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Video: The Divine Miss M’s memories up for auction

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    >>> bette midler has conquered music, broadway, television and movies over her 40-year career and now auctions off some of her most famous looks. here with a sneak peek is the divix "miss m" herself and dan julian. good morning to both of but

    >> good morning.

    >> bette midler , what a warehouse of treasures you must have had. how did you come to decide to auction them off?

    >> i decided it was time. i've had, i've hung onto this stuff for over 40 years and i just, i just thought it was time to send this stuff out into the world. i'm not really a hoarder but starting to feel like one.

    >> this must be emotional.

    >> it was terribly emotional. when i saw the catalogue, one of the most beautiful things ever i burst into tears. it happened in the blink of an eye . it was so fantastic, the ride was such a wild ride and it was just, and, but it was 40 years. you just can't get over it.

    >> it's amazing. you have been so kind to bring some of your best items to show us. darren we'll ask more about the logistics of the auction first. first the jaoutfit if you jump out of a clam shell.

    >> this was designed by tony walton , the set designer and the costume designer also on "clams on the half shell" my first big broadway show under my own name and i didn't exactly jump out of a clam shell, i was helped out of a clam shell, and it's held up after all of the years.

    >> the next one comes from the bette divine madness show. holy feathers.

    >> this was designed by bob mackey , and it was one of the greatest entrances i ever had. it has a kind of a fabulous headdress that goes with it. when you open this up it has a little, you know, it has a little reveal.

    >> yes it does.

    >> which i thought was divine.

    >> you're auctioning off the original sketch from bob mackey .

    >> here is the sketch, one of the great sketch artists who ever lived. i kept that. no, he gave me that, a huge file, huge archive. when he found out i was auctions this off he said i'm going to give you stuff. he gave us this.

    >> i have an exhibit, for example these shoes. tell us about these.

    >> cher gave me these shoes in the early '70s, when these shoes, these kinds of platform shoes were all the rage and we were all wearing them, everybody was wearing them, and there was a shop on sunset boulevard , i think it's still there called eric's and they were the first ones to actually bedazzle the shoes.

    >> can you walk in the shoes?

    >> no, you can't take a step in them. they're like any low shoes. you can be photographed in them and that's about it. my daughter was panic stricken when she found out i was auctioning them. maybe not.

    >> this dress i remember from "beaches."

    >> yes, this dress was, this is from my own wardrobe and this came from, i bought this in paris at, i actually went to the showroom, which i had never done before to jean patieu, i don't think they're in business, la la coix, and i'm excited to get it. when beaches came around i wanted so silly.

    >> so '80s.

    >> look, i'm out in sleeves. i've worn it a lot but it wound up in "beaches" and i think it's one of the funiest scenes in the whole movies.

    >> this is a showstopper.

    >> this is bob demarra, i hope he's watching, made some of my most iconic costumes, we were together for many, many years, close to 40 years and we worked in and out, sometimes the great bob mackey would do things and bob demarra and constance hoffman. this was the record of " bathhouse betty ." i think i was standing on 17 apple boxes so i looked really, really tall and my wonderful dog, queen puddles was in the picture and it was a successful album for me and actually this was the basis of a show i did called "the divine miss millennium" in the year 2000 when the century turned.

    >> we have items from "the rose" some of the cool clothes you wore are awesome.

    >> that was one of my favorite show business experiences ever. this movie i had so much fun making it, and i saved absolutely every item, every shred of clothing.

    >> i was looking through the catalogue, those clothes are so cool. your daughter may want those, too.

    >> i've hidden -- she has some of them. i've hidden them, i've given some of them away to the rock 'n' roll hall of fame but most of them i have.

    >> i love this, the famous color's delago, mermaid outfit.

    >> this is my last dolores , my las vegas dolores , it was a symphony in pink and blue . i am the star because i'm wearing pink and the chorus girls are wearing blue. it was a beautiful, that was one of the most beautiful shows i did, and we have a lot of stuff from that show in this auction including entire sets of i think they're entire sets, including entire sets of the chorus girl costumes which are extraordinary.

    >> i hear you're helping lady gaga .

