Marilyn Monroe is still hot stuff at BFI's costume drama

Arifa Akbar's Arts Diary

The launch of the British Film Institute's new season, Gothic, was accompanied by a fabulously eerie visitation – Chrisopher Lee's Dracula cloak, donned for the occasion by a delighted press officer and accompanied by its very own minder. Heather Stewart, creative director of the BFI, explained how the cloak almost fitted the PR man in question, Brian Robinson, who at 6ft 4in was a mere three inches short of Lee's 6ft 7in. But he did not, she added, have free reign to sit around in it all night. It was promptly taken off his back and put away again. It is one of several sensational items in the BFI's costume collection.

Marilyn Monroe's dress from Some Like It Hot (pictured) is there, so is Charlie Chaplin's walking stick, while Ingrid Bergman's frock from Gaslight has a waist so small ("she must have been a size four or six," said Ms Stewart) that it might be more of a challenge for a press officer to squeeze into.

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