Sunspel and James Bond at the Barbican

Sunspel has a long history on stage and screen. We’ve long enjoyed a relationship with costume designer (and Oscar winner) Lindy Hemming, collaborating from her early career at the National theatre right up to the latest James Bond film releases and the development of the Riviera polo.

With our new project, we’ve taken our relationship with cinema to a new place. As part of a national celebration of all things British this summer, the Barbican is showcasing a unique exhibition exploring the world’s most influential movie series, James Bond. The exhibition looks at everything from the very first film, Dr No to 2012’s Skyfall. It celebrates these iconic British films in true style and never before seen detail.

As co-curator along with fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave, Lindy Hemming approached us to be a part of this exhibition. She asked us to recreate perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of James Bond Style from the 1965 film, Thunderball. When Sean Connery wore those iconic pale blue shorts, he made Bond, James Bond, into a true cinematic style icon. And it is these shorts Lindy has tasked us to re-make especially for this event.

We had unique access to Lindy’s fascinating research and original archives to make sure that we were as faithful to the originals as possible. Integral to the success of the re-creation was a true understanding of what makes James Bond who he is. In researching his on screen persona and Ian Fleming’s original incarnation, we imagined what James himself would wear. Using this as our inspiration and after many months of meetings, design tweaks, samples and tests, we finally achieved our goal.