James Bond exhibition about to hit Paris

  • 14/04/2016
James Bond exhibition about to hit Paris

A James Bond exhibition is about to hit Paris, with an array of original costumes, props and film clips on display aimed at giving the public a taste of the creative process behind the scenes.

Based on Ian Fleming's spy novels, Bond is the longest running film franchise of all time since the series premiered in 1962 with Dr. No starring Sean Connery in the lead role, launching a legacy of Aston Martins, clean cut suits, British gentlemanly charm and beautiful dangerous women.

The film’s iconic title sequences, somewhat mini-films themselves, are set at the beginning of the exhibition and accompanied by the signature James Bond theme song.

There have been 24 James Bond films to date, with Daniel Craig in the role of the 007 British secret agent in the franchise's latest addition, Spectre released in 2015.

Fashion historian and guest curator for the exhibition Bronwyn Cosgrave said she collaborated with Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming - who also designed costumes for five Bond films - to bring the narrative structure of a Bond film to life and celebrate the people behind the scenes.

"James Bond films always follow a similar narrative structure. So James Bond always goes to visit M's office, he goes to Q Branch to be armed for his missions, he usually goes to a casino, he goes off on missions to exotic locations, he battles villains and there are often snow chases in the films. So what we decided to do was follow that narrative structure and allow visitors to follow in the footsteps of James Bond and really have that authentic experience," she said.

Ms Cosgrave explained that she and Ms Hemming built the exhibition around the costumes because of the classic Bond style and the importance of elegant fashion found consistently throughout the films.

It was Terence Young, the first director of the Bond films who took Sean Connery to his own tailor, Anthony Sinclair, to have a slim, centred suit cut for an athletic body, a costume style that would continue on for decades.

Skyfall and Spectre costume designer Jany Temime said it was her duty to prolong and respect the legacy of elegance, sophistication and danger, which make Bond and everything he conveys so iconic.

"You also have to respect a few rules which are making the success of 50 years of Bond. I mean you have to remember that Bond is an English gentleman, working in the service of Her Majesty, so he's wearing a suit as a job you know, I mean this is his job, he's dressed up like that to go to work.

“He's at the same time extremely elegant like an English gentleman is expected to be, he wears perfect shoes, very well beautifully cut suits and he meets constantly very dangerous and exciting and sexy women. This is the heritage that you have and you have to carry that," she said.

Ms Temime added that even though she had to respect the main features of Bond style, she also had to update the costumes to the 21st century, something she said visitors will be able to see as they walk through the exhibition and compare other outfits dating back to the 60s.

Visitors can also expect to be privy to James Bond film blueprints such as preliminary drawings of story boards, miniature models of buildings and sketches of famous locations such as the Volcano lair from You Only Live Twice.

The exhibition opens on April 16 and runs until September 4 at the exhibition hall at Parc De La Villette in Paris.