FashionAll The Rage

James Bond's women: How to catch his eye

Skyfall (movie)James Bond (fictional character)Ursula AndressMichelle YeohGrace JonesHalle BerryDiana Rigg

If most men harbor a secret desire to emulate Cmdr. Bond by donning a tuxedo or packing a Walther PPK (and they do — survey any five guys about the combination lock on their briefcase, and three are likely to have chosen 0-0-7), it's safe to assume that at least a few women have wondered what it might take to become the object of Bondian affections. Based on the last 50 years, here are a few pointers that might help an aspiring Bond girl get a leg up on the competition.

Pick a memorable moniker

Take a clue from Honey Ryder and Pussy Galore, Plenty O'Toole and Holly Goodhead (excuse me, that's Dr. Holly Goodhead). Potential vixens and villainesses should choose a punny, sexually suggestive-sounding name. There's a good reason no one remembers any Bond girl named "Lisa."

No license to grill

"You never ever see a Bond girl cooking," points out "Skyfall" costume designer Jany Temime. "They just don't do that. They are dressed to kill — or to seduce or make love." Thus, Temime's inspiration for the costumes worn by "Skyfall's" Séverine (Bérénice Marlohe): the femme fatales of '50s Hollywood, particularly actress Ava Gardner.

Weakness makes a strong Bond

"The Bond girls that have been the strongest have been the least popular, especially the ones that were on equal footing with Bond, such as May Day [played by Grace Jones] in 'View to a Kill' and Michelle Yeoh [who played Wai Lin] in 'Tomorrow Never Dies,'" observes Rob Weiner, co-editor of "James Bond in World and Popular Culture: The Films Are Not Enough." Weiner does point out that Bond girls have changed, if slowly, over the years and are far from one-dimensional damsels in distress. "I think it's important, especially in today's climate, to have a strong Bond girl who can hold her own against 007," he says.

A modicum of Spandex

From the moment Ursula Andress waded ashore in a soaking two-piece in "Dr. No," it became clear that the best way to get Bond's attention was to wear a bikini. The list of those who memorably went to two-pieces for 007 include Claudine Auger's Domino Derval ("Thunderball"), Britt Ekland's Mary Goodnight ("The Man With the Golden Gun") and Halle Berry's Jinx Johnson ("Die Another Day"), whose orange Eres bikini and strappy white belt and knife ensemble was a clear homage to Andress' barely dressed Honey Ryder.

Don't put gold on that finger

Although the life expectancy of a Bond playmate can fluctuate wildly from movie to movie (with Jill Masterson's death by skin suffocation perhaps the gold standard of an early exit), saying "I do" can prove even more deadly. Case in point: the late Tracy Bond (played by Diana Rigg in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"), whose tenure as Mrs. Bond was but a matter of minutes.

adam.tschorn@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Skyfall (movie)James Bond (fictional character)Ursula AndressMichelle YeohGrace JonesHalle BerryDiana Rigg
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