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  • Ruth Hussey as the Duchesse de Polignac wearing an 18th century-inspired gown in the 1938 film "Marie Antoinette."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    Marie Antoinette

    1938

    Costume seen on Ruth Hussey as the Duchess de Polignac

  • Ava Gardner as Pandora Reynolds wearing an 18th century-inspired red and gold gown in the 1951 film "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

    1951

    Costume seen on Ava Gardner as Pandora Reynolds

  • An extra as a theater goer wearing an 18th century-inspired red and gold gown in the 1952 film "Scaramouche."
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    Scaramouche

    1952

    Costume seen on an extra as a theater attendee

Additional Images

About the Costume

This red gown, inspired by 18th-century fashion, has an interesting history. Famed costume designer Adrian first designed it for the 1938 film Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer. Ruth Hussey wore this particular gown as the Duchess de Polignac. 

The gowns for Marie Antoinette were some of the most lavish to come out of Hollywood at the time. Adrian created hundreds of dresses, each with heavy embroidery, beading, and sequins. Some of the gowns were so elaborate that they weighed over 100 pounds. Because of the expense, the dresses were recycled whenever possible, making appearances in many movies over the next ten to fifteen years.

This costume was reused again in 1951 when Man Ray photographed Ava Gardner wearing it. One of those photos was used in the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman to create the miniature of Ava seen in the movie. She never wears the costume in the film itself. Ava seems to have liked the photograph and apparently had a painting of it commissioned by artist Antonio Diaz. The third time the gown was used was on an extra in the background of the famous fight scene in the 1952 film Scaramouche.

The gown is now in the collection of Mary Strauss. You can learn more at The Ava Gardner Museum Blog or the Man Ray Trust.

 

About the Costume

Have you seen this gown somewhere else? Do you need to be given credit for this sighting? Do you have corrections, additions or changes you would like to make?

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

This red gown, inspired by 18th-century fashion, has an interesting history. Famed costume designer Adrian first designed it for the 1938 film Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer. Ruth Hussey wore this particular gown as the Duchess de Polignac. 

The gowns for Marie Antoinette were some of the most lavish to come out of Hollywood at the time. Adrian created hundreds of dresses, each with heavy embroidery, beading, and sequins. Some of the gowns were so elaborate that they weighed over 100 pounds. Because of the expense, the dresses were recycled whenever possible, making appearances in many movies over the next ten to fifteen years.

This costume was reused again in 1951 when Man Ray photographed Ava Gardner wearing it. One of those photos was used in the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman to create the miniature of Ava seen in the movie. She never wears the costume in the film itself. Ava seems to have liked the photograph and apparently had a painting of it commissioned by artist Antonio Diaz. The third time the gown was used was on an extra in the background of the famous fight scene in the 1952 film Scaramouche.

The gown is now in the collection of Mary Strauss. You can learn more at The Ava Gardner Museum Blog or the Man Ray Trust.

 

This red gown, inspired by 18th-century fashion, has an interesting history. Famed costume designer Adrian first designed it for the 1938 film Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer. Ruth Hussey wore this particular gown as the Duchess de Polignac. 

The gowns for Marie Antoinette were some of the most lavish to come out of Hollywood at the time. Adrian created hundreds of dresses, each with heavy embroidery, beading, and sequins. Some of the gowns were so elaborate that they weighed over 100 pounds. Because of the expense, the dresses were recycled whenever possible, making appearances in many movies over the next ten to fifteen years.

This costume was reused again in 1951 when Man Ray photographed Ava Gardner wearing it. One of those photos was used in the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman to create the miniature of Ava seen in the movie. She never wears the costume in the film itself. Ava seems to have liked the photograph and apparently had a painting of it commissioned by artist Antonio Diaz. The third time the gown was used was on an extra in the background of the famous fight scene in the 1952 film Scaramouche.

The gown is now in the collection of Mary Strauss. You can learn more at The Ava Gardner Museum Blog or the Man Ray Trust.

 

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Credits

Sighting Credit:
  • Michael
Photos provided by:
  • Michael
  • Julia Spicer
  • Ava Gardner Estate Ebay Listing
  • IMDb
Costume Designer:
  • Adrian (Adrian Adolph Greenburg)

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