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1st Jul, 2022

New exhibition showcases costumes designed by Rugby man for hit TV spy thriller

COSTUMES from a hit television spy thriller, designed by a Rugby man who has worked on a host of hit productions for television and cinema, feature in a new exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

Outfits designed by Keith Madden for The Ipcress File, ITV’s adaption of Len Deighton’s Cold War classic, will go on display at The Ipcress Style, a new exhibition which opens at the Little Elborow Street venue on Saturday May 14.

The exhibition, which includes original costumes worn in the series, explores the art of costume design from concept to screen and reveals how characters can be brought to life through styling.

Keith has designed costumes for stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Radcliffe and Sir Ian McKellen during his career.

Joe Cole plays Harry Palmer in the hit ITV spy thriller The Ipcress File. Picture by Altitude Television. © 2022 HP Films Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking about his work on the series – which follows secret agent Harry Palmer on a globe-trotting undercover mission on behalf of British intelligence – Keith said the story was set in 1963, a time when the iconic styles of the sixties had yet to get into full swing.

He said: “You can see an arc of fashion over the six episodes. It’s the dawning of a new age.

“When you’re doing this period on the cusp of huge changes in music and fashion, people tend to want to veer towards talking about this really cool look that the mid sixties to late sixties was.

“You have to make sure you have done your research to make people understand this was the period when even going a year out puts it in a totally different place.”

While Keith’s detailed research for the costume designs ensured The Ipcress File looked the part, it proved no preparation for filming the series, which took place during the height of the pandemic.

“It was a difficult shoot,” he said. “We worked long and hard under Covid restrictions. We spent around 22 weeks away from home because we were filming in Liverpool and couldn’t really go back home because of Covid.

“Then we went to Croatia, and we were all together as a crew. When we wrapped on the last day, there were tears. It was so emotional. Because suddenly it was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s finished. It’s over.'”

But Keith has not ruled out a return for The Ipcress File.

“Could there be more?” he said. “Who knows? It has so much potential to carry on. There are so many stories that could be told. But if it is just a one-off, it was fabulous to be involved.”

The Ipcress Style runs at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum from Saturday May 14 until Saturday July 9.

Visit www.ragm.co.uk for more information on exhibitions and events at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

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