Dressed to Impress: Costume


1959, Designer: Unknown, Gift of Marge Padgitt

“Tender Shoot” aired October 19, 1959 on “The June Allyson Show.” The 30-minute short film starred Ginger Rogers as a writer who finds herself in a relationship with a younger man. Rogers wore the red and white polka dot silk dress shown here in the film. Although filmed in black and white, Rogers was skilled in recognizing how colors were depicted on film, as she clearly described in the design process of her blue feather dress for Top Hat (1935): “It’s funny to be discussing color when you’re making a black-and-white film, but the tone had to be harmonious.” The dramatic and alternating tones of red and white in the 1959 “Tender Shoot” costume also contrasted harmoniously on screen.

The polka dot dress was 3D-rendered by Textile and Apparel Management Graduate Instructor Mackenzie Miller for use in TAM 2280 Beginning Apparel Design. After measuring the garment, Ms. Miller entered her data into the department’s virtualization software CLO3D to create 3D patterns of the top and skirt which were then printed on paper for each student to use for their Rogers-inspired designs. Explore TAM 2280 student designs.