A bunch of us girls who regularly took dance classes at the studio were asked if we’d like to model dresses from Debbie’s collection of vintage movie costumes (at one point she owned over 9,000!). Although I wasn’t a vintage movie buff, I was excited to try on these dresses. At the time, even with a tiny little dancer’s body, I remember it being REALLY difficult to squeeze myself into those dresses — wow! (Now I know why those women had such fantastic posture — they didn’t have a choice!!)
I got to wear a gorgeous dark green dress from the 1953 MGM film “Young Bess,” as well as a chartreuse two-piece period dress that Katherine Ross wore in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (apparently it was worn in the Bolivia scene where Katharine was having dinner with Paul Newman and Robert Redford).
But my favorite dress (maybe because of my fascination with crime movies & TV shows?) was the ivory chiffon three-tiered gown — stained with movie-blood — worn by Bette Davis as Charlotte when she enters the party after discovering her beau’s body in “Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte.”
Fortunately, I snuck my camera into the dressing area and had a friend snap a few photos of me in these legendary dresses way back when. In 2011, Debbie Reynolds sold most of the dresses in her collection, including the the “Butch Cassidy” dress (which sold for $16,000) and the Bette Davis dress (which sold for $11,000).
Here’s me in the “Young Bess” dress: