Barbican’s Bond Exhibition Looks at 007 as Style Icon

A new exhibition has opened at London’s Barbican Centre, it’s all about style secrets of London’s best dressed spy, James Bond. Who know’s if spy’s are as well dressed in real life…I mean, how would you know if you met a spy? In the movies however, behind every good spy, is a good tailor.

The new 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.

Curated with the help from the films’ producer, EON Productions, 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 exhibition is designed to be 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.

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.” There’ll also be attention paid to the tailoring that Bond sports throughout the years. From Saville Row to Tom Ford.

With the 23rd Bond film, “Skyfall,” set for release in October, the exhibition gift shop lets visitors purchase a piece of Bond style, from cocktail shakers and martini glasses to silk ties and gold bars made of chocolate.

“Designing 007” is open at the Barbican Centre in London and runs to Sept. 5. It will then tour internationally, opening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto in October.

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