Designing 007 at the Barbican

The Barbican Centre currently has an incredible exhibition underway for anyone with an interest in Britain favourite spy, James Bond.  From July through to the 5th of September 2012 they will be running the ‘Fifty Years of Bond Style’ exhibition.  Whether you like your martinis shaken or stirred is of little consequence as you enter the Martini Bar and come face to face with some of the iconic Bond imagery and gadgets that have kept him in our conscience for the past fifty years.

Photo by Richard E.
Photo by Richard E.

From 1962 Onwards

When Dr No first hit the cinemas in 1962 up until the latest cinematic release of Skyfall there have been numerous costumes that have caught the attention of the cinema going public, as well as the gadgets and gizmos provided by the ever popular ‘Q’.  For the first time this incredible exhibition allows you to see the inside story behind some of the blockbuster movies, and gives you a behind the scenes look at the design and styling that have become synonymous with Mr Bond.

This exhibition is a multi sensory experience that allows the visitor to immerse themselves in the development and creation of his inimitable style across the decades.  There will be an insight into the world of the Secret Service, as well as profiles and background on some of the most popular Bond villains.  The amazing array of Bond vehicles have not been left out of the exhibition either.  In fact just about everything from exotic locations to the smallest of props has its place in the exhibition.

Exhibition Highlights

One of the undoubted exhibition highlights is the section on both Bond’s and the villain’s gadgets, and the special effects employed in their operation.  You will also be able to view some of the original story boards for the movies and go through the design process of some of the props and costumes that were used on the big screen.  There will also be some incredible designer costumes on display which were produced for the moves by designers like Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta and Donatella Versace.  The whole of the space given over to the exhibition has totally transformed the appearance of the Barbican, becoming instead a walk though film design and production experience unlike no other.

Travel Through the Decades

As you make your way through the various themed rooms you will be moving through the history of the Bond movies, you will encounter the iconic bikini worn by Ursula Andress and will get to lay your sights on the Golden Gun belonging to Mr Scaramanga, not forgetting the beautiful 1964 Aston Martin DB5, an iconic Bond object if ever there was one, plus of course costume items of Pussy Galore and Bond’s ahead of its time jet pack. This exhibition really is Bond laid bare as you can get to know the methods behind the processes that made him such an iconic figure in our cinematic history and of course get a deeper understanding of those incredible villains.

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