The Something Gown

Today another repost from  Peggy’s blog from a long time ago about the ‘Something’ dress. Probably Dame Shirley Bassey’s most famous and discussed dress. Unfortunately there is only one video of her performing in the gown.

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

Designed by Doug Darnell in 1969 and featured on the cover of the 1970 album entitled ‘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

For a previous post CLICK HERE