You could probably clue in that I wasn’t a generic kind of kid when I had to reach to “someone” I admired for a school project and that someone was Bette Midler… fresh out of her bath house days and immersed in campy chutzpah.
Honestly, I think my mom was more impressed at the time that a large 9×12 envelope from Ms. Midler’s agent/manager arrived in the mail addressed to me with clips and autographed photos of her Divineness…. my mom never let me forget how “valuable” those items are, and they were never discarded but buried around here somewhere.
I still love the Divine Miss M and her couture campiness and if I were her, every last bedazzled and platformed piece would be enshrined in a Bob Mackie designed storage unit for the ages. But lucky for everyone, a good portion of spectacular costumes, jewelry, art and the personal property from the the self-proclaimed “Queen of Trash,” is up for auction to benefit charity.
On Saturday, November 12th, Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills presents a one-time offering of “The Collection of Bette Midler” to be auctioned for the benefit of the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit greening organization she created in 1995. Get your best Dolores Del Lago shimmy on! Take a look at some of the fab finds…
Above, a pair of vintage platform shoes with navy leather straps by Catalano covered in a rainbow of crystals. A copy of the remix LP Bette Midler I’m Beautiful, featuring the shoe on the cover of the album, is included with this lot. “These were given to me by Cher in the early 1970s. They were sensational, but a bit hard to walk in without falling down, so I put them on display in my house. Visitors were mesmerized.” – Bette (Estimate: $500 – $700)
A fuchsia fish scale printed and hand-painted panne velvet mermaid costume with a nude clam shell top heavily embellished with crystals. Together with matching feather head-piece. Worn by Midler as she portrayed one of her signature characters, Delores de Lago, during performances of her February 2008 through January 2010 show at the Coliseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, The Showgirl Must Go On. “Gaga, here’s your chance!!” – Bette (Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500)
An orchid silk “lingerie” leotard with black lace trim and center back zip closure with label reading, “Eliza- beth Courtney Costumes Hollywood.” Worn by Midler as she performed the “Trashy Ladies” medley on the February 12, 1975 episode of The Cher Show. (Estimate: $600 – $800)
The Best of Bette:
More images from the Julien’s Auctions Presents: The Collection of Bette Midler – An Auction Benefiting The New York Restoration Project:
Other Bette Midler auction highlights include:
- Bette Midler Performance Costume By Bob Mackie (Est. $2000 – $3000). Created by Bob Mackie for Midler, worn during the Bette! Divine Madness tour. Midler opened the show in this ensemble singing “Big Noise from Winnetka.”
- Bette Midler Album Cover Dress (Est. $2000 – $3000). Featured on the back cover of the 1972 debut album The Divine Miss M, and subsequently on the front cover of the 1976 album Songs For The New Depression.
- Bette Midler Album Cover Dress By Bob De Mora (Est. $1000 – $1500). This dress was worn by Midler on the cover of the 1998 album Bathhouse Betty. Dress has since been utilized in a video shoot, photo shoots, and live performances.
- Bette Midler Performance Jumpsuit (Est. $500 – $700). Worn by Midler during performances of the 1979 – 1980 Bette! Divine Madness tour.
- Bette Midler Vegas Showgirl Costume (Est. $2000 – $3000). Worn by Midler during performances of the 2008 – 2010 show at The Coliseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, The Showgirl Must Go On.
- Bette Midler’s Delores De Lago Costume (Est. $1000 – $1500). Worn by Midler during performances of the 2008 – 2010 show at The Coliseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, The Showgirl Must Go On.
- Bette Midler Academy Award Gown By Valentino (Est. $1000 – $1500). Designed by Valentino and worn by Midler to the 64th annual Academy Awards in 1992. Midler was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Dixie Leonard in For The Boys.