Women I've Undressed: A Memoir
Ebury Illustrated, $39.99 hb, 432 pp, 9780857985637
Orry George Kelly – the Oscar-winning costume designer professionally known as Orry-Kelly – was one of the many Australians who have made it big in Hollywood. He is lucky enough to have been rediscovered by one of our major filmmakers, Gillian Armstrong. Kelly's name and story are now well known, thanks to Armstrong's recent documentary, and so is the brilliant title of his previously unpublished memoir, Women I've Undressed, which Armstrong adapted for her own enticing title, Women He's Undressed.
One of the most interesting stories surrounding the making of Women He's Undressed was the finding of this long-lost manuscript. Scholars interested in Kelly knew he had written a memoir, and it was rumoured that a copy had made its way to the family in Australia. But it took someone of the heft of Armstrong to unearth it (inside a pillowcase in the cupboard of a relative in rural New South Wales). Another was found in an unmarked box in Warner Bros' Los Angeles archives.