Do you recall the scene in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” when Lorelei Lee’s fiancé was rendered speechless by her entrance onstage in a pink satin gown covered in diamonds?
Marilyn Monroe’s character, Lee, sings a number about how diamonds are a girl’s best friend in the film.
This sequence has been parodied by artists as diverse as Madonna in her “Material Girl” video and Margot Robbie in “Birds of Prey.” And Monroe’s strapless dress was just as iconic.
Form-fitting, with matching gloves and a huge pink and black bow at the waist, the ensemble quickly became a Hollywood classic after the film’s premiere in 1953.
In a photo shoot four years prior, when she was still an unknown jobbing actress, Monroe posed naked for $50 for a set of photographs that would subsequently appear in a calendar.
Images of the actress spread out on red velvet sheets, arms extended, and toes pointed, producing exquisite lines, were captured by pin-up photographer Tom Kelley.
Marilyn Monroe Shocking Pink Dress with Diamonds
In the 1953 picture Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, directed by Howard Hawks, Marilyn Monroe donned a bright pink outfit.
The garment, designed by costumer William “Billy” Travilla, was worn in a memorable sequence of the film and inspired several imitators, most notably Madonna’s “Material Girl” music video from 1985.
William Travilla, better known by his initials, Travilla, had already won an Academy Award for his work on the 1948 film Adventures of Don Juan when he began working with Marilyn Monroe.
The actress wore garments designed by Travilla in eight films, and he later claimed to have had a brief affair with Monroe. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes had its clothes created by Travilla in 1953.
American actress, singer, and model Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926; passed away on August 4, 1962).
One of the most recognisable icons of the sexual revolution of the 1950s and 1960s, she rose to fame playing humorous “blonde bombshell” roles.
After a decade as a leading lady, she passed away in 1962 with cinematic earnings of $200 million (about $2 billion in 2021 dollars).