Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style- 07.06.12
The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw.
Yesterday, I had a chance to preview the new exhibition Designing 007 - Fifty Years of Bond Style at the Barbican Centre celebrating the 50th anniversary of 007 (and the 30th of the Barbican!). Spanning from from 1962’s Dr No to this year’s Skyfall, the exhibition celebrates 007’s slick style and as curator Bronwyn Cosgrave said, it is one of the few times that Bond himself takes the back seat. It’s not about the man, but about the world behind 007, from complex sets, elaborate costumes, crafty villains and futuristic gadgetry that make up his world. The exhibition runs from July 6th - September 5th, so definitely one to check out if you’re in London, and as it’s set to travel after September, you might be lucky enough to catch it elsewhere! More photos of this incredible gadget-filled retrospective on the next page!
The Bond posters warm you up for the Barbican-wide exhibition from the very entrance!
The man himself.
Visitors are greeted with reels of iconic Bond credit sequences before they enter through a tunnel of Bond scenes to ‘The Gold Room’.
The centrepiece of the Gold Room is the golden body of Jill Masterson, which rotates idly in the centre of the room.
The Gold Room also includes other highlights like Scaramanga’s golden gun and Oddjob’s hat.
We then continue into a passageway highlighting the work of author Ian Fleming, with beautiful books and photos of the author as well as a typewriter much like the one he used.
The sprawling exhibition really succeeds in immersing you in the world of 007, with suspended monitors, such as here in M’s office showing clips of Bond and relating the artifacts to the films.
My favorite room of the exhibition was Q Branch, home to all of the gadgets. From sketches to the actual gadgets and clips of the devices in action. Some are fanciful, others seem almost possible! From rocket powered hand gliders to encryptors, you really feel like a kid in a candy store! Who wouldn’t want to take the Lotus sub for a test drive!?!
The Casino Room is all about glamour, with dazzling costumes in a room filled with mirrors and glitzy chandeliers. Bond has always been fashion forward and always seems to find an excuse for its characters to dress to the nines! Evening gowns, FabergĂ© eggs, glittering jewels and the high stakes table are all iconic in 007’s world.
Leaving the mirrored room, we discover the foreign territories Bond encounters, from other nations to outer space! I especially loved the storyboards that you watch come to life in the film.
Another highlight of the Bond series is always the eccentric villains, with their strange quirks, costumes and accessories. In Designing 007, Bond’s enemies have their own dedicated room, which takes them from sketches and storyboards to costumed and propped villains!
The final room of the exhibition is tucked away in the basement, The Snow Room, where Bond’s adaptations for the cold come to light. Again, big screens show the very props and costumes you are looking at in action!
The Barbican is also home to a 007 Martini Bar on the first floor, where you can enjoy your martini shaken, not stirred of course!
And for a further taste of the exhibition, here are the preview videos feature earlier on NOTCOT.org.