. 

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What about the price point? You say it's for everyone but can everyone afford this? 

You have to consider that these are luxury products. Much like you'd have to pay extra for a luxury fabric in a tailors. Cashmere is one of the most desired luxury fabrics in the world. N.Peal source only the best Cashmere and ethically from Inner Mongolia where it's widely recognised the best Cashmere can be sourced. 

What do you recommend from the collection? 

I've got the Knitted Navy Jacket, Waistcoat and Navy Tie from the Goldfinger suite. It's classy, it's really elegant and the fit on me is perfect. A classic look that has endured, perfect for our upcoming winter months.


 

Worthy of Bond | Brands We'd Like to See James Bond Wear

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What brands are synonymous with the cinematic James Bond? Typically they'd be British. They'd be handmade but ultimately, they'd be luxurious and denote quality. 

Today I want to talk about the brands Worthy of James Bond. I had a long chat with my friend Peter Brooker who has just launched a brand new website dedicated towards the style of James Bond, From Tailors With Love

He has also started a hashtag #worthyofbond highlighting brands he deems worthy of being in the franchise. Using brands from that Hashtag we cobbled a list together and welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the comment box below. 

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HEMINGSWORTH

A relative new comer to the fashion industry but already making some serious waves. Hemingsworth started making tailored swim shorts for gentleman looking to look stylish in and out of the pool. 

Manufactured and designed in the UK and of course modelled by my good friend Peter Brooker who surely must be in the running for a casting call by EON himself someday? 

Didn't Lazenby start out as an underwear model? 

SMYTHSON 

The heritage Bond Stationary and leather goods brand founded in 1887. Influential figures from Sigmund Freud to Sir Winston Churchill, recognised the timeless purity of their goods so why not add Bond to that list. 

Bond has used Louis Vuitton luggage before when he visited Chateau Chantilly in A View to a Kill. More recently he carries a Globe-Trotter Original Brown suitcase in SPECTRE.

I think Bond could mix it up a little. Surely a man with as many stamps in his passport as Bond would have some back-up luggage for worst case scenarios. 

LONDON SOCK CO 

As worn by Daniel Craig so I'm lead to believe. You may have also heard me wax lyrical about the London Sock Co company in a previous article on my blog. 

It's a great gifting item because you can record a 60 second video (displayed within the box) that will make you feel like a super spy. 

OLIVER SPENCER 

Oliver Spencer offers great casual wear, and features UK design with around 40% of the collection is made in England. I think Bond would have championed his plucky spirit, abandoning his education in favour of opening a stall at Portobello Market. The kind of entrepreneurial spirit on which this country was founded. 

HAWKINS AND SHEPHERD 

And lastly but leastly! Whilst we're talking about entrepreneurial spirit. Whilst we're talking luxury and British design? My Hawkins & Shepherd shirts are made of the finest quality cotton. With some of my new range being a mix of cashmere and cotton. 

I do a range of Tab Collar shirts, a look favoured by Daniel Craig in the photos we saw when Prince Charles went to visit him at the Pinewood Studios. Make sure to check out the video I did with my friend and co-host of the From Tailors With Love podcast Pete Brooker on what makes a quality shirt. (You might find an amazing discount code tucked away in the show notes). 

From Tailors With Love – The New Podcast Dedicated to the Style of James Bond

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Recently launched, From Tailors With Love is a new podcast available on iTunes that's dedicated to the style of James Bond, hosted by my good mate Pete Brooker from Human Research and editor of The Suits of James Bond, Matt Spaiser. 

Not only do they talk about the suits from the James Bond films, but they also do news bulletins from all the brands associated with the James Bond franchise and educate the listeners on the fabrics, the weaves, the patterns and the cuts of the suits worn by the cast. 

In the latest episode Matt and Pete talk about the Brioni suits that both Tom Cruise and Dwayne Johnson wore to their respected premieres. Mission Impossible Fallout and Skyscraper. Brioni provided the suits for the Bond franchise from Goldeneye up until and including Casino Royale

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Dwayne Johnson is wearing a silk and linen blend bespoke suit estimated to be worth $10,000 whilst Tom Cruise opted for a 3-piece midnight blue single breasted Brioni suit. Interesting features are the 6 button waist coat, not often seen or encouraged on short men. However, Tom looks the absolute business here. 

About the podcast Pete Brooker told me:

"It's a lot of fun to do. It combines two of my favourite things, fashion and James Bond films. Matt is really the authority and I'm just happy to play second wheel, chiming in with the odd crass reference about Bond boning Moneypenny. 

It also gives me the excuse to talk to people within the Bond universe. For example we spoke to Adam Brown, founder and creative director of Orlebar Brown, about the new 007 Swim short collection. He gave us the exclusive on a new Bond-based collection he is releasing next Spring so that's all coming up in the next episode out mid-August". - Peter Brooker

From Tailors With Love is a fortnightly show, 30 minutes long and available every other Wednesday from iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.