The suit Daniel Craig wore to the premiere of his final James Bond film, No Time to Die, reignited conversations about masculinity, color, and costuming I thought we'd long left behind, because masculinity isn't rigid but rather fluid — especially when it comes to self-expression, self-awareness, sexuality, emotion, and the way men engage with the rest of the world. So why did a pink suit — custom-made from 15-ounce pink cotton velvet by London's Anderson & Sheppard's Bespoke Shop and Haberdashery — make so many men panic? You know Craig's just an actor, right? You know James Bond's not real, just some superhero-esque exaggeration of a man... right?
"Stripping James Bond, our most masculine icon, of his black tux and instead going for a suit jacket in a colour historically associated with femininity is an act of subversion, but also sabotage," The Guardian's Deputy Fashion Editor, Priya Elan, wrote in response.
Professional pissant, Piers Morgan, tweeted, "James Bond would never wear a garish pink suede dinner jacket. You’re supposed to be a steely-eyed assassin with exemplary sartorial taste, Mr Craig…. not an Austin Powers tribute act."
"Craig’s choice of a double-breasted jacket instead of a single breasted would have been enough to signal a stylistic departure from Bond’s approach to formal attire. The shocking-pink tailoring makes it patently clear that he no longer wants to be seen as James Bond," Professor Andrew Groves, Director of the University of Westminster’s Menswear Archive, told Elan.
All of this over a suit? These talking points steer clear of the obvious truth: times have changed. The titular example of "exemplary sartorial taste" according to those quoted above is a movie character rooted in the mid-1960s — one that predates the Civil Rights Act for Christ's sake. In the same way fans of Ian Fleming's novels might not like the movies, those that know James Bond as a suave, lady-stealing, pistol-shooting, arm-breaking silent sex god might not like 007 as an emotional, vulnerable and essentially-retired spy living off-the-grid in the Caribbean. To each their own.
But, if it were me, I'd make the 21st century Bond a tropical-drink-with-an-umbrella sipper. And he'd only wear pink. And for Craig's sake, I hope there's a nice long vacation waiting for him on the other side of the theatrical release. (Cocktail with tiny umbrella included.) I'm sure plenty of critics — who probably share the same stale takes on what men should or should not show, do, wear or say — will love his emotional exit.