The Pearl Rope Gown


Continued thanks to Ian (this blog’s appointed Gowns Guru) for two superb posts today:

“To celebrate DSB’s birthday on Tuesday, my two favourite gowns!!

1: The Something Gown – see previous page

2: The Pearl Rope Gown – below


The Pearl Rope Gown (Lot 29 in catalogue., also on Love, Life And Feelings album sleeve and tour programme 1976)



Designed by Doug Darnell for Dame Shirley’s tour in 1973. A beautiful peppermint green sequinned gown, with halterneck and a scooped back with strands of imitation pearls, graduating in size.

Dame Shirley wore this gown for her 1973 UK tour but as far as I know, not ever worn on TV at all.

This is my own personal favourite of all the gowns and would look as good a design today!

Again, we would love to hear from whoever bought this gown at auction, and know what became of it.”


Christie’s Description & Notes

A dramatic stage gown by Douglas Darnell, the fitted bodice and peppermint green silk chiffon ground encrusted with pale green iridescent sequins, the halterneck and scooped back edged with strands of imitation pearls graduating in size from the imitation emerald jewelled clasp at the base of the neck, the back elaborately embellished with fifteen additional strands of imitation pearls graduating in size from neck to lower back and cascading from the clasp in a decorative cage effect, the skirt with flowing train lined in silver silk tissue; and a corresponding pair of stiletto heeled sandals customised by Darnell, stamped on the insole Hand Made By Peppino Vasso and with the retailer’s name F. Pinet.

Weight of gown: approx. 2kg.

She wore the gown for the cover shoot of various albums including: Love, Life And Feelings, 1976, Twenty Greatest Hits and Let Me Sing And I’m Happy.

Final Price



Images displayed with kind permission of Christies Images Ltd. © 2002

The Something Gown


Thanks to Ian (this blog’s appointed Gowns Guru) for two superb posts today:

“To celebrate DSB’s birthday on Tuesday, my two favourite gowns!!

1: The Something Gown – see below

2: The Pearl Rope Gown – up next



The ‘Something’ Gown (Lot 32 in Christie’s Catalogue)

Designed by Doug Darnell in 1969 and featured on the cover of the 1970 album entitiled ‘Something’. 



Worn by Dame Shirley at various concerts worldwide between 1970 and 1976. The citrus yellow gown is covered in a paisley Swarovski crystal covered pattern and has ‘cut out’ holes dotted around the dress.

DSB said that this dress is sexy, but without being over the top. I wish I had been at the concerts to see Shirley in this gown, it is a stunner (like the Dame) a ‘ Liz Hurley’ type dress! Alas I was a mere boy at school in the 70’s!!

We would love to hear from anyone who bought this gown at auction and know what you are doing with it!


Christie’s Description & Notes

The Something Dress – a sensational bias cut stage gown by Douglas Darnell, the sleeveless citrus yellow sateen applied with paisley cones embroidered with Swarovski clear crystals, turquoise beads and imitation pearls with strategically placed cut-out shaped sections; with matching voluminous stage coat of citrus yellow velvet, the sleeves, collar and opening trimmed with a deep border of yellow ostrich feathers, the sleeves applied with paisley cones similarly embroidered and scattered with crystals and beads, lined in electric blue silk tissue; and a pair of stiletto heeled sandals, the thin leather straps and heels painted yellow to match the gown; accompanied by a corresponding album Something, United Artists, 1970.

This dress is closely associated with Dame Shirley’s 1970 hit single written by George Harrison, Something. The gown was worn for the front cover of the United Artists’ album of the same name released that year.

In an interview for the BBC Wales television programme I Am What I Am, 1994, Dame Shirley said that she thought this dress was …sexy, without being over the top…. She also recounted a story of wearing the dress on stage in the Empire Room at the Plaza Hotel, New York. When introducing the song I Capricorn she said “I happen to be a Capricorn” and a voice in the audience called out “I’m a Capricorn too”, peering into the crowd she saw that it was Ava Gardner “looking gorgeous”…she said as she wasn’t ringside and couldn’t get to her easily, she hitched up the gown and walked over to her across the tables – defying any man on the way who looked as though he would attempt to touch her flesh through the holes in the dress, not to.

Final Price



Images displayed with kind permission of Christies Images Ltd. © 2002



Capricious Capricorn


Happy Birthday tomorow


Pink Australian

G’day Sport! More from the 1976 concert in Melbourne:

Pink Italian


Stupenda canzone cantata in italiano dalla grande Shirley Bassey

This performance from 1960 has been on here before.

Here’s an attractive presentation of the original black and white video.

Tinted in… guess what colour?

Thanks to Vullo