Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Over the last four months I have been lucky enough to display some of my costume pieces for the public in my first exhibit. Its been a lot of fun and the response has been amazing. I wanted to share with you some of the photos from the exhibit.

The exhibition is called All Dressed Up: Costumes from Broadway to Hollywood. The theme of the exhibit look at the influence of film on live theatre and in most recent years how we have seen film turned into live theatre.

When sound was added to film, it was possible to recreate the biggest musical hits for a wider audience. At first the movie musical fed eagerly on Broadway’s brightest talents. Stage-bound productions were recreated ever more lavishly. Soon Hollywood began to develop its own style, adapting plays or books, or even starting with original ideas. But the biggest stage hits still became even bigger movie hits. In recent years the flow seems to have reversed. Over the past decade an increasing number of popular stage successes have been developed from well-loved movies as Broadway explores the movie back catalogue for new ideas.

All Dressed Up: Costumes from Broadway to Hollywood explores the changing relationship between stage and screen. It includes costumes from films based on stage shows, such as the film version of Annie, costumes from original films that have been made into stage shows, such as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and costumes created for the stage. Costumes worn by Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jnr., Bette Midler, Julie Andrews, Ray Bolger, Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing, Nathan Lane, Peter Allen, Eddie Murphy and others are featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition is my first go at exhibiting some of my collection and celebrates a wide range of well-loved personalities and performances. The exhibition contains more than thirty costumes and accessories from my collection, ranging from the 1930s to the 2000s.

Here are some of the pieces in my collection which looks for the most part at another side to my collecting being the theatre and how it relates to film and film personalities.

Hope you enjoy having a look.

This first costume was worn by Rhonda Fleming in the 1949 Paramount film "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs' Court".  Costumes were designed by Edith Head.

Secondly are two costumes from the 1967 film "Doctor Dolittle". Costumes worn by Samantha Eggar as Emma Fairfax and a coat worn by Anthony Newely as Matthew Mugg. Costumes were designed by Ray Aghayan.

From the 1949 MGM musical classic "The Harvey Girls" are costumes worn by Ray Bolger and Marjorie Main.

Some of my favourite pieces are these worn by Bernadette Peters, Ann Reinking and Aileen Quinn in the 1982 musical film "Annie". Costumes by the legendary Theoni Aldridge.

These are just amazing pieces of workmanship. From two of broadways greats, Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera wore these Halston designed originals for their curtain calls each night in the 1984 Broadway show "The Rink".

The next two costumes were worn by Judy Garland and Sammy Davis Jnr on "The Sammy Davis Jnr Show" 1966. They were worn in an amazing 10 minute song and dance that has been saved on film. 

Here also are the Judy Garland and Sammy Davis Jr costumes as they appeared on The Sammy Davis Jr Show in 1966:

From Judy Garland to Judy Davis as Judy Garland in "Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows". Made in 2001 and costumes were designed by Dona Granta.  I love this show.

This jacket was worn by Nelson Eddy in the 1940 MGM feature "New Moon". Costumes were designed by Gile Steele.

This is a rare and special piece. This was worn by Ethel Merman when she appeared on "Shower of Stars" in 1955. She reprised her role of Annie Oakley and sang from "Annie Get Your Gun".

Here is the Ethel Merman costume as it appeared on televison:

Keeping the theme of theatre greats, here is Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey in "Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey on Broadway" which they did together in 1969 and was filmed for a television special. Bob Mackie designed for them both. 

Here is the Pearl Bailey coat from the television special they did:

Wonderfully talented Julie Andrews wore this Army uniform in the 1968 film "Star!" The film is based on the life of Gertrude Lawrence.

And here is Julie Andrews in the costume as it appears on screen.

This is a Peter Allen sequinned suit from his Broadway show "Legs Diamond" produced in 1988. Costumes were designed by Willa Kim.

The hat gloves and scarf ensemble were worn by Liza Minnelli in the 1977 Martin Scorcese classic "New York, New York". Costumes were designed by Theoni V. Aldredge.

Bette Midler wore this amazing gown when she portrayed Dixie Leonard in the film "For The Boys" in 1991. Costumes were designed by Wayne Finkleman.

Also in the same picture is a dance costume from "Gold Diggers of 1937" with costumes designed by Orry-Kelly.

I love this film very much and wanted to include it in the exhibit to show the move from origninal film, to musical theate with La Cage and back again with this version of the much loved story. Here are Nathan Lane and Robyn Williams costumes from "The Birdcage" 1996 and costumes by Ann Roth.

Here is the video also of Nathan Lane in costume, when the schnecken beckons...

Keeping up with the modern, from "Connie and Carla" in 2004 is a costume worn by Toni Colette as Carla. Costumes were designed by Ruthe Meyers. The run away story after witnessing a murder was the centre piece to "Some Like It Hot" which was what this film was based on. I love everything about this film.

Finally here are three costumes worn by Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp in the 1994 film "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert".

Here are the costumes in action. In this scene you get to see just what you can do with a ping pong ball.

I have enjoyed doing the display a great deal and look forward to more and more. 

I was interviewed for the exhibit as well. Here is the story that went with it.

Also an article that appeared on the exhibit in a magazine.


  1. Great exhibit Nicholas! Congratulations on this and it looks fabulous. I bet that you now want to go and get even more great costumes. You must be proud - keep up the great work of saving these relics from the silver screen.

    1. Thank you so much Christian. I do! Its like you can't ever stop at one. It has been a lot of fun and very worth doing. I look forward to doing more!

  2. Wow! Amazing. Thanks for this post and the pics.

    1. Pleasure Donna. I am glad that you enjoyed them :)

  3. Nick, this is AMAZING! Wish I could see your exhibition!

    Thank you for sharing your treasures with the world!

  4. What an impressive exhibit! Your collection is astonishing - how I admire your passion and dedication to collecting and preserving these wonderful costumes. I only wish I could be there in person to see them. Maybe someday. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you for the very nice words!

      I do hope that you can make it out to see an exhibit here one day. Fingers crossed for the next one I do. Stay tuned!

      Thanks again.

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  6. FABULOUS i loved seeing all that stuff