DescriptionNolan Miller The Two Mrs. Grenvilles Satin Crepe Evening Gown Worn by Ann-Margret, with Costume Sketch. 1987; Dress: satin crepe; Label: Nolan Miller; Dress Size: 4/6; Sketch: 15" x 20", watercolor, pencil, color pencil; Pencil Sketch: 11" x 14". Designed by Nolan Miller, Ann-Margret wore this gown in her role as Ann Arden Grenville in the opening scene of the mini series The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, based on Dominick Dunne's best selling novel. Nolan designed 53 changes for Ann-Margret for this role, which he considers a favorite project. His work for Ann-Margret resulted in a nomination for an Emmy for "Outstanding Costume Design for a Mini Series or Special." For her performance, Ann-Margret was nominated for both an Emmy for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini Series or a Special," and a Golden Globe. The dress is in Very Good overall condition with discoloration and fading especially at the belt line, shoulders and sleeves. A button is missing on the left sleeve. The belt also has uneven fading and pulls in the fabric center front. The watercolor and pencil sketches are in Excellent condition. The back of the watercolor sketch, in black marker, reads, "Property of Nolan Miller... Designed for Ann Margret 'Two Mrs. Grenvilles.' " From the Nolan Miller Collection.
The 1940s inspired floor-length, belted purple satin crepe gown has a cross-over pleated "V" bodice is secured at the center front waist with a hook & eye. Padded at the shoulder, the medium-length sleeve ending just above the elbow, is pleated at the shoulder, the fullness brought in at a tuck and finished with two decorative self-covered buttons and loops. The straight skirt is pleated in front, with a center slit. The waist is closed at center with four snaps. Finishing the dress is a belt in purple satin crepe, curved for fit.
Nolan Miller's watercolor sketch is true to his style and captures Ann Margret's face rather than a generic model. In the illustration, the elegant purple satin crepe gown is shown accessorized with a corsage at the waist and dyed to match gloves and shoes. The ensemble is finished with a white fur boa. Typical of Nolan's technique, he started in pencil, layering watercolor and finishing in color pencil. The sketch is signed by Nolan Miller in black ink over a light watercolor signature and is labeled in black "Ann Margret 'The Two Mrs. Grenvilles'." The pencil sketch is preparatory to the watercolor sketch and is labeled "Ann Margaret [sic], 1944," and is pinned at the upper left corner with a sample of the purple silk crepe used for this gown.
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