Princess Diana’s Blouse, an Animatronic E.T. Head, and ‘Big Lebowski’ Robe Headline Memorabilia Auction
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Princess Diana’s Blouse, an Animatronic E.T. Head, and ‘Big Lebowski’ Robe Headline Memorabilia Auction

By Eric Grossman
Thu, Nov 30, 2023 9:13amGrey Clock 3 min

The blouse Princess Diana wore for her engagement portrait, E.T.’s head, and the robe “The Dude” wore in The Big Lebowski are just some of the wide range of instantly recognisable pop culture artefacts going up for auction next month.

Julien’s Auctions is partnering with Turner Classic Movies for the Dec 14-17 sale, titled Hollywood Legends.

“Associated with phrases such as ‘Danger, Will Robinson,’ ‘E.T. phone home,’ and ‘Avengers, assemble!,’ these iconic collectibles provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans, pop culture enthusiasts, and collectors to own a piece of Hollywood history,” Martin Nolan, Julien’s co-founder and executive director, said in a statement announcing the sale Monday.

The sale comprises three components taking place over four days at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills (Dec. 14), Julien’s facility in Gardena, Calif. (Dec. 15-17), and online at

Featuring props, costumes, and models from some of the most iconic science fiction, fantasy, action, and superhero franchises dating back to the 1950s, the first program—billed as Robots, Wizards, Heroes & Aliens—will be held during the sale’s first two days (Dec. 14-15). In celebration of Warner Bros.’ 100th anniversary, an assortment of items from the studio’s biggest film franchises, such as Harry Potter and Batman, will be offered.

Princess Diana’s Engagement Blouse
Julien’s Auctions

The marquee item is an original mechanical animatronic E.T. head—created by the legendary special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi and as seen throughout Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T. the Extra Terrestrial—that’s estimated to fetch between US$800,000 and US$1 millionThis model comes from Rambaldi’s own collection, as did the animatronic figure of E.T. sold by Julien’s Auctions last November for US$2.56 million.

Also sure to draw heightened interest is one of the most famous robots of all time, the Model B-9 from Lost In Space. One of only two full-scale figures that were made for the pioneering 1960s science fiction series, the still-functional model is expected to sell for between US$300,000 and US$500,000.

Fans of the Coen Brothers’ 1998 classic film The Big Lebowski will focus on day three (Dec. 16) of the sale, which will celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary. More than 250 items, including storyboards and costumes, will go under the hammer, with a portion of the proceeds going to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Expected to draw the highest bids are a pair of lots featuring items worn by Jeff Bridges in the title role. Estimated to go for between US$30,000 and US$50,000, The Dude ensemble—which appears throughout the film, including in the memorable opening scene—consists of a light-brown knitted fleece bathrobe and an off-white cotton Jockey T-shirt. An original pair of sunglasses featuring nylon frames with amber-colored polycarbonate lenses is expected to sell in the neighbourhood of US$20,000 to US$30,000.

Glamour, Grace and Greatness, the third component of the auction, will close out the sale’s final day (Dec. 17) with items created by revered designers and worn by some of the greatest style icons of all time.

Headliner status goes to a piece from one of the most iconic images ever taken of Princess Diana: the blush pink chiffon blouse worn in her 1981 engagement portrait—famously captured by the world-renowned photographer Lord Snowden for the February 1981 issue of Vogue—is estimated to fetch between US$80,000 and $100,000. With its ruff-like collar and loose pleats to the front, the garment was created by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who would later design Princess Diana’s wedding gown. The blouse, which Elizabeth Emanuel sold from her archives in 2010, was admired by millions when it was previously on display at London’s Kensington Palace as part of the exhibition “Diana: Her Fashion Story” that ran from 2017 to 2019.

E.T’s Animatronic head
Julien’s Auctions

Another famous piece sure to draw intense bidding is a ballerina-length evening dress from the Moroccan-British fashion designer Jacques Azagury that was worn by Princess Diana in Florence, Italy on April 23, 1985. Featuring a black velvet bodice with embroidered stars in metallic thread, and a two-tier royal blue organza skirt with sash and bow, the dress is estimated to sell for between US$100,000 and US$200,000.

Other highlights include Givenchy-designed garments worn by Audrey Hepburn in one of her most memorable roles as Regina “Reggie” Lampert in the 1963 film Charade. A marigold wool coat is expected to sell for between US$20,000 and US$40,000, while a cream wool dress is estimated to earn between US$30,000 and US$50,000.

Fans of timeless classics can bid on iconic pieces such as the dramatic black satin sleeveless gown worn by Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard and the blue and white cotton gingham pinafore worn by Margaret O’Brien as Tootie Smith in the 1944 musical comedy Meet Me in St. Louis.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

By Rachel Feintzeig
Mon, Jul 22, 2024 4 min

Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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