Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Marilyn: London trip part 2

While I was in London one of the things that HAD to be ticked off the list was seeing the Marilyn Monroe exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery.

A treat for any Monroe fan, this simple exhibition housed hundreds of beautiful black and white photos of the screen star (many I'd never seen before) alongside outifts that had belonged to her and costumes from her films. 

 A showgirl costume from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

As a life long fan I found the experience thrilling. To see a row of Marilyn size and shaped mannequins all wearing such familiar clothes was probably as close as I'll ever get to the lady herself. I took lots of photos but couldn't use flash because of the glass so some aren't as great as they could be.

I have to admit I got a little bit sentimental while viewing these great pieces of modern history and got glassy eyed when I saw her red sequin dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, my favourite Marilyn movie. I've probably seen that film near 50 times and it still fascinates me.

Marilyn with Jane Russell wearing matching red gowns in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Even though Monroe was the 'blonde' in the film she only recieved a tenth of the fee Russell got. However despite this the two bombshells got along just fine. This famous red dress is sewn with thousands of red sequins of different sizes. I wonder where Jane Russells version is?

 Marilyn in her 'Mermaid' showgirl costume from Bus Stop

The Bus Stop costume has a very sweet and patched up feel to it. A showgirl in hard times, this piece perfectly described the character of Cherie, beautiful, damaged and badly mended.

 The Pink Wiggle dress from Niagra

I've a feeling the bottom of this dress has been been cropped away ar some point as it doens't seem as long on the mannequin or have a split in the front. It is still undeniably a very sexy number outlining Mariyn's curves to perfection.

 The white muslin dress from The Prince and the Showgirl

This dress is very fragile and several mends can be seen in the front while a sizable tear can be found round it's side on the hip. I was quite surprised to see just how sheer this piece was. It's the kind of dress that would be very unforgiving on the wrong figure. As you can see she wore it wonderfully.

 Black beaded dress from Some Like it Hot

It's hard to believe that this dress was so tight Marilyn had to be lifted onto the piano for this scene in Some Like it Hot. The actual dress is pretty stunning and again, only a very specific figure could fill it out in all the right places. 

 Marilyn wearing her cream showgirl dress and headdress from There's No Business Like Show Business

I was really impressed with this outfit. It was so detailed and well made, a true tribute to the costume departments of the studios of yesteryear! The ironic thing for me is I really don't rate the film, it's one of Monroe's worst, one she only took as a deal so she could work on The Seven Year Itch.

This is a fantastic show so go and see it while you can. The great thing is it's free! But it's only on until the 18th May, thats two more days!!! If you can't get there I hope these photos and blog give you an idea of what it's like to witness the presence of a true icon through her clothes.


Niall young said...
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Niall young said...

How wonderful!...I think i could have identified the dresses and which film she wore them in without the accompanying photos! Iconic!!