The idea for the shape of the bodice on this costume came from an Edith Head bathing suit design which Shirley MacLaine wore in the film What a Way to Go.

Here’s a fun blog entry with pics of vintage Head costumes assembled for a retro fashion show.

What a Way to Go is a charming, wacky romantic musical comedy, starring Shirley MacLaine at her uber-glam best. This film gives new meaning to the word LUSH, and it is worth a look just for the costume design. Astonishing eye candy, bizarre fun with Paul Newman, Gene Kelly (doing a self-parody that MUST be seen to be believed,) Dean Martin, Dick van Dyke and Robert Mitchum – what’s not to love?

Quoted from the film:

“It’s like one of those big budget movies, all about love and what will she wear next.”

Yes. That’s it, exactly.

For added wonder, imagine Marilyn Monroe in the lead role: it was written with her in mind. She passed away before production.

This underrated, kooky classic is one of my favorites, and I don’t know a single person who has ever seen it. Give yourself a treat: