View Full Version : Aloha Eagle suit

08-16-2008, 05:30 AM

I wanna comfirm something for myself.

The Aloha eagle suit, there is 3 versions of this suit, right ?

He used 1 for the rehearsal show on january 12.
And 1 for the Main show on january 14

And one for on tour in 73-74 that was very look a like the suit he used on january 12 ?

But what is the difference between these suits on 12 and 14. The stars ? Can someone post pictures ?

Billy Budd
08-16-2008, 08:05 AM

08-16-2008, 08:09 AM
Please read here also:


08-16-2008, 08:14 AM
According to Butch Polston from B&K Enterprises Elvis used 1 Aloha eagle suit, for the rehearsal show on january 12 as well as for the Main show on january 14.

08-16-2008, 02:22 PM

I wanna comfirm something for myself.

The Aloha eagle suit, there is 3 versions of this suit, right ?

He used 1 for the rehearsal show on january 12.
And 1 for the Main show on january 14

And one for on tour in 73-74 that was very look a like the suit he used on january 12 ?

But what is the difference between these suits on 12 and 14. The stars ? Can someone post pictures ?

The differences are simple really. First off, the eagles themselves are different. The Aloha suit used from the Alternate Concert (Rehearsal show) had a slightly bigger eagle than the one use for the Telecast show. Also, the stars around the eagle are slightly different. Their is a added star below the eagle on the one used for the Telecast.
Here are example from the Alternate Aloha:

Here are examples from Aloha:

Now, from Aloha here circled in red is where the extra star is at:
http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/46/aloha20sat2065nw7.th.jpg (http://img395.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aloha20sat2065nw7.jpg)
http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/8206/aloha20sat2075tr2.th.jpg (http://img395.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aloha20sat2075tr2.jpg)

Photo from Alternate and as you see no extra star is on the suit:
http://img370.imageshack.us/img370/9735/aloha2057yu1.th.jpg (http://img370.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aloha2057yu1.jpg)
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/1397/aloha20108cy8.th.jpg (http://img233.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aloha20108cy8.jpg)

Again, from Aloha Telecast:
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/4725/aloha20126mz9.th.jpg (http://img233.imageshack.us/my.php?image=aloha20126mz9.jpg)

But a little known fact the stars that is by the collar on his right side (our left) is different as well. The stars lines up on the Alternate Show suit and they don't line up on the Telecast suit.

The Aloha suit used after the February 1973 engagement is the third suit. The suit is a cross between both the Alternate showsuit and Telecast show suit. Eagle is like the Telecast version (a bit smaller compared to Alternate show suit) also the stars are like the Alternate show suit with no extra star at the bottom. That is the differences between all the suits.

08-16-2008, 03:23 PM
http://www.tcb-world.com/picture.php?albumid=121&pictureid=1933:notworthy:notworthy:notworthy:notwo rthy

08-17-2008, 09:59 AM

From www.epgold.com

EpGold published three articles on the Issue The Aloha Suits Rumours At Graceland.

August 31st the 1st article by Tcb Collector and on the same day an 1st update with an response from Leroy Smith on this matter, with a reaction again from Tcb Collector and later on that day an 2nd update with a response from Angie Marchese Director of Archives Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc

Click Here: Click here for NEWS August 2007

Andylon Lensen contacted Butch Polston from B&K Enterprises,since he is certainly the only one to straighten this out, as he's known Bill Belew and Gene Doucette for over 25 years.


All sounds pretty much to par. I have been besieged by emails concerning this matter, as well as all the misstatements that have been made in the Elvis In Fashion book and the booklet that was made for the Sincerely Elvis costume display.

Below I have put an explanation that I emailed to a gentleman concerning the matters at hand dealing with the two different suits. As I've stated, I'm merely going by what I've been told by the original designers, the gentleman who tailored Elvis' garments, as well as the gentleman who used to do the billing.

This information came from notes that I made many years ago. This is how I became aware of the fact that there were two of the costumes. I was not there. In 1973 I was only 16 years old, so I must rely on the facts that are given to me by these talented gentlemen.

If my manner in which I've addressed my facts listed below seems a bit abrupt, please understand, it was not aimed towards you, or really anyone. It's just I've reached a high level of frustration concerning a lot of these matters.

I have tried for years to get EPE to let me research their archives department and to do a proper book adressing all of these facts. Unfortunately, they've been putting me off since 1996.

I'm probably the only one besides Bill and Gene who knows how to even read the receipts and match them up with the proper garments. Not because I'm bragging that I'm "that good", its just that it's something that was taught to me.

