A Lady Can Make an Entrance


1950's stars were known for making glorious entrances in their evening attire. All eyes turned to view the stunning woman in the evening dress as she strolled across the silver screen. Every woman wanted to have the look that would hush a room upon entry.

One Sunday afternoon, Mark, my photographer, and I ventured into the Virginia Commonwealth University's Fashion Design & Merchandising Department. Our mission was to photograph a few garments from the costume collection. We opened the collection's door and several evening dresses seemed to fall into our hands. It was as though the costumes were waiting for us to bring them to life.

The fashion stylists arrived to make this dream a reality. Or did they make the reality a dream? For in those moments, as one-by-one the dresses slid onto the dressforms, they came to life before our eyes. Suddenly, we were surrounded by beautiful starlets at a Hollywood gala. Each starlet wanted to capture the photographer's lens. Who would be the first starlet to be featured in the article on this "web page"?

Who would make the best entrance? The starlets shuffled in the vast room while Mark and I discussed the attire of each guest. Which lady stood out in the crowd? Each starlet strutted past us as if in a parade.

Miss Audrey Hepburn passed us in her gracious way. Mark's eyes followed her as if he had placed her in a frame. She wore an evening dress just like this in 1957's "Funny Face". The dress hugged her figure as the fantail flowed with each step. It was decided, Miss Hepburn's gown would be the featured costume in the article for this "web page".

Miss Rosemary Clooney (to the right) was wearing a red taffeta and nylon net dress. She wore a similar blue gown in 1954's "White Christmas".




Marilyn Monroe was wearing a gown comparable to her "Some Like it Hot" costume. She came into the camera's eye wearing a 1959 sequined evening gown. The dress seemed to change colors as she moved.



All the starlets made such stunning entrances but just as important is a gracious exit. Miss Dorothy McGuire from 1954's "Three Coins in a Fountain" would show us the proper way to exit.


Author: Penny E. Dunlap Ladnier, Photographer: Marc Guillard

Disclaimer: The costumes used in this article were not worn by the previous mentioned starlets nor does Virginia Commonwealth University possess costumes once owned by movie stars. This article is an example of creative fiction writing.

This article was first published in "The Eye", a publication that was 100% student produced at Virginia Commonwealth University's Fashion Design & Merchandising Department. "The Eye" was a project of students in the Fashion Publications class, Spring 1997. All rights to this article are property of the author, photographer, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Reproduction is not permitted.

The Costume Gallery researches for a fee historic costumes for private individuals, authors, designers, theatre, film and television. The Costume Gallery is located in Richmond, Virginia, USA, fondly called "Costume Heaven". Location and accessability are two key factors in research. The Costume Gallery has access to several universities (costume collections & libraries), state libraries, national archives & museum collections. Questions??? contact: research.questions@costumegallery.com



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