Updated: Feb 11, 2019
The dress that is the subject of this "Who Wore It Best" is a black sheer strapless gown that consists of sheer puffy sleeves and a thick waist band right below the breasts. It has a huge skirt that flows to the ground and has 2 rings of red, white, and blue floral designs that decorate the skirt of the dress.
This gown was designed either by Jean Louis or Marcel Vertès who are both credited for designing dresses for the 1947 Columbia Pictures film Tonight and Every Night. Hayworth was the star of the film and wore this dress in a scene where she is dancing to the Academy Award-nominated song, "Anywhere". She also appears in publicity photos for the movie wearing this striking dress. Hayworth who was one of Columbia biggest stars at the time was the actress most photographed or filmed wearing the strapless gown. However, it was a common practice for movie studios to reuse dresses for their other films and actresses that were part of their roster. Some of the actresses who also donned the gown include Lynn Merrick and Marguerite Chapman.
Lynn Merrick signed with Columbia Pictures in 1943 and appeared in seventeen of their films over the next three years, mainly as a leading lady or second lead. Merrick wore this gown in Columbia’s 1945 musical comedy, Blonde from Brooklyn. This film was directed by Del Lord and starred along with Merrick, Bob Haymes.
Marguerite Chapman another actress who starred in films for Columbia Pictures is seen wearing the gown in a studio portrait. Comment who you think wore this Louis or Vertès creation best.
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