Jany Temime is awards winning costume designer. She has designed costumes for such blockbusters as 6 films about Harry Potter, ‘Gravity’, ‘Skyfall’, ‘Spectre’ and many other.
Piotr Zając (bondlocations): At the beginning I would like to ask about ‘Spectre’ opening sequence. There were so many people involved. What are your memories from working on that sequence?
Jany Temime: There were wonderful people in Mexico. We’ve opened a very big workshop there. Lots of talented people, great artists were making the masks. They were students from the academie, full of energy, creativity. Nothing was stopping them. They loved doing it. Working with those Mexican people was wonderful experience.
There were so many costumes. Did you have to create them all?
I’ve actually spent a week there. I’ve divided costumes into four themes: death, historical, wedding and folklor. After dividing them into four groups I actually had to make around 40 designs; 10 for each theme. Out of these 10 costumes there were different shapes and colors in different combinations. Actually it was more like arithmetics. I had time to organize it in such a way that we had different patterns that were made from different fabrics. My Mexican assistant went to London to buy the fabric, because fabrics were better in London than in Mexico.
007 films are famous for James Bond suits. In ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’ Tom Ford was the supplier. How did you work with him?
It was very good collaboration. Tom is film director and he understands exactly the job of costume designer. He was never trying to do more than he was supposed to do, which was making Daniel’s suit. He got me incredible tailors to work with and he completely respected my input. He gave me complete artistic freedom. I told him what I wanted to do and although it was not his style he completely respected it and he did it. We really worked very well together. I keep on seeing them and work with them on another project. They are wonderful.
So you’ve designed the suit and they’ve produced it according to your project?
Yes. I told Tom that I wanted to have dark blue tuxedo. Then I identified shape of jacket and trousers. He just sent me his tailors and they did exactly what I wanted.
How did you do, that Bond’s Walter PPK was not visible under his suit?
It was done by giving a little bit more of fabric where the gun should be. It was just clever tailoring.
How about action scenes? The suit fits very well all the time.
It was so, because suits were made very well and every suit was made for different action. Suits for motorbike had longer arms, longer legs and they had bigger seat. We didn’t make one suit. We made different shapes depending on a stunt. We also made different suits depending on the stuntman, because lots of them didn’t have Daniel’s size. They had to be made specially. Whoever was wearing the suit it was made for him.
It is visible that in ‘Skyfall’ the colors are very important.
It was first approach of Sam Mendes. He had in mind very classical film noir. It was also what I wanted. I remember Jean-Pierre Melville’s film from 1970 (‘Le cercle rouge’). Do you remember Alain Delon? That is how James Bond should look like. I knew that Daniel Craig wanted Steve McQueen, so I always kept Steve McQueen in my head, but in my mind I was thinking of Alain Delon. I wanted a sort of bad boy, but beautiful, sexy bad boy and we got that. I must say that big part of the aesthetics was coming from the director. It always comes from the director. I like a lot this sort of aesthetics, so I thought I could bring a lot in the film. Sam Mendes had it already in his mind from the beginning.
Did you also had in mind how colors were important, especially in ‘Skyfall’, while designing costumes?
I’ve designed costumes for the colors of scenes. It was intentional because ‘Skyfall’, even the name, was a sad film. ‘Spectre’ was different. It opened in Mexico in colors, so it was very difficult after that to catch it back. ‘Skyfall’ was first introspection of James Bond. It was reflective film, very different from ‘Spectre’. Colors in ‘Skyfall’ match completely with the sort of film that Sam Mendes wanted to make.
In James Bond films there are not only suits for 007, but also beautifull dresses. I’ve read that creating the dress for Severine, played by Berenice Marlohe in ‘Spectre’, took 6 months.
Yes, but it was not so much that we were designing it for half a year, but it took so long to have it made. Berenice Marlohe was training and her body was changing slightly, but enough for such a dress. I think that she was becoming more and more Bond girl, Severine, therefore it had to be adapted. It is very difficult when a girl who is sort of new actress has to become Bond girl. You can not just put a dress on her, you have to let it grow on her and that is why it took such a long time. I’ve also designed sort of tatoo on the back that Swarovski made with the technique of ironing it on tulle. It was time consuming because it was new process. It was very complicated dress. It took time to make it perfect. And then to produce it, because we needed to make 10 of them.
What about costumes for all other characters. Did you design all of them?
Yes. Sometimes it goes very quickly and you have it straight away. Sometimes it takes time. I remember in ‘Skyfall’ costume for Javier Bardem was very time consuming. We really didn’t know which way to go and neither did he. He wanted to be different sort of villain. He had in his mind that slightly homosexual scene therefore he wanted to be desirable. He thought that the scene would just work if he would be as sexy as Daniel Craig. I completely understood that. I thought that it was very strong point. We had to accept complexity of what was happening between those two men. It was very interesting. We could have gone different ways. I had in my mind even something Japanese at certain moment and then we went for sort of Nouveau riche, not really, but ostentatious. It was completely different image than Bond. Slightly Latino, slightly ostentatious. The guy anyway doesn’t get it. There was something completely wrong about him. It was hard to find a balance with his face and makeup and visual effects and to give him a costume which was as strong as that. It was difficult and it took a long time. I thought it was my most difficult costume.
How do you start the process of designing costumes?
At first I discuss with director. When I know what the director wants I start sketching. When I have different sketches I show them to the director. He gives me first ideas what appeals to him. Then I have time with actors. After that we have selection, fitting, looking alike and little by little we get to the costume. It is like a circle. You go round and round and round and finally you reach the middle.
Where did you look for inspirations for Bond suits?
Everywhere. For ‘Skyfall’ French director Jean-Pierre Melville and Sam Mendes inspired me. For ‘Spectre’ I thought about 1930’s, romanticism, Humphrey Bogart. I wanted white tuxedo. Then I started thinking about Sean Connery. I always look at Sean Connery. What would Sean wear? I wanted ‘Spectre’ to be completely different. I was thinking about Bogart, the train, the Tangier. That is why I put Lea (Seydoux) in 1930 dress. The light was also very different with Hoyte (van Hoytema), more romantic. He also explored different filters.
What is the experience from film set that you have still in your mind?
When Sam Mendes saw the dress he said: ‘I am going to start filming with her back to the camera’. He understood how he could use that. It was wonderful to work with director who new how to use what I gave him. ‘Skyfall’ was incredible cinematographic experience for me. Everybody has different feeling for each film. I thought that ‘Spectre’ was wonderful film to design and to make, but for me ‘Skyfall’ was cinematographic experience that really touched me.
What is your favourite scene from James Bond film so far?
The death of M in ‘Skyfall’.
Do you have any plans to work again on Bond film?
No, I am finished with Bond. I did two Bond films that were wonderful and took two years of my life. Now I am ready for new challange.
Thank you very much for the meeting and telling so many interesting details of your work on James Bond films.