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50s Fashion always makes me think of Marilyn Monroe. I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear 50s fashion or 50s style dresses or 50s anything mentioned… I immediately think of the sultry, pouty blonde bombshell herself– Marilyn Monroe. And when you think of Marilyn, you can’t help but think of those stunning 50s dresses she wore. One in particular, that sticks in my mind is the iconic ”Subway Dress” she wore whilst filming The Seven Year Itch. You know the one – the sexy white halter-neck dress that flew up as she straddled a subway vent. It recently sold for $4.6million so it is possibly the most valuable 50s fashion item in the entire universe!
How one piece of 50s fashion memorabilia could sell for that much is outrageous. But then, that was our Marilyn! In a world dominated by men she played the game the only way she knew how – she used her looks. Her looks… and her alluring sex appeal. It was the later that won the hearts of millions of men, but women also aspired to be like her. Even now women feel they can relate to the supposed tortured soul of Marilyn and see her as an image to idolise. It was just a matter of time before we underwent a serious revival of 50s fashion.
50s fashion therefore, has made a huge comeback and it was helped along largely by Marilyn Monroe. With those oh so memorable skin tight dresses and the way she would sashay into a room, or onto a stage or movie set... her hips moving in an exaggerated sway. Those are the things we remember about Marilyn. We also remember (how can we ever forget!) the time she sang Happy Birthday to President John F Kennedy...
50s fashion aside (it was actually 1962), came the public appearance live on stage at Madison Square Gardens that became her last. But it was probably her best as far as shock-value went. She had to be literally sewn into her flesh coloured silk gown, encrusted with hundreds of tiny sparkling rhinestones. When she cast off her fur wrap the audience gasped as she appeared, from their angle, to be naked! Of course she was not, but it was more than evident she did not have a dot of underwear underneath… “just skin and beads” Marilyn herself said, although she was drunk at the time.
50s fashion was definitely shaken up from the event, but not half as much as poor Jackie O would have been. She was aware of the affair her husband, the President, and Marilyn were having and so did not attend the function. His reply “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet wholesome way” would not have helped the situation.