CELESTE HOLM Costume for Bloomer Girl, circa 1944
. A finely made costume comprising a purple dress with ruffle details and an under layer of pink at the collar, sleeve cuffs, and the hem, the large skirt supported by a hoop skirt with removable boning, with the label of Grace Costumes, the costume likely designed by Miles White. Within a card pinned to the costume is signed in ink by Celeste Holm and reports this costume from Bloomer Girl.
While this costume does not appear in available production stills from the original production of Bloomer Girl, which opened on Broadway in October of 1944 and starred Celeste Holm as Evelina, a signed note pinned to the costume attests Bloomer Girl to be the show of origin. Set in the antebellum south and with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, Bloomer Girl tells the story of Evelina Applegate, played by Ms. Holm, who inspired by her aunt, the abolitionist suffragette Dolly Bloomer, defies her hoop skirt manufacturer father by wearing modern bloomers and refuse to marry until her suitor frees his slave Pompey, played by Dooley Wilson in his first Broadway performances following Casablanca. Clearly with fashion so central to the plot of Bloomer Girl great care was taken in the re-creation traditional hoop-skirts and period bloomer costumes, all under the auspices of the greatly talented costume designer, Miles White. It is difficult to identify costumes from Bloomer Girl as unfortunately most of Miles White's original costume drawings were lost in a warehouse fire. Costumes from the Golden Age of musical theater on Broadway are scarce and this costume is worthy of future research and preservation.
C The Celeste Holm Collection
Additional Notes & Condition Report
These garments are being auctioned as memorabilia. The measurements have not been recorded, any size given is a courtesy and may not be reliable.
Measured on mannequin
Shoulders: 17 inches
Bust: 35 inches
Waist: 26 inches
Length of skirt: 41 inches
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