Calling all fans of Hollywood and film costume... you simply must see this, it's an auction like no other. Screen legend Debbie Reynolds, discovered by a studio talent scout after winning a beauty contest aged 17, developed a love for collecting in her early days on the MGM lot, when designers such as Helen Rose and Walter Plunkett were creating the costumes we know and love today. As studios such as MGM and FOX auctioned off their costume inventories, Reynolds became a serious collector of costume history, obsessed with the idea of preserving Hollywood's most famous and inspired outfits.
Marilyn Monroe subway dress, "The Seven Year Itch", 1955. $1,000,000 - $2,000,000
Marilyn Monroe's Lorelei Lee gown & hat, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", 1953. $200,000 - $300,000
As with any auction, a potential buyer or not, the collections are available for public preview, and I'd be down there faster than you could say "ruby slippers" if I happened to be in California. If any of you are, be sure to go and have a look. The preview dates are as follows:
June 4-5, 12pm - 5pm
June 8-12, 12pm - 5pm
June 15-17, 12pm - 5pm
At the Paley Center for Media, Beverley Hills, CA 90210, with the auction taking place on June 18th at 12pm PDT.
Dorothy's ruby slippers, "The Wizard of Oz", 1939. $120,000 - $150,000
If you're not lucky enough to be local, and don't mind ridiculous postage charges, you can get yourself a copy of the auction catalogue, with fabulous close up shots, dates and brief descriptions of each lot. And finally, the free option (hurrah) you can download the PDF catalogue here.
Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat, "The Tramp", $20,000 - $30,000
Carrie Fisher, Reynolds's daughter says "costumes carry the energy of the actors who wore them; they are infused with the power of the stars and stories that inspired and empowered us."
Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress designed by Cecil Beaton, "My Fair Lady", 1964. $200,000 - $300,000
Barbra Streisand dress from "My Man" number in "Funny Girl", 1968. $8,000 - $12,000
It's not just costume up for auction, there is camera equipment, props, posters and even cars. The PDF catalogue is most definitely worth downloading. I've been obsessing over it for hours. A truly incredible collection.