Marilyn Monroe’s dress sells for £2.8million at auction

The iconic white dress from movie The Seven Year Itch sells for more than double the estimate at auction

It’s one of the most iconic dresses in movie history – yet, no one predicted that Marilyn Monroe’s Seven Year Itch white dress would sell for a whopping £2.8million at auction – more than double its estimate.

Vintage dealers, Hollywood prop collectors and Monroe enthusiasts gathered in Los Angeles yesterday as a huge collection of film memorabilia, including several items worn by the silver screen legend, went under the hammer.

The white halter neck dress with a pleated skirt designed by William Travilla and worn by Monroe in the 1955 film had expected to make around £1.24million, but ended up being sold for more than double the estimate to a mystery bidder.

The instantly-recognisable dress – famous for that scene of Monroe standing on a New York subway grate with her dress billowing up by a gust of wind from the travelling trains below – was put under the hammer by its owner, the actress Debbie Reynolds.

Marilyn Monroe

Reynolds, who starred in Singin’ in the Rain, amassed a huge collection of around 3,500 film costumes and props over the years – the largest private collection of its type in the world – before deciding to put all the items up for sale after failing to find a museum to house them.

Marilyn Monroe

Other pieces up for grabs included the red sequined dress Monroe wore in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, which fetched £908,000 at auction, Judy Garland’s iconic blue gingham pinafore dress and sparkly ruby slippers that she wore in The Wizard of Oz, which went for £690,000 and £387,000 respectively, and racing clothes worn by Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, which sold for £37,000.

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