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May 16, 2010

The Hollywood Graffiti Gown pre-Mother’s Day Reception

The BiteMe! Squad was fortunate enough to attend the pre-Mother’s Day reception at the Hollywood Museum for a special event featuring The Hollywood Graffiti Gown. Designed by Randy McLaughlin and Jerry Skeels (JERAN Design) The Hollywood Graffiti Gown contains over 350 hand-beaded signatures of leading ladies and influential female celebrities from past and present. The idea for the gown manifested 30 years ago to benefit AIDS awareness. Celebrities like Bette Davis, Mother Theresa, Halle Berry, and Cate Blanchett contributed their signatures to the historic dress. This breathtaking couture creation is made of German velvet and the signatures are hand-beaded with bugle and Rochelle beads, Swarovski crystals, and custom-made platinum beads donated by Platinum Guild International. The dress has been displayed at fundraising events for AIDS charities since 2004.

The red carpet event was attended by notable TV and movie moms Florence Henderson, Ilene Graff, Nancy Dussault, Kim Rhodes, and Dee Wallace. Other celebrities that come out to honor Randy McLaughlin and the Hollywood Graffiti Gown included Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie), Donna Mills (Knotts Landing), JoAnne Worley (Laugh In), Rose Marie (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Rip Taylor, and LIFE magazine cover icon Edith Shain. Guests sipped champagne and mingled among the displays of costumes from various movies and TV shows and tried on jewelry from Image Jewelry Inc. Harpist Dr. Vanessa Sheldon provided some lovely music and magicians Paul Green and Howard Jay (Magic Castle) added a little extra entertainment.

If you haven’t been to the Hollywood Museum it’s worth a visit, especially for the opportunity to view this stunning gown in person. Housed in the historic Max Factor building the museum features four floors of exhibits. There’s a tribute to Michael Madsen, Pee-Wee Herman’s infamous suit and bicycle, and costumes from various movies such as Moulin Rouge and Star Wars. A few of Randy’s other JERAN dresses are also on display - including the famous red dress worn by Joan Collins on the 1983 cover of Playboy.

The Hollywood Graffiti Gown will be on display until November 28th. It will then be turned over to the Heritage Auction House to be auctioned for a starting bid of $1,000,000 with hopes that it will find a home in the Smithsonian. Proceeds from the sale of the gown will go to support Project Concern (, Academy of Friends San Francisco (, AID for AIDS (, and AIDS Project Los Angeles (

The Hollywood Museum is located at 1660 North Highland Ave. L.A. CA 90028
For more on the Hollywood Graffiti Gown and its creator Randy McLaughlin check out our interview with Randy.

Narrative by Nikki Neil   Photos by J and Curtis Smith

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