Last night, the Barbican in London opened its Designing 007 exhibition, which coincides with 50 years of the James Bond franchise and celebrates what co-curator Bronwyn Cosgrave noted is “the cutting-edge style of Bond, as the look has always one step ahead.” From Sean Connery’s Aston Martin, which greets visitors as they walk in, to sketches and props like snake candlestick holders from Live and Let Die as well as David Morris jewels, this is a very comprehensive retrospective.
Partygoers at last night’s opening party, like Little Britain‘s David Walliams and Richard Buckley, were shaken and stirred in their finery, and all received a James Bond “passport” in lieu of a ticket. Fashion lovers will recognize sexy jersey dresses worn by the characters of Plenty O’Toole and Domino Derval mixed with Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, and Versace Bond girl ensembles. Speaking of which, legendary Golden Girl Shirley Eaton joked that her doppelgänger “had a cheekier bottom” than her famous derriere. As for the boys, I would take home any of the brocade Brioni dinner jackets in the Casino Royale room for my closet. Being a Bond show, après-ski and plage looks were aplenty, including the bikinis of Halle Barry and Ursula Andress. When I asked Oscar-winning costume designer and co-curator Lindy Hemming which was her most difficult fitting, she teased, “Daniel Craig’s Grigio Perla trunks,” with a sparkle in her eye. Those are on display along with the rest of the lot through September 5.
Kate Moss went on the record—and on the book jacket, in fact—to support Glenn O’Brien’s How to Be a Man. But she’s far from the only stylish woman (to say nothing of the men) to do so. “Read this book it—it will make you better in bed,” Lauren Hutton advised last night. “It makes you more of a gentleman, it makes you think and what could be better than thinking?” (The affection is evidently mutual: The silver-haired writer called Hutton out as his paragon of well-dressed womanhood in an interview with Style.com.) Hutton, along with some eminently well-suited gents, including Thom Browne, André Balazs, Stephen Burrows, Richard Buckley, and GQ‘s Jim Nelson, lined up at Bergdorf Goodman Men’s for an autographed copy of the book.
Balazs mentioned he’s known O’Brien since their club kid days at Area in the early eighties—and presumably seen him through a few sartorial iterations. “What he knows is not to let the clothes define the man, but the other way around,” the hotelier said.
But in some cases, the scribe himself helped to define the man. Rap legend Fab Five Freddy, who worked as a cameraman for O’Brien’s cable-access show TV Party, credits the guy for launching his music career. “It’s a lot deeper than how to be a man,” he explained. “From Glenn, I learned how to insert myself into the popular culture.”