Sunday, 18 March 2012

Marilyn Exhibition

On Friday, I visited the Getty Images Gallery, just off Oxford Circus in London, to see its Marilyn exhibition.  The exhibition is to commemorate 50 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe, and showcases some amazing, behind-the-scenes candid photos of her at work and at play.  But that's not all…. exhibited alongside the photos were a number of original dresses and costumes worn by Miss Monroe herself. The beautiful, beautiful dresses were amazing and a real sight for sore eyes.  There was so much to love about them: the 1950's styles, the tailoring details, the fabrics, the handcrafted beading and the fact that they were all indisputably Marilyn Monroe-shaped.  It really was a privilege to see such gorgeous vintage tailoring up close. Here are a few of my favourites:

 Red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Flapper dress from Some Like it Hot

White silk and chiffon gown with handcrafted beading from The Prince and the Showgirl

Costume from Bus Stop




Negligee from Niagara
Black silk with an appliqued pink rose at the bodice.  Up close, you could even see that the straps had worn away to reveal something that looked a bit like actual horsehair.  Would that kind of material have been used to strengthen straps in the 1950's do you think? I'd love to know if anybody is knowledgeable about such things.

Pink Linen Halter-Neck Wiggle Dress worn in Niagara

This was the most casual dress and I totally fell for it.  It's quite unprepossessing on the dummy, but just look how different it looks when worn by the lady herself....

It's a fab exhibition and is on until May 23rd, so definitely worth a visit if you're in central London.


In other, slightly less glamorous dress news, I've almost finished my Mad Men Challenge dress.  I've made my covered buttons and matching belt (oooh) and just need to sew the buttons on and hem it. Wahay.  x

36 comments:

  1. Wow, those dresses are amazing. Thanks for the tip about the exhibition - I think I might make a trip into London to see that.

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    1. You should Tamsin, it's worth it! x

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  2. WOW. Totally inspiring. How lucky you are to have seen this exhibit in person! I'll be perusing the web site for more eye candy. Thanks for posting this!

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  3. Wow! Looks like an AMAZING exhibit! Can't wait to see your Mad Men dress!

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    1. It was amazing, you'd have loved it Debi! x

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  4. Lucky you! I would love to see that exhibit, but unfortunately I have no plans to visit London any time soon. But it's nice I at least get to see pictures of the dresses. Thank you for posting them!

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  5. Oh my! I really have to make a trip into the big smoke to see that!!!

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    1. You should, it's really worth a trip. Plus Liberty is just round the corner....! x

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  6. What a great treat!! I LOOOVE that dress from Some Like it Hot! I don't think I've seen a sexier one in any movie since.

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    1. You should see it in real life, it's absolutely exquisite. Quite plain on the dummy though, it's when she wears it that it suddenly turns super sexy! x

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  7. Beautiful dresses! I love the white beaded one - and of course the red sequins! And I'm sure you could recreate the pink one and look fab ...

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    1. Oh thank you, I'm tempted to give it a go. x

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  8. Wow! Have you seen My Week with Marilyn? Great movie. Not a bad replica of the white costume from The Prince and the Showgirl too.
    Also, the green Bus Stop outfit was in an auction last year with an estimated sale price of US$200,000-$300,000. Mind boggling eh! It was in Debbie Reynolds collection.

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    1. No I haven't seen that film but I'm sure I'd love it. I'm gob smacked by how much the costumes are worth!!! There were about 10 or 12 in the exhibition and they were all donated by the same collector - he must be seriously loaded! x

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  9. Wow- thanks for sharing. :) I love that dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and WOWIE that Niagara dress changes completely when she puts it on... My goodness...

    I'm working on my Mad Men dress too!

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    1. I know, isn't it amazing?!
      Have just done some major re-adjusting to my Mad Men dress but am glad I did, it's almost finished now. Can't wait to see yours. x

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  10. I read about this exhibition recently and it interested me then, but since seeing your photos I'm determined to make a trip down especially! Thanks so much for sharing ;o)

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    1. Oh you should Marie, you'd love it. Plus, as I said above, Liberty is just around the corner....! x

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  11. That sounds fascinating. I also love the pink halter neck dress! I have heard she used to get sewn into her clothes to get the full effect, I wonder if that's true?

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    1. Yes, I'd heard that too, there was no mention of it though. Having seen pictures of her wearing them though, I wouldn't be surprised, she does look phenomenal in them. x

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  12. Soo inspiring! The dresses are gorgeous but they only really get done true justice on the lady herself, don't they? She truly was a magnificent woman :)

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  13. I hadn't heard of the exhibition but I'll be going now that I have!

    That pink linen dress is gorgeous and so much better worn on Marylin than the dummy.

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    1. I totally agree and I'm so glad this post has tempted you to the exhibition. x

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  14. Oh what wonderful dresses. I might have to take a trip there when I got through London next.
    I will need to find someone who would be interested in going too... Hmm thought needs to go into that.

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    1. Go for it, it's worth a visit. x

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  15. Jane,
    That looks like the exhibition I saw in Bath- you've got some good images, wasn't it a brilliant & inspiring collection? I loved that you had the costumes & the film clips showing them being worn. Wasn't Marilyn TINY?!

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    1. Yes, I think the dresses are the same definitely. There wasn't film clips at this exhibition though, I'd have loved to have seen her wearing them in action! And yes, she was tiny, but curvy too, and absolutely beautiful. x

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  16. Oh to get my hands on just one of those dresses! The red one will do me nicely! Sooo looking forward to seeing your dress. I bet you will look stunning x

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    1. I'd love to get my hands on one too. Sadly, they were behind glass cases, otherwise I'd have been seriously tempted to commit my first crime! x

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  17. Her silhouette is amazing! Yes, that's a tiny waist - but look at that substantial chest. You've seen a real piece of history here, Jane.

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    1. I know, it was a real privilege to see them. And I agree, her shape is just perfect. Seeing her in the photographs gave me goosebumps, she really was extraordinarily beautiful. x

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  18. These are fabulous. Thanks for sharing!

    http://theperfectnose.wordpress.com

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  19. I blogged about this last week, but its great to hear a review from someone that's been able to go there! Such gorgeous photos and dresses! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk/

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