The Pearl Rope Gown

Continued thanks to Ian (this blog’s appointed Gown Guru) 

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. (see the video below)

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.”

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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

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In 1967 The Album And We Were Lovers was released. The album contains 10 songs and almost all the songs are shorter than 3 minutes. In Australia in 1971 Shirley Bassey was presented with a gold disc for this album, during her yearly visit to Australia and New Zealand. This was the first gold disc awarded to a female recording artist in Australia.

Below some newspaper articles from 1967 and a live performance of one the songs from the album Somebody Like me from The 1972 concert at the Talk of the Town.

Shirley Bassey on the Ed Sullivan Show -1969-

Shirley & Sergio at the Sivermask Awards in Rome 1969
Shirley & Sergio at the Silvermask Awards in Rome 1969

dsb-the-ed-sullivan-show-1969Today Dame Shirley Bassey’s performance on the 1969 Ed Sullivan Show from January 6th. She was a guest on the show twice that year. Songs: Something’s coming (from West-side Story) & Medley Going out of my head/You go to my head.









Lyrics: Something’s Coming:

Could be!
Who knows?
There’s something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannon balling down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.

I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

Will it be? Yes it will.
Maybe just by holding still
It will be there.

Come on something, come on in
Don’t be shy, meet a guy
Pull up a chair,
The air is humming
And something great is coming.

Who knows,
It’s only just out of reach
Down the block, on the beach
Maybe tonight…

Lyrics Going Out Of My Head/ You Go To My Head:

Well, I think I’m goin’ out of my head
Yes, I think I’m goin’ out of my head
Over you, Over you
I want you to want me, I need you so badly
I can’t think of anything but you

You go to my head
And you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne

And I think I’m goin’ out of my head
‘Caus I can’t explain the tears that I shed
Over you, over you

I see you each morning
But you just walk past me
You don’t even know that I exist

Goin’ out of my head over you
Out of my head over you
Out of my head day and night
Night and day and night, Wrong or right

I must think of a way, Into your heart
There’s no reason why, My being shy, Should keep us apart
Though I’m certain that this heart of mine hasn’t a ghost of a chance
In this crazy romance
You go to my head
And I think I’m goin’ out of my head.

The White Tassel

Lots of fans fondly remember this gown, the White Tassel

Sold for £4,800 Lot 48 at Christie’s in 2003



Description from Christie’s catalogue:

A striking ‘shimmy’ gown by Douglas Darnell of sheer white silk chiffon, the bodice and narrow straps densely embroidered with imitation pearls, translucent sequins and large imitation pearl drops, the skirt slit centrally to the upper leg and decorated overall with tiers of cascading white silk tassels on imitation pearl terminals over vertical stripes of translucent sequins, the flowing train further embellished with multiple rows of translucent sequins on the upper surface and lined with a deep border of white sequins Weight: approx. 4.5kg.

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Christies Images Ltd. © 2002

Dame Shirley wore this gown during a performance at the Launch Party for London Fashion Week, 15th February, 2003; and on stage at the Royal Festival Hall, during her 40th Anniversary Tour, 1994.

The gown was worn by Dame Shirley on a number of occasions in the late 1990s and is featured on the cover of the 1996 single recorded with Chris Rea Disco La Passione.

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The black version of this gown is now owned by Dame Shirley’s dear friend Manel Dalgo.

Below a video of her wearing the gown at the 1994 Royal Variety Performance singing Born To Sing Forever








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