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Barbara Streisand’s Assiut Ensemble

Babs-AssiutFamous Assiut Sightings:  Barbara Streisand

During the 1970’s there was a rising nostalgia for the freedom, style and lust for life of the jazz babies of 1920’s.  Vintage assiut shawls, coats and dresses were avidly collected by bohemian artists, actresses and musicians.  Barbara Streisand, appeared in the movie “A Star is Born” wearing a coat and dress made from some opulent  shawls mace of this vintage cloth.  For the movie, in which she acted as producer as well as star, she pulled garments from her own closet to use in the film. In a slide show entitled “Signature Style: Barbara Streisand,” In Style Magazine, Barbara comments on a 1976 publicity still for the movie.

“Here I am with Kris Kristofferson in A Star Is Born. I designed the dress: I took a couple of my silver and black shawls and draped them. Isn’t that cool? Slinky, snaky, shiny. I gave myself a little credit at the end of the movie—it just said, ‘Miss Streisand’s clothes from her closet.’ I was made fun of, but it was the truth!”

The design of the dress utilizes several shawls cut on the bias which conforms to every curve of her body.  In contrast, the loose drape and flow of the over coat echos the popular cocoon-style wrap coats that were a favorite of flappers.  The assiut outfit appears in the scene where Barbara as Esther, attends the Grammy awards as a nominee, and ultimately, wins the award for best song.  She takes the podioum to receive her award clad in the full ensemble.  Here’s a quick clip from the beginning of the scene before she begins her acceptance speech.  You can really see the move and sway of this glorious ensemble.


Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 5.33.22 PMIn the 2004 charity auction “Her Name is Barbara” this ensemble was placed on sale through Julien’s Auction House and sold for $3,600.00.  The auction catalog included these four superb photographs and this description:

“Full length gown and cape made of silver and black metal mesh … It features a geometric design, spaghetti straps, skirt in two layers, gathered at back, slit at left side, undergarment sewn into bodice, lined in velvet at décolletage area, zipper and snap closure at back, together with matching wrap around full length cape featuring short sleeves, body comprised of three sections including two front panels and one back panel, bodice lined in nude chiffon. The stunning ensemble was worn in the film for the scene in which Barbra Streisand as Esther Hoffman wins a Grammy award.”


In a moment of life imitating art, Barbara did actually win the Grammy award for best song for “Evergreen” in real life, but choose a more sedate black lace dress at the ceremony.,,20310479_20303649_20668184,00.html#20668191

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