James Bond: Licence to thrill

Earlier this month, the famed Las Vegas restaurant, Planet Hollywood, played host to an interesting event. As part of the promotional frenzy surrounding the release of the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, this function attracted the media in droves. And while the film's cast and crew were absent, nobody seemed to be complaining — the star of the event was, in fact, a tuxedo. Essentially, a deep navy shawl collar jacket with black satin lapels, this Tom Ford creation was unveiled with much fanfare. Indeed, much has been made of Bond's sartorial style and as the franchise completes 50 years, Bond's tuxedo continues to boast a high aspirational value among fans worldwide. But closer home, this silhouette has just begun to catch the fancy of the fashionable Indian man.

"Bond may have glamorised the tuxedo, but the reason behind its popularity in India can be traced to the rise of red-carpet evenings. With award ceremonies assuming greater formality and becoming black-tie affairs, more and more celebrities are opting for this silhouette," says designer Ashish Soni, who admits that five years ago, he didn't own a tuxedo either. "Back then, if I had to wear one, I'd risk being mistaken for a waiter," he says with a laugh.

Also instrumental in popularising this dinner jacket among celebs is the entry of international fashion houses in the country, accompanied by the intense scrutiny that celeb dressing in India is now being subjected to, courtesy the fashion media. "There's no doubt that Tom Ford has made tuxedos irresistible through the James Bond movies. In India, the trend has transcended the barriers of celebdom and is catching on among fashion conscious men from other fields too," emphasises Varun Bahl, who, incidentally, is launching a line of tuxedos next month along with his filmmaker friend, Karan Johar.

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