Li­cense to thrill


Virtuozity - - Handmade -

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.

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