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Lot #765
Prince: 77th Academy Awards Fashion Designs and Suit Fabric from the Collection of Maurice Hood

Design blueprints and fabric for Prince's iconic 2005 Oscar night appearance

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Estimate: $5000+
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Design blueprints and fabric for Prince's iconic 2005 Oscar night appearance

From the personal collection of custom tailor Maurice Hood—a grouping of five fashion CAD (computer-aided design) faxes, their associated garment samples (fabrics and linings), and a total of 32 garment patterns used by Hood to create five custom suits for Prince.

The CAD faxes and fabric were originally sent to Hood by Paisley Park artist Debbie McGuan as guidelines for five finely tailored suits he was commissioned to make for Prince in lead-up to the musician’s appearance at the 77th Academy Awards on February 27, 2005, an event scheduled a little over a week away. Time being of the essence, Hood was expedited the referenced CADs and fabric, and, to solve the inherent fitting challenges, a two-piece suit worn by Prince during his Musicology Live 2004ever Tour.

With resources now in hand, Hood then produced the series of garment pattern blocks used to make all five highly detailed custom suits, which he accomplished in a whirlwind five-day span—in the end, Prince famously chose “Outfit #1,” Hood’s 4-ply purple silk tuxedo, which he wore when he presented the Oscar for Best Original Song.

The five 8.5 x 11 fashion CAD faxes contain sketches made by McGuan, who designed suits for Prince for 14 years, often from opaque artist-given directives like ‘Listen to this song and come up with what you think it looks like.’ Each CAD is dated to February 19, 2005, includes her detailed instructions pertaining to each individual design, and are presented with their respective fabric and lining samples, the majority in tones of purple.

The sheets are accordingly numbered and identified as “Outfit #1...Purple 4 ply silk 2 pc. Formal suit,” “Outfit #2...2 pc. Lush purple velvet (silk) with shawl collar, flap pockets,” and “Outfit #3...Two toned lilac / purple paisley / print brocade jacket (pant made in L.A.).” Outfit designs 4 and 5, while not directly numbered, can be identified by matching their description with Hood’s accompanying provenance letter: No. 4, “2 pc. Black w/ purple pinstripe suit single breasted,” and No. 5, “Lining for 4 ply 2 pc. Suit.” Four of the CADs include additional handwritten notes from McGuan and Hood, and “Outfit #3” comes with photos of Hood and his assistant Lola posing with the finished coat.

The collection of 32 garment patterns are for Prince’s back, side body, sleeves, collars, and fronts, with only the latter differing across the five suit designs—Hood used McGuan’s detailed CAD notations for button spacing, shoulder width to seams, and button holes. In overall fine condition. Accompanied by a Special Collector's Edition of People magazine, which contains an image of Prince wearing Hood's Oscar-night suit, and by Hood’s detailed letter of provenance, which reads, in part: “At the time of this fashion endeavor for Prince and Debbie, I had over 28 years of experience in superfine tailoring...The patterns I created here provide a definite direct blueprint to the possibility to construct any one of the 5 designs that Debbie created for Prince; [there’s] no doubt that he tried the suits on, looked in the mirror with each, and then he made his choice...Design #1 selected by Prince was the one that got him rave reviews as he presented the Oscar award for Best Original Song.”

The Prince Estate is not affiliated, associated, or connected with RR Auction or this auction, nor has it endorsed, authenticated or sponsored the items available for auction. Further, The Prince Estate has not licensed any of its intellectual property to RR Auction.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Prince
  • Dates: #627 - Ended January 12, 2022