Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Trailer Screens...Image via Wikipedia When people ask me who my favourite movie stars are, I usually bore them with a roll call of old Hollywood royalty.

Top of the pile for me in the glamour and enduring intrigue stakes is Ms Marilyn Monroe.

Aside from her obvious beauty, her acting ability, which was surprisingly good, particularly in her comedic roles, her vulnerability and ultimately tragically early death have captivated me into always wanting to know just that little bit more about her.

I got the chance to do this when I visited the Getty Images Gallery, who have pulled together a stunning collection of unseen Marilyn photographs, which mark her transition from cover girl to movie star, with a few candid 'private' shots also included.

The collection is complimented by a small, but significant selection of original dresses and costumes worn by Marilyn, which were lent to the Gallery by collector David Gainsborough Roberts, owner of the largest collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia in the world.

What struck me about the pictures was the fluidity of Marilyn's face, throughout the various images. In the shutter of a photographers' lens, her face could transform from girl next door to a sexy siren or just possess a stunning, haunted vulnerability which when faced head on, manages to draw you in.

The dresses and costumes are stunning, each accompanied by white information tablets, detailing their designers, fabrics, and appearances either in her movies or as part of her public or private wardrobes.

I was surprised to find that after years of speculation about Marilyn's size, looking at the mannequins, she couldn't have been any bigger than a UK10/12.

Close up the detail on the dresses and costumes is staggering - beautfully tailored, intricate beading, sculputured corsets and waistlines. Everything looked so contemporary in design and is so wonderfully preserved that they wouldn't look out of place on a modern day movie starlet.

My favourites were the show stopping red dress from 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' and a gorgeous raspberry halterneck linen dress from the opening sequence of the movie that made her a star 'Niagara' . Fashion dynamite !!!

I left the exhibition feeling I knew Marilyn a little better. She was an old school ' feisty dame', who was bright and clever (check out the picture of her on the day bed reading a pretty hardcore book of poems!), had a wicked sense of humour and spirit; qualities that I think somehow, had been lost amid the numerous myths, conspiracy theories and jumbled retellings of her life and death.

I highly recommend you go and see it !!!!

Marilyn runs until 23rd May at the Getty Images Gallery
Admission is free.

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