The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hosts Liberace’s return to the Las Vegas Strip for the first time in 30 years as The Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts presents Too Much of a Good Thing Is Wonderful: Liberace and the Art of Costume, an exhibit of the famed pianist’s personal and performance pieces running Nov. 25 through Jan.2.
Christmas cape (above): In 1980, Liberace wore this gabardine and white fox cape for his Christmas appearances at the Las Vegas Hilton and then again at Radio City Music Hall in 1985. The cape demonstrates the skill of Anna Nateece, a Greek-born master furrier who was a staple on the American fashion scene for more than four decades. It features an appliqued, multi-limbed tree and is lined entirely with silver sequins.
Fabergé suit: Perhaps the most ornate of Liberace’s costumes, this pink gabardine and silk suit is covered with satin appliques, pastel seed and bugle beads, crystals, and pearls. He wore this jumpsuit and tailcoat in his Radio City Music Hall Easter show and famously quipped, “You can either have the Easter Bunny or Liberace, not both.”
The six-week exhibit features a number of Liberace’s decadent belongings such as a rhinestone piano, Liberace’s Rhinestone Roadster, an extravagant, curated costume collection, opulent European candelabras and video clips of performances. Visitors have the rare opportunity to view intricately-designed pieces from Liberace’s wardrobe including a virgin fox fur coat with 16-foot train, sequined jumpsuits, custom-made cowboy boots and more.
Rococo suit: Liberace found inspiration in the elegance and extravagance of the European courts, and this ensemble celebrates rococo, a mid-eighteenth century style tied to King Louis XV of France. The swallow-tailed cutaway coat features crystal and gold beads that create leaf-like motifs. The matching boots have heels covered in crystal rhinestones.
The rhinestone piano will be displayed at The Chandelier with the Roadster nearby at the resort’s Las Vegas Boulevard entrance. A large selection of items will be available for exploration inside The Cosmopolitan’s pop-up space, located on the corner of the Las Vegas Strip off of the casino floor.
The exhibition is curated by Deirdre Clemente, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and associate director of the public history program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She also served as historical consultant for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
Donation boxes will be available for those wishing to donate to the Liberace Foundation’s scholarship fund.
Too Much of a Good Thing Is Wonderful: Liberace and the Art of Costume will open Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. Hours are Monday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, please call 702.698.7640 or visit www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com.