The racy pink dress that Sophia Loren wore - and removed - on the set of 1960 movie The Millionairess is to be auctioned 56 years after the film was released.
The beautiful Italian actress stripped off the silk gown to reveal a racy corset and suspenders in a move that got British comic legend Peter Sellers hot under the collar. In fact, Sellers developed an unhealthy obsession for Loren off-screen and even offered to leave his wife for her - although the feeling was not reciprocated. After filming finished, the designer garments worn by the famous actress were shared out among the production team. A young British woman who was the production secretary was given the elegant salmon day dress, a plunging silk and lace negligee and a cream day dress with matching hat. All the items were made by the celebrated French designer Pierre Balmain and posters for the movie referred to Loren's character as 'The beautiful babe in the Balmain gowns'. The unnamed woman wore the dresses to cocktail parties in her 20s and 30s before putting them away in storage. The garments are still in good condition and the woman has decided to put them up for sale at Duke's Auctioneers of Dorchester, Dorset, where they are expected to sell for £10,000. Antionette Richards, a vintage clothes specialist at Duke's, said: 'It is well-documented that Peter Sellers was infatuated with Sophia Loren even though he was a married man.
'No doubt the scene featuring the salmon pink dress played a part in his obsession. 'She played a very alluring character and it is quite easy to see how Sellers was enraptured. 'The vendor was a young lady in her early 20s at the time and was lucky enough to be given the dress after the filming. 'She wore it to cocktail parties and it must have made a great conversation piece. 'She has kept the items in her wardrobe for many years but has taken great care of them.'She is a bit older now and is having a bit of a declutter and thought that now is the right time to sell them. 'These pieces would be stunning additions to anybody's costume collection. 'Not only are they beautiful examples of design and tailoring, they are also extremely important pieces of cinematic history that encapsulates the glamour of the time and the budding celebrity of Loren. 'We have been fielding tons of enquiries from fans of fashion and fans of Sophia Loren alike and we are expecting the pieces to do excellently on the day.'
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Photography By Jonathan Gooding
This two day auction is held on 9th and 10th June 2016. Thursday 9th June at 10.30am Lots 1-599 Friday 10th June at 10.30am Lots 900-1233View Catalogue