Rita Hayworth wearing the “Amado Mio” two-piece costume for noir film Gilda (1946)

Gilda is a 1946 American black-and-white film noir directed by Charles Vidor starring Rita Hayworth in her signature role as the ultimate femme fatale.

The two-piece costume worn by Hayworth in the “Amado Mio” nightclub sequence in the film was offered as part of the “TCM Presents … There’s No Place Like Hollywood” auction November 24, 2014, at Bonhams in New York.

It was estimated to bring between $40,000 and $60,000. The costume sold for $161,000.


Rita Hayworth wearing the two-piece costume for Gilda. Photo by Bob Landry, 1946 via

One response to “Rita Hayworth wearing the “Amado Mio” two-piece costume for noir film Gilda (1946)

  1. Behind every glamorously gowned actress is an equally fabulous fashion designer. Hollywood’s Golden Age was filled with dynamic fashion duos. Some designer-star collaborations have achieved legendary status: Audrey Hepburn had Hubert de Givenchy, Bette Davis had Orry-Kelly at Warner Brothers, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer had Adrian at MGM and Rita Hayworth had Jean Louis at Columbia. Jean Louis was Columbia Pictures head costume designer who collaborated with actress Rita Hayworth in ten films from 1945 until 1959. Louis is considered “an essential ingredient in the formula that created the image of Rita Hayworth.” To create clothes for Gilda, Jean Louis was inspired by painter John Singer Sargent’s notorious Portrait of Madame X, the infamous socialite from Paris. According to Life magazine, the wardrobe designed by Jean Louis for Rita Hayworth had a value of about $60,000, a large figure for the time. Louis remarked on how easy it was to design and gown Hayworth saying, “… she had a good body…She was very thin-limbed, her legs were thin, her arms long and thin and she had beautiful hands.” In this film Rita was cast as the title character, the quintessential femme-fatale who plays with the hearts of Glenn Ford and George Macready just for the fun of it. At one point in the film, Gilda does a “strip tease” at Johnny’s nightclub in a beautiful black satin sheath gown. When production started for creating the gown, it was well-known that it had to be strapless in order for Rita to sing, move and “strip.” The next step was knowing how to make the gown stay snug around Rita’s hourglass figure and the inventive costume designer created a harness. The harness was made up of three stays – one under the bust, one in the center and one on the side. Then softened plastic was molded around the top of the gown and grosgrain was put under the bust. The gown has a straight neckline, leaving the shoulders bare. The dress is long and slit down the side to the ground and is paired with long black opera gloves in order to convey the more erotic points of the striptease. When they were finished, the gown was not so much a gown but a technological marvel. There was no way the gown was moving from Rita’s body in the scandalous sequence as her character teased and titillated her audiences both in the nightclub (in the film) and film goers in the theater. The gown created a sensation when the film was released and audiences were in absolute awe because the gown seemed to defy gravity; no matter how much Rita moved in her dance, the dress did not. It’s a performance charged with eroticism, desperation and tragedy and it cemented Rita’s status as Hollywood’s reigning “Love Goddess” of the 1940s. Movie posters screamed “There NEVER was a woman like Gilda!”, The removal of the one glove from Gilda’s hand was never done so sensuously and stylish. In able to wear the gown, Hayworth had to wear a corset, because just a few months before she had given birth to her daughter, Rebecca, and had not yet regained her pre-pregnancy figure.

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