Liza Minnelli sells Cabaret outfit in huge ‘downsizing’ sale

Singer-actor auctions items including iconic bowler hat and Judy Garland possessions

Liza Minnelli in her performance of Cabaret in 1972. Photograph: Alan Pappe//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Liza Minnelli in her performance of Cabaret in 1972. Photograph: Alan Pappe//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Liza Minnelli’s signature Cabaret bowler hat, boots and halter top vest is going up for auction in a sale of more than 1,000 lots belonging to the singer, her mother Judy Garland and movie director father Vincente Minnelli.

California auction house Profiles in History announced on Wednesday that the “Love, Liza” auction in May, the first from Minnelli’s vast personal collection, would also include her 1971 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow as well as her hand-annotated shooting script for Cabaret.

The 1972 musical brought Minnelli a best actress Oscar for her performance as Berlin nightclub singer Sally Bowles and sent her career rocketing.

Price estimates have yet to be determined as auctioneers sort through the collection that Minnelli has assembled over decades.

Liza Minnelli’s signature Sally Bowles Cabaret performance ensemble, bowler hat, boots and jewellery. Photograph: Reuters
Liza Minnelli’s signature Sally Bowles Cabaret performance ensemble, bowler hat, boots and jewellery. Photograph: Reuters

Minnelli (71) said she was selling to “downsize” her life.

“Throughout my long career I have collected wonderful possessions and memorabilia and now I?ve reached a point in my life where I want to simplify and share with my fans who have always been there for me,” the actress said in a statement.

The two-day sale will take place in Calabasas, near Los Angeles, at a date to be announced in late May and will be preceded by a free public exhibition at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills from April 4-29th, the auction house said.

“Usually when you see these famous people auctions, it’s household furnishings. This is pretty substantial. Liza Minnelli is a cultural icon, and this is the most important Judy Garland material that has ever been sold,” Profiles in History chief executive Joe Maddalena told Reuters.

“Between Vincente Minnelli, Judy Garland and Liza, they kept everything. There are probably 500 Halston custom-made stage costumes,” he said

The Judy Garland memorabilia includes an MGM studio paycheck that was issued when she was 13, before she appeared in her first film, along with a green tramp clown tailcoat she wore for a 1956 photograph by Richard Avedon.

Liza Minnelli’s personal hand-annotated book-bound shooting script for Cabaret. Photograph: Reuters
Liza Minnelli’s personal hand-annotated book-bound shooting script for Cabaret. Photograph: Reuters

Items by the fashion designer known simply as Halston include garments that Minnelli wore on stage, screen and in personal appearances, including a red sequined tuxedo from the 1970s, and a black and crimson beaded flapper dress.

“I am hoping that fashion and textile museums will get a chance to get this. Everything was custom made for her,” Maddalena said.

“We have tried to make an auction where there is something for everybody. There will be things for a few hundred dollars, and things for tens of thousands. It will cover the gamut,” Maddalena said. – Reuters

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