Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, and yet she’s still one of the greatest fashion icons to ever live. Although most people think of Marilyn as a sex symbol as opposed to a fashion icon, a lot of her timeless beauty came from her close collaborations with wardrobe designer William Travilla. Together, they created some of the images we still envision today when we play word association with the name “Marilyn Monroe.”
Marilyn Monroe created one of the most famous moments in cinematic history when she stood over a subway grate and let the wind lift up her white cocktail dress in The Seven Year Itch. The halter-style dress still influences fashion today, with many fashionistas referring to the style as “the Marilyn.” The dress was designed for Marilyn by Travilla who worked with Marilyn to create the sexy ensemble and is arguably the most famous dress of all time.
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Before he created Marilyn’s Seven Year Itch dress, William Travilla had already started creating fashion history with Marilyn when he designed her famous pink floor-length dress with matching gloves in Gentleman Prefer Blondes. You’re just as likely to see Marilyn impersonators decked out in their own versions of this pink number as you are the white cocktail dress. Just ask Madonna. The pop icon wore her own version for her “Material Girl” music video.
Travilla’s work with Marilyn was a huge part of the reason she was and still is one of the most famous people to ever live — a sex symbol, a style icon and a Hollywood star. Check out the clip below to learn more about how Travilla helped create Marilyn’s image.
Photos Courtesy of: Charles K. Feldman Group & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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