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  1. #1

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    Debbie Reynolds 6/18 auction includes costumes & skates from Sonja Henie

    I went to the preview of Debbie Reynolds' auction on Sunday. Her collection is magnificent - Marilyn Monroe's white halter dress from The Seven Year Itch, ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz - All being auctioned on June 18th. Two of Sonja Henie's show costumes and a pair of skates are also offered.

    You can bid online, although it may be delayed after live bidding starts.

    http://www.icollector.com/Two-skatin...hows_i10658053

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    I was looking at that the other day. Such a wonderful collection -- it's a shame it can't be kept together. I know she tried for years and years to find or build a museum for it.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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    A People Magazine article article about the auction said she still works 42 weeks out of the year giving concerts in part to pay the storage costs of all these items. At her age, that's . Selling it would really help her financially.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Wow, only $800 for the Sonia Henie stuff? INteresting. But the Valentino item has a $60,000 estimate.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    I wonder why she doesn't just donate them to the Smithsonians, for example, or does she need the money? There's no Hollywood museum in Hollywood ?

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    She needs the money. As for a Hollywood museum, she tried to start one and I think others have too. It is surprising there isn't one (that I know of).
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Those dresses are really beautiful, and I love the high skating boots and the design on the top.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Know what's wierd?

    The cream/white dress being auctioned off as Sonja Henie's looks an awful lot like the dress Carol Heiss wore in "Snow White and the Three Stooges."
    The fur accent caught my eye in some photos.

    Henie's Dress from the auction:
    http://www.icollector.com/images/120..._0226_1_lg.jpg

    Heiss' Dress from the movie:
    http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pu...snow_white.jpg
    Bigger photos:
    http://www.kiddiematinee.com/s-sw3s.html
    (scroll down to the autographed photos at the bottom of the page.)

    The skirts are both pleated, and the bodice is covered with sequins and seed beads. While Henie was known for short skirts, that looks a little too short for her time.

    Either the Snow White wardrobe department copied Henie's dress, Heiss wore Henie's dress, or there's a mistake in the Auction catalog.

    Things that make me go hmmmm....
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 06-14-2011 at 07:21 AM.

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    I believe parts of the collection are being displayed in LA somewhere. That could be completely wrong, but I could have sworn that I saw an ad for the display somewhere while I was driving...

    Either way, it's a shame she has to sell all of this stuff, but I hope she gets the money she needs.

    I believe there is a small "Hollywood Museum," but it's nowhere near this magnitude or this type of display. It's a shame; we could so use one on Hollywood Blvd. This would even be incredibly interesting for the Resnick Pavilion at LACMA.

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    It absolutely looks like the dress - and I saw it up close. The dress is cream and the stones are multi-colored and in many sizes and shapes. Sonja's movies were primarily filmed at 20th Century Fox, which also produced Snow White & The Three Stooges, so it's possible they both wore the dress. The studio costume departments were constantly recycling wardrobe.

    The auction previews are at the Paley Center, 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. About 400 items are on display. It's free - June 15-17 - Hours 12:00-5:00 p.m.
    Last edited by operagirl; 06-14-2011 at 09:45 PM.

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    Awww, I guess the micro-crown with the fur is missing. That's too bad. Someone probably put it in a hat box for storage and it's lost now.


    The auction item's location says it's on display at the Paley Center.

    Auction Location:
    465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210, United States

    Previewing Details:
    Public previews at the Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Dates are June 4-5, 8-12 and 15-17. Hours are 12pm to 5pm.

    I sent the auction house an email asking if they had authenticated the cream-colored dress. Now I wonder about the the other items. The gold dress/cape with the red stars just doesn't say "Sonja Henie" to me. It looks too modern.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 06-14-2011 at 07:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operagirl View Post
    It absolutely looks like the dress - and I saw it up close. The dress is cream and the stones are multi-colored and in many sizes and shapes. Sonja's movies were primarily filmed at 20th Century Fox, which also produced Snow White & The Three Stooges, so it's possible they both wore dress. The studio costume departments were contantly recycling wardrobe to save money.
    I can't find a picture of Henie in the cream-colored dress from any of her movies or skating shows. I even checked my copy of her biography and nada. I thought it was odd that the photo shown on the auction page isn't of her in either of the dresses (or the skates) that are up for bid. Very strange.

