50 years of Bond, James Bond

PARIS (REUTERS) - James Bond 007: The Exhibition hits 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, which has translated into over 50 years of Bond style.

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 and so launching a legacy of Aston Martins, clean cut suits, British gentlemanly charm and beautiful dangerous women.

The films 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 British secret agent 007 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," said Ms Cosgrave. 

"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."

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 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.

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 Sept 4 at the exhibition hall at Parc De La Villette in Paris.