All posts by The Shirley Bassey Blog

Unofficial Blog Celebrating Dame Shirley Bassey

Dame Shirley Bassey at London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Some of the biggest names in film, TV and theatre descended on London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Sunday to toast the winners at the 63rd London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Dame Shirley looked amazing in a silver and black netted outfit and was in high spirits as she and a host of other A-list stars partied the night away.

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Two Bassey Gowns Were Sold Today At Auction

Following on from our earlier blog, congratulations to today’s lucky winning bidders in the Passion For Fashion auction…

The photos below were kindly supplied by Paddy Moore, who attended the viewing yesterday at Kerry Taylor Auctions.

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The Catsuit – Sold for £4600

A fabulous stage ensemble by Douglas Darnell comprising: a sleeveless Catsuit of natural coloured chiffon applied with lace, lavishly embellished with Swarovski aquamarine, topaz and aurora borealis crystals, turquoise teardrop beads, imitation pearls and vari-shaped and coloured sequins, the lower legs additionally encrusted with beads and sequins in an exotic floral pattern, lined in gold silk tissue; a matching short-sleeved coat-dress, the corresponding ornate bodice attached to a full skirt of layered sparkling eau-de-nil voile piped with gold silk tissue; a voluminous turquoise stage coat, densely embroidered with translucent iridescent sequins and trimmed at the cuffs, hem and flowing train with a deep border of turquoise ostrich feathers, lined in gold silk tissue. Weight of catsuit and coat-dress: approx. 3.5kg.

This catsuit was worn by Dame Shirley on many occasions throughout her career, in 2003 she told Christie’s how much she loved the outfit and it fetched £6000. The legs were originally flared and the hems trimmed with turquoise ostrich feathers. These were removed by Darnell some time later and the trouser legs were straightened, the corresponding coat was designed at the time of the trouser leg alterations.

1971 Tom Jones show


Images above from The Tom Jones show, 1971.

White Harem Dress – Sold for £3000

A stunning cut-out stage gown by Douglas Darnell of white velvet spotted devoré scattered with Swarovski aurora borealis crystals and large mirror sequins, the bra top, narrow straps and central cross bands decorated with rows of tiny clear beads and a row of aurora borealis crystals, the bias cut skirt with flowing train.

The dress sold for £4500 in 2003. Dame Shirley and Douglas Darnell had fond memories of this cut-out gown (and its partner in black) when interviewed by Christie’s…

DD: This was one of mine..
DSB: …these were the first cut-outs…which everybody’s doing
now…it’s a harem dress…a belly dancer dress
DD: This was worn at the Prince of Wales [Theatre]…and I was
late as usual…the traffic was unbelievable…and I got out in the
middle of Regent Street and ran with this dress over my arm
CW: So this was the first time that Dame Shirley was to wear the dress? DSB: Yes!…There he was running through the streets of London with the dress over his arm.
DD:…We got there…and got through [to the dressing room] and
she couldn’t get in [to the dress]…so I put my hands up inside [the gown] and clawed her bottom down into which time she looked as though she’d been got at by a tiger [all laugh]
DSB:…the panic my God!
DD: …the nail marks down the cheeks of her bum [lots of laughter]
DSB: I think that’s a book in itself…the stories of how to get into these gowns!
CW: When you’re waiting there for the dress to arrive in the dressing room moments before you go on…do you ever think…am I going to have anything to wear?
DSB: He always makes me panic…he turns up 15 minutes before I’m going on.
DD: It’s all cut on the will go on…[when she’s on stage] this [dress] will reflect like the balls you get in ballrooms…I fitted you for this in Stockholm…I mean where else would you go to do a fitting!


Image above taken while on tour in Italy, 1968.

Dame Shirley Bassey at Fight AIDS Monaco Gala

On Saturday July 8th, Dame Shirley attended a Fundraising Gala for the Fight AIDS Monaco charity at the Sporting Club in Monte-Carlo. Guests travelled back in time with the “Stars 80” dinner-show, complete with a dress code of that glorious era.

This spectacle has been on tour around France for more than a decade with more than three million enthusiastic fans singing and dancing to the rhythm of those unforgettable hits that marked that époque, wearing colorful wigs, fancy glasses and sequins.

The association Fight Aids Monaco, presided by Princess Stephanie of Monaco, present their summer program to create awareness about HIV and raise funds to pursue their relentless work in their battle to eradicate AIDS, a cause DSB has long supported.

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With special thanks to Manel Dalgo, whose Instagram feed also contains some other images featuring Dame Shirley.

Resplendent DSB Oozed Glamour in Black Dress at Serpentine Summer Party

Dame Shirley Bassey joined a host of celebrities on Wednesday 28th June at the annual Serpentine Summer Party in London’s Kensington Gardens. Looking simply stunning as she waved to photographers and posed for photos before making her way inside the pavilion, she proved black can be a suitable option for a summer party in a glamorous tulle creation and matching high peep-toe heels, topped off by decadent silver embellishments.

A highlight of London’s social calendar, the annual Serpentine Summer Party attracts a stylish set from the worlds of fashion, music, film, design and art. This year’s soirée, which was hosted by Chanel, was no exception.