From London to Toronto, there’s a little bit of 007 in all of us
When Roger Moore was hired to play James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973), the producers subjected his flowing locks to a “short back and sides.” Producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli proudly declared that Moore now looked “more masculine,” and reminded the press that “he is not just a civilian; he is Commander Bond.”
And yet stealthily, over the years, the Secret Service agent has become a fashion plate — to the point where Daniel Craig’s tightly cut Tom Ford suits for Skyfall are integral to the movie’s buzz. The exhibition Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, which premiered at the Barbican in London this summer and now resides at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, offers all manner of Bond clothing and gadgets, models, storyboards; the important stuff in the films, short of Ken Adam’s unforgettable villain-lair sets. And besides giving us just what we’d expect to see — after all, the Bond films revel in predictability — its procession of design for Bonds, Bond girls and Bond villains helps to chart a pop-cultural history of masculinity, femininity and the Other.
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