LONDON — The Barbican Center, a futuristic citadel solidly anchored in the city of London, could well have doubled as a villain's lair in a James Bond movie. And to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary, several of the Barbican's spaces have been transformed into an immersive exhibition dedicated to the design that has made Agent 007 a defining style icon.
Guest-curated by historian Bronwyn Cosgrave and costume designer Lindy Hemming, "Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style" gathers more than 400 artifacts including set and production designs, cars, gadgets, and costumes by some of the great names of fashion: Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Tom Ford, Hubert de Givenchy, and Miuccia Prada, to name but a few.
Ursula Andress's legendary white bikini shares the spotlight with a recreation of Sean Connery's trunks from "Thunderball," Ken Adam's set concepts for the volcano in "You Only Live Twice," and Scaramanga's golden gun. The exhibition also features a martini bar serving Bond-inspired cocktails — all of them served shaken, not stirred, we hope.
"Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style," July 6-September 5, 2012, Barbican Centre, London. To see images from the exhibition, click on the slide show.