This first photo is — as they say — a mood. I want to print it out, huge, and frame it and hang it over my sofa. It’s at something called “the COMPO party,” which Google has not illuminated for me; whatever the COMPO party was has been lost to the winds of time. Personally, I’ve decided COMPO was a Los Angeles-based group and that name is an acronym for Cool Original Magnificent People Organization and that their parties were surprisingly irritating and somehow neither cool NOR original.
This next look is also from some party on the same day, and rest assured that there is another shot where Rita looks moderately less irked by having to dance with Gene Nash (and he looks less creepy); you just couldn’t see her dress as well. She is VERY gorgeous:
Gene Nash does not have a Wikipedia page, but Rita attended other parties with him so they may have just been dating/friends and he was like…a dentist or whatever. You know. A regular person. Rita, on the other hand, was moderately famous at this point, but many of the films she’d done were B movies (with the exception of her small role in Singin’ in the Rain); however, she’s just about to start filming The King and I. She looks perfect in this.
If you want another angle on this truly gorgeous frock, Rita also wore it to a movie premiere with Robert Wagner (future spouse of — and still person of interest in the death of! – – her future West Side Story co-star, Natalie Wood):
She looks like a dream in this. We know Rita’s a re-wearer of dresses — wonder if she’d dig this one out to celebrate the end of quarantine when that finally happens.