Marilyn Monroe: how her dress turned out to be more eloquent than her performance


When asked about the symbol of American cinema, Marilyn Monroe would be the majority answer. She shone for nine years and over the years has managed to become a living legend and a symbol of the era. Not only beauty, movie roles and a sonorous voice helped her get this title, but also very frank photo shoots and stories from her personal life at that time. Her loudest romance was never confirmed with John F. Kennedy. Their only public appearance was a festive concert in honor of the President’s 45th birthday – then Monroe literally sang for dessert the traditional song “Happy Birthday, Mr. President ”, which ended with a giant solemn cake.

Marilyn Monroe at a concert in honor of the 45th anniversary of John F. Kennedy

In May 1962, there was already a lot of gossip about the affair between the Hollywood star and the president. However, everything that happened between them is still listed under the heading “talk”. So is the version of who asked Monroe to sing for Kennedy. One of the main ones is that he himself came to her with such a proposal, and at the height of their romance, in March 1962. How it really was is unknown, but that evening, May 29, 1962, Jacqueline Kennedy and her children decided to spend time in Loudon at the races.

And Monroe herself did not think to refuse the offer to speak at the anniversary and thought through everything to the smallest detail. Including her outfit – for the room the Oscar-winning designer Jean Louis created for her a very frank transparent tight dress, strewn with thousands of rhinestones. Yet again they saythat to create the effect “dress – a second skin” it was sewn directly onto Marilyn. Standing behind the microphone stand, Monroe looked completely naked – for those times it was a real challenge and, as everyone understood, a very frank statement about her attitude towards the president. To be more precise, not just a statement, but a real recognition.

The number was thought out no worse than the image – he did not stop with the words “Happy birthday, Mr. President”. In her performance, Monroe used a revised verse from the famous 1938 song Thanks for the Memory, well known to all Americans. Only the actress sang not about memories of good days, but about Kennedy’s great achievements. They fell in love with Marilyn Monroe for her sensuality and the ability to do everything seductively, and Monroe would not have been Monroe if she had betrayed her ubiquitous coquetry – even Kennedy himself gratefully said that “after such a thing, you can safely leave politics.”

Marilyn Monroe dress at Julien’s, November 2016

© FREDERIC J. BROWN

This image has become one of the most iconic in history, giving rise to many parodies and interpretations. And the point is not only in the frankness of the outfit, but in the mystical flair, which he was enveloped in. That evening, the host of the concert, actor Peter Lawford, introduced Monroe as the late Marilyn Monroe during the announcement of the performance and, naturally, meant that she had arrived late. A little over two months later, she will be found dead in her home in Los Angeles, and the word late will have a second, more tragic meaning (after all, in English late is not only “late”, but also “deceased”). This performance was one of the last public appearances of Marilyn Monroe, and the dress turned out to be one of the most expensive in her career. In 1999, it went under the hammer for $ 1,260,000, and in 2016 for almost $ 5 million.

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