This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 8/5/2008
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Auction closed on: 8/5/2008
A centerpiece of our auction is this spectacular, beautifully appointed, concert-worn jumpsuit, nick-named the "peacock," worn by Elvis Presley extensively during a five-month stretch in 1974. Our research indicates that Elvis performed in the peacock jumpsuit for the first time during his matinee performance at the Forum in Los Angeles on May 11, 1974. It is quite likely that he took delivery of the peacock jumpsuit outfit that very day, as it was tailored expressly for Presley by Bill Belew, the renowned Los Angeles based designer. Belew, the man responsible for creating Presley's entire stage wardrobe between 1968 and 1977, beginning with the memorable black leather outfit and white suit worn by Presley on his 1968 comeback special, "Elvis," on NBC, was based in Hollywood with I.C. Costumes at the time. Presley kicked off his tour a day prior to the Forum appearance in nearby San Bernardino; the peacock making its debut at the evening Forum performance. Our research indicates that the peacock jumpsuit, said to be Elvis' favorite among all the fabulously ornate Belew creations, was concert worn nearly twice as often as any of the eleven different jumpsuits worn by Presley during the May to October tour; more than a dozen times in cities nationwide and, most likely, another dozen or more times during multi-week stands in Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. The peacock made its final documented appearance in San Antonio on October 8; the tour ending a week later in Lake Tahoe. After a five-month respite from touring, an entirely new and equally flamboyant, Belew designed wardrobe was unveiled for The King's adoring audiences in March 1975. Elvis Presley's onstage persona is undeniably defined by Bill Belew's stunning designs worn by the King of Rock & Roll throughout the final decade of his life. Presley himself humorously quipped in 1970, "If the songs don't go over, we can do a medley of costumes." Only a few of the nearly 125 outfits designed by Belew for Presley have appeared on the collector's market since Presley's death; the "peacock," by far being the most desirable. The "peacock," of course, is the most glaring omission from the enormous Graceland collection. The one-piece, zippered jumpsuit is appointed with a heavily chain-stitched, rhinestone bejeweled peacock design on the front and back with tail feathers tapering off as they cascade down the entire length of the legs that flare at the bottom. The tailoring label reads "I.C. Costume Co. Hollywood, Ca." The most expensive of all of the Belew creations, the cost of the garment was $10,000. The jumpsuit is in excellent condition; the zipper in need of repair. Presley can be seen wearing the peacock jumpsuit on the cover of his 1975 album and single "Promised Land." Extensive photographic and filmed documentation exists of Elvis wearing the peacock jumpsuit. One of several websites exhibiting photos of the peacock jumpsuit being worn by Elvis onstage is: www.elvisconcerts.com. Estimate $275,000-$325,000.