Iconic dress worn by American actress, Marilyn Munroe is up for auction again
By Patricia Uyeh
American actress and model, Marilyn Monroe was one of the most beautiful women in the world and Hollywood’s biggest sex symbol. She was famous for her ”dumb blonde” characters in movies. She was also admired for her high fashion sense. Marilyn had popularised the bikini.
Perhaps one of her most iconic pieces in history was the dress that she wore on stage at the democratic fund raiser at Madison Square Garden, New York attended by 15,000 guests. There, she sang her sultry version of “Happy Birthday” for President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962.
The dress was a backless, flesh-colored dress dripping with rhinestones in a rosette motif made by Jean Louis. Do you know that the fit was so tight that she wore nothing underneath and that she had to be sewn in? Yes!
The late actress was the cynosure of all eyes in the sheer, flesh-colored dress hand-stitched with more than 2,500 crystals during the landmark performance for John F Kennedy. The actress, who had died at age 36 less than three months later, was said to have requested a ‘historic’ dress from designer Jean Louis (And a historic dress she got!).
Although her performance was only around 30 seconds long, more than 50 years later, it is still one of the most famous ever of modern popular culture. Monroe passed away less than three months later, and she left her belongings to Lee Strasberg.
In 1999, the dress was part of an auction of Monroe’s possessions at Christie’s International and it drew about 1.2 million dollars. Imagine! It was the most ever paid for a single item of personal clothing. Now the iconic dress which has gotten interest from all over the world is not just a fashion piece but also a work of art.
History is repeating itself for it will be auctioned off for the second time at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles.
Martin Nolan, the auction house’s executive director, said at a ‘conservative estimate’ they expect the dress to fetch a whooping amount between two to three million dollars and that it is part of a three-day sale of more than 800 items that belonged to the star including jewelry, handbags, shoes, a watch, her paintings and lipstick. From September 25 to October 22 it will be displayed at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey.Then it will be taken to Europe where it will be on view to the public at the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Ireland, from October 29 to November 6. It will then return to the US where it will go on display in Los Angeles.