Category Archives: Bassey News

Happy Birthday Dame Shirley!


The Blog Team wishes Dame Shirley Bassey a wonderful birthday on today the 8th. of January and we hope she has a wonderful vacation!
Below you can read a fun horoscope from 1969 and watch a wonderful version of I Capricorn from the first 1979 BBC show.

1969 A (blog)

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 РSold 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 РSold 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.

Bassey Gowns Under The Hammer -2017-

Three of Dame Shirley Bassey’s stage gowns are for sale again – two by Douglas Darnell at Kerry Taylor Auctions and one by Sarah Perceval is being sold privately. Scroll down for more information.

The Passion For Fashion Auction is taking place in London on Monday 20th November where the catsuit and White Harem Dress are up for grabs. The sale features clothing and accessories from the 1600s-2010 – dresses, coats, shoes, furs, handbags and costume jewellery, including a collection of 17th-18th century dresses plus early stage costumes from ballet and opera as well as modern ensembles worn by Princess Diana, Dame Shirley and even a nightshirt worn by Sir Winston Churchill.

The venue is 249-253 Long Lane, Bermondsey, London, SE1 4PR. Viewing is available on Sunday 19th November from 11am to 4pm but there is no viewing on the morning of the auction and purchasers are required to register ahead. Click here for details.

The Catsuit (Lot 381)

“Dame Shirley Bassey’s magnificent show ensemble by Douglas Darnell, late 1960s. comprising brown chiffon catsuit encrusted with pearlescent sequined flowers, shell-shaped sequins, pearl beads, lace, turquoise droplets and Swarovski aquamarine, topaz and aurora borealis crystals; together with a matching trained evening coat covered in shimmering iridescent sequins, lined in gold lam√© and edged in ostrich plumes; and a matching over-dress with lavishly beaded bodice over layered eau de nil voile skirts edged in braid, bust approx 86cm, 34in (3) Provenance: ex lot 42, Christies Auction ‘Dame Shirley Bassey – 50 Years of Glittering Gowns’, 18th September, 2003, sold for ¬£6000. This ensemble was much loved and worn on stage from the late 1960s until the 1990s. It was photographed for the inside gatefold of the ‘Something Else’ (1971) album; the cover of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (1971); ‘Star des Bal Pare’; ‘Love Story Por Su’ and the Shirley Bassey Collection. The legs were originally flared and the hems trimmed with feathers, which were later removed by Darnell and the trouser legs straightened. The catsuit was worn for performances including ‘The Talk of the Town’ shows in April 1970 and both the catsuit and dress for her 60th Birthday concert at Althorp Park, July 1997.. Estimate: ¬£1000 – ¬£1500 (+30% BP)”

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The White Harem Dress (Lot 382)

“Dame Shirley Bassey’s white sequined ‘Harem’ stage dress, designed by Douglas Darnell, late 1960s. of ivory devor√© chiffon with graduated spots overall, the scanty diamond shaped bodice panels linked to the bias-cut skirt by bugle beaded straps, covered overall in Swarovski aurora borealis crystal and large mirror sequins to the skirt, bust approx 86cm, 34in The harem or ‘belly-dancer’ dress was delivered by Darnell to the Prince of Wales Theatre, but he arrived late, running through the streets with the dress over his arm. However, the star couldn’t fit inside the dress so Darnell recalled he ‘clawed her bottom down into it – by which time she looked as though she’d been got at by a tiger’. Provenance: ex lot 49, Christies Auction ‘Dame Shirley Bassey – 50 Years of Glittering Gowns’, 18th September, 2003, sold for ¬£4500. Dame Shirley was photographed wearing this gown on stage in Viareggio Italy in 1968. Estimate: ¬£600 – ¬£1000 (+30% BP*)”


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Sarah Perceval

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The 1990 Sarah Perceval dress shown above is being sold privately by a Bassey fan. If anyone would like to make a bid on this one, please Contact The Bassey Blog for the seller’s details.