broadwayworld.com for the pictures.
What's the Gypsy Robe Ceremony? It brings with it luck, tradition, and a sense of community. In 1959, Bill Bradley, a dancer in the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, borrowed a tacky dressing robe from a chorus girl or “gypsy” — as the singers and/or dancers in Broadway choruses call themselves. On opening night, he paraded through backstage bestowing blessings on the production. The musical was a major hit. A few nights later, Bradley sent the robe to his friend, another chorus gypsy.
picture source: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.