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    • Twentieth Century Studios

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    1953

    Costume seen on Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee

    • Twentieth Century Studios

    Promotional Photo

    1955

    Mitzi Gaynor

Additional Images

About the Costume

This particular dress, complete with a matching jacket, was designed by the famous costume designer William Travilla for Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn played the character Lorelai Lee.

Travilla designed extensively for Monroe, dressing her in all but one of her films. Marilyn is even said to have once written to him, “Billy Dear, please dress me forever. I love you, Marilyn.” The two costume tests above of Marilyn in the dress show Travilla standing alongside her. The gown is described as being “Aubergine steel gray couched in a meandering-pattern braid and accented by two aubergine satin trains flowing from the waist.”

The dress was used again by Mitzi Gaynor, who was also under contract at Fox Studios at around the same time as Monroe. The Studio would often reuse costumes for publicity photos that were not necessarily tied to any particular film. Two different shots show Gaynor wearing Marilyn’s dress, though the jacket is absent. A close-up shot of Gaynor shows the detailing on the gown. Note that the full shot of Gaynor wearing the dress appears to have been reversed by the Studio, as the sash across the chest is going the incorrect way.

This costume was eventually purchased by Debbie Reynolds and went up for auction on December 3rd, 2011, with Profiles in History (now Heritage Auctions). The dress and jacket eventually sold for $260,000.

About the Costume

Have you seen this gown somewhere else? Do you need to be given credit for this sighting? Do you have corrections, additions or changes you would like to make?

Have you ever watched a film and noticed a character walk by in a gown that you just know you’ve seen before? Recycled Movie Costumes is dedicated to documenting the life of a costume through its various appearances on film and television.

Additional Images

About the Costume

This particular dress, complete with a matching jacket, was designed by the famous costume designer William Travilla for Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn played the character Lorelai Lee.

Travilla designed extensively for Monroe, dressing her in all but one of her films. Marilyn is even said to have once written to him, “Billy Dear, please dress me forever. I love you, Marilyn.” The two costume tests above of Marilyn in the dress show Travilla standing alongside her. The gown is described as being “Aubergine steel gray couched in a meandering-pattern braid and accented by two aubergine satin trains flowing from the waist.”

The dress was used again by Mitzi Gaynor, who was also under contract at Fox Studios at around the same time as Monroe. The Studio would often reuse costumes for publicity photos that were not necessarily tied to any particular film. Two different shots show Gaynor wearing Marilyn’s dress, though the jacket is absent. A close-up shot of Gaynor shows the detailing on the gown. Note that the full shot of Gaynor wearing the dress appears to have been reversed by the Studio, as the sash across the chest is going the incorrect way.

This costume was eventually purchased by Debbie Reynolds and went up for auction on December 3rd, 2011, with Profiles in History (now Heritage Auctions). The dress and jacket eventually sold for $260,000.

This particular dress, complete with a matching jacket, was designed by the famous costume designer William Travilla for Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn played the character Lorelai Lee.

Travilla designed extensively for Monroe, dressing her in all but one of her films. Marilyn is even said to have once written to him, “Billy Dear, please dress me forever. I love you, Marilyn.” The two costume tests above of Marilyn in the dress show Travilla standing alongside her. The gown is described as being “Aubergine steel gray couched in a meandering-pattern braid and accented by two aubergine satin trains flowing from the waist.”

The dress was used again by Mitzi Gaynor, who was also under contract at Fox Studios at around the same time as Monroe. The Studio would often reuse costumes for publicity photos that were not necessarily tied to any particular film. Two different shots show Gaynor wearing Marilyn’s dress, though the jacket is absent. A close-up shot of Gaynor shows the detailing on the gown. Note that the full shot of Gaynor wearing the dress appears to have been reversed by the Studio, as the sash across the chest is going the incorrect way.

This costume was eventually purchased by Debbie Reynolds and went up for auction on December 3rd, 2011, with Profiles in History (now Heritage Auctions). The dress and jacket eventually sold for $260,000.

Credits

Sighting Credit:
  • Katie S.
Costume Designer:
  • Travilla

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