Since Ursula Andress's white-bikini debut in Dr No, 'Bond Girls' have been simultaneously celebrated as fashion icons and dismissed as 'eye-candy'. But the visual glamour of the women of James Bond reveals more than the sexual objectification of female beauty. Through the original joint perspectives of body and fashion, this exciting study throws a new, subversive light on Bond Girls. Like Coco Chanel, fashion's 'eternal' mademoiselle, these 'Girls' are synonymous with an unconventional and dynamic femininity that does not play by the rules and refuses to sit still; far from being the passive objects of the male gaze, Bond Girls' active bodies instead disrupt the stable frame of Bond's voyeurism.
Starting off with an original re-assessment of the cultural roots of Bond's postwar masculinity, the book argues that Bond Girls emerge from masculine anxieties about the rise of female emancipation after the Second World War and persistent in the present day. Displaying parallels with the politics of race and colonialism, such tensions appear through sartorial practices as diverse as exoticism, power dressing and fetish wear, which reveal complex and often contradictory ideas about the patriarchal and imperial ideologies associated with Bond. Attention to costume, film and gender theory makes Bond Girls: Body, Gender and Fashion essential reading for students and scholars of fashion, media and cultural studies, and for anyone with an interest in Bond.
Dr Monica Germana
Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Country of Publication:
03 October 2019
Professional and scholarly
List of Figures Acknowledgements Select James Bond Chronology Introduction: Glamorous Eye-Candy? Bond Girls Revisited 1. 'Bond. James Bond': Masculinity and Its Discontents 2. Dark Continents: Fashion, Foreignness and Femininity 3. 'Cross-Dressing': From the Field to the Boardroom 4. Dressed to Kill: Power, Knowledge, Desire Conclusion: Are Bond Girls Forever? Bibliography Index
Monica Germana is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Westminster, UK. She is the author of Scottish Women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing: Fiction Since 1978 (2010).
Reviews for Bond Girls: Body, Fashion and Gender
Germana's examination of the many women in the Bond films ... is nothing short of revolutionary, giving power and agency to women who continually challenge a seemingly patriarchal universe. Summing Up: Highly recommended. * CHOICE * It's hard to imagine a more thorough examination of the problematic heart of the James Bond franchise. Monica Germana's Bond Girls is endlessly fascinating and informative. * Anthony Horowitz * Through the prisms of body and fashion, Monica Germana provides a fascinating analysis of women in James Bond. With critical rigour she illustrates the complexity and strength behind the Bond Girl stereotype. Both persuasive and provocative, it makes for a compelling read. * Neal Purvis, co-writer of seven Bond films, from 'The World is Not Enough' to 'Bond 25' * Meticulously researched, rich in sartorial detail and packed with fresh insight, Bond Girls is a real treat of a book. Monica Germana offers a thrilling defence not only of the Bond Girls' feminist credentials, but also of the importance of fashion to literary and filmic analysis. * Catherine Spooner, Lancaster University, UK * Monica Germana has written a stylish book on a topic that never fails to elicit attention from fans and critics alike. A great resource - very clever and insightful. * Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK and co-author of '#Geographies, Genders and Geopolitics of James Bond' (2017) *