|Courtesy Profiles in History|
|Elizabeth Taylor's beautiful gown designed by Walter Plunkett for Raintree County.|
The auction on Saturday was attended by Debbie herself, accompanied by daughter Carrie Fisher and son Todd Fisher, as well as her grandchildren. Debbie put her best face on the event, joking with the audience and prodding the bidders, all in the long tradition of "the show must go on." But she choked up in her opening remarks, and indeed it was a melancholy day for Los Angeles and the rest of the country. We will never see the likes of this collection again.
There were no doubt some happy buyers. One Korean gentleman seemed to be bidding on every important costume, and winning many of them. Other items like Judy Garland's screen-tested gingham dress from the Wizard of Oz, and a version of the Ruby Slippers, are rumored to be destined for Saudi Arabia. The audience held its breath and then clapped when the Dorothy dress was hammered down for $920,000. We knew it was going to be a big day when item number 2 in the auction, Rudolph Valentino's matador costume from Blood and Sand went for $200,000.
It was no surprise that the biggest items in the auction were worn by Marilyn Monroe. What was shocking though was their hammer prices: Marilyn's William Travilla-designed cream rayon "subway" dress from Seven Year Itch, $4.6 million; Marilyn's Travilla-designed red-sequined gown shown above from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, $1.2 million. And there were two more, including the stunning Travilla-designed "Tropical Heat Wave" costume from There's No Business Like Show Business, a mere $500,000. It is shown below. But the second most expensive item in the auction was not a Marilyn Monroe costume but rather Audrey Hepburn's Ascot gown from My Fair Lady. It was hammered down for $3.7 million.
|Debbie's collection included a trio of costumes from Singing in the Rain.|
|Lana Turner's robe from Diane, designed by Walter Plunkett.|
|Norma Shearer's gown from Marie Antoinette, designed by Adrian.|
Here is the Edith Head designed Grace Kelly ensemble from To Catch a Thief. $450,000.
The Gigi costume designed by Ceil Beaton and worn by
Leslie Caron. $65,000
Shown above and below are costumes designed by Mary Wills for The Virgin Queen. Above is the one worn by Joan Collins and the one below by Bette Davis playing Queen Elizabeth. Other costumes from the same film were also auctioned off Saturday.
Another fabulous Elizabethan costume designed by Walter Plunkett and worn by Katharine Hepburn in RKO's Mary of Scotland is shown below. It is now destined for overseas, along with the Mildred Pierce outfit, Ingrid Bergman's gown from Gaslight, and many, many others.
|This Katharine Hepburn costume sold for $35,000.|