Movie Costumes – White Christmas

This month the classic “White Christmas” movie from Paramount Pictures premiered 65 years ago in 1954 featuring the songs of Irving Berlin and starring Bing Crosby (as Bob Wallace) with Danny Kaye (as Phil Davis), Rosemary Clooney (as Betty Haynes) and Vera-Ellen (as Judy Haynes).

In this post I will be discussing the movie costumes designed by Edith Head for the White Christmas film, specifically six dresses worn by actresses Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.  Mrs. Head was a famous costume designer who worked at Paramount Pictures for 44 years before moving onto Universal Pictures.  (For more information, please look for a future post about the eight time Academy Award winner Edith Head and her illustrious career designing for some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood)

Special Note: Any of these six dress designs from the White Christmas film could be a great inspiration for a bridal gown or bridesmaid dress.  In particular the two black evening gowns, when made in white, would be very sexy bridal gowns while the blue lace and pink chiffon dresses would be lovely bridesmaid dresses for a spring/summer wedding and the green velvet dress would be a beautiful bridesmaid dress for a fall/winter wedding.

The Blue Lace Dress (“Sisters”)

This is the first time in the film that we see the characters of Betty and Judy Haynes preforming at a local Miami nightclub to a song appropriately called “Sisters”.

The Haynes sisters are wearing matching blue lace dresses which featured a high neckline, long sleeves, a fitted bodice and a full skirt with layers of crinolines.  To complete their ensemble the sisters are wearing long blue gloves to match the dresses and they are carrying large blue feathered fans that are used very artfully during the musical number.  

Special Note:  The blue lace dress would be a great inspiration for a bridesmaids dress but I would suggest a round open neckline instead and perhaps skipping the matching blue gloves and feather fans!

The Pink Chiffon Dress (“The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing”)

 “The Best Things” musical number takes place outside the nightclub on the docks (it is one of my personal favorite scenes in the movie).  Judy is wearing a lovely pale pink chiffon dress that features a high neckline, large billowy sleeves, a tight bodice with a criss-cross detail and a full skirt with a darker pink crinoline shown underneath.  Phil in dressed in a grey suit with a white shirt and black tie, he is also wearing matching grey socks and grey shoes.

Bonus Dress: Betty is wearing a sexy periwinkle chiffon dress with a matching wrap.

Special Note:  Either the pink or periwinkle chiffon dresses would be a wonderful inspiration for a bridesmaid dress for a spring or summer wedding.  Also, the grey suit worn by Phil would be a great style for a groom, best man or usher.

The Black Sequin Dress (“Minstrel Number”)

For the full dress rehearsal of the Minstrel musical number Betty is wearing a black sequin long dress with just a peak of red showing at the daring strapless sweetheart neckline and, as you can see in the second photo below, at the back of the dress is a red tulle train.  Betty’s ensemble is completed with red sequin gloves and red sparkly bangles.      

Special Note:  For a formal evening wedding the black sequin long dress would be a great style for a white bridal gown.  The train at the back could be made in sparkle white tulle or if the bride wants a more colorful look and a touch of something blue she can use blue tulle!

The Green Velvet Dress

At the “fake” engagement party for Phil and Judy, Betty wears a dark green velvet dress with a very simple but elegant style.  The dress features cap sleeves, a tight bodice and a full skirt, detailing at the v-neck front and back of the dress add an interesting element.   

Special Note:  The dark green velvet dress would be a perfect style for a bridesmaid dress for a fall or winter wedding, the color and the type of fabric would be very suitable for the season.

The Black Long Dress (“Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me”)

For the sultry “Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me” musical number in the Carousel Nightclub Betty is wearing a sexy black velvet “fit and flair” long dress which features a daring deep v-neckline at the front and back, to complete the ensemble she is wearing long white silk gloves.   The best surprise of the dress is when Betty turns away from the camera to reveal the large rhinestone brooch pinned very low at the back of the dress!       

Special Note:  The style of the black “fit and flare” dress would be stunning made in white velvet for an evening winter wedding … and don’t forget to add a large rhinestone brooch pinned to the back!

Movie Note:  During the musical number in the nightclub one of the dancers in the scene is a young George Chakiris.  Seven years later he would go on to play the character Bernardo in the 1961 movie, “West Side Story”, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film.

The Red Satin and White Fur Dress (“White Christmas”)

For the musical finale of the White Christmas movie both Betty and Judy are wearing long red satin dresses with a full skirt and trimmed with white fur.  If you look closely there are some variations of the two dresses, Betty’s featured a narrow shawl collar with a large red berry and gold leaf brooch while Judy’s dress has a high collar neckline and a small cape trimmed with white fur.  To complete their outfits both are wearing red satin gloves and white fur muffs.        

Special Note:  The style of the dress worn for the “White Christmas” finale musical number would be a great inspiration for a bridal dress for a winter wedding.  Just image how a white satin and white fur trimmed bridal dress would look for an evening wedding!