    >> i have a couple of wheelchairs and i do know that gaga has tried a wheelchair, a mermaid in a wheelchair, not successfully, but i am willing to give her the entire routine including the music and the outfits.

    >> and the yukelele?

    >> that's not dolores . this is one of the most fun things i have, i think in the collection. there's a mate to this and i gave, i had two of them made and gave one to president obama for his daughters, and i mean i don't know if they're playing it around, but he's from hawaii and i thought oh, a treasure, there you go.

    >> darren logistics, how can people auction?

    >> they can go online if they can't come to the live auction, juliansauctions.com, a free public exhibition, everything set up beautifully in beverly hills to the gallery, free to the public october 31st through november 12th and live auction takes place saturday, november 12th .

    >> thank you so much.

    >> you're welcome.

    >> was this hard to do or what?

    >> to tell you the truth, it was, i can't believe i'm doing it. i might have to change my -- no, no, no, really truly it's not. the truth about these, about being in this life is that a lot of people save their things, but a lot of people burn it or give things away.

    >> don't do that. we say buy it. we'll be back.

updated 10/25/2011 9:36:25 AM ET 2011-10-25T13:36:25

It wasn't long ago that Bette Midler blasted Lady Gaga on Twitter for appearing in a costume that was similar to Midler's famous mermaid-in-a-wheelchair get-up. Now the Divine Miss M is extending an olive branch by suggesting Gaga buy some of her originals.

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"I think she should go for a real wheelchair and a real fishtail because these are really beautiful. They are decorated and hand-beaded," Midler said in an interview Tuesday. "If she is interested, she can have whatever she wants because she is a very talented girl and I love her a lot."

Gaga and the rest of the world will soon be able to bid on that costume and more, as Midler is selling some of her most iconic outfits through Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 12, with some of the proceeds benefiting her charity, the New York Restoration Project.

The Associated Press: Was it crazy to go through and look at all of those costumes, sizes and styles?

Midler: It was my weight. It was my height. It was the fashion. It was what color my hair was. It was who I was living with, or who I was in love with. It is very, very moving, but it is also time to spin that stuff out into the world. You get to a certain point in life and you say, "Do I really want my daughter to have to deal with this when I am gone?" It is just so massive and you don't. You really don't. You want people to have the joy of it while you are still alive.

AP: How did you decide what to auction?

Midler: The Julien's people came down to my warehouses and we looked through the stuff. Some of the stuff is so well known and iconic, they kind of cherry-picked what they thought was the stuff that the fans and interested parties would respond to the most, and that is what they chose. I took some of the things out of the auction. Some of it is so sentimental, has great sentimental value for me. Honestly, almost every part of my career is represented in this particular auction. It is really stunning. There are over 300 items — stuff from the movies, stuff from the live show, stuff from my television shows, stuff from record covers. There are gold records. There is sheet music. Oh my gosh, shoes, jewelry. You name it, it is all in there. It is amazing that I saved it all, and it is amazing that there is so much of it and that it passed so fast. It just went so quickly, in the blink of an eye. I have been doing it for 40 years.

AP: What are some of the items that you could not part with?

Midler: The dress that I wore to the red carpet for the opening of "The Rose." I kept that back. That was the dress that made me cry because it was such a wonderful time in my life and I was surrounded by friends and I was so thin.

Video: The Divine Miss M’s memories up for auction (on this page)

AP: You are selling the iconic mermaid costume?

Midler: Not just one. Some of my best ones are up for auction, and some of my chorus girls are up for auction, and I am waiting for Gaga to get in there and grab hers. Some of the wheelchairs are up for auction. I mean, there is a selection from everything.

AP: What if Gaga buys your entire collection?

Midler: I would be thrilled. I hope she buys at least a little bit. It would be fun. There are so many wonderful ideas and so much of it. So much of it is so funny.

AP: Do you look back on some of this and think, I can't believe I wore that?

Midler: You can say I can't believe I dressed up as a fish. You can say that. You can say I can't believe I came out in a pair of knickers that were up to my neck. I can't believe I wore a pair of pants up to my neck. You can say that about practically everything. But, I remember it all so fondly. It was a great ride. Just the best ride, just the most fun.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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