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Designer Cashes In on That American Express Gold Card Dress

April 14, 1995|DENISE GELLENE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

When costume designer Lizzy Gardiner accepted her Oscar last month in a dress made of 254 American Express Gold Cards, host David Letterman quipped, "I'm tellin' ya, American Express can't buy publicity like that."

Now it has.

On Thursday, American Express said it has purchased the glittery, floor-length dress from Gardiner, who created the award-winning costumes for the movie "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." The price was not disclosed.

American Express plans to display the dress in travel offices around the country.

The company is showing off the dress this week in newspaper ads featuring a grinning Gardiner.

Ironically, American Express turned down a chance to have its cards appear in "Priscilla," a movie about three cross-dressing entertainers in Australia. According to published reports, Gardiner had wanted to outfit one of the movie's male stars in a gown made from credit cards.

But American Express did supply Gardiner with cards to make her Academy Award gown.

"It's different," an American Express spokeswoman explained. "She's not dressing a character. She's dressing herself."

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