Marilyn fans: start saving now
Looking back on Marilyn Monroe’s wardrobe is like taking a walk through fashion history. Now, in the year that would have been her 90th birthday, one of her most iconic dresses is going up for auction.
The sequinned slip dress Monroe wore during her breathless rendition of Happy Birthday for late American President John F Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962, is hitting the auction block on November 17 in Los Angeles, reports Sky News.
The auction house, Julien’s Auctions, has estimated it could be sold for a whopping $2 million (£1.5 million) – it’s last sale reached $1.26 million (£947, 236) in 1999 in New York so the value of the legendary dress has almost doubled.
Created by the Hollywood costume designer Jean Louis, the nude-coloured gown originally cost $12,000 (£9,000). With it’s artfully (and vitally) placed sequins, it gave off the illusion of nudity, and was seen as a titillating choice in the 60s.
According to fashion legend, Louis had originally designed a similar version of the dress for Marlene Dietrich, and Monroe, spotting it on her, fell in love with the trompe l’oeil nude effect. The version he made for Monroe was apparently so tightly fitting that she had to be sewn into it.
The dress, and the performance are one of popular culture’s favourite parodies – and everyone from Madonna to Lana del Rey has re-enacted it. But beyond it’s place in Hollywood history, the dress holds a huge deal of sentimental significance as it was one of Monroe’s last major public appearances before her death less than three months later on August 5 1962.