GoldenEye - Wardrobe and Widgets

Last Update: 30 October 2000
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James Bond has always exemplified the epitome of style and sophistication, and costume designer Lindy Hemming was determined to create a wardrobe that was both classic and timeless for the new Agent 007. "We wanted to be sure that Pierce Brosnan had an elegant and modern look, but one that wouldn't appear dated in a few years' time. We avoided things that were aggressively trendy."

Collaborating with Martin Campbell, she adds, "We decided that this Bond would be a man who always wore his suit; that most of the time he didn't go looking like he was ready for action, but then things happened to him."

Hemming and the filmmakers chose Brioni, the internationally renowned men's tailor, to make all of Bond's suits. Their work also entailed making as many as 17 identical copies of each suit for repeated takes, as well as mention stunt doubles. Every suit was individually hand crafted by Brioni.

Hemming also designed Brosnan's black combat gear, in which we first see him, together with the specialized waistcoat with customized pockets for weapons and explosives. When the director saw the finished costume, he decided Sean Bean, as Agent 006, should have an identical set, as if it were secret agent standard issue.

The costumes for Famke Janssen and Izabella Scorupco were designed to vividly reflect their contrasting personalities and lifestyles.

Janssen is the height of fashion in an elegant black velvet gown, reminiscent of the Wicked Queen in Snow White. She is also seen in such stunning outfits as a lycra crepe cat-suit and a stretch satin two-piece ensemble with a huge black hat from Philip Somerville, the hat maker for many of England's Royal Family. Even her military style wardrobe, including an olive-green leather uniform with knee-length boots and a peaked cap, was custom-designed. All of her costumes were created to accentuate her height and give her an aura of mystery and danger.

On the other hand, Scorupco's wardrobe was relatively plain. Her character is supposed to be a young working woman in Russia and would not be wealthy. Therefore, for much of the film, she is seen in a simple skirt and blouse, topped by a cardigan. Though all of her clothes were actually designer fashions, Hemming put them together in an ordinary way.

Hemming found that one of the greatest challenges of wardrobing her first Bond film was having the right number of costumes in the right place at the right time for the various film units working simultaneously. "There are usually three units filming at the same time," she says, "and two of them are not in the same country that you're in. It was an exercise in logistics."

As important an accoutrement to Agent 007 as his stylish wardrobe are his fantastic gadgets, provided by Q, which have captured the imagination of audiences the world over.

"Ideas for gadgets come from a variety of sources," Michael Wilson offers. "The special effects department, the art department, the director, Cubby, Barbara...we've had lots of people working on the film come up with clever ideas."

In GoldenEye, Bond is armed with several new devices, including a leather belt with a buckle that fires 75 feet of high tensile wire designed to hold 007's weight, and a seemingly ordinary ball point pen that becomes a deadly grenade with three clicks of the button. He also utilizes a watch with a built-in laser, and previews an X-ray document scanner built into a silver tray.

Bond's most impressive new tool-of-the-trade, however, is his new BMW Z3 roadster convertible...which comes standard with stinger missiles behind the headlights, naturally. A two-seat sports car, it was previewed by the filmmakers in BMW's design center and selected as 007's "company car" for GoldenEye. It was built in BMW's plant in South Carolina.

"Many of the gadgets we come up with are not that far removed from what will be developed in the near future," Wilson says. "We tend to be just slightly ahead of reality, and, as time passes, we begin to see the same ideas becoming adapted in real life."

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