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The 10 Best Bond-Girl Fashion Moments, Ranked

09/10/2021

We all know that James Bond is more than capable of pulling off a razor-sharp tailoring moment, whether the classic Savile Row three-piece suits designed by Anthony Sinclair for Sean Connery or the sleek Tom Ford fits favored by Daniel Craig. But the franchise’s real standout fashion moments have always come courtesy of the Bond girls, the sidekicks (and sometimes adversaries) of Bond whose prowess in a fight to the death is matched only by their sartorial flair.

And as the role of the Bond girl, or Bond woman, has evolved over the years, so has her style. While the actors of yesteryear were more likely to be found in bikinis or negligees, today they’re as often sporting a killer suit as a couture gown. Here, we round up all the best onscreen fashion moments from Bond movies across seven decades—all the way up to the latest film, No Time to Die.

10. Olga Kurylenko as Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace (2008)

© MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

While Quantum of Solace is often (and perhaps unfairly) maligned as the weakest film of the franchise’s Daniel Craig era, it didn’t disappoint in the style stakes. That’s in no small part thanks to Olga Kurylenko’s showstopping turn as Camille Montes, a woman seeking revenge against the film’s villain for the murder of her family. As one of the tougher Bond girls in recent memory, it only felt right that she should wear a look by Prada; that the black cocktail dress with a sweetheart neckline and wide shoulder straps should be effortlessly stylish too was simply the cherry on the cake.

 

9. Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964)

Courtesy Everett Collection

As one of the most…memorably named Bond girls, shall we say, the late Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore is a no-brainer for this list. (“My name is Pussy Galore,” says Blackman as she introduces herself, to which Sean Connery replies: “I must be dreaming.”) The leader of a group of women aviators and a judo black belt, her fighting spirit was represented through a wardrobe that included plenty of tailoring, most memorably a crisp white pantsuit that made it instantly clear who the real boss was in her relationship with Bond.

 

8. Gloria Hendry as Rosie Carver in Live and Let Die (1973)

Courtesy Everett Collection

As the first Black Bond girl, Gloria Hendry—who had come into prominence starring in many of the blaxploitation films on which Live and Let Die was loosely based—made history with her role as the CIA double agent Rosie Carver. But it wasn’t just her groundbreaking appearance that turned heads. Carver’s signature look was something to behold too: a delightful multicolored bikini that always came accompanied by her favorite accessory—a machine gun, of course.

 

7. Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann in Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2021)

© Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

With her performances as Madeleine Swann, Léa Seydoux now holds the honor of being the first Bond actor to appear as a love interest across multiple films—and she has the perfect wardrobe to match. While the standout fashion moment of 2015’s Spectre was undoubtedly the ravishing, dusty green satin dress she wore while having dinner with Bond on a luxurious sleeper train, in No Time to Die, Seydoux’s wardrobe is more casual, befitting her working life as a psychologist. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few fabulous looks on show, however—most notably the slinky Massimo Dutti white ribbed dress she wears during the film’s nail-biting opening sequence in Matera, Italy.

 

6. Jane Seymour as Solitaire in Live and Let Die (1973)

Courtesy Everett Collection

Appearing as the mysterious tarot reader Solitaire in Live and Let Die, Jane Seymour’s lavish costuming might have stolen the show if it weren’t for the film’s visual spectacle, with locations including Jamaica, New Orleans, and Harlem. Solitaire’s wardrobe consisted of an array of dramatic headdresses and opulent gowns, making her looks among the most iconic (and distinctive) of all Bond girls.

 

5. Halle Berry as Jinx Johnson and Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost in Die Another Day (2002)

© MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

© MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

Die Another Day had so many great looks we couldn’t pick just one Bond girl to include. First up, there’s Halle Berry’s jaw-dropping entrance as Jinx Johnson, an American NSA operative whom Bond meets on the beach in Cuba as she emerges from the water. (She wears an orange bikini and matching diving belt crafted by costume designer Lindy Hemming in a pitch-perfect homage to Ursula Andress’s iconic look in Dr. No.) Then, there was Rosamund Pike’s turn as the duplicitous agent Miranda Frost, with her most memorable look coming during a party scene at an ice hotel, where Pike is perfectly dressed for the occasion in a one-shoulder silver gown dripping with crystals.

 

4. Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye (1995)

© United Artists / Courtesy Everett Collection

A former Soviet fighter pilot, Xenia Onatopp’s innuendo-laden name is matched only by her signature move as an assassin: crushing her enemies between her thighs—a move she tries on Pierce Brosnan’s Bond in GoldenEye to no avail. Played with gusto by Famke Janssen, the only thing more dangerous than her ruthlessness as a killer is her wardrobe of goth-tastic slinky black minidresses and skirt suits, the tailoring so sharp it could take your eye out.

 

3. Ursula Andress as Honor Ryder in Dr. No (1962)

Courtesy Everett Collection

Dr. No was the film that started them all—and Ursula Andress’s unforgettable look in her first scene as Honor Ryder was the one that started a buying frenzy for two-piece bikinis. Neatly coinciding with the sexual revolution, the outfit is now regarded as among the most famous bikinis of all time. Designed in a collaboration between the film’s costume designer Tessa Prendergast and Andress herself, the ivory cotton number (with its distinctive belt detail) is one that Andress credits much of her subsequent career to. “This bikini made me into a success,” she told The Telegraph in 2001, ahead of putting the look up for auction. “As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl, I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent.”

 

2. Eva Green as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006)

© Sony Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

While Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd only appeared in one Bond film, her legacy has lived on, with a visit to her grave serving as a key plot point in the early scenes of No Time to Die. She’s one of just a handful of Bond girls with whom the agent fell head over heels in love, and given Green’s uber-glamorous wardrobe, it’s not hard to see why. Whether donning a formfitting black Versace dress on a dinner date with Bond or a breathtakingly slinky, crystal-embellished purple Roberto Cavalli gown to attend one of the film’s tense baccarat games, Green is memorable as a Bond girl for a reason.

 

1. Grace Jones as May Day in A View to a Kill (1985)

© United Artists / Courtesy Everett Collection

Finally, we reach the ultimate fashion knockout in Bond history: Grace Jones as the bodyguard and lover of Christopher Walken’s nefarious villain, Max Zorin, in 1985’s A View to a Kill. The costumes Jones wears throughout the film deserve the title for their visual impact alone—has anyone ever made a hooded cape look so good?—but they get bonus points for their top-tier fashion pedigree too. May Day’s entire wardrobe was designed by none other than Azzedine Alaïa, whose signature clingy dresses and mastery of leather added the perfect finishing touch to a character who was mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

 

From Vogue US

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