JFK gown

It’s that time of the week, it’s



The JFK Gown


(Christie’s Lot 15, 25th Anniversary LP cover)

Another gown designed by the wonderful Doug Darnell, this was created in 1962, and first worn by Dame Shirley in January 1963 to sing at the occasion of JFK’s inaguration.

It’s a stunning sugar pink asymmetrical gown. Cut on the bias, the pink silk chiffon is covered in candy pink iridescent sequins, the asymmetrical bodice has five strands of imitation pearls, graduating in size from the single shoulder strap. The apex of the strap has a stunning Swarovski rose style clasp with imitation seed pearls.


Dame Shirley liked this dress so much that she wore it many times over her career, most notably at the Royal Albert Hall in 1973, and during her UK tour of 1978.

This is the only dress in Dame Shirley’s collection that, according to Doug Darnell, has stayed in it’s original form and not been altered over the years. We would love to hear from the lucky person, to have bought it at the auction!

Thanks to Ian, the gowns guru.



A shimmering stage ensemble by Douglas Darnell comprising: a bias cut gown of pink silk chiffon encrusted with candy pink iridescent sequins, the asymmetrical bodice diagonally applied with five strands of imitation pearls graduating in size from the single shoulder strap, the apex of the strap with an elaborate embellishment of Swarovski aurora borealis fancy and rose crystals and imitation seed pearls encircling strands of imitation pearls terminating in aurora borealis crystals, the lower skirt and flowing train lined in silver silk tissue; and matching voluminous sleeveless coat with flowing train, embroidered overall with candy pink iridescent sequins, the edges and caped collar trimmed with a deep border of pink ostrich feathers, lined in silver silk tissue; and a pair of corresponding stiletto heeled sandals customised by Darnell, the thin straps decorated with candy pink iridescent sequins; accompanied by an album Shirley Bassey 25th Anniversary, United Artists, 1978

Weight of gown: approx. 2.5kg.


In an interview for the BBC Wales television programme I Am What I Am, 1994, Dame Shirley states that she wore this gown when singing for President John F. Kennedy. She had been invited to Washington to sing for the President at his inauguration celebrations in January, 1963.

(Note: That’s what it said in the Christie’s catalogue but the date can’t be right. Wouldn’t JFK’s inauguration have been in January 1961? He was elected President in November 1960. Thanks to Ross for the correction.)


The album illustrated, Shirley Bassey’s 25th Anniversary – 40 Greatest Hits, features Dame Shirley wearing this gown on the cover. The gown also features on at least three other albums released in the 1970s, including: The Best Of Shirley Bassey; Shirley Bassey – Super Hits and Greatest Hits. Dame Shirley is also photographed wearing this stage ensemble during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, 1973.

Darnell commented that this ensemble is one of the only outfits in the collection that has not been reworked or altered in any way over the years.

Final Price



DSB loves Mathis



Thanks to David for the link.  The BBC article does not mention our Shirley and she adores him.

Danny La Rue  said that Johnnie Mathis was the first to call him when Lee Died (LIBERACE).

I saw Mathis in Manchester and I fell fast asleep. No chance of that with DSB.

When Shirley went skiing at Xmas with Sergio and the kids were small, she said all she needs is her Mathis Records and she is happy.

Dont know if it’s the same today, but I feel it is!

Link to Johnnie Mathis singing Misty in 1984:


Ivan’s T-shirt


At Wembley during the 2006 tour, Ivan wore a T-shirt printed with this gorgeous image.

He designed it himself.

DSB notices it in this short video clip!

I was just behind Ivan, and we didn’t know each other then.

Please click here for his few seconds of fame…

Shirley’s shades

Yet another donation to charity.

This time it’s not shoes, it’s a pair of sunglasses.

Click here for more details on the Northern Scot newspaper.