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007 exhibit looks at screen spy as style icon

007 exhibit looks at screen spy as style icon

Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 8:01 pm

LONDON (AP) — If there’s one thing James Bond has taught us it’s that behind every great spy is a great tailor.
A exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre explores the style of the suave secret agent, displaying costumes, props, set pieces and design drawings from half a century of 007 films.
Assembled with help from the films’ producer, EON Productions— which has a new Bond movie to promote in the fall — the exhibition includes the spy’s tuxedos, Bond girl ball gowns and villains’ vestments, as well as a selection of props and gadgets. There are also sketches by the films’ influential set designer, Ken Adam, whose cavernous lairs and sleek space stations did much to create the movies’ modernist luster.
The show is both a reflection of the remarkable staying power of Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent and a tribute to the British, European and American craftspeople and designers who have created the look of the quintessentially British icon.
“The films always attracted the greatest design talent,” curator Bronwyn Cosgrave said. They ranged from the German-born Adam to Academy Award-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming, a Briton who helped put together the exhibition.
“In the beginning they didn’t have the money — but they had the ingenuity,” Cosgrave said.
The money came later, as the globally successful franchise sent Bond to exotic locations around the world — and eventually, in 1979’s “Moonraker,” into space.
Clips from the movies are screened throughout the exhibition, which includes items that have become mini-icons, from the white bikini worn by Ursula Andress in the first Bond film, “Dr. No,” to the tight blue swim trunks sported by Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale.”
The exhibition includes tuxes worn by Bonds from Sean Connery (classic Saville Row) to Roger Moore (by designer-to-the-stars Doug Hayward) to Craig, who is dressed by American designer Tom Ford. Ford’s lean suits — in neatly circular fashion — draw on the 1960s for inspiration.

Published in The Messenger 7.6.12

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