[Update 7/09/11: The owner will be holding onto the vest and will not be selling it until at least January 2012.]
[Update 6/28/11: See below pics of the vest!]
As you can tell from the pictures below, the formal vest is dark, with three large gold buttons, a silk back, and an adjustment tie at the bottom. Most significant, an original MGM tag features Gene’s name and a wardrobe number.
“How did Marc acquire Gene’s vest?” you might ask. In his words,
“In 1970, MGM was short on cash and held a well-publicized auction that included such items as the red slippers from Wizard of Oz. Less-publicized was a huge, week-long wardrobe sale that took place on a pair of sound stages on the Culver City lot. I attended, scouting for labels with stars’ names. I came across a bathing suit with Esther Williams’ name, but it was ripped up and of little value. Then, I found a pair of gold satin pants that Harpo Marx wore (I paid $1.00 for them and then sold them years ago for a nice sum). Finally, I came across this vest. First thing I noticed when I brought it home was how small it was (Gene was reportedly around 5’7″ or 5’8″). So, I couldn’t wear it to impress anyone.”
If you’re interested in purchasing the vest or learning more about it, please feel free to contact Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exciting Update (6/28/11)
I just received word from Marc who found someone to match the production number on the label to the master MGM production list. Here’s the (very cool!) email he received:
The number is from Singin’ In The Rain. Looks like a tux vest and probably worn in scene where Jean Hagen gets hit with a pie.
So now, who’s ready to whip out his/her wallet???