Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RELICS #3 the battle hymn gown

Charles Triplett, longtime member and friend of The Judy Garland Experience, has consented to periodically share special items from his collection in a journal here on The Experience. His extensive collection includes vintage materials of all kinds -- most notably costumes and accessories from Judy's M-G-M films, wardrobe from her CBS-TV series, and her personal couture.. Charles is a careful preservationist, and does not publicly exhibit these items out of concern for their care and longevity. In this series we will have an unprecedented view into many of the rare and wonderful things he has collected.

Journal Entry #3: The Battle Hymn Gown

At this point there is no need for me to describe or recount Judy Garland's legendary performance of THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC on her television show, 12-13-63, in tribute to President John F. Kennedy. It was one of the high points of her series and well remembered by fandom. Hardly any discussion of THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW can be complete without mention of this performance. As I tell anyone and everyone who has an interest in the TV Series please refer to Mr. Steve Sander's tome.

I do feel that Mr. Aghayan did more for her as a designer than anyone else in her career. Most everything he did for her could even be worn today.

The gown Judy wore that night was of red silk incrusted with sequins, bugle beads, faux pearls and jewels. Designed by Ray Aghayan and made at Elizabeth Courtney costumes it is one of the most stunning gowns I have seen from the series.
Judy kept it with her for years only to have it fall out of her possession during the trouble with her bill at the St. Moritz hotel in NYC in 1968.

I treasure the gown as one of the signature pieces in my collection. It's one of the most iconic relics from her Television series and maybe her entire career.

As far as the value goes, to me and I am sure to all of us here it is priceless. For the record the last JUDY GARLAND SHOW Ray Aghayan gown sold for $45,000 several years ago. At this point I know of only six gowns from the TV series, Tom Larro owns the "Criss Cross" gown, George Dalzell owns the Show 26 gown, Michael Siewert owns the "Movie Concert" gown. an anonymous lady in California owns the "Poppy gown" and I own the "Battle Hymn and zebra gown.


Unknown said...

Wow...just wow. Thank you for sharing the gown and the story. Judy Forever!


Burl said...

Just adds to the mystique. Wow as well.




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