Costumes of Hollywood’s Greats on Exhibit

Photo essay by Adel Gorgy

A trio of iconic Hollywood costumes, above, worn by Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh from Gone with the Wind, are part of an exhibition of fashion from the films that are now on view on Long Island.

Marilyn Monroe

“Gene London’s Cinema Collection: The Golden Age of Hollywood Costume Exhibit” is showing at the Tanger Outlets shopping center in Riverhead through April 28. The exhibition, which traveled recently from a museum in Texas, explores the changing face of fashion through films, directors, stars and the costume designers of Hollywood’s Golden Age. See authentic screen-worn costumes from iconic luminaries such as Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and many others.

Sarah Jessica Parker wore this replica of Marilyn Monroe’s famous white dress from The Seven Year Itch.  The dress, along with fans that lift the skirt, begins the show. 

Doris Day’s Mata Hari costume

Doris Day’s costume as Mata Hari from The Glass Bottom Boat was used for the poster for the movie and the cover for the DVD, and it’s on view in the exhibition.

Leslie Caon’s outfits from Gigi

One of the many highlights of the show is the chance to see Leslie Caron’s outfits from Gigi, first as a young girl, then all grown up, in a famous white gown with black feathers by the Oscar-winning designer Cecil Beaton.   

Joan Bennett’s gown

A fur-trimmed gown worn by Joan Bennett in the 1939 black and white film, The Man in the Iron Mask.  Throughout the exhibition, panels explain who wore each costume, in what film, and who designed it.

Bette Davis’ gown

Bette Davis was transformed by makeup, hairstyle and luxurious gowns like this when she portrayed Queen Elizabeth I in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

Another costume

Costumes worn by Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Mae West, Grace Kelly, Raquel Welch, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Charlton Heston, Sean Connery and more are included in this exhibition of 48 costumes and outfits from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

A period costume

Marie Antoinette, Anna Karenina, and Cinderella, are just a few of the famous characters brought to life in costumes by Hollywood’s greatest designers on view in “Gene London’s Cinema Collection.”

A trio of star costumes

A red gown worn by Elizabeth Taylor to the Oscars, a pink and white ensemble Grace Kelly wore in To Catch a Thief and a lavender gown worn by Ann Sheridan in The Opposite Sex.

Audrey Hepburn’s outfit at Ascot from My Fair Lady (center)

Audrey Hepburn’s costume from the races at Ascot (center) by Cecil Beaton won him the Oscar for My Fair Lady.  It’s a favorite of visitors.  It’s grouped with dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn and a rhinestone encrusted pink bathing suit worn by Esther Williams.  Historic photographs and a specially installed red carpet complete the exhibition.

Golden Age of Hollywood Costume Exhibit
Tanger Outlets, 1770 W Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901
Open Daily through April 28th, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.