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Hollywood Legends Costume Collection


Tikisoo
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I was lucky enough to see an exhibit of this collection last night (after a 35mm screening of It's A Wonderful Life) at our local Casino. (believe me, I'd never set foot in there otherwise)

 

This was an amazing collection and fascinating to see the actual sizes of our favorite stars. Grace Kelly's beaded dress form had no buttocks because there WAS no mannequin small enough! She strikes me as so stately & tall, apparently not.

 

Some of the designs & workmanship was incredible, while others were obviously "sewn on" and had muslin backs, like a beaded Betty Hutton suit dress from Perils Of Pauline.

 

It was thrilling to see the ACTUAL dress Rita wore in Gilda, and Scarlett's "portiere" dress. (which the attendant said was incredibly heavy, even the hat!) And especially (one of) Judy's gingham dresses from The Wizard of Oz, which was all sewn as one piece.

 

My only question is Marilyn's gold lam? dress, purported to be from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I do NOT remember her wearing that dress in that film. It seems to me to have been worn just in photos.

Can anyone confirm?

 

That dress was so beautifully designed, it would flatter just about any decent figure! If you get a chance...SEE this exhibit!

 

http://HollywoodLegendsCollection.org/

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>I wonder if the exhibit will travel around, and I wonder if TCM will have access to it for their film festival next April. Were you allowed to take photos?

 

No, no photos & they had guards everywhere, so no "stealthy non flash" attempts even. This is terrible since I have a faulty memory and will soon forget everything I had seen. I would have happily purchased a booklet of photos.

It was especially nice because next to the mannequins were photos, drawings & movie stills depicting the costumes.

 

As for TCM having the exhibit, I think a portion of it is currently at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Totally worth the $6 admission that funds the show (I've done my share of museum exhibits-they cost a TON!) and any pieces you may want are up for sale to benefit charities.

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I saw Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (while on the TCM Cruise) and Marilyn wears a greenish gold lame dress in one scene. It was a halter top type dress low cut in the back--you only see her from the back while dancing with Charles Coburn.

 

I felt the same way as you when I went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame--I was stunned at how tiny some of the women's stage costume were.

 

 

 

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There seems to be no schedule of where it is or will be showing. The Chinese theater showing was last October. Some news stories say the collection went up for sale in early December.

 

And no pictures? So, what are we to do about this? No pictures and no schedule.

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*My only question is Marilyn's gold lamé dress, purported to be from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I do NOT remember her wearing that dress in that film. It seems to me to have been worn just in photos.*

*Can anyone confirm?*

 

As mentioned elsewhere, this dress is only worn while Marilyn is dancing a Rumba with Coburn in another room, as Jane and the undercover dick (always wanted to use that gangster lingo-or am I just channeling Christine Baranski's character on the CYBIL sitcom-"Dr. Dick!") are passing by on the deck of the ship.

 

This gold lamé dress, pleated all over, is the one that caused a ruckus at a Photoplay Awards show in early 1953, where Marilyn, in her first flush of fame (and probably coming from the set of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES), won for (Best New?) Personality (of the Year?). MC Jerry Lewis howled like a coyote, and Joan Crawford added to the brouhaha when she publicly censured her behavior.

 

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InFlynn, YES it is the correct location.

 

The exhibit is there until Feb, I believe. Hope you get to see it as there is a Flynn costume from The Adventures of Don Juan. What a tall beautifully proportioned physique he had according to the costume.

 

Thanks to all for the clarification of MM's gold lam? dress!

 

Sorry no schedule Dobbs.

We were driving through Doylestown PA last summer & happened upon this SAME exhibit at the Michener Museum. It was 15 minutes before closing & we were refused entry!

 

I actually cried with disappointment right there on the sidewalk.

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> {quote:title=Arturo wrote:

> }{quote}*This gold lamé dress, pleated all over, is the one that caused a ruckus at a Photoplay Awards* show in early 1953, where Marilyn, in her first flush of fame (and probably coming from the set of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES), won for (Best New?) Personality (of the Year?). MC Jerry Lewis howled like a coyote, and Joan Crawford added to the brouhaha when she publicly censured her behavior.

This is to some extent correct. There is something of a fable about that golden dress. Originally, the studio had wanted Marilyn to wear the gorgeous pink gown, from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Costume designer Bill Travilla objected to this idea, since the pink gown was as he always referred to "a speciality item," meaning it was never to be worn as an opulent fashion gown. Bill had to custom-stitch Marilyn into what for him was essentially a costume and nothing else. Therefore, the alterative was this other gown, Bill had designed for Marilyn, but was never worn for a film project; The somewhat gold dress Marilyn is seen wearing in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" is similar in style, but not as elaborate and different, because the Photoplay gown is held together around the waist by a ribbon. Marilyn did wear the gold gown from the film for a few publicity events and interviews, but no so much on a regular basis, nor did the gown become part of her personal wardrobe. It would the other golden (Photoplay) gown that she kept.

 

The studio then came to realize that Bill was right, in that the golden gown created a bit of a sensation with the press and public at large. Marilyn would receive a lot of attention by way of this rather exaggerated response. In no time, Bill's Hollywood fashion house was flooded with orders and his career had hit the heights! Little could he have speculated, what would happen in a year or so to follow! I also have to add: TCM member "*TikiSoo"* was right to insinuating that the golden gown was not one in the same as the one worn in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."

 

The award Marilyn received that evening was for "most popular film actress" of 1953. Part of the reason to getting this big Photoplay award was probably due to the mega-media coverage of her marriage to baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio. *Votes* *for this award came from* *the magazine readers*. The most popular actor winner was Alan Ladd. The Photoplay event that was covered "live" on network television was as big as the annual Academy Awards! The event was held as a banquet and not so much an awards show. This was pretty much the forerunner to how the "Golden Globe" awards are held. The annual Photoplay festivities, lasted until 1968, when this highly loved traditional fan magazine gave way to the now, infamous supermarket tabloid business.

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