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Mary of Scotland
Costume seen on Anita Colby as Mary Fleming
The Virgin Queen
Costume seen on Leslie Parrish as Anne
The Pit and the Pendulum
Costume seen on Barbara Steele as Elizabeth Medina
Beauty and the Beast
Costume seen on Joyce Taylor as Althea

Photo © Debbie Reynolds Studio Store

It would be difficult to identify this costume as the same one, were it not for the fact that some of this costumes's history has, in fact, been documented.

It was designed by Walter Plunkett for the 1936 film Mary of Scotland, where it was worn by Anita Colby as Mary Fleming. A label bearing Anita's name is still in the garment to this day.

In 1955, designer Mary Willis undersaw the adaptation of this gown for use in The Virgin Queen, where it was worn on Leslie Parrish as the character Anne. The sleeve caps were adjusted slightly, the bodice was split, and an insert was added.

From there, the dress went on to be used in The Pit and the Pendulum. Below are some promotional images which show the detail that went into the costume, as well as a much better look at the colour of the garment and fabrics that make it up.

After that, the dress went on to be used in a 1962 production of Beauty and the Beast, where the puffy sleeves were removed. From there the dress seems to have been adapted even further, though where it appeared next is unkown. It seems to have been remade for a film that takes place in the 18th century, as the sleeves were drastically shortened, lace engageantes (flounces) were added, and the skirt has been pulled up to make the swagged skirt of a polonaise.

Eventually the gown made it into the hands of Debbie Reynolds, where it went on to become a part of the famous auction in which Reynolds sold off her enormous collection of Hollywood props and costumes.

Costume Credit
Katie S.
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