Michael Bastian Inspired by Marilyn

“Michael Bastian, notorious for his rugged menswear collections, was recently inspired by the blond bombshell Marilyn Monroe to create a women’s collection.  The direct source for this inspiration steams from Henry Hathaway’s 1953 film Niagara, staring Monroe. While creating the campaign for his men’s line, Bastian wondered, how would the woman opposite this man be clad? With this question dangling overhead at Gant, executives encouraged him to push forward with the idea. Bastian did not waste any time.

The Spring 2011 line eloquently blends feminine designs and curves with masculine strong details, creating a modern Monroe look. Bastian kept the preppy style of his mens line but injected it with a dynamic sex appeal. The prices for the collection range form $65 to $325, and is set to be revealed during a presentation at New York Fashion Week in September.”

Via Sundance Channel

Bastian’s upcoming collection photographed by John Aquino for Women’s Wear Daily

Ambulance Driver Remembers Marilyn’s Death


“While I was working for the Park Pantry Cafeteria on W. Anaheim Blvd. in Long Beach California, I met an older, thin man, who had taken the job as dishwasher for the restaurant. It was apparent from his demeanor that the man was living a hard life, and dishwashing was not a career, it was a job, but only for this week…

Nevertheless, between the clanging of pots and pans, the clash of dishes and the tinkle of silverware being washed, in what seemed a meaningless and unending cycle, conversation ensued, often during impromptu cigarette breaks.

This thin, hardened dishwasher told me about his recent stint of employment as an ambulance driver.  And , as fortune would have it, he discovered that he  was one of the persons called by Fate to remove Marilyn Monroe’s remains,  following her untimely death, from her apartment in Hollywood. (I can’t confirm that he is the same man pictured above, but he seems consistent with my memories).

He seemed proud of the connection, as if being the person to push Marilyn Monroe’s gurney out of her apartment became the high point of his life.

I only thought of this memory today as I was sitting at my desk, working, listening to my iPod through my new, inexpensive (what else)? docking station, listening to Elton John singing ‘Goodbye Norma Jean’.”

Zac Turango, Wildomar Magazine

Marilyn Inspires Paris Perfume Shoot

Paris Hilton‘s new perfume, ‘Tease’, features an ad campaign with the celebrity heiress posing in the style of her idol, Marilyn Monroe. ‘I am all about being alluring, but with a wink, and a fun, fresh take on all that is enticingly feminine about a woman today,’ says Hilton in a press release.

Paris rather fancifully compared herself to Marilyn four years ago. ‘There’s nobody in the world like me,’ she said. ‘I think every decade has an iconic blonde, like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana and, right now, I’m that icon.’

Some MM fans were incensed by this comment; others, like myself, found it endearingly silly. Paris doesn’t remind me of Marilyn so much as one of the characters Monroe played, Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

It’s not hard to imagine Paris Hilton saying something like, ‘A kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a diamond tiara lasts forever.’ But while Marilyn spoofed the gold-digger stereotype for comic effect, offscreen she was thoughtful and reserved.

Marilyn and the History of Celebrity

“Of these, it is Monroe who emerges as the star among stars; her ‘irresistible erotic presence’ and ‘brightly lit courage’ entranced ‘people, even the people’ and, most of all, Inglis himself. Indeed, Inglis is so entranced that he takes on the suave voice of a 1950s male lead, condemning the term ‘sex object’ as a ‘damned cliche’ as he melts into the heart of a star who brought ‘new radiance’ to the concept of celebrity. Inglis is more likable when he’s slavering over Monroe than when he’s disapproving of’ ‘a pert little group of girlie singers called the Spice Girls’. But in both cases, the book’s wider questions seem to have been laid aside. Perhaps this is the problem for scholars investigating celebrity: they are overpowered by the brightness of the stars.”

Lara Feigel reviews A Short History of Celebrity by Fred Inglis in The Observer

John Kobal’s Marilyn: Made in Hollywood

Ernest Bachrach, 1952

This photograph, taken on the set of Clash by Night, is part of an exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, running until September 12.

‘Made in Hollywood’ showcases the collection of film archivist John Kobal, who published one of the first photo books on Marilyn Monroe in 1974. Used copies of Marilyn Monroe: A Life in Pictures are still widely available, and if the presentation is not as glossy as readers now expect, the content – and Kobal’s own commentary – is nonetheless superior to its most of its successors.

Other classic stars featured in this exhibition include Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart.