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Marilyn Monroe’s timeless white halter dress went on auction on Saturday June 18, 2011. The white dress was made famous in the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch”. It was made famously by that one scene, where Monroe stands over a subway grate, air flowing underneath her skirt. This iconic scene was shot in the middle of Manhattan and is still a recognizable image.
The dress was auctioned for $5.6 million, a price that may shock some. Her most famous dress has also been famously replicated throughout the years, by those such as Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale tour. It is incredible that this image has held its fame, even after 50 years. The scene was filmed seven years before Monroe’s death in 1962.
The dress was designed by William Travilla, a designer with a career that spanned 40 years. Throughout his career, white halter dress remained Travilla’s most famous dress design. It was inspired by the multiple folds of Greek robes, with a plunging neckline. The color white was chosen to portray innocence. The dress was made with lightweight fabric for its ease of movement allowing for that famous billowing effect, when she stood over the grate.
If it wasn’t for Marilyn Monroe wearing it, perhaps the dress wouldn’t have been so famous to begin with and wouldn’t have gathered
such a high price at auction.
Marilyn Monroe was born June 1, 1926 and became famous for her movies. Among her most notable were Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which was made in the same year as How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus Stop (1956), and Some Like it Hot (1958) which she won a Golden Globe Award for. After Some Like it Hot she got a bad reputation. It was said that she was hard to work with, perhaps caused by her personal and mental problems she battled. Her death came early in 1962 by barbituate overdose. Regardless, Monroe remains as one of the most prominent actresses, sex symbols and pop icons.
The timing of the film The Seven Year Itch helped to bring the dress into the limelight, giving it the fame it now has. The scene was shot on September 14, 1954, on Lexington and E52 Street in Manhattan. The scene was filmed at night, and the set was filled with onlookers.
At the time she was also married to New York Yankees player Joe DiMaggio. He was there that night, watching his wife act. The media circus ended in a screaming match between Dimaggio and Monroe, and the next day she filed for divorce.
Either way if that the reason why it so famous or why it so iconic it still gotten 5.6 million dollars, and the person who bought have theoriginal that only she wore and nothing like it.
Image Courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/MarilynMonroe?sk=photos&closeTheater=1