One of Marilyn’s most iconic dresses, rarely seen today, is currently on display as part of Twentieth Century Fox Presents Marilyn Monroe, the new exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery, as Scott Fortner reports for his MM Collection blog.
“Many of the items on exhibit have been seen around the world, including the US, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, Spain and Prague. However, one item in particular hasn’t been seen by the public in over 20 years, and that’s the striking purple gown that Marilyn Monroe wore throughout her Korean USO tour in 1954 when she performed for US troops stationed there. Marilyn is often quoted as saying performing in Korea was one of the highlights of her life.
The dress and matching bolero jacket, owned by a private collector in Australia, is quite simply, stunning. It sparkles in the light today exactly as it must have in February of ’54 as Marilyn sang ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ in front of thousands of US servicemen in freezing temperatures. It was an absolute thrill to see this treasure live and in person. And for those who may doubt it’s the actual Korea USO dress, I’ve done a bit of analysis, and I’m convinced it’s THE dress Marilyn owned and wore throughout her USO tour. Many have speculated the whereabouts of this dress, yet those of us ‘in the know’ have known it was in the hands of a private collector in Australia. His generosity in sharing the gown with the public is greatly appreciated.”