Collection Gowns Bring Judy Garland To Life

By KBJR News 1

June 17, 2011 Updated Jun 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM CDT

GRAND RAPIDS, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)--A premiere collection of gowns that Judy Garland wore in the movies, on television and in concert is on display at the 2011 Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids.

Michael Siewert traveled from Georgia to Grand Rapids to display his collection of Judy Garland gowns at the 36th annual Festival honoring the Hollywood actress.

At the age of six, Siewert traveled to flea markets and antique malls collecting memorabilia a child could afford, from postcards, to plates and antique dolls.

For the past 12 years he's focused his collection on Judy Garland gowns.

"Now as an adult, it brings back my childhood, I collect dresses from movies that I remember seeing her wear," said Siewert.

The complete collection includes 18 pieces including the red dress Judy wore when she sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis.

"I have things as early as 1941, two years after the Wizard Of Oz came out. I have a dress from Life Begins For Andy Hardy. I have things from Me And My Gal, Easter Parade and A Star Is Born. I have a Bob Mackie gown that she wore on the television show," said Siewert.

For a majority of her life, Judy Garland was 4 foot 11 and weighed 95 pounds.

"It is amazing to see how tiny she actually was. Obviously I never saw her in person but I knew she was a tiny woman and I anticipated they would be tiny, but these are almost childlike," said a fan, Pamela Honzl.

Other fans say the gowns bring Judy to life.

"Its kinda cool, you know, knowing she entertained in that, and that was maybe one of the last times she performed on television," said fan, Judy Butler.

The gowns will be on display at the Judy Garland Museum through Saturday.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch
jwalch@northlandsnewscenter.com