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  • Joan Crawford as Anni Pavlovitch wearing a beaded gown in the 1937 film "The Bride Wore Red."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    The Bride Wore Red

    1937

    Costume seen on Joan Crawford as Anni Pavlovitch

  • An uncredited model as an extra wearing a beaded gown in the 1941 film "The Big Store."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    The Big Store

    1941

    Costume seen on an uncredited extra as a model

  • Inez Cooper as "Miss December" wearing a red beaded gown in the 1943 film "Du Barry Was a Lady."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    Du Barry was A Lady

    1943

    Costume seen on Inez Cooper as "Miss December"

  • Angela Lasbury wearing a red beaded gown in a 1945 promotional photo.
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    Promotional Photo

    1945

    Costume seen on Angela Lasbury

  • Kim Novak as Lylah Clare wearing a beaded gown in a promotional photo for the 1968 film "The Legend of Lylah Clare."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    The Legend of Lylah Clare

    1968

    Costume seen on Kim Novak as Lylah Clare

Additional Images

About the Costume

Adrian designed this spectacular red gown for Joan Crawford in the 1937 film The Bride Wore Red. The gown is covered in nearly 2,000,000 hand-sewn glass bugle beads and weighs around thirty pounds. The dress is still in existence and is in extremely good condition considering its age.

Despite the title of the film, The Bride Wore Red was filmed in black and white, and the color of the dress was not able to be fully appreciated until later. The dress made its second appearance in The Big Store in 1941 in a fashion show scene, where it was worn by an uncredited extra as a model. Though this film was also in black and white, Groucho Marx explains to the audience, “This is a bright red dress” because “Technicolor is sooo expensive!” Finally, the dress appeared in color in the 1943 film Du Barry was A Lady, where it was worn without the matching capelet by Inez Cooper as “Miss December.” Around 1945 the dress was worn by Angela Lansbury for a promotional photo for MGM. After that, the dress was not seen for quite some time. Kim Novak eventually wore the gown as Lylah Clare in promotional imagery for the 1968 film The Legend of Lylah Clare.  The gown also appears in color in a photo shown in the film.

This gown was on display at the wonderful Hollywood Costume exhibit at the V&A and later at several museums around the United States. The gown and the exhibit are written about in more detail in Deborah Nadoolman Landis’ excellent book Hollywood Costume.

 

About the Costume

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Have you ever watched a film and noticed a character walk by in a gown that you just know you’ve seen before? Recycled Movie Costumes is dedicated to documenting the life of a costume through its various appearances on film and television.

Additional Images

About the Costume

Adrian designed this spectacular red gown for Joan Crawford in the 1937 film The Bride Wore Red. The gown is covered in nearly 2,000,000 hand-sewn glass bugle beads and weighs around thirty pounds. The dress is still in existence and is in extremely good condition considering its age.

Despite the title of the film, The Bride Wore Red was filmed in black and white, and the color of the dress was not able to be fully appreciated until later. The dress made its second appearance in The Big Store in 1941 in a fashion show scene, where it was worn by an uncredited extra as a model. Though this film was also in black and white, Groucho Marx explains to the audience, “This is a bright red dress” because “Technicolor is sooo expensive!” Finally, the dress appeared in color in the 1943 film Du Barry was A Lady, where it was worn without the matching capelet by Inez Cooper as “Miss December.” Around 1945 the dress was worn by Angela Lansbury for a promotional photo for MGM. After that, the dress was not seen for quite some time. Kim Novak eventually wore the gown as Lylah Clare in promotional imagery for the 1968 film The Legend of Lylah Clare.  The gown also appears in color in a photo shown in the film.

This gown was on display at the wonderful Hollywood Costume exhibit at the V&A and later at several museums around the United States. The gown and the exhibit are written about in more detail in Deborah Nadoolman Landis’ excellent book Hollywood Costume.

 

Adrian designed this spectacular red gown for Joan Crawford in the 1937 film The Bride Wore Red. The gown is covered in nearly 2,000,000 hand-sewn glass bugle beads and weighs around thirty pounds. The dress is still in existence and is in extremely good condition considering its age.

Despite the title of the film, The Bride Wore Red was filmed in black and white, and the color of the dress was not able to be fully appreciated until later. The dress made its second appearance in The Big Store in 1941 in a fashion show scene, where it was worn by an uncredited extra as a model. Though this film was also in black and white, Groucho Marx explains to the audience, “This is a bright red dress” because “Technicolor is sooo expensive!” Finally, the dress appeared in color in the 1943 film Du Barry was A Lady, where it was worn without the matching capelet by Inez Cooper as “Miss December.” Around 1945 the dress was worn by Angela Lansbury for a promotional photo for MGM. After that, the dress was not seen for quite some time. Kim Novak eventually wore the gown as Lylah Clare in promotional imagery for the 1968 film The Legend of Lylah Clare.  The gown also appears in color in a photo shown in the film.

This gown was on display at the wonderful Hollywood Costume exhibit at the V&A and later at several museums around the United States. The gown and the exhibit are written about in more detail in Deborah Nadoolman Landis’ excellent book Hollywood Costume.

 

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Credits

Sighting Credit:
  • Michael
  • Norman
  • Tom
Photos provided by:
Costume Designer:
  • Adrian (Adrian Adolph Greenburg)

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Costume Commentary

  1. I think I read that this dress is still in good condition because it was later found (properly) stored in a drawer at MGM. Beaded garments are extremely heavy, and often made on thin fabric so they will really cling to the body. If stored on a hanger, the beads can literally rip the fabric underneath over time, with gravity pulling the weight of 30+ lbs. of beads downward. Luckily, this costume was properly stored…even if it means it was therefor forgotten about for years : )

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Costume Commentary

  1. I think I read that this dress is still in good condition because it was later found (properly) stored in a drawer at MGM. Beaded garments are extremely heavy, and often made on thin fabric so they will really cling to the body. If stored on a hanger, the beads can literally rip the fabric underneath over time, with gravity pulling the weight of 30+ lbs. of beads downward. Luckily, this costume was properly stored…even if it means it was therefor forgotten about for years : )

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Costume Commentary

  1. I think I read that this dress is still in good condition because it was later found (properly) stored in a drawer at MGM. Beaded garments are extremely heavy, and often made on thin fabric so they will really cling to the body. If stored on a hanger, the beads can literally rip the fabric underneath over time, with gravity pulling the weight of 30+ lbs. of beads downward. Luckily, this costume was properly stored…even if it means it was therefor forgotten about for years : )

Comment