Costume Nerd Heaven

Oh man, today was amazing. Debbie Reynolds is auctioning off her insane costume collection. I went with my fellow costume designers to the public viewing and had a ball. I took so many photos that my camera battery died before going to the second floor! It's kind of sad because after this weekend these costumes will being scattered to random bidders and who knows if they'll ever be seen again. Let's hope they go to people who will take care of them and perhaps donate them to museums because they're too wonderful to be hidden away.

Here are the most iconic costumes from the collection:

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Costume designer: Travilla  
Marilyn Monroe's signature red-sequined "Two Little Girls From Little Rock" showgirl gown with feathered hat. I love the beautiful gathering at the waist. The sequins get bigger the further away you get from the waist! Let's hear it for optical illusions.
Auctioning for $200,000 - $300,000.

Funny Girl (1968)
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff
Barbra Streisand's Vaudeville roller skating act. The top portion is purple and green velvet with a purple taffeta sash at the waist. The ruffles on the bottom are purple tulle with silk finished edges. And nothing says class more than fake grape attachments on hat and dress.
Auctioning for $8,000-$12,000

Wizard of Oz (1939)
Costume Designer: Adrian
A test blue cotton test dress with polka dot trim and ivory sheer puff sleeved blouse for Judy Garland. Red sequined test shoes also for Judy Garland. Neither made it into the film. The shoes were reading too "Arabian."
Fun fact: I've been super lucky to touch one of the real pairs of ruby slippers that made it into the film. Check out the images here,

There's No Business Like Showbusiness (1954)
Costume Designer: Travilla
Marilyn Monroe's tropical print pink, black and white ruffled skirt, black halter top and hat from "Heat Wave" number.  Sequins are strategically placed throughout the garment to give Marilyn some more sparkle. She looks pretty bad ass in that camera test image.
Auctioning for $200,000 - $300,000

Hello Dolly! (1969)
Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff
Barbra Streisand's iconic Hello Dolly! dress. Made from gold velvet and heavily jeweled with matching shoes. Included is her green and yellow feather boa and headdress. Oh, and this gown weighs 60 POUNDS!!!
Auctioning for $60,000 - $80,000

 Costume Designer: Irene Sharaff
Barbra's lightweight purple silk gown with ruched and rossete detailing. Comes with a matching bag.
Auctioning for $20,000 - $30,000

 Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett 
One of my all-time favorite movies, this is my favorite dress from the film. This 20's leaf print dress is for Debbie Reynolds. Note the triangular dropped waistband, pleated skirt and leaf fabric flower. God I love this dress.

Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett 
Aaah! It's Debbie Reynold's "Good Mornin'" costume! I always thought it was a dress but it's actually a sleeveless v-neck sweater with a lightning bolt print and a pleated skirt. I'm in love.

Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett
Lina Lamont, played by Jean Hagan, is my favorite character. She's ridiculous and oh that voice! That said, this is her "18th Century" costume. Made out of light peach silk with lace overlay. The pink sash has silk and tulle flowers attached. The grey silk suit belongs to Gene Kelly. The matching shoes also belongs to him.

Seven Year Itch (1955)
Costume Designer: Travilla
Marilyn Monroe's dress is the exhibit's main attraction. Do yo have a spare 1-2 million? Because that's how much it's going to be auctioned for! The dress is a pleated jersey. I've seen this dress plenty and never notice the waist detail with the bow before. Unfortunately the dress was on rotation behind glass so I couldn't get too good of a look but it has a nice understated quality.


  1. Wow, I would kill to have seen all these. Genuinely costume designer heaven!

  2. Great blog. Thanks for sharing.