Debbie Reynolds, Hollywood actress and apparently hoarder, amassed a breathtaking collection of Hollywood costumes and props over the past 50 years. Unfortunately, no longer able to afford the tremendous cost of upkeep, Reynolds decided to put the collection up for auction. I was lucky enough to get to the Paley Center in Beverly Hills before it was all sold off and captured it all on video for you.
I'm honestly incredibly disappointed that they've gone to auction. Why were they not donated to a museum? Why didn't a museum purchase them? It's a very sad state of affairs, these costumes and props are a major part of Hollywood history and it's so sad to see them broken off and sold to the highest bidder, literally.
Hollywood means a great deal to me, for a variety of reasons, I'm a trained actress and was always fascinated by old Hollywood – in particular the costumes (which is likely why I ended up in fashion as opposed to on the stage – though the two go hand in hand) so being able to this collection in person was breathtaking. I was actually very moved by the whole process, and upon seeing the Cecil Beaton designed Ascot dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady – I actually cried.
The collection was sold off in parts last Saturday, with Marilyn Monroe's infamous white dress sold for a whopping 4.6 million, to an anonymous phone bidder. A large portion of the collection went to a bidder apparently representing a Japanese museum – another buyer, apparently a Saudi Prince. So it's safe to say we won't be seeing it together again anytime soon. As Randy Habercamp from the Academy said “It happened to the treasures of Greece. It happened to Italy. I guess now it’s our turn.”
I hope you enjoy the video – it's not the best quality – it was very busy – so I was avoiding the crowd constantly, and I've had to speed it up – the whole thing was almost 15 minutes long!! Later on I'll post some stills and more information on the items. In the meantime you can download the entire auction catalogue here, free of charge.