Marilyn tops French Vogue‘s list of Iconic White Dresses in Cinema (with Elizabeth Taylor’s lacy slip from Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Sharon Stone’s turtle-neck dress from Basic Instinct also making the grade.)
“Among the iconic dresses of the cinema, the white dress remains one of our favorites. When it is not the traditional and classic uniform of the bride, the white dress has a sexy look, immortalized on screen by some of the greatest actresses of all time … When we say ‘white dress at the movies’, we immediately think of the one worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, which is a myth in itself. All it took was one scene to shape the Marilyn legend. At the end of a film session, Richard Sherman and his beautiful neighbor stop above an air vent between Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in New York City when the hot air from the subway lifts the young woman’s dress. At the age of 29, Marilyn gained legend status with this pleated white cocktail dress designed by costume designer William Travilla, nicknamed the ‘subway dress.'”
Bulgari has launched the ‘Diamond Wonder’ necklace and earrings inspired by Marilyn’s ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Friend’ number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as part of their Cinemagia high jewellery collection, Annie Darling reports for Hong Kong Tatler.
Writing for Vogue, Radhika Seth names the 1953 ‘protofeminist buddy comedy’, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,among ’10 of the Most Stylish Musicals to Watch Now.’
“Though best remembered for Marilyn Monroe’s sultry rendition of ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,’ Howard Hawks’ satirical romp has much more to offer. It follows two showgirls played by Monroe and Jane Russell who take a transatlantic cruise to France. While the latter is a hopeless romantic, the former is on the hunt for a wealthy husband. The dialogue is razor-sharp, the sets outlandish and the costumes — from glittering gowns to structured jumpsuits — impossibly stylish.”
The world’s first Makeup Museum was due to open in New York this month (see here.) Since the coronavirus pandemic forced the world into lockdown, the museum’s launch has been postponed. However, they are building an online presence, including a new article about Marilyn’s skincare regime at Refinery29. It’s based on a personalised itinerary devised for her by Erno Laszlo skincare in 1958, as she prepared to film Some Like It Hot. The full document was sold for $2,800 at Julien’s Auctions in 2016, and includes several products still on the market today.
Crazy For You is a free online fanzine in French, devoted to eye-catching pictorials of Marilyn (and Madonna, who inspired its name.) The latest issue covers Marilyn’s appearance at the Golden Globes in 1960, where she won the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical award for Some Like It Hot. Previous issues have covered the press party for Let’s Make Love; Marilyn’s notorious red dress by Oleg Cassini; and a glamorous shoot with John Florea. For updates, subscribe to the Paradise Hunter blog or follow on Instagram.
Marilyn’s smile was her fortune, and like any glamour girl, she took good care of her teeth. As we can see above, her image was once used to promote Pepsodent toothpaste, and in 1952, she was photographed with Dr. Louis Armann for a magazine spread. As reported by Yahoo Finance today, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the licensor of Marilyn’s estate, have launched yet another merchandising deal with Oral Fitness by Dale Audrey Inc.’s WHITE2NITE brand (the whitening pen includes a limited edition Swarovski crystal cap.)
Writing for fashion bible Women’s Wear Daily, Leigh Nordstrom and Alex Badia have named Marilyn among the most stylish movie icons of the 1950s and 60s, citing Dorothy Jeakins’ Niagara designs, also worn offscreen by Marilyn in 1952, for special praise.
“The sex symbol who revolutionized the Fifties and Sixties had a very well-crafted fashion style. This look from the movie Niagara is a clear example. The wavy, short bleach blonde hair, the hoop earrings, and form-fitting dress with generous cleavage were some of her signatures. What was great about her style was that if you wear it today, it’s still amazing — it’s timeless.”
If, like many of us, you’re waiting out coronavirus at home, Michelle Morgan’s The Little Book of Marilyn is an easy, uplifting read, with fan input, makeovers, craft tips and more – read my review here.
The bouffant hairstyles of the early 1960s are making a comeback, as Marisa Meltzer reports for the New York Times.
“‘The inspiration was the 1960s and Priscilla Presley,’ said Serena Radaelli, who did Cher’s hair. ‘Cher said, “Excuse me, I was alive then,” and showed us photos of herself in the ’60s.’
The hairstyle, known for its round shape, with hair swept off the face and shellacked into place with quite a bit of hair spray, is symbolic of all that is retro. Think of Catherine Deneuve, Betty Draper in Mad Men and multiple first ladies (Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Jacqueline Kennedy).
‘They used to be this glaring symbol that you were a lady of the leisure class, right?’ said Stellene Volandes, the editor in chief of Town & Country. ‘They said, “Yes, I have time to go to Kenneth and spend the afternoon there and have him tease my hair high and eat sandwiches from William Poll.”‘
She was referring to the hairdresser Kenneth Battelle, who was a master of the bouffant. Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy were clients.
Ms. Volandes said she would send those curious about the bouffant to stylists who know their way around an uptown clientele: John Barrett, Valery Joseph, Julien Farel or Serge Normant — or to Paul Podlucky’s apartment salon on East 67th Street for real Upper East Side verisimilitude.
If you’re curious about attempting a D.I.Y. bouffant, Ms. Radaelli has some counsel. ‘Have a nice comb to tease the hair — maybe you need to have a hairpiece — and lots of hair spray,’ she said. She recommended L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray, which came on to the market in the 1960s. Its gold packaging still has a drawing of a lady with a bouffant.”