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The Kennedys
Costume seen on Charlotte Sullivan as Marilyn Monroe
National Anthem
Costume seen on Lana Del Rey

Marilyn sings "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy in the original gown

Sometimes costume designers are commissioned not just to create costumes for a production, but to re-create something that previously existed. This was the case with Hollywood icon, Marilyn Monroe's famous rhinestone studded dress, in which she sang "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy in 1962 at Madison Square Garden.

For the 2011 mini-series, The Kennedys, costume designer Chris Hardagon was faced with the task of re-creating this iconic gown for Charlotte Sullivan to wear during her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. To see a video about the making of the costume, click here (7:36 into the video).

The gown was used again in 2012 on Lana Del Ray in her music video "National Anthem," which can be viewed here.

The original gown, seen at left, was designed by Jean Louise, and was so tight that Marilyn actually had to be sewn into it. When numerous items from Monroe's estate went up for auction in 1999 at Christie's, Martin Zweig purchased it for a then unheard of $1.3 million dollars. Zweig passed away early in 2013, but it is still unkown if the dress will go up for auction again.


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RecycledMovieCostumes copyright 2011, website by Katie Bugg Designs.