Exhibit featuring costumes worn by movie legends to open in Allentown Art Museum


It's a fascinating collection of costumes worn by movie legends from Hollywood's golden age.

Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds, Betty Davis, Grace Kelly, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few.

The treasures included in "Designing Hollywood" are from former Philadelphia TV icon and fashion designer Gene London's vast collection opening September 29 at the Allentown Art Museum.

While many will marvel at the dress Joan Crawford wore for her Oscar winning performance of Mildred Pierce or Doris Day's exotic Mata Hari costume, the real star of the show is London and his stories.

"Gene has a pretty big fan base, and we've actually had people calling the museum asking how can I see the show?" said Jackie Jones, Vice President of Development at the Allentown Art Museum.

London met many of the stars who wore these costumes and will be sharing behind the scenes memories at the exhibit's opening.

"I talk about the dress, I talk about the star's flaws, I talk about the educational program that changes you from a human being who wants to be special into a star," said London.

London started collecting early in his career.

"When I was a kid I went to the movies and that's where the magic happened," said London.

He says he hopes everyone who sees Designing Hollywood will also feel touched by stardust.

There will be a lot of fanfare surrounding the opening.

London will give the first of several lectures during the run of the exhibit, and New York designer Fan Wu will lead a workshop demonstrating draping techniques from the 1930's.

Attendees can also check out an amazing display of 11 vintage Golden Age automobiles from the NB Center for American Automotive Heritage on Fifth Street, directly in front of the museum.

The exhibit runs through December 22.

For more information on the exhibit or on how to become a member you can visit the Allentown Art Museum's website.