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Marilyn Monroe’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress expected to sell for $2 million

The iconic rhinestone beads and sequins dress was so form-fitting that Monroe had to be sewn into it.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 8, 2016 7:30:11 pm

 

Marilyn Monroe, one of the biggest fashion icons the world has ever known. (Source: AP) Marilyn Monroe, one of the biggest fashion icons the world has ever known. (Source: AP)

Marilyn Monroe will always remain an inspiration to many. The lady who has given us many iconic moments continues to inspire fashionistas and stars alike. So strong is her allure that in 2011, the ivory rayon-acetate dress worn by Monroe in ‘The Seven Year Itch’ – where the dress famously billows up as she steps over a gusty subway grate – raised $4.6 million at an auction held at The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. This time it’s the famous flesh-coloured, skin-tight beaded gown that Monroe wore during her breathless rendition of Happy Birthday to President John F Kennedy that’s going on the auction block.

monroe-the-seven-years-itch-dress Marilyn Monroe from The Seven Year Itch.

The auction house, Julien’s Auctions is offering the sequined stunner at a sale in Los Angeles on November 17 and it’s expected to fetch around $2 million to $3 million. The sultry actress wore the barely-there dress at Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962. According to Reuters, a representative from Julien said, “Monroe had asked for the dress to be especially historic, a request dutifully carried out by Hollywood favourite, designer Jean Louis. It’s like the equivalent of a Monet, just because of its historic significance and its connection to one of the most important actresses of our time.”

The dress is expected to fetch around $2 million to $3 million. (Source: Reuters) The dress is expected to fetch around $2 million to $3 million. (Source: Reuters)

Made of silk gauze and covered in thousands of rhinestone beads and sequins, the iconic dress was so form-fitting that Monroe had to be sewn into it. It was first purchased 17 years ago at Christie’s auction by the late financier Martin Zweig for $1.26 million. He kept it in a climate-controlled display case at his Pierre Hotel penthouse in New York and had it professionally mounted on a mannequin.

The dress is among some 1,300 Monroe artifacts being offered by Julien’s over three days. According to AP, Julien said, “This is the last auction of its kind. When she died Marilyn Monroe left everything to Lee Strasberg. We have the final of his estate items as they relate to Marilyn Monroe. It’s literally going to be the last opportunity to ever experience a Marilyn Monroe auction like this again.”

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