The Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware, in Newbridge, Co. Kildare will open a brand-new exhibition which is dedicated to the style of Hollywood bombshell, actress, Raquel Welch. Raquel Welch, One in A Million’ opens tomorrow, Friday, 23rd of February and runs until the 1st of April 2024. The exhibition features several garments, gowns, jewellery, and personal items which were once worn by the famous actress. It is the only European exhibition for the public to view this ‘never before seen’ collection of the Hollywood superstar’s most famous and iconic costumes, garments, and personal property prior to its auction presented by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles on April 12, 2024.
Raquel Welch burst onto the movie scene in 1966 with her role as a scientist’s assistant in the Oscar-winning sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage and later that year with the release of One Million Years B.C. Her appearance as a scantily clad cavewoman in the pre-historic epic catapulted her to international stardom and made her one of the era’s biggest sex symbols, with the film’s publicity poster of a larger-than-life image of Welch wearing her iconic fur and hide bikini becoming a cultural phenomenon and one of the biggest pinup posters of all time. Although she only had three lines in the film, the scene, and the posters of her wearing the fur bikini, turned her into an international sex symbol. She went on to play many memorable characters in film, stage and television and broke the mold of the ‘Hollywood sex symbol’ while paving the way for today’s action film heroines in Hollywood. She won a Golden Globe for her role in the classic film ‘The Three Musketeers.’ At the height of her fame and box office success, Welch played the title character Myra Breckinridge in the 1970 film adaptation of Gore Vidal’s novel about a transgender woman who undergoes a sex-change operation. The film, which has since gone onto become a cult classic, was released in a storm of controversy, landing Welch on the cover of Time Magazine for her revolutionary role. On television, she produced her own variety specials, 1970’s Raquel! with guest stars Tom Jones, Bob Hope and John Wayne, 1974’s Really, Raquel, and 1980’s From Raquel With Love.
In "Myra Breckinridge"
Under her own production company, Welch produced and starred in the 1982 television film The Legend of Walks Far Woman and earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Television Film. In the 1990s, she made memorable guest appearances on Evening Shade, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Seinfeld, and many of the decade’s other iconic television series. On Broadway, she replaced Lauren Bacall in the starring role of Tess Harding in the hit musical Woman of the Year in the early ’80s and took over for Julie Andrews in 1997’s Victor/Victoria.
Welch’s other memorable roles in film and television included the 2002 PBS series American Family: Journey of Dreams, the first drama series on broadcast television featuring a Latino cast; the 1994 classic Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult where she played herself; the 2001 hit comedy Legally Blonde opposite Reese Witherspoon; the 2001 film Tortilla Soup opposite Hector Elizondo; and her final film 2017’s How To Be A Latin Lover opposite Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell. In 2010, Welch published her autobiography, Beyond the Cleavage, her personal account of her life in Hollywood that offered her beauty regimen and tips for women to live their best lives with dignity and self-respect. In 2018, Vogue ranked Raquel Welch as one of “the most sensational hourglass bodies of all time.”
Julien’s will present an exclusive collection of over 500 of Welch’s most cherished objects from her life and career. Costumes, awards, and memorabilia from her iconic films and television specials, will dazzle the auction block. Some of these items and Raquel Welch’s most famous garments and personal property will now go on display at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware, offering the public a once in a lifetime chance to see them before they are sold.
Some of the key exhibition items include a suede and faux fur bikini in the style of the legendary doe skin bikini Raquel Welch wore in the prehistoric epic film, One Million Years B. C. This was the film that shot her into stardom and made her the most prominent sex symbol of her time. The image of Welch in the bikini became a poster that was on the bedroom wall of countless teenaged boys in the late 1960s. It also made her the sex symbol of the post-Marilyn generation.
Also on display is a replica of the costume worn by Raquel Welch in the film, Myra Breckinridge, based on the 1968 satirical novel by Gore Vidal and written in the form of a diary. In the film Welch plays the part of a transgender woman. The swimsuit, complete with gloves and still bearing evidence of Welch’s stage makeup, was worn by Welch during her 1970’s live stage show and on her 1974 television special Really, Raquel.
Raquel Welch’s 1974 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her role in The Three Musketeers is also in the exhibition. In the film, Raquel is probably looser and more accessible than she’d ever been on screen and her acting is generally regarded as the highlight of her film career. This award was validation for Raquel and her talent after spending so many years as a punchline due to her physical attributes. The award is displayed with her nomination certificate, a framed still from the movie that Raquel had in her house, and her own personal copy of the movie on DVD.
One of the elegant and delicate garments in the exhibition is the ‘Flapper Dress’ worn by Raquel Welch in the James Ivory directed comedy drama, The Wild Party 1975. This costume is very beautiful and was created by costume designer Ron Talsky, who Raquel was also dating at the time and who had made her costumes for The Three Musketeers. She probably never looked more beautiful than wearing the costumes in this movie, which was inspired by the Fatty Arbuckle scandal in the 1920s. The gown was designed by Ron Talsky, who created all of Welch's costumes for the film.
William Doyle, CEO of Newbridge Silverware said, “Raquel Welch was one of the biggest icons in movie history. The image of her on the poster for the film ‘One Million Years BC’ was legendary and even made an appearance in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ when the character in the film had a poster of the movie pin up in his prison cell. We are delighted to have the chance to showcase this piece of Hollywood history and are grateful to Julien’s Auction’s for bringing the property to us here at Newbridge Silverware.”
The exhibition, Raquel Welch, One In A Million opens on Friday 23rd of February and runs until the 1st of April 2024. Entry is free and the exhibition is open 7 days a week. For more see www.newbridgesilverware.com
Julien’s Auctions in LA will auction the Raquel Welch property on the 12th of April. For more information on the auction see www.juliensauctions.com