Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on December 11, 2011
Rosemary Clooney’s “White Christmas” Costume
You don’t have to be dreaming of a White Christmas to love the 1950s costumes that Rosemary Clooney wore in the 1954 classic film, “White Christmas“. With the fitted bodices and huge, pouffy skirts held out by crinolines, Rosemary’s dresses were the epitome of 1950s fashion. Edith Head (the renowned Hollywood costume designer), concocted the most lovely gowns for Miss Clooney’s performance in this movie, so imagine how excited I was to discover that her original blue lace film costume had turned up online and was being restored to its former grandeur!
While I’m not a huge fan of all the White Christmas costumes (there were a number of skimpy ones in addition to the many beautiful gowns!), Rosemary’s blue lace dress was just stunning. She is seen wearing this evening gown for the initial “Sisters” song and dance sequence.
As shown in the photographs, this film costume is comprised of a multi-layered tulle skirt and a sweetheart neckined bodice which is overlaid with sparkly Venetian lace. The colorized version of the film portrays the dress as being a medium bright-blue, though it has now faded to a perinwinkle skirt and light blue bodice.
Discovering the Dress
When the owners of the Rosemary Clooney House spotted this dress on Ebay, they snatched it up immediately! While the vintage store that was selling wasn’t aware of just how famous this dress was, these Clooney enthusiasts felt sure they had found the original costume. As this museum already owned a number of film costumes from “White Christmas”, they could compare sewing techniques such as seam finishes and zipper installation.
While these all seemed to suggest this dress was indeed the authentic gown, the Rosemary Clooney staff resorted to one final step to make sure they had found the actual movie costume – By printing larger than life sized photographs of stills from the movie, the team compared every minute detail of dress, right down to each lace swirl, and found that this is in fact Rosemary Clooney’s famous blue dress.
Red Dress from “White Christmas”
This gown is now on display at the Rosemary Clooney House in Kentucky, which also houses a replica of the stunning red satin Christmas gown which she wore for the film’s finale. The original version of this costume has not yet turned up, but some seamstress did a terrific job of replicating it.