Gene London Dresses Marilyn in Victor, NY

The polka dot dress worn by Marilyn for her grand entrance in The Seven Year Itch, plus a replica of the ‘subway scene’ dress (worn by Mira Sorvino in the 1996 TV mini-series, Norma Jeane and Marilyn), as well as Travilla’s other iconic designs for MM in Bus Stop and the ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, will be on display as part of a free exhibition showcasing the Gene London Collection at the Eastview Mall in Victor, New York from September 24-October 8, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle  reports.

Marilyn Dress Display in Reading, PA

Collage by Marilynette Lounge

WFMZ-TV reports on a screening of My Week With Marilyn last night at GoggleWorks in Reading, Pennsylvania, was followed by appearances from local film historian Robert P. Metzger (author of the 1988 book, Reagan: American Icon), and Monroe collector Gene London, who brought along a white dress designed as a costume for Marilyn in The Prince and the Showgirl.

‘”Everything about Marilyn was special. And Ms. Williams captured her,” said Gene London.

Former  television host of Cartoon Corners General Store, Gene London is also a Hollywood fashion collector and self-proclaimed Marilyn Monroe expert.

“There are times in the movie, when I– who am super critical about Hollywood when I have to be– I look at her and she is Marilyn,” said London, “And it’s breathtaking.”

“My Week with Marilyn” is based on the time Marilyn Monroe was working on the movie “The Prince and the Showgirl.”  In it she wears a dress that Gene London now owns.

“You can see by this dress that Marilyn’s figure was ample,” said London pointing to the white gown. “She’s very curvy which was the style then, no longer the style now.”

London said he had his eye on this dress when he was buying other costumes from a man in Wisconsin.

“The one thing he wouldn’t give me was this dress,” said London, “I wanted it the most of all of them.  He said nope, that’s going to my children.”

But London said the grandchild called 25 years later.

“I adored the way she acted,” said London about Monroe. “I adore the way she sang ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.’  I just love her.  It’s hard to explain why. I just do.”‘

Marilyn on ‘Four Rooms’

MM collector Gene London (also a former children’s TV host and fashion designer) brought one of his most prized possessions – a sketch by Marilyn, Myself Exercising – to the UK recently for an appearance on Channel 4’s antiques show, Four Rooms.

London was offered £150,000 by dealer Jeff Salmon but, incredibly, turned it down. I can understand why – not from a financial point of view – but to me, that sketch is one of the loveliest things Marilyn left behind. It should either go to someone who truly adores it, or preferably, be donated to a museum.

UK readers can watch the show here (the sketch is the final item, saving the best for last.)