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. 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. Gowns 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. However, but it turned out they were hats and not dresses. 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?
Vivian Leigh hat from Gone with the Wind, 1939
Deborah Kerr dress from Young Bess, 1953
Gown worn in Marie Antoinette, 1938, designed by Adrian
Norma Shearer gown from unknown production
Mary Pickford gown from Taming of the Shrew, 1929
Mary Pickford gown from Secrets, 1933, designed by Adrian
Other movies and stars with featured garments 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.
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 barely recognized the garment.
Elizabeth Taylor dress from A Date with Judy, 1948
Vera-Ellen, Three Little Words, 1950
Labeled as Joan Crawford gown from Pretty Ladies, 1925, but I think not
Detail from Joan Crawford gown
Marilyn Monroe outfit from Bus Stop, 1956
Side, no glare, view of Marilyn outfit
Marilyn Monroe suit from Niagra, 1953
Marilyn Monroe suit from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953
Judy Garland gown from The Pirate, 1948
Katharine Hepburn dress from The Rainmaker, 1956
Betty Grable gown from Springtime in the Rockies, 1942
Clark Gable uniform from Homecoming, 1948
I remarked on 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.)
These snapshots offer 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.