Vintage 1960s Beaded Gown - RARE 60s Showgirl Costume by Mme. Berthé for Burlesque with Beaded Bodice, Split Skirt and Train


  • Product Description

      This stunning and rare Mme. Berthé burlesque costume is a stunning piece of one of a kind stage wear. This piece is built on early 60s Exquisite form Cinderella bra, which has been used to help date to the first years of that decard.. These pieces are consignment by a collector, and so we have not worked on any restorations or risked them at the cleaner. This is an very sturdy costume, meant for hard use. It starts with a 36B padded bra, which is sewn into a heavy power mesh body suit. The straps of the bra are covered with heavy flesh covered grosgrain, which attached to both the body suit and the bra to fully support the extremely heavy beading. The beads are sewn directly to the body suit, in a bright and intricate floral or white beads, green sequined leaves, wite and purple and orange flowers and trim. A flower decorates each breast. The skirt splits fully open at the front, exposing a white sequined crotch when you dance. Made of two layers of white slipper satin, so both the interior and exterior and shine. It is edges with nylon chiffon ruffles trimmed with white. The same ruffles make up the off shoulder sleeves.

      The skirt flares to a dramatic train, filled with gores of bright green, violet purple and red, all accented with white bead and sequin bow with dripping movement. Three large flowers , one of each color, decorate each side of the train, with bright green sequin leaves.

      The piece zips up the back and has an open crotch that appears to have once had snaps. Despite the weight and complexity, I am fairly sure this was made for a peeler every bit as much as the skirt we are also offering.

      Mme. Bethé was a New York Costumier on Broadway between the 1930s and 1970s. Her known credits included the 1932 "Hey Nonny, Nonny" and the 1944 Broadway Variety. Her costumes are sturdy and made with careful attention to detail. This piece will be fantastic for any collector or museum.


      Interior Bra is a 36B, but
      Bust: Measures as a 36", but fits very low - it was very oversized on the 35" bust form.
      Waist: 30"-31" -
      Hips: 38. may work to 39"/40" with mesh stretch, snugly
      Shoulder to crotch: 30"
      Length: 47"

      Label: Mme. Berthé, 110 West 47th St. New York, Original Owner's Name "Mary .... Bahn? Barn?"
      Material: Power Mesh, Eyelash Lamé, Metallic Lamé, Nylon Chiffon, Silk Chiffon Beads, Sequins
      Condition: Good Minus, sturdy and structurally sound with some bead/sequin loss and soil

      Starting from the top down with condition notes. The nylon chiffon at the shoulders is dingy, as is the similar trim on the skirt. The padding of the bra has dried and turned to dust with age - it's not wearable, comfortably, without that aged padding removed. There is bead and sequin loss to the bodice, particularly along the sides of the zipper, but there's some scattered loss, and some color sequins missing in the bands of color above the hips (photo 2, 6 for front and back. More photos are available.) There is some fade to the purple flower on the left side, and some general dinge to the white satin. The snaps are missing from the crotch, and there's lost white sequins there as well. As a consignment piece, we don't do major restoration or cleaning, but must leave that to the buyer and simply adjust for it. There is one smallish hole in the purple section of train, from a bead or sequined detail that pulled away - I would recommend simply placing a white sequin something on top. Finally, the most notable issue is water staining/ water line up the interior, as much as 17" up from the low point of the hem, and running across the base of the train. This is mostly only visible on the interior, as the colors help hide it, but it can be seen on the exterior if you are looking for it. The beading may need to be worked on, and a drycleaning to follow, but the piece is STRONG. It's sturdy and durable for more stage wear or as a shiny show piece in a museum.

      From a consignment collection, and will be offered for a six month term only.

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  • Product Details

    • Variant: Default Title
    • In Stock: 1
    • Product Type: 1960s