Today saw the US opening of the new James Bond film “Spectre.” If you think you don’t have anything in common sartorially with the Savile Row-dressed spy, think again. Bond is known for enjoying both knit and grenadine ties, just like you probably do. Chris Sharp muses further.
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There is something quaint in the notion of going to bed with women who want to kill you, which is why I admit to being simpatico with the old Bond. The playboy spy has fueled a thousand feminist essays, and has disappeared like the Balkan Sobranie cigarettes he used to smoke. Give me a guy who knows his way around Montego Bay — now that’s the Bond for me.
Being and Englishman, James Bond was not one to dress in the Ivy League Look. But he does have some overlapping tie taste, namely his grenadines and silk knits. The expert on all thing sartorially related to Bond is the website The Suits Of James Bond. Founder Matt Spaiser writes, “A staple of the Connery Bond wardrobe is the dark solid tie. In ‘Dr. No’ and ‘From Russia With Love’ that tie was always a navy grenadine from Turnbull & Asser.” Spaiser also points out Bond opts for a knit tie in “Goldfinger.”
My own introduction to grenadine was twofold. The first was in the books of Alan Flusser, and the second was that we carried them when I worked at the Country Couple in Ithaca, New York. The ones we stocked were by Ferrell Reed, and the ones procured for myself are still in service.
In 1982 John Berendt wrote a piece on the grenadine tie for Esquire, calling it “a masterpiece of male elegance.” Grenadine was scarce in the ’80s, with only three family mills making the notoriously difficult fabric. Currently the names Seteria Bianchi and Fermo Fossati are spoken of with the utmost reverence.
Paul Winston ties in both grenadine and silk knit are in the sweet spot for readymade, and Sam Hober has the mail order made-to-measure market cornered. Regardless of what you might think of Bond past, present or future (black, gay, female?), consider adding a grenadine tie to your collection, and break it out when you feel like living dangerously. — CHRISTOPHER SHARP
Image by Chipp Neckwear, which has the best deal on grenadines at just $55.