The information that I provide to all who inquire about these costumes doesn't just come from photos. It comes from observing notations that were made on the original costuming patterns which I own, as well as notes that I've seen hand written from Bill to Gene and from Bill and Gene to Romano (the tailor).

Fact #1--I personally saw a hand written note dated December of 1972 referencing that only one costume should be made for this show because it was noted that Elvis' weight had been fluctuating quite a bit in 1972 and that there would not be enough time to produce both costumes. The okay was given to produce the second garment later for the upcoming tour. This information was given to Bill by someone and Bill wrote the note. (This information came directly from Bill Belew.)

Fact #2--Yes, even though it was on the receipt, it was done under what is known as "pre-billing". They had the okay for the order, and to bill for the order, but it doesn't necessarily always mean that the garment was shipped at the same time, as long as a copy of the invoice # was pinned to the garment that shipped at a later date.

Fact #3--Had Gene produced and designed both costumes at the same time, I can assure you, they both would have been completely identical. He would have had both garments laying side by side and, with Gene's professionalism, he would not have haphazardly thrown the stars in different places or made the tails different. That would have been ludicirous! Yes, there were two different eagle jumpsuit design patterns--as parts of the original fell apart in the production of the first garment, so on the second one that Gene started working on in February, he adlibbed on certain areas of the garment. (This information comes directly from Gene.)

Fact #4--The gentleman who used to do all of the billing at IceCapades, who is no longer with us, many years ago showed me the receipts. He also showed me the overnight express receipt getting Elvis one belt, one large cape, and one Eagle jumpsuit. Dated a week later, there was another receipt for one short eagle cape airmailed to Elvis. I had asked the gentleman who took care of this at the time what this meant "one large cape and one short cape?" He told me he wasn't sure, that I should probably ask Bill. After discussing this with both Bill and Gene, as well as a couple of the guys who worked for Elvis, I was told that Elvis was sent the large calf length cape to wear for this show. A few days prior to the show he was trying it on. It was so heavy it kept pulling him backwards. He didn't like this.

He had someone in the group call Bill and ask to rush a short version of this style cape out to him to have in time to wear for the January show. He just could not wear this long, heavy, cape. This is where the story has been told that they had to finish up a cape and get it out to him in a big rush, because he threw the cape out into the audience. Why would he want another cape rushed to him after the show was done, as by this time the show was over with? He had needed it rushed to him so he could have it before the show started.

Fact #5--If you look at the way the garments were tailored, you can see that the larger garment that they've had on display was cut out larger from the beginning. When you cut these costumes out, you always leave a certain size seam allowance in the side seams and back seams, as well as in the crotch line. If you take these garments in, you have a larger seam allowance on the inside of the garment. If you let the garments out, you have very little seam allowance left. The eagle suit they've had on display from the beginning has the same seam allowance as a new garment, without it having been let out or taken in. I examined this in person myself some time ago. If both of these suits had been cut out at the same time, the one worn in the original broadcast would have a normal seam allowance. The "tour" eagle suit would have a very small seam allowance, as they would have had to have let the garment out in order for Elvis to be able to wear it as he put on weight. This hasn't happened, because the suit was originally made in a slightly larger size.

Fact #6--There has been a lot made over the capes and I recently read on EP Gold where there was a cape made after Elvis died to go with the display at the Hilton. According to what both Gene and Bill, and the gentleman that tailored Elvis' costumes told me, this was a bunch of bull! They are confused about where people come up with this sort of information. Gene designed one calf length cape and three short capes. None were designed identical. A lot of the capes Gene free-handed where the design would go, as the patterns were made from vellum and many times you could only get one to two uses out of the old-style vellum before it would fall apart. With us, we were lucky enough to get most of the patterns in sync. Unfortunately, there was a piece here and a piece there that were destroyed. In that case, Gene would make the needed corrections to bring it up to standard as much as possible, leaving us with still a better recreation than most of the people pirating our products have created. The truth of the matter concerning the capes is that the long cape was sold at an auction, the second cape was the most worn along with the second eagle belt. That cape and belt became tattered, so Elvis gave this to Ed Parker.

Elvis gave this cape and belt to Ed Parker recently acquired by Larry Moss In Memphis (Photo Belt: with Producer & Director Andy Dumas for the upcoming Documentary " Fit For A King " )

It was just recently acquired by a good friend of mine who is a collector. Elvis had a third cape made, but by the time he received it it got very little use, as Elvis had already picked up a great deal of weight and had all but stopped using capes by then. The end result concerning the third cape being made after Elvis died, specially ordered by the Colonel for the display is ridiculous. Gene had already left Pizzazz Designs and they were liquidating to go out of business at that time. Besides, Gene vividly remembers doing all three of the short capes.

