Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe died on August 5th 1962 at only 36 years old. Though she was heralded as a sex symbol, Monroe was more than a style icon - she was a major trendsetter. She never left the house without a pair of high heels, and her blond hair was always perfectly coiffed. May be it was her red lipstick and wonderful smile that made the world fall in love with her. One thing is for sure, Monroe left a lasting impression.

No one could forget Marilyn’s pink satin Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend gown, the pleated white dress that billowed skyward in The Seven Year Itch, or the revealing nude sheath worn to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy. But beyond creating timeless, unforgettable looks during the 1950s—an era of Peter Pan collars, poodle skirts and repressed sexuality—Marilyn’s ability to spot up-and-coming designers made her a fashion visionary.

Before they were household names, she wore Ferragamo pumps, carried Louis Vuitton bags, loved cashmere jumpers, and donned the designs of Norman Norell, Emilio Pucci and Lanvin. On film, Marilyn was dressed exquisitely by Oscar-winning designers Jean Louis, Orry Kelly and William Travilla, who dressed Monroe in eight of her films. And he said of her “No matter how you dress her, she looks sexy.”

The transition from Norma Jeane Baker to Marilyn Monroe was certainly a striking one. Having attracted wolf whistles since early puberty, Marilyn was well aware of the power of her looks, especially to men. Although her various style and beauty advisors pushed her to change her smile, her hairline, and famously her hair colour, Marilyn quickly grew comfortable in her role as pin-up girl. A myriad of imitators sprung forth soon after Marilyn’s first hit movies—and ever since—but no one quite possessed the singular Monroe magic.

Style Agenda by Vanessa de Lisle -