Seeing Stars: Hollywood Museums..

6608 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 957-5953

In 2005, Frederick's of Hollywood moved from its historic building at 6608 Hollywood Blvd, to its new flagship store a few blocks west, at 6751 Hollywood Blvd. (next door to the Hollywood Wax Museum).

This puts Fredericks closer to the new center of action in Hollywood, just east of Hollywood & Highland. Unfortunately, they didn't bring their Lingerie Hall of Fame with them to their new location. The museum is no more.

In 2008, the old Frederick's space reopened as a new restaurant and lounge named "The Kress". The name is taken from the old Kress Department Store, which originally occupied this 1935 Art Deco building before Frederick's moved in. (The 2008 TV Guide Emmy after-party will be held there.)

I will leave this page up for a while, for those interested in reading about the former Hall of Fame. But bear in mind that the article below was written when the museum was open and Fredericks was still based at its original location on the Boulevard.

One place that stands out like a sore thumb on Hollywood Boulevard is Frederick's of Hollywood, that giant gray & pink building a few blocks east of the famous Chinese Theatre.

Frederick Mellinger now has smaller versions of his stores in most modern shopping malls, of course, but this outlandish Art Deco tower was the original flagship store, established in 1946. (For many years, the building was painted a garish purple, but fortunately, it was recently redone in its current, less-flamboyant color scheme.)

Here, can you find musical panties that play "Happy Birthday," to go with the push-up bras. But as you might have guessed, there's more to do inside this Frederick's than just buy provocative lingerie. Yes, believe it or not, tucked away in the back of Frederick's, up a short flight of marble steps, is "The Lingerie Museum," a unique display of historic examples of Frederick's sexy undies. But the real draw here is a section called "The Celebrity Lingerie Hall of Fame," which exhibits a collection of (what else?) underwear worn by Hollywood movie stars!

It is billed as "a tribute to the stars who glamorized lingerie."

  They have Madonna's black and gold bustier           (with tassels, of course), which she wore
          during her "Who's That Girl" tour

  the lacy garter belt worn by Susan Sarandon in           the Kevin Costner film, "Bull Durham"

  a fur-trimmed negligee and bra worn by
          Cybill Shepherd in the TV series

  "Peg Bundy's" (Katey Sagal's) bra from
          "Married...With Children"

  black lace panties from Zsa Zsa Gabor

  boxer shorts worn by Tom Hanks in the film
         "Forrest Gump"

  Lana Turner's slip from "The Merry Widow"

  a girdle worn by Ethel Merman in "There's No
          Business Like Show Business"

  Judy Garland's nightgown from
          "Presenting Lili Mars"

  Ava Gardner's petticoat from "Show Boat"

  two bras from Cher (one black, one white)

  Ingrid Bergman's corset from the movie,
         "Cactus Flower"

  Jeanette MacDonald's petticoat worn in the
         film "Maytime"

  undies from the cast of "Beverly Hills 90210"           (Tori Spelling, Tiffani-Amber Thiesen,
          Kathleen Robertson, Ian Ziering,
          and Jason Priestley)

  as well assorted "unmentionables" from
          Mae West, Natalie Wood, Kim Basinger,
         Jamie Lee Curtis, Pamela Anderson Lee,
         Robert Redford, Lana Turner, Doris Day,
         Belinda Carlisle (of "The Go-Go's"),
         Naomi Judd, Cyd Charisse, Bette Davis,
         Shirley MacLaine, KISS, Loni Anderson,
         Isabel Sanford and many more... they even
         have Phyllis Diller's training bra (marked
         "This Side Up!")

In fact, there are even women's undies worn by male actors in drag, such as the dress Milton Berle wore on his TV show, and the bra Tony Curtis wore in his hilarious performance in the classic "Some Like It Hot."

Obviously, this museum is not for everyone, but it is amusing, in a bizarre sort of way... and certainly offbeat.

Historic footnote: In 1992, during the riots in South-Central L.A. (following the Rodney King verdict), rioting spread as far west as Hollywood Boulevard. And Frederick's was one of the businesses that was looted.

Thieves stole about $200,000 worth of lingerie (which summons up bizarre images of looters fleeing with arms full of push-up bras and crotchless panties...)

One item stolen from the Hall of Fame was Madonna's purple bustier with gold-tasseled cups (which she wore in the video "Open Your Heart"). Frederick's offered a $1,000 reward for the return of the garment, no questions asked, but it was never returned. So, in December of 1992, Madonna donated the new black bustier, in return for a $10,000 donation from Frederick's to her favorite charity (which provides free mammograms for the poor).

While making that announcement, Frederick's also announced some new additions to their eccentric collection: lingerie from Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Greta Garbo.

Admission to the museum is free. The main museum is located in the back of the Frederick's store; when you enter, just go to the left rear (southeast) corner of the store and look for the neon sign. They rotate the exhibits, so not all of the items will be on exhibit at any one time. It's a small space. But not as small as it might at first appear to be. Beneath the neon sign you'll find a glass display case containing about six items on mannequins. This is NOT the entire museum. If you'll look to your right, you'll see a small stairway leading up to the rest of the museum, consisting of a short hallway with more exhibits, leading to a small room filled with more glass displays cases.

Also, look for other celebrity displays scattered throughout the store.

(And we probably don't have to mention that Frederick's may not be the kind of place you'd want to take your kids. As you'd expect, there's a heavy emphasis on sex throughout the store.)

Hours: The lingerie museum is open seven days a week, during regular store hours.

    Mon-Thur: 10 AM - 9 PM
    Fri: 10 AM - 6 PM
    Sat-Sun: 12 noon - 5 PM.

Getting there: The lingerie museum is located on the bottom floor of the large gray & pink Frederick's of Hollywood building (inside the store), on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard, at Whitley Avenue (in between Highland & Vine Streets), just a few blocks east of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. / From Hollywood and Vine, just go west on Hollywood Boulevard, and Frederick's will be on your left (south) side. You can't miss it.

[For more information on this subject, you can access their official website at:]

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