Marilyn Book News: Reissues


Several Marilyn-related titles are being reissued this year. Marilyn in Words and Pictures, due in May, is a repackaging of Richard Havers and Richard Evans’ 2010 book, Marilyn in Words, Pictures and Music – with a new cover, but minus the supplementary CD. (A condensed version was also published as a U.K. ‘bookazine‘ in 2011.)

CCA94DE9-D1EC-4651-9866-EB54A21A9591-COLLAGEDressing Marilyn, Andrew Hansford and Karen Homer’s look at the fabulous movie costumes of Travilla, will be reissued in April. Also next month, Angela Cartwright’s Styling the Stars: Treasures From the Twentieth Century Fox Archives will be republished in paperback.

Translations and Reissues


Among the many MM-related book releases this year are a few you may have seen before. Andrew Hansford’s Dressing Marilyn has been translated into French, while Marilyn by Magnum is now available in Italian.

A 50th anniversary edition of Adam Victor’s Marilyn Encylopedia is due in July, while Keith Badman’s The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe is due out in paperback in the UK (June), and in hardback in the US (July.)

Finally, Donald Spoto’s Marilyn Monroe: The Biography will be re-released as an audio CD in July, narrated by Anna Fields.

‘Dressing Marilyn’ Author Speaks

Andrew Hansford, author of Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood Icon Was Styled by William Travilla, is interviewed in the latest issue of Corduroy magazine:

“How much of a say did Marilyn have in designing the clothes?
None. A lot of celebrities did, but Marilyn trusted him implicitly. He would ask her what she thought and she would say, “It doesn’t matter.” Marilyn did, however, have one rule: she would not wear a full skirt. The one exception she made was with her dress in The Seven Year Itch, and she was okay with that because it ended up over her head!

How did Travilla like to dress his clients?
Just look at Marilyn, there’s not a single photo of her showing cleavage. Travilla knew how to dress her provocatively and sexy, and still show nothing! Pleating was his big thing. He also loved working with chiffon, velvet and silk; he never used unnatural fiber.”


‘Diamonds’ Dress Sells for $310,000 at Profiles in History

But is it the same dress that Marilyn wore, asks collector Scott Fortner today…

“The dress Marilyn actually wore in the film (below) is a vibrant and shiny fabric, quite unlike the material of the dress sold at auction (above). In many other examples of proven authentic costumes, they look very much today the same way they did when worn by Marilyn in her films. Most often the colors match, as do the materials and fabrics … The dress that sold at auction is likely a copy of the dress that Marilyn actually wore. We’ll never know for sure if this was in fact the dress Marilyn wore in the number, though personally I don’t believe that to be the case. What is undeniable is the fact that there is more than one pink dress as there are actually two known to exist today.”

UPDATE: A last word from Andrew Hansford, author of Dressing Marilyn, a book about Travilla’s costumes…

 “I was asked by the press if this was the original dress. I did a lot of research and found the following: it had all the right tags and studio numbers so I have to assume it was a Travilla, however and how many time I have said this is amazing, he always made a few of the dresses to check shape and wearability especially in this gown as it was so complicated to create. The dress she wore did have felt lining, this one has not – so no it was not worn in the film. I may have been tried on by her. But it stops there. The dress in the Travilla collection is a prototype and has so many corrections and alterations on it, including at least three cut out linings, which I can only assume did not work. Hense the felt. From his notes he stated she wore two identical copies in that scene as it took so long to shoot and of course no retouching then, any dirt on it and on with the next one.”