In an excerpt from his new book, Gay Men Don’t Get Fat, Simon Doonan – Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the New York fashion store, Barney’s – writes of his admiration for Marilyn:
“When Christie’s auction house announced the sale of Marilyn Monroe’s personal estate, my interest was piqued…I have always enjoyed watching Marilyn wiggling and whispering across the screen. I relate to her desire to self-educate. I identified with some of the grimmer aspects of her childhood…I always empathized with her ballsy struggle to replace dismal aspects of her past with a life of glamour.”
After seeing Marilyn’s personal possessions on display, Doonan realised that she was anything but a Material Girl:
“The majority of her clothing showed surprising wear and tear. She had worn it all repeatedly and there just wasn’t that much of it.
Shoes? Yes, there were several pairs of black suede Ferragamo stilettos with worn heels. But Marilyn—brace yourself for another shocker—was more into books than shoes. Her poignant desire to cultivate her mind and give herself an education resulted in an extensive library of first editions. Take that, Carrie Bradshaw!
This stunning lack of materialism made me love and respect her more. What do you need in life other than a good book, a few capri pants, and a cotton sundress or two?”