Saturday, 21 December 2013

Behind The Costumes

In recent years the fashion for bling has grown considerably with everything from mobile phones to trainers being customised with diamantés. One of the founding fathers of bling though has to be the late entertainer, Liberace, who was world famous for not only his vocal and piano playing skills but also his flamboyant stage costumes.

The release of the biopic film "Behind the Candelabra", starring Michael Douglas as Liberace, has certainly brought Liberace back into the limelight.  If you are in Las Vegas soon, don't miss the free exhibition of some of Liberace's costumes, his diamanté covered grand piano and car, at The Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Having seen this car (you really can't miss it!) prominently displayed at the entrance to The Cosmpolitan's casino, I wandered into the exhibition of costumes. Once you are over the shock of so much bling in one place, you can't help but be amazed at the amount of work which went into each suit, not to mention the full length capes.

Thousands of beads and crystals were appliqued all over the costumes in intricate designs, making some suits alone weigh about 80lb.  Capes could add a further 40lb in weight.  Looking at the mannequins displaying the costumes, you soon realise that Liberace was not overly tall and also a relatively slight build.  In order to counter balance the weight of the costumes he was wearing, Liberace had extra lead in his shoes.

A museum of Liberace's costumes and personal effects was open to the public in Las Vegas for 31 year but sadly closed a couple of years ago.  There are plans to hopefully reopen the museum in the downtown area in 2014 though.  In the meantime, you can view the Cosmpolitan exhibition from 3pm to 10pm daily.

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