Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dr No Thanks

Designing 007 - 50 years of Bond Style at The Barbican

I can't think of a more inspired combination! The Barbican and 007 - the stuff my dreams are made of and after a spell in the country just the kind of urban outing that I fancied. The Barbican never disappoints and after dozens of visits I am still moved by the scale and drama of the place - lusting after a flat on the 27th floor with a curved concrete balcony and quietly sighing at every carefully considered period detail.
Sadly the 007 exhibit was padded with the kind of fakery and gimmicks geared to impress children and blokes. Alongside golden guns, diamonds filled briefcases and model cars that turn into submarines, Ken Adam's elegant, dried-up-felt-pen sketches stand out as the most beautiful and desirable objects in the exhibition. 

Opulent costumes were inadequately modelled by shapeless grey mannequins made of the kind of bri-nylon used to make Miss Piggy and Kermit. The gold waistcoat worn by Pussy Galore was tantalisingly displayed in a bullet-proof glass case but it turned out to be only a copy of the original. Clips of the best bits of the Bond movies over the last 50 years shown on big screens were popular but with Goldfinger priced at £1.49 on Amazon it seemed like a cheap and easy crowd-pleaser. Still, we had a nice time. Shunning the Bond bar (rigged up indoors and selling only Martini's to 007/Jeremy Clarkson wannabes and their dates) we sat out on the terrace and admired the architecture some more before heading to Mayfair for a spot of window shopping. 
Pay £12 to shuffle past these dummies or...

Stroll past these Bond Street girls for free.

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