A Golden Costume on Display

Broadway Serenade - Culver City Historical Society

News from the Costume Chair

by Louise Coffey-Webb, Costume Committee Chair

Just in time for the holidays and a glitzy new year, we have a golden costume on display in the Archive Resource Center.

Those of you who saw Visiting… with Huell Howser: Culver City this Fall, may remember when he looked at a sparkling costume as I lifted it out of its archival box. This costume dates back to 1939, a year often considered to be the finest in the golden age of cinema releases.

Broadway Serenade - Culver City Historical SocietyFrom Broadway Serenade

The costume pictured here was worn by Virginia Grey as the character Pearl in the black and white musical, Broadway Serenade (1939). It starred Jeanette MacDonald and Lew Ayers (Dr. Kildare), and was directed and produced by Robert Z. Leonard. The art direction was by the famous Cedric Gibbons, and the women’s costumes were designed by Adrian, who designed for the men. Busby Berkeley directed the finale musical number that featured all-female musicians and his usual over-the-top style.

The costume is a floor length coat-dress made entirely of gold lamé, fully lined in turquoise silk, and featuring Adrian’s signature large puffed sleeves, which in this case are quilted in a diamond pattern. The quilting continues in lines over the shoulders and forearms, and the center front features large lamé-covered buttons.

Be sparkly and bright throughout 2011!

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