Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: The World of Austin Powers

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To understand Austin Powers one must understand the world from which he comes: mod London, a giddy, groovy state of mind that is psychedelic, super-sexed and innocently sweet.

Now Austin has a chance to return to those times in The Spy Who Shagged Me. To create an original vision of a late-ë60s London crawling with hip cats and luscious liberated ladies, the filmmakers went to new lengths. Notes John Lyons: "This movie is bigger and bolder in every way than the first: sets, visuals, clothes and plot are taken beyond the first film."

Lyons continues: "Mike and Jay and Michael McCullers have such a clear view of who Austin is and how he exists in the world this time that they were really able to translate that into a strong style that is consistent through every technical aspect of the film. We were also able to assemble a really talented team of designers and a great D.P. who were capable of expanding their ideas far beyond the first film."

Ever the fashion plate, Austin gets to go even more all out as he reenters the ë60s with a fab new wardrobe that expresses his personal couture philosophy: if it looks groovy, wear it man! Costume designer Deena Appel received critical acclaim for her hyper-chromatic ë60s designs on the first Austin Powers. For the second installment, she had the challenge of "keeping it fun, bright, vibrant, graphic and original, but increasing the scope." That's why Austin returns in his classic velvet suit, but moves on to new looks from there. Appel explains: "Since this one actually takes place in 1969, we had to do even more research from fashion magazines and books, and from watching the films and television shows of the period. Mike [Myers] was extremely open to taking Austin further in his costumes, exploring all kinds of fun, adventurous and risky choices."

Appel also strove for more unabashedly sexier looks in The Spy Who Shagged Me, using lots of hot pants, crocheted dresses, suede fringe and leather boots for the ë60s women who surround Austin. "It was a time of experimentation, of being very free and open, so we took that to its ultimate expression.

While she was going crazy with color in Austin's world, Appel was also challenged by the monochromatic fashions of Dr. Evil and associates. "For Dr. Evil, we keep a really narrow palette of black and white and silver. It's very ëSleeper' inspired, expressing some of the goofiness of the ë60s, riding that fine line between cool and geeky."

Costumes and choreography are just a few of the elements that add up to Austin Powers' unique visual existence in a world several Day Glo hues brighter than our own. One of the most important visuals in The Spy Who Shagged Me is Austin's old ë60s "pad," which is screaming with primary colors. Explains Mike Myers: "It's very ëMovie for a Sunday Afternoon.' It has Tonka yellows, Howard Johnson oranges and Coca Cola reds. Rusty Smith, our production designer, did an incredible job."

Says Rusty Smith: "When Austin goes back in time, he emerges into this sparkling, colorful, brilliant world that is his pad. We really turn up the volume in these scenes to heighten the contrasts with the ë90s. We wanted Austin's world to literally pulsate with color."

In addition to revitalizing Austin's pad, Smith had the challenge of recreating the entire Carnaby Street scene, circa 1969. Smith turned the New York Street backlot at Universal Studios into London's hippest boulevard. Utilizing research footage and photography, Smith and his team even brought back to life the exteriors of such famous Carnaby Street stores such as ëI Was Lord Kitchener's Valet' and ëGrapes.' It is also here where Austin Powers lives, in the Carnaby Arms apartment building located in the center of the action.

While Austin spends his time lounging in a velvety, lacy, mod "pad," Dr. Evil makes his home at various lairs. Notes Rusty Smith: "All the nemeses of spies beginning with James Bond have to have at least three lairs: small, medium and large. Those are the rules!"

Among Dr. Evil's lairs are the Starbucks headquarters located atop the Seattle Space Needle; the Volcano Lair; and his Moonbase, home to the world-destroying laser beam known as The Alan Parsons Project. All were created on soundstages at Warner Hollywood Studios. According to Rusty Smith, Dr. Evil's moonbase set was fashioned after the geodesic dome in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. "There's a lot of You Only Live Twice in this movie," he explains. "Also Casino Royale, Moonraker, and the laser owes a big debt to Goldfinger."

Of all three lairs, Smith says: "The concept is that Dr. Evil exists in a sci-fi world, but sci-fi of the 1950s. He really, really wants to be on the cutting edge of technology but it never works for him properly."

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