a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

DEBBIE REYNOLDS: THE EXHIBIT

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.
Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

The Exhibit

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?
Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Vivian Leigh hat from Gone with the Wind, 1939

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Deborah Kerr dress from Young Bess, 1953

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Gown worn in Marie Antoinette, 1938, designed by Adrian

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Norma Shearer gown from unknown production

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Mary Pickford gown from Taming of the Shrew, 1929

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

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.
Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Elizabeth Taylor dress from A Date with Judy, 1948

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Vera-Ellen, Three Little Words, 1950

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Labeled as Joan Crawford gown from Pretty Ladies, 1925, but I think not

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Detail from Joan Crawford gown

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Marilyn Monroe outfit from Bus Stop, 1956

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Side, no glare, view of Marilyn outfit

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Marilyn Monroe suit from Niagra, 1953

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Marilyn Monroe suit from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Judy Garland gown from The Pirate, 1948

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Katharine Hepburn dress from The Rainmaker, 1956

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Betty Grable gown from Springtime in the Rockies, 1942

Debbie Allen: The Exhibit

Clark Gable uniform from Homecoming, 1948

Sizing

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.
Debbie Allen: The Exhibit
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3 comments so far.

3 responses to “DEBBIE REYNOLDS: THE EXHIBIT”

  1. Laurence says:

    I love to visit these kind of exibits… but L.A. is too far away for France… will be there in April!

  2. Lucky you for getting to see this, and thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. Gabrielle-"The Gift of Gab" says:

    OMG…I have been obsessed with Marilyn Monroe's "Let's Make Love" dress ever since I knew who she was. It is sooo glamorous and iconic just like her "Bus Stop" corset costume. Thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful pictures!

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