This incredibly detailed gown was created by Adrian, who was head costume designer at MGM from 1928-1941, and is generally considered to be one of Hollywood’s greatest costume designers. Adrian dressed many stars, including Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and and Katharine Hepburn. He also dressed Greta Garbo for the majority of her short but illustrious career. This gown from the 1933 film Queen Christina was worn by Greta Garbo as the title character of Christina, Queen of Sweden.
During the studio era when most each studio had its own extensive on site costume house, a garment would go back into stock and be re-worked and reused in other films. Sometimes a star could rent a costume from the warehouse for use in their own personal life. In this instance it appears that it was rented out to someone by the name of Mrs.Wilson Jones. She appeared alongside MGM Star Edmund Lowe, who is likely the one who had the connections to borrow the costumes. Lowe and Jones appeared as a King and Queen at the famous Hollywood hot spot The Coconut Grove in Hollywood, at a charity event given by The Twenty Little Working Girls. A photo of them attending the gala appeared in the January 1935 edition of Hollywood magazine, Photoplay
Often times garments with the amount of detailing and beading do not hold up as well over long periods of time, but this gown is still in remarkable condition over eighty years later. It has been on display several times at Hollywood film exhibits. The photo above shows it displayed at the Oklahoma City Museum’s Sketch to Screen Exhibit.It most recently was a part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s excellent exhibit, Hollywood Costume, which recently transferred to Los Angeles until March. The exhibit features additional costumes from the collection of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.