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Marlene Dietrich's Menswear-Inspired Looks from the Academy Collections

  • By Stephanie Wenger


When the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens in 2017, visitors can expect to find a fitting tribute to the film industry. In addition to traditional exhibitions, the Museum will include immersive experiences for visitors and three state-of-the-art theaters. Among the items exhibited will be costume design drawings, like this one by Travis Banton for Marlene Dietrich’s character, Amy Jolly, in the film MOROCCO. With this look, movie audiences were introduced to Dietrich’s love of menswear.

MOROCCO’s director, Josef von Sternberg, didn’t realize what he was creating when he elected to show Marlene in her top hat and tails. At the time, the outfit was simply referred to as “#2 Dress – Int. Café – sings song – Seq. B” and only cost $150 to produce, roughly $2,000 by today’s standards. The film was nominated for four Oscars including Best Actress for Dietrich in 1931. Check back on Oscar.com to see more artifacts from the Academy Collections.

To learn more about the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, please visit HERE.

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