Daniel Craig’s Belvedere Vodka Ad Is a Love Letter to Menswear

The Taika Waititi-directed ad pays homage to Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" video

November 15, 2022 11:18 am
Daniel Craig dances in a Belvedere Vodka ad directed by Taika Waititi.
Daniel Craig dances in a Belvedere Vodka ad directed by Taika Waititi.
Belvedere Vodka

A few days ago I was scrolling through TikTok when I passed a clip of Daniel Craig dancing. Craig first emerges all glammed up in a tux from a chauffeured car before passing through a crowd to emerge once again, this time in an entirely different outfit. In high-waisted pleated pants, a tank, leather jacket and tennis sneakers, Craig gyrates and charms his way through a hotel. 

The now viral video is actually an ad for Belvedere Vodka, directed by Taika Waititi featuring original music by Rita Ora and Giggs. It’s Craig like we’ve never seen him before; the ultimate man’s man — James Bond himself — lets loose in a get-up that looks more “Saturday night at the club” than “shaken not stirred.” And to be sure, it’s a triumph; Craig is an adept dancer with just the right amount of cheekiness thrown in to offset any sort of “hot male dancing” ick that would come with him taking himself too seriously in this kind of context. 

The ad also immediately conjured the memory of another work of art featuring an A-lister out of his element: Fatboy Slim’s iconic music video for “Weapon of Choice” featuring Christopher Walken. If you haven’t seen it, I’d take a minute to watch it right now; it’s an experience. Walken too dances (and flies) his way through a hotel as the focal point of the video. While Craig’s dance moves feel instinctual, visceral and hip-hop-inspired, Walken — who was a trained dancer before he became an actor — performs a routine that feels more choreographed and jazzy. 

But despite their differences, it’s clear that Waititi’s commercial is a love letter to Fatboy Slim’s music video.

And I’m not alone in making this observation. When I first caught the ad, it had only been out a few hours so I scoured the internet to see if Waititi had spoken about his inspiration for it, wondering if he cited “Weapon of Choice.” Over the weekend a few blogs and then larger sites started to pick up on the similarities, and despite still having no word from Waititi himself, I feel confident in my assertion that there is a direct throughline from Walken’s performance to Craig’s. 

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Aside from the concept of the videos, the stylistic music choices and even the location choice, one element in the Belvedere ad in particular struck me as an ode to Fatboy Slim’s: the wardrobe. In “Weapon of Choice,” Walken wears a full-cut suit, pleated trousers, a cream colored shirt, a dark orange tie and a jazz shoe. In the Belvedere ad, Craig wears a monochromatic look — in some scenes all black, in others all white — with pleated trousers, a tank and a leather jacket loosely hanging off his broad shoulders. 

It’s a less obvious comparison to draw, but it’s there if you know where to look. The trousers are a dead giveaway; they’re virtually identical if you look closely. And this is no doubt in part because both videos are costumed for movement; a looser pleated trouser allows for more mobility and keeps their choreography looking fluid because you can almost feel how comfortable the actors are. On top, there are clear aesthetic differences, but the cut of Craig’s leather jacket and the cut of Walken’s suit are not altogether that distinct. They’re both boxy and, like their trousers, move with them weightlessly. Craig’s tank-and-jacket combo is almost a modern twist on the shirt and blazer — the bad-boy cousin of the business man in the suit. 

And while Waititi and Craig’s ad might be a love letter to Walken’s collaboration with Fatboy Slim, both are a love letter to menswear.  As trends swing away from super slim and skinny fits (thank god), each video presents a sort of blueprint on dressing — and while you might not have a 9-5 that requires a suit and tie like Walken’s character in the “Weapon of Choice” video, or a lifestyle that allows you to always rock a tank and leather jacket like Craig, there are a few key style tips to glean from each. 

Pleated Pants

It’s one of the first things guys tell me as a menswear stylist they’re hesitant to try, but it’s also the first thing I tell them they must try. The notion that loose pleated pants are dated or conservative is simply a thing of the past, and the style is once again back on trend. They’re just as versatile as chinos or jeans — easy to dress down with a t-shirt tucked in, a tennis sneaker and a denim or leather jacket (like Craig) or dressed up as part of a suit (like Walken) or with a lux knit. 

Octobre Editions has one of the best selections of pleated pants, including these plaid ones, these wool ones and these. COS also has a few great options, including these super wide leg ones, these wool ones and these pleated chinos.

Boxy outerwear

It seems counterintuitive to mimic the width and boxiness of a pleated trouser on the top, but matching that proportion is actually the key to this look; it keeps you looking on trend while still looking easy and feeling comfortable. 

Double-breasted jackets are a great way to achieve this, and COS has a matching blazer to their wide leg trousers. And this one from Nordic brand NN07 is another great blazer option if you’d prefer a single breast. For something a little less traditional, this poplin jacket from A Day’s March is a cool option. And of course if you really want to splurge and go all the way in for the Craig option, this leather moto jacket fits the bill — for something a little less embellished, I love this leather overshirt.

Simple shirts

Pleated pants and boxy trousers are a look, and one of the best ways to keep your outfit from looking overly styled is to keep your shirt option simple and understated. A tank might be a little much for your average day job, but a simple black tee like this one does the job; a button-down with clean lines and a simple pattern or none at all is also a solid option. I like this green and white stripe, this collarless white option or this solid navy corduroy to add some depth with texture. 

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