    The gold dress just looks too "american" and modern to have been Henie's, but the cape definitely dates it to the 1960's or earlier, imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    The auction item's location says it's on display at the Paley Center.

    Auction Location:
    465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210, United States

    Previewing Details:
    Public previews at the Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Dates are June 4-5, 8-12 and 15-17. Hours are 12pm to 5pm.
    I KNEW I saw this while I was driving around somewhere! The Paley Center is a media museum in Beverly Hills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    Awww, I guess the micro-crown with the fur is missing. That's too bad. Someone probably put it in a hat box for storage and it's lost now.


    The auction item's location says it's on display at the Paley Center.

    Auction Location:
    465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210, United States

    Previewing Details:
    Public previews at the Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Dates are June 4-5, 8-12 and 15-17. Hours are 12pm to 5pm.

    I sent the auction house an email asking if they had authenticated the cream-colored dress. Now I wonder about the the other items. The gold dress/cape with the red stars just doesn't say "Sonja Henie" to me. It looks too modern.
    It wouldn't be unusual for a costume to be "re-used".
    Many iconic costumes from the best-known movies have been "found" in storage, also.

    I would have thought that Sonia would have purchased the costumes from her films, though.

    Would it be possible to ask Carol Heiss about her costume from "Snow White..."?

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    The auction site says the costumes are from her shows (it doesn't say movies), so I'm not sure how the costumes could have been passed on to another skater in a 20th Century Fox movie unless they underwrote the costuming for the skating shows?

    That does explain the unusual gold/red starred dress with cape. She liked the designs from Bill Travilla of Jack's of Hollywood and had them create costumes for her skating shows that pre-dated her movies. I wouldn't expect to see photos of every costume she wore for every skating show. The movies are different story thanks to YouTube.

    http://www.travillatour.com/The-man-himself(849737).htm


    ETA: Ah, here's a circa-1938 connection between Hollywood and Henie's touring show:
    http://www.sonjahenie.net/meet4.htm

    Hollywood costumers and artists have contributed liberally to Sonja Henie's "Hollywood Ice Revue." Royer, the noted creator at Twentieth Century-Fox, designed the costumes, which were executed by Arthur Levy, also known throughout the motion picture industry for his skill.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 06-14-2011 at 06:55 PM.

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    In person the gold dress is quite obviously older than the cream. It was shown under glass. The dress looked too fragile to display upright as the majority of costumes were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operagirl View Post
    In person the gold dress is quite obviously older than the cream. It was shown under glass. The dress looked too fragile to display upright as the majority of costumes were.
    Since I'm in LA anyway and this seems like a really cool collection, I'm going to go check it out. I'll post an update when I do.

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    I wish I could go - I've always wanted to go to the Paley Center. Their annual "Paleyfest" is supposed to be awesome.

    I wonder if there are notes or docents to clarify the dresses/skates origin and how Ms. Reynolds acquired them? It could be a good story.

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    Sonja's show dresses were often "short". Her competitive ones weren't.

    http://www.hickoksports.com/images/henie_sonja.jpg


    Sonja in short shorts with Dick Button

    http://i.factmonster.com/images/shen...on_skating.jpg
    Last edited by Iceman; 06-15-2011 at 11:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    Sonja's show dresses were often "short". Her competitive ones weren't.
    Yeah, I said that, too.
    However, her MOVIE dresses weren't as short as her show dresses, either. Those stills and videos are easier to find.
    The cream colored dress in question doesn't have panties, so it appears to be really, really short, even for Henie.
    However, when you see it on Heiss, it's not *that* short. The skirt edges are frayed, so it may have been trimmed.

    I really want to see a photo of the cream-colored dress on Henie. I'm amazed that they could both wear the same size dress. Heiss looks much taller.


    UPDATE: I found the gold dress with the red stars on Henie:

    http://www.squidoo.com/sonja-henie
    http://i3.squidoocdn.com/resize/squi...ie-feather.jpg

    It had a headdress too. Did the Paley center display show the headpieces, operagirl?
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 06-15-2011 at 05:34 PM.

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