Monday 16 December 2013

Designing 007: New Exhibition Opens at Melbourne Museum

Sean Connery leans agains the famous Aston Martin DB5 while filming in the Italian Alps for the Bond film Goldfinger.
James Bond’s design and style is exhibited at the spectacular show Designing 007 which first opened at London's Barbican and has now moved to the Melbourne Museum, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento

THE exhibition looks at the inside story of one of the most influential series of films in terms of style, examining works from 1962's Dr No to 2012’s Skyfall. Exploring the design and fashion of key James Bond films, the curators of the show had access to the producers film archives. Their aim was to make the show a multi-sensory experience with lots of audio-visual displays that immerse audiences in the creation and development of the films' ethos.

The show is the result of collaboration between the Barbican Centre in London and the Bond production company, EON Productions. It is guest-curated by fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave and the Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming. The design of the exhibition is by Ab Rogers who along with the curators had unprecedented access to EON’s production archive.

“Having looked at the contents of the extensive EON archives we wanted to thrill visitors with an insight into some of the design processes involved in the many different ways of making the Bond films,” explains Lindy Hemming, whose own work sits alongside Bond’s bespoke tailors Anthony Sinclair, Douglas Hayward and Tom Ford.

"'Bond, James Bond', from the moment Sean Connery uttered that famous name at the beginning of Dr. No, Agent 007 captured the world’s imagination," say the show's curators. "In the five decades since, the suave screen hero has not only headlined the most successful franchise in film history, he has made an indelible impact on the worlds of art, music, fashion, technology, travel, automotive design and lifestyle. Designing 007 aims to show a world of innovation, action and style with a close-up view of the world’s favourite secret agent."

The skill and technology behind the films is shown in great detail: from the tailoring and costumes to the set and production design. The exhibition includes Bond's famous Aston Martin as well as 007's gadgets and special effects. Highlights of the show are the artwork and designs for sets and storyboards by the masterful production designer Sir Ken Adam plus the dramatic costume designs by Bumble Dawson and the work of fashion designers from Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford to Hubert de Givenchy and Rifat Ozbek.

Also on display are Roger Moore’s white tuxedo from Octopussy and the spacesuit from Moonraker, Scaramanga’s golden gun from The Man With The Golden Gun, Jaws’ fearsome teeth which first appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me, gadgets from Q Branch including the attaché case given to Bond in From Russia With Love and the 1964 silver Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger which famously returned to the screen in Skyfall.

From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, props such as guns like the Walther PPK, IDs and passports have been essential items as 007 travelled the globe in pursuit of bad guys and the Bond girls. Other highlights in the show include the Chesterfield coat and hat Connery wears in Dr. No for his first meeting with his boss M and Roger Moore's yellow ski suit and red backpack from The Spy Who Loved Me, arguably the greatest pre-credits Bond sequence ever made.

Bond's tuxedo, along with some typically glamorous dresses are used to good effect in the exhibition including a scene from the poker sequences where the film makers had Bond create his signature Martini.  

The exhibition runs until February 23 2014. Visit the Melbourne Museum website for more information:

On set Sean Connery talks to Ian Fleming who wrote all of the James Bond novels based on his experience as an undercover MI6 agent.

James Bond's suave signature suits were hand made in London's Savile Row for Sean Connery.

The most stylish and menacing of the James Bond characters, Sean Connery lights up at the gaming table in Dr No.

One of the famous scenes recreated in the Designing 007 exhibition showing the girl covered in gold paint from Goldfinger.

The exhibition is designed as a "multi-sensory" experience and shows the films along with some of the films key costumes.  

The show exhibits James Bond's Walter PPK gun and his varied ID documents.

Some of the most dramatic scenes from the films are shown as story board images created by the great Sir Ken Adam.

Another storyboard image inside Fort Knox for the film Goldfinger showing the skill and imagination of the designers.

The Austin Martin DB5 is displayed in all of it's understated glory at the exhibition.

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