Through Saturday, December 3, 2011 the Paley Center in Beverly Hills is hosting Debbie Reynolds: The Exhibit, an all-new collection of movie costumes and props, some of which will be up for auction. I trotted off to view the exhibit to see if it could compare to the stunning exhibit they had in the spring. Unfortunately, I can’t say it really did, but they did have some interesting garments all the same. Unfortunately, as no flash is allowed, my photos on my point and shoot are a little grainy and yellow, but I hope you get a feel of the garments. To see the details, you’ll just have to visit the Paley Center yourself.
They didn’t have, what I would consider, any of the iconic garments the last Debbie Reynolds exhibit had, such as the Marilyn Monroe “subway” dress or the My Fair Lady gown. However, I know that is highly subjective. I was excited as the exhibit said it included items from Gone with the Wind, but it turned out they were hats and not dresses. However, I was interested to see the detail on Scarlett’s “green portiere” hat, as I didn’t realize before the decoration included a gold chicken foot. Who knew?
Other movies and stars that had garments featured included items from Show Boat, Bus Stop (including Marilyn Monroe’s green showgirl outfit), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Elizabeth Taylor’s dress from A Date with Judy, as well as some early gowns worn by Mary Pickford and Judy Garland. They even had some Adrian gowns on display.
Clark Gable suit from Homecoming, 1948
Judy Garland dress from The Pirate, 1948
Betty Grable dress from Springtime in the Rockies, 1942
Mary Pickford dress from Taming of the Shrew, 1929
Mary Pickford dress from Secrets, 1933, designed by Adrian
Katherine Hepburn dress from The Rainmaker, 1956, designed by Edith Head
As part of the exhibit, some of the garments had a screen showing the film clip featuring the garment on display. It was interesting to see side by side comparisons of how the garment and the person wearing the garment looked compared to the actual garment itself. Sometimes I could barely recognize the garment.
Elizabeth Taylor dress from A Date with Judy, 1948
And can I just say how tiny all of these ladies must have been who wore these costumes. Seriously, I felt I could come close to spanning their waist with my “girly” size 8 hands. On screen, they looked normal size. But up close, they were very petite and slender. I guess the camera really does add 10 pounds (maybe a few more in my case.)
Norma Shearer gown from an unnamed movie
A dress from Marie Antoinette, 1938, designed by Adrian
This dress was labeled as a Joan Crawford gown from Pretty Ladies, 1925,
but it doesn't strike me as a 1925 gown.
Marilyn Monroe dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953
Marilyn Monroe dress from Niagara, 1953
Another Marilyn gown, this one from Let's Make Love
Marilyn Monroe showgirl outfit from Bus Stop, 1956. Forgive the glare,
but I couldn't escape it.
These snapshots are just a glimpse at the collection, so do go see it in person if you are able. Tickets for adults are just $6. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, treat yourself to a little costume respite.