In 1992 Shirley Bassey did a performance for the Royal Family from Thailand.
Songs: Goldfinger, He Was Beautiful, Medley of Almost Like Being In Love/What A Day This Has Been, Something, Wind Beneath My Wings, Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me, Without You, New York Medley, Never Never Never, Dio Come Ti Amo, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, I(Who Have Nothing), You Never Done It Like That, Big Spender, Hey Jude, This Is My Life.
For this occasion the Dame wore the black tassel dress and below a signed picture from our late dear friend Arthur Rugg from Dame Shirley Bassey.
Description & notes of the dress:
A striking ‘shimmy’ gown by Douglas Darnell of sheer black chiffon, the bodice and narrow straps densely embroidered with black sequins and glass imitation jet drops, the skirt slit centrally to the upper leg and decorated over all with tiers of cascading black silk tassels on glass imitation jet bead terminals over vertical stripes of black sequins, the flowing train further embellished with multiple rows of black sequins in a deep band, lined in black silk.
Weight: approx. 4.5kg.
This is the first of two ‘shimmy’ gowns made by Darnell, who recalls that Dame Shirley enjoyed wearing this black gown so much, she requested another in white. Darnell also recalls that these gowns took a very long time to make as each tassel has graduated beading and silk strands, and each individual piece had to be precisely measured.
The photograph illustrated shows Dame Shirley’s debut in this gown on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, 1992. Photograph courtesy of Dave Spencer.
Sold at the Christies Gown Auction for £10,000.
Below some pictures of Dame Shirley from 2002 when she went back to Thailand and spent Christmas there with her friends.