Marilyn Monroe’s cocktail dress up for auction for an estimated Dh735,000

Monroe wore this dramatic dress in the 1959 film Some Like It Hot. Here’s what makes this piece so covetable.
Marilyn Monroe wore the dress while singing I’m Through with Love atop a grand piano in Billy Wilder’s 1959 film Some Like It Hot. Courtesy Julien's Auctions
Marilyn Monroe wore the dress while singing I’m Through with Love atop a grand piano in Billy Wilder’s 1959 film Some Like It Hot. Courtesy Julien's Auctions

The figure-hugging, sheer black and nude cocktail dress was worn by Marilyn Monroe during her musical number I’m Through With Love, which she performed while sitting atop a grand piano in Billy Wilder’s film Some Like It Hot.

Considered extremely risqué for its day, the dress is embellished with jet-like beads and sequins, floral appliqué, and beaded fringes. It also has a plunging back and built-in nude bra. Rumour has it that the dress was so form-fitting that Monroe had to be lifted onto the piano for her scene.

The dress is part of a larger collection, amassed by British collector David Gainsborough-Roberts, which will go under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles on November 19.

Other items include the gown Monroe wore during the film There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), designed by William Travilla, and the black gloves she donned for The Seven Year Itch (1955).

Along with the Gainsborough-Roberts collection will be a number of items from the estate of the late American actor and director Lee Strasberg, set to be auctioned on November 19 and 20. It’s said that he and his wife, Paula, were close friends of Monroe’s, who left the majority of her personal effects and clothing to the Strasberg family in her will.

Lots from the Strasberg collection include a used Revlon lipstick in a gold case and a woman’s platinum and diamond cocktail watch. Also on offer is an alligator-skin men’s accessory case, owned by Monroe’s second husband, American baseball player Joe DiMaggio.

In the lead-up to the big event, both collections are currently part of a travelling exhibition that has visited London and Newbridge, Ireland. It was also on board Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, which travelled from New York to Southampton in August. Los Angeles will be its final stop, where a public viewing has been scheduled for between November 11 and 18.

Read this and other stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, September 8.

alane@thenational.ae

Published: September 8, 2016 04:00 AM

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