Fact #7--Yes, regardless of what is said, I am the one who brought all of this to Elvis Presley Enterprises attention. I don't mind telling you that it took many years of trying to get them to understand what they were losing out on if they did not get this garment back, as this was a piece of rock and roll history. I've read a story where EPE bullied the Hilton into giving the suit back. That is bull. The Hilton had no care or regard for the suit whatsoever. I personally witnessed people plucking stones off of it as it was out in the open in a poorly made display case at one time. I'm glad they got the suit back for the fans to enjoy. But the most important fact to this is, that many years ago, I personally spoke to Mr. Presley through the Presley Estates Attorney, D Beacham Smith (this would fill a book to tell the story, so I won't go into it). Mr. Presley told me that it was merely on loan to the Hilton, as long as they kept it on display, and was never given to them to keep. If someone said that they were bullied into giving it back to the Estate, that's a crock! There was documentation that the Hilton signed many years ago concerning this matter. If someone at the Hilton is saying this, it is probably because they got their hands caught in the pot trying to sell the garment to collectors for $250,000-$300,000. I know this to be a fact, because the collectors that were offered this by the powers to be at the Hilton came to me to discuss it with me, which led me to go to EPE and motivate them to get it back before it was lost to collectors merely for bragging rights. (Please understand, I don't mean all collectors are like that, but there are a few who only collect these things to make them look like big shots in the collecting world. They truly don't have an appreciation for what they have, such as I would if I had something like this.)

Fact #8--Finally--no, I was not given money nor a costume or anything else to help Elvis Presley Enterprises get this back. I've read a couple of blogs that were forwarded to me stating that I was given a jumpsuit to show their appreciation for helping get this piece of rock and roll history back. I never asked for anything, nor did they offer. I merely did this because of my love for Elvis, Bill, and Gene, and the fact that the garment should be in its rightful place for the fans to appreciate it.

Andylon, I hope that the information I'm providing you with that comes from different sources that were involved with the manufacturing and billing of the garments will be of some help. I cannot personally go to court and raise my hand that all the information provided is gospel. As I stated, I was not there when all of this took place. However, with seeing all of the documentation and hearing from the sources themselves who produced these garments, I truly don't know what else to think. I think it would just be fun if everyone would just enjoy the suits for what they are, which is a piece of rock and roll history.

Best wishes Andylon and God bless,


Note EpGold:

The Trailers From “Fit for a King” The Story of B&K Enterprises.

Fit for a King Trailer 1 - Fit for a King Trailer 2

The new upcoming Dvd Documentary "Fit For A King" produced & Directed by Andy Dumas tells the story of B&K Enterprises, a unique costume company famous for their extraordinary recreations of the stage-wear and personal wardrobe made famous by the late King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. It is also the story of childhood sweethearts who followed their dreams from Indiana to Graceland and around the globe.

“Fit for a King” also showcases the close personal relationships B&K Enterprises shares with designer Bill Belew, Presley’s personal designer, and Gene Doucette, who later designed some of the most famous and recognizable stage outfits for Elvis, until his death in 1977.

Containing rare video footage and archival photographs of Elvis wearing his amazing outfits, “Fit for a King” also showcases the risk-taking costume styling and imagery that was part of Presley’s power as a Rock and Roll Icon.Other segments include complete access to the new Jumpsuit display, and we were allowed to film inside Graceland.

We have great untold stories behind the suits. Rare Sketches of Jumpsuits that were never made. We have great interviews with George Klein, one of Elvis best friends. There is a great section on some of the best tribute artist. Even people who don’t like the tribute artist will enjoy this part of the story.

2007/09/05 Butch Polston - Andylon Lensen - Photo's exclusively for EpGold Andy Dumas / www.epgold.com

08-17-2008, 11:02 AM
Woow, you guys are good at details! thanks for all the info! :)

08-17-2008, 12:45 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong people, but doesn't the position of the eagle on the third jumpsuit seem to be placed a little lower than the 1st two?

08-17-2008, 12:46 PM
Please read here also:


Hey Tommy just wanted to say thanks for link and great looking banner(y)

08-17-2008, 12:55 PM
MojoElvis ,

Read the explanation carefully from B&K Enterprise - Butch Polston, there's your answer!

08-17-2008, 01:26 PM
MojoElvis ,

Read the explanation carefully from B&K Enterprise - Butch Polston, there's your answer!

Thank you, Nobody