License to thrill
WE HEAD TO THE ICONIC BURJ KHALIFA TO CHECK OUT DESIGNING 007: FIFTY YEARS OF BOND STYLE
IT MAY BE 54 years since the world was introduced to James Bond in Ian Fleming’s debut novel Casino Royale, but the suave secret-agent remains as relevant as ever. Portrayed across 24 films and having grossed in excess of $14 billion in worldwide box office sales, 007 is one of the most regonisable and successful characters in film history.
To celebrate more than five decades of the dashing secret agent, Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style is being showcased in the Annex of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Here you are handed the chance to delve into the world of James Bond from the designer suits and expensive cars to the golden guns and clever gadgets.
"The show follows the narrative structure of the James Bond series," said one of the curators of the exhibition, Bronwyn Cosgrave, a former features editor of British Vogue. "It was like a Bond film – a com- plete adventure, which allows visitors to follow in the footsteps of James Bond. He always goes to M’s office, visits Q branch and many interesting foreign territories and often ends up on a ski slope. That is the structure of our show."
First shown in London in 2012, the collection showcases more than 600 items paying homage to Fleming and the six men who have taken up the iconic role – Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
There are examples of artwork, production design, props and clothing that have featured in the movies. Each of which has a vivid description which helps explain exactly how the world of James Bond is created.
The exhibition opens with the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was driven by Brosnan in 1995’s Goldeneye, then restored for Skyfall in 2012 and also used in Spectre in 2015. The show also explains the rich history between the famous car brand and the films, with Aston Martin specially designing and creating a new model, the DB10 specially for Spectre. Only ten of these cars were built for Bond and one was auctioned in February 2016 for more than $3 million.
As you continue your journey through the history of Bond there are plenty of iconic
items such as the padded-leather doors to the office of M and the gold waistcoat worn by Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Released in 1964, the third outing of Bond ranked as the fastest grossing motion picture of all tie, earning back its $3 million production costs just two weeks after its release.
The exhibition also heavily features the work of Sir Ken Adam who designed sets on seven Bond films. He was the brain behind the Fort Knox set used in Goldfinger and you can see one of the original gold bricks from that film.
As well as set deign you can also explore the world of Q branch with its weapons specially created for 007. This includes Scaramanga’s golden gun that was assembled from a lighter, pen and cigarette case, while a cufflink served as the trigger. Four of these were created, but three were stolen leaving the one on show in the exhibition the only surviving weapon which appeared on screen.
You will also see the watches that concealed detonators in Tomorrow Never Dies, the cigarette lighter that doubled as a radio and safe-cracker in Moonraker and menacing Piton guns with spikes. There is also the now battered looking Ericsson mobile flip phone that Bond used as a remote control for his BMW 750L and it is explained that in Live and Let Die, Q introduced the first ever digital wristwatch.
Of course style is a major part of the franchise, with Bond’s suave suits a key feature of all 24 films. One section of the exhibition pays particular tribute to the tailoring with dozens of the tuxedos and suits worn by Bond through the ages. Designed to resemble a scene from Casino Royale, there is Bérénice Marlohe’s floor-length mesh dress she wore as Sévérine in Skyfall as well as Sylvia Trench’s stylish one-shouldered red frock from Dr No.
As you would expect the attention to detail is extraordinary, that is largely thanks to Eon Productions, which owns the franchise, donating diagrams of weapons, sketches of outfits and miniature models of aircrafts and cars.
If you are a fan of all things Bond then this exhibition is simply a must visit.