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July 28, 2014

Mondays at fleaChic are usually dedicated to repurposing and upcycling furniture or decorative items.  But today's post takes an entirely different look at a more glamorous type of recycling - reusing Hollywood costumes.

 In 2006, Scarlett Johnsson, left, starred as Olivia in The Prestige.  The beautiful hand-embroidered Victorian gown she's pictured in was worn by Susan Hampshire, right, in the 1970s when she starred as Glencora Palliser, Duchess of Omnium, in the BBC production of The Pallisers.

The lovely gown is just one of hundreds designed by Raymond Hughes for The Pallisers.  Most of the costumes from that series have been used in numerous other productions over the years.

An Elizabethan doublet that was designed for the 1998 film Shakespeare In Love reappeared in 2001 on an extra in The Life and Adventures of Nicolas Nickleby.  Another extra wore it, again, in a 2010 episode of Doctor Who.

While portraying Lady Mary Crawley in the first season of Downtown Abbey actress Michelle Dockery worn an Edwardian-style walking suit specifically created for her.
The same outfit was worn by Perdita Weeks (Lady Georgiana Grex) in the 2012 mini-series Titanic.  It was seen this Spring on Mr. Selfridge.

This distinctive fur lined coat has appeared in many productions - a 1984 episode of Agatha Christie's Partners In Crime, top; in 1989's Till We Meet Again, middle; and in the 1997 production of The Wingless Bird, bottom.

Like most networks working on a tight schedule and a tight budget, ABC Studio designers comb through its vast collection of costumes to save time and money.
A dazzling red jeweled strapless gown was worn by Stana Katic in a 2009 episode of Castle.  In 2013 it was seen again in Once Upon A Time.  Lana Parilla, playing The Evil Queen, wore the gown with a satin overcoat to give it a different look.

Gabriella Pescucci won an Emmy for Best Costume Design in 2011 and in 2013 for the Showtime series The Borgias.
One of Pescucci's beautiful Italian Renaissance costumes was worn by actress Holliday Grainger in season one, left.  The gown was altered and reappeared in the second season with different sleeves, right.

Michelle Pfeiffer wore a detailed robe a la francaise in 1988.  It was worn by Jodhi May, right, in 1992's Last of The Mohicans without the billowing petticoats.

Thanks to HD television, intricate details on costumes can now be seen more clearly.  It's hard to believe that the gown worn by Geraldine Chaplin in 2005's Heidi, left, is the same gown worn by Jenna Louise Coleman in the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special The Snowmen.

Movie studios began recycling their costumes
when the industry was still in its infancy:
A pair of silk pajamas were born in the 1933 film Flying Down To Rio by actress Dolores Del Rio.  The same pajamas were worn a year later by Betty Grable in The Gay Divorcee.

Black and white films rarely allow us to appreciate the full splendor of many costumes.  A perfect example of the change in perception with color is the gown worn by Donna Reed in 1947's Green Dolphin Street.  The same gown was worn in the 1949 color production of  Little Women.

Period dramas require many specific styles of clothing.  Costumes from 2005's Pride and Prejudice have resurfaced in Becoming Jane and other productions featuring the Regency era.  The gown worn by Kelly Reily, left, in 2005 reappeared on Keri Russel, right, in the 2013 film Austenland.

 Keri Russel worn several recycled gowns while filming Austenland.  The one she's pictured in on the left was previously worn by Emma Pierson in 2008's From Time To Time.  Interestingly enough, the gown made its first appearance in the 1999 adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.

Women's costumes aren't the only ones to be recycled.  The gray space suits worn by the crew in the 1956 cult classic Forbidden Planet, top, were worn again in 1958's Queen Of Outer Space, middle.  They reappeared in the 1960 adaptation of The Time Machine, bottom.

One of the gowns worn by Gweneth Paltrow in the 1996 movie Emma, left, was worn by Jennifer Higham, right, in the 2007 adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

The charming gown resurfaced recently in the 2013
BBC production Death Comes To Pemberley, above.

Distinctive costumes are easier to remember:
 Duplicates were made of this sheath for the 1998
HBO series From the Earth to the Moon.

One of the vintage-inspired gowns appeared in AMC's Mad Men, left, and was worn this year by Kristen Wiig in The Spoils of Babylon, right.

Today's photos show just a fraction of the number of costumes that have been reused by the entertainment industry over the years.  Stop by Recycled Movie Costumes for an in depth look at a one of the best kept secrets in show business.


  1. This is such an interesting post. I really enjoyed reading about all the costumes that have been recycled. I never realised they did recycling! Thanks for such a great post. X

  2. I really enjoyed it too. Such a change from the norm, but very interesting and the workmanship in those gowns so amazing. I'm glad they get to see a second or third outing!

  3. If I EVER go to a Hollywood awards show and walk the red carpet, I'd wear a vintage gown!
    Such beauty and style! Maybe even one from the 50's!
    Great post!

  4. Such beautiful gowns and costumes - I have never paid much attention to looking for repeats, but now I will! It's amazing how different they look when worn by different actresses. I love this glamorous recycling! Very interesting post! xo Karen

  5. Hi Jan,
    What a marvelous post! Much work was put into this and I enjoyed it immensely!
    All of the costumes are so beautiful like art and deserve to be seen more than once! ;-D
    Many blessings, Linnie

  6. Wow that was WOW talk about Recycling Hollywood, who'd have thought? wonderful post I'll be back!!!

  7. Well that was fun. Guess I never realized clothes were recycled in Hollywood. Fun post.