James Bond purists will likely scoff at me, but when I think of Bond girls, my mind immediately gravitates to Grace Jones as May Day in “A View to a Kill.” Her asymmetrical coiffure and penchant for sexy hoodies both terrorized and enticed Roger Moore. At the time I saw the film I was a young, impressionable thing who was enthralled by Jones and her ability to parachute off the Eiffel Tower.
Jones may not be remembered as the best “Bond girl.” She had the misfortune of starring in one of the spy franchise’s weakest offerings. But the debates over which Bond girl had the best style goes on (although some Bond snobs will quickly point to Ursula Andress in “Dr. No” — that bikini!). Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the Bond films, so it was time to consult with an expert about the most stylish Bond girl of them all.
“If you observe the 23 films, what you find is that in the 1960s and 1970s the Bond girls dressed in the most voluptuous way possible,” says David Zaritsky, a Pennsylvania-based James Bond fanatic, collector, and historian. “If you look at Pussy Galore, they gave her cone bras. Everything to accentuate her curves.”
Slowly, Zaritsky says the films caught up with the times.
“It’s been this topsy-turvy valley if you look across the 23 films,” Zaritsky says. “But I’d have to say that my favorite Bond girl is Vesper from ‘Casino Royale.’ The sensuality was there, but I loved her brains as well. She was more than a bikini.”
I’m putting aside my love of Grace Jones to weigh in on my 10 favorite — and most stylish — Bond girls. Cue the Shirley Bassey soundtrack and let’s have a look.
See the gallery for our countdown.
globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.