There is a photo that one finds when Googling the phrase, “vintage bottle costumes.” It shows two women wearing transparent bottle costumes. Underneath the bottles, the women appear to be dressed as glamorous showgirls, but their surroundings look a bit shabby. There’s a torn piece of paper on the floor and the wall behind them needs painting. The women are standing so that their bottles are tilted an angle — almost as if they were toasting. One woman’s bottle is rounded and labeled “Port / Portugal.” The other woman’s bottle is square and labeled “Gin / Holland.” In search results, this photo is usually sepia toned, but not always.
Seeing as how it’s nearly Halloween and we’re always fascinated by people who impersonate packaging, I was tempted to use this photo in a blog post. But first I wanted to try and figure out who these women were and where the photo came from.
Turns out, it was a publicity photo for the 1955 release of The Girl Rush, “starring Rosalind Russell, filmed in Technicolor and VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures.”
Now a “rights managed” (historic) stock photo, rights may be purchased for as little as $45 or as much as $1,950. (No photographer is credited.) Not clear whether it was ever published in a newspaper or magazine at the time, but its official caption was supposed to be:
The intoxicating lovelies inside these bottles are Marion Ross (left) and Joan Corbett. The show girls dance inside the plastic booze bottles for a scene in the movie, The Girl Rush.
That scene is the performance of the song “Champagne” — an excerpt of which is shown above. The costume design for The Girl Rush is credited to Edith Head. Did she design the bottle costumes?
The transparent bottle outfits also play a role in a humorous scene, later in the movie…
Marion Lorne is temporarily trapped in one of the show’s bottles.
Publicity photo for sale on eBay for $26
Publicity photo sold on eBay