Dress or jewel? Streisand's precious dress in "Hello, Dolly!"
It is part of the top ten most expensive dresses ever made for a movie. It was worn by a very young Barbra Streisand in her performance in the famous 1969 film "Hello, Dolly!" by Gene Kelly, based on the Broadway musical of the same name. This is the very luxurious dress worn by Dolly Levi, Streisand's character, in the final part of the film. A costume made of fabric decorated with threads of real gold (14 carats) and studded with Swarowski crystals.
A regal outfit, which is the centerpiece of the film set in the late 19th century, but in the costumes it traces the aesthetic of the late 1960s. In this case, it is an evening gown with a fitted line at the waist and hips, which widens slightly at the bottom. Beaded bangs fall over the shoulders, while a large feather headpiece and a multi-strand choker necklace complete the look, ending with long gloves.
Designed by costume designer Irene Sharaff, winner of five Academy Awards for costumes ("An American in Paris," "The King and I," "West Side Story," "Cleopatra," and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"), the dress is believed to be a one-of-a-kind piece, the making of which required an investment of several thousand dollars. Wearing it and performing in a musical number must not have been at all easy since its total weight was about 18 kilograms.
In fact, it is said that many rehearsals were needed to shoot the scene because Streisand kept tripping over the heavy dress, colliding with the other dancers on stage. However, on Sharaff's advice it was not the dress that was altered: the choreography was varied slightly. Thus leaving intact this cinematic costume masterpiece that was auctioned off in 2011 for $123,000.