American Express Gold card dress of Lizzy Gardiner

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American Express Gold card dress of Lizzy Gardiner
Designer Lizzy Gardiner
Year 1995 (1995)
Type Dress made of American Express Gold cards
Material American Express Gold cards

Costume designer Lizzy Gardiner wore a dress made of 254 American Express Gold cards to the 67th Academy Awards on March 27, 1995, where she won an Oscar for Best Costume Design. All of the cards were genuine, but had expired.[1] It has been called one of the worst Oscar dresses of all time.

Background and history[edit]

The gown had originally been conceived for the film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert along with many other outlandish costumes such as one made solely out of pink flip flops,[2] but American Express had forbidden it.[3] Gardiner said, "I'm broke, and I didn't have anything to wear. So I went through my list of past good ideas."[3] The dress was auctioned off for charity in March 1999 for $12,650, with the proceeds going to AmfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.[3][4]

Design[edit]

The outfit was made of 254 expired American Express gold cards.[5][1] The under garment was made entirely of the cards, except for the slim gold straps at the top, although the gold shawl which went over the under garment only had cards lining the edges. Gardiner completed the outfit with clumpy gold shoes.[6]

Reception[edit]

Cosmopolitan magazine cited the dress as one of the Worst Oscar dresses of all time, saying, "It's a dress made of American Express Gold cards. We're not sure what else to say about this one, except that the obvious lesson is this: For the love of God, do not design your own dress for the red carpet."[7]

Time magazine also voted the dress as amongst the Worst Oscar dresses of all time saying, "Our problem with the outfit Gardiner wore to accept her award isn't that her dress was made out of a bizarre, nontraditional material. Our problem is that the material of choice was the American Express gold card. It's tacky. And how did she sit down in that thing?"[8]

Seeing the promotional potential of the dress, American Express were reported to have wanted to showcase the dress in its travel offices throughout the US.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jones, Jen (August 2007). Fashion. Capstone Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4296-0129-0. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Mansour, David (1 June 2005). From Abba to Zoom: A pop culture encyclopedia of the late 20th century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-7407-5118-9. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Crouse, Richard (1 September 2005). Reel Winners: Movie Award Trivia. Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-55002-574-3. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Serwin, Lisa (9 June 2009). So Many Shoes, So Little Money: A Girl's Guide to Finance. Lisa Serwin. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-4392-3121-0. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gellene, Denise (24 April 1995). "Designer Cashes In on That American Express Gold Card Dress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Orange Coast Magazine. Emmis Communications. October 2002. p. 89. ISSN 02790483. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Oscars Best and Worst Dressed". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "The 25 Best and Worst Oscar Gowns of All-TIME". TIME. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.