At a loss for something to read I perused my book shelf and discovered a book that had lain there gathering dust for more than twenty years. It was a paperback edition of the Ian Fleming James Bond novel Moonraker. Inside was a correspondence card of the type you see in the windows of smart Mayfair stationers. I realised that it had been a gift to me from the esteemed journalist and author Nick Foulkes. The note read that it may not be the best written book but the sartorial references are of interest. I have never read a James Bond novel before but Fleming's description of Bond's clothing was fascinating. The photographs I have seen of Fleming show a man who looks as though he was a fastidious dresser and one who cared about the details which is why Bond was always impeccably turned out.
On my mantelpiece was an invitation from Williams Motor Racing to join them at an event at the BT Tower formerly known as The Post Office Tower and built in the Cold War period of the 1960's; all very James Bond. We have recently become a sponsor of Williams and will be dressing all of the Williams team so it would be a good opportunity to meet them. Security was tight at the communications tower and when the security guard asked for my name and identity I resisted saying the name's Hackett, Jeremy Hackett.
Parked in the lobby was this seasons Williams racing car and I have to say I did feel a sense of pride to see the Hackett name emblazoned on the nose and I was surprised at how fragile it appeared for a car that emitted such colossal power. I stepped into a brightly lit and clinically clean elevator that glided me as swiftly and silently up to the 30th floor as a Formula One racing car.
Inspired by James Bond I had chosen my outfit with care and had decided upon a one button mid grey lightweight worsted suit with turn back cuffs which I wore with a white double cuff shirt made from a two fold cotton fabric from Thomas Mason. I had selected a plain navy blue silk woven panama weave tie and my favourite silver tie pin that coordinated with my silver monogrammed cufflinks, that also complimented my steel 1963 Rolex Explorer. I checked my tie in the mirror before leaving the lift and wondered if it was two way.
The evening had been planned to celebrate the forthcoming motor racing season. All the Williams sponsors were there, Martini being the most famous, a Martini was thrust into my hand and again, I resisted saying ‘shaken not stirred’. Every one there was awaiting the arrival of Sir Frank Williams who had been caught up in traffic. When the wheel chair bound Sir Frank arrived (the unfortunate result of a car crash) he apologised profusely for being late and made a short speech that was actually more like a cosy chat with friends. He was urbane, self deprecating and extremely relaxed, dressed in a white shirt, navy cashmere sweater and grey slacks.
Before I left I took a walk around the slowly revolving floor and glanced out of the window into a clear bright night and the stars were twinkling making me think I must read Diamonds are Forever. Good luck to the Williams Team down under on Sunday.