Thursday, 5 July 2012

Designing 007 - Bond Style

The charm, the adventure, the super cool gadgets... James Bond lives in our collective consciousness as the ultimate gentleman, intelligent and sophisticated always surrounded by glamorous women.

Daniel Craig picture: Casino Royale © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists
Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

With the Olympic Games starting soon in London, galleries show off their skills and best talent to showcase the most amazing exhibitions and the Barbican is no exception. Designing 007 - Fifty Years of Bond Style is delightful, it starts with a golden woman in a bed and videos of different premieres throughout the years. 

There are several relics including an imitation gold bar signed by Sean Connery for Goldfinger in 1964, the gold record received by Shirley Bassey also on that year and the 37th Academy Award for sound editing attributed to Norman Wanstall.

Scaramanga's Golden Gun
Copyright Notice - © 1974 Danjaq, LLC and United Artsts Corporation. All rights reserved.

Of course, the man behind one of the most iconic Hollywood characters, Ian Fleming, has a special room dedicated to him with a gold-plated Royal typewriter commissioned by him while on a visit to New York in 1952. It cost $174 and in May 1955 was sold at Christie's for £56,000.

Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), Verity (Madonna) and James Bond (Pierce Brosnan). ©2002 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

One of the most fascinating things about James Bond is the adventure, he always manages to escape from near death situations but not before you think there's no way out of it. His hi-tech gadgets and fast vehicles certainly play an important role in his characterisation as a powerful secret agent.

Sean Connery Dr No
© 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

And let's not forget the tailored suits! Anthony Sinclair masterminded the original screen wardrobe for Sean Connery's debut as 007 in Dr. No, establishing a traditional formal attire which became known as the 'Bond look'.   

Jinx (Halle Berry) emerges from the sea
Copyright Notice - ©2002 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

Another key ingredient are the beautiful women wearing chic dresses in the opulence of casinos, you can admire a red lace Oscar de la Renta dress, a sexy yellow by Roberto Cavalli and Jimmy Choo shoes. It's important to mention Lindy Hemming, a recurrent costume designer for several Bond films. 

Emerging from the sea singing calypso 'Under the Mango Tree' Honey (Ursula Andress) 
is surprised to hear someone taking up the song refrain.
Copyright Notice - © 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

There are also the bikinis from cinema's most celebrated beach scenes, the white worn by Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962) and the orange worn by Halle Berry in Die Another Day (2002). But my favourite Bond girl is Eva Green in Casino Royale (2006).

Camille Montes played by Olga Kurylenko, with Daniel Craig as James Bond. Copyright Notice - Quantum of Solace © 2008 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries
Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit - EON Productions

The music is as iconic as James Bond, John Barry composed scores for 11 films in the series, among them Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice. The skeleton of the story is always the same, even if it's dressed in different ways, but it works every time. 

Zorin (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN) and May Day (GRACE JONES) at the French Chateau.    

Bond films continue to capture people's attention throughout the years and this exhibition takes us on a journey through several themed rooms and environments reflecting 50 years of Bond Style. Unmissable!

The Barbican shop presents a wide range of 007 inspired gifts, including an interesting book for those who love movies: Dressed, a Century of Hollywood Costume Design by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, curator of the upcoming Hollywood exhibition at V&A.

Designing 007 - Fifty Years of Bond Style
Barbican Centre
6 July - 5 September 2012

Other related blog posts:
V&A Unveils Hollywood Glamour
Hollywood Icon: Marilyn Monroe
Dresses for the Oscars