Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on July 7, 2013
Nearly fifty years after the release of the most popular family story ever told, many of the once-privately owned Sound of Music costumes are now being sold in one massive lot at Profiles in History! You may recall how last year I blogged about a much smaller scale version of this sort of auction when Maria’s blue chiffon dress and a rather worn Liesl’s dancing dress were sold by Julien’s Auctions. That was a decidedly monumental moment in Sound of Music costume history, but this collection far surpasses even that!
For the first time since 1994, all seven of the children’s sailor suits, all seven of the children’s curtain playclothes, Liesl’s dancing dress, Liesl’s edelweiss dress, Liesl’s party dress, Maria’s gold suit, Brigitta’s dirndl, as well as the dress she wore for the wedding scene, are all being sold in one gigantic lot! Estimated to sell for over 1 million dollars, this massive collection is the largest, most complete set of Sound of Music costumes to ever be in one location since the actual film production in 1965. Excepting Maria’s blue chiffon dress (which sold last year), Maria’s wedding dress, and Baroness Schraeder’s red suit, this collection represents most of the notable costumes worn by the principle actresses.
Most of the costumes appear to be in fairly good condition, though Liesl’s chiffon dancing dress is understably a bit tattered. In case you read my article I wrote last year about another version of this costume which sold at Julien’s Auctions, you will remember how I was convinced that the dirt-stained dress they were selling was not the one that Liesl actually danced in, and that I was sure there were either one or two versions alive and well in the world somewhere. Oh, it was definitely really used in the film (for the scene in Maria’s bedroom), but clearly wasn’t the one worn for “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. (You can read my reasons in the article I wrote last year.) So I was so excited to see what a non-dirt stained version looks like today! This is the one she wore for dancing in the rain, though I think there may have been another one she wore in the dinner scene…
Liesl’s party dress is almost as lovely as it was back in the 60s, but what happened to that gorgeous yellow sash? Apparently the unattached canary-yellow ribbon has been lost, but it could definitely be replicated if it was to be displayed somewhere. The gathered/puffed collar still looks sturdy, though the puffed sleeves are a bit more worn. These sleeves, by the way, are so much fun to sew! When I created my “Liesl’s Party Dress” pattern last year, I think the puffed sheer sleeves were the most enjoyable element to create.
Liesl’s edelweiss dress is lovely with all the piping down the bodice seams and the delicate embroidery on the white ruffles! This garment is probably in better condition that either of the other two “Liesl” dresses mentioned above. The thing that suprised me the most about this dress is the purple piping! On the screen, the piping looked dark green, so my guess is that it was a dark purple piping that has faded over the years.
This classsy gold suit was such a refreshing change in Maria’s wardrobe from the earlier “governess” dresses she had worn! It is being sold along with the matching chiffon blouse she wore underneath.
Brigitta’s dirndl worn for “Do Re Mi” is a lovely blend of homespun fabrics and fall earthtone colors. And the heirloom dress she wore for the wedding scene looks like it belongs in the pages of Sew Beautiful.
It is my hope that this group of costumes will be purchased by a museum that will put them on display for public viewing, and that will see them not just as old film memorabilia, but as part of the Sound of Music legacy that has continued for nearly the last fifty years. These costumes have been admired on screen by millions of people all over the world, and if they are displayed in an exhibit, there is a good chance that they could be filmed up close for the 50th anniversary edition of the Sound of Music dvd which should be released in 2015. I can think of a couple of places that would be ideal locations, but whatever happens, it is just wonderful to know that nearly two dozen costumes from this classic family film have survived all these years and are all in one place!
I LOVE the Sound of Music costumes and always have (as is evidenced by the patterns I’ve put out inspired by the original designs), and I look forward to seeing if these outfits make it into a permanent display!
So long, farewell,