Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Technicolor posted a consultant to the movie to enable the wardrobe, set designers and cameraman to make the choices of colors which would play to the strengths of the particular process Technicolor was using at that time.
In common with movies of this era there was no location shooting. Only establishing shots arranged by the Second Unit.
A remarkable dress: Slit to the waist in both directions.
Before the invention of pantyhose in 1959 showgirls would wear extra-length nylon stockings called »Opera stockings« which were long enough that they would reach all the way up to their crotch and hip-line. Once the girls were in their costume, the welt of the stockings was stitched into the hem of their leotard costume in order to keep them up. Nylon, itself only invented in 1949, was used to manufacture stockings until the invention of Lycra . Nylon stockings for use with period costumes are still available today and are made on the original machinery by the few remaining manufacturers still in business. If you run a movie studio wardrobe, you need to buy-in now before it is too late.
There is one French company which will make nylon stockings to the exact measurements of a lady's leg. This is important because Nylon is not elastic like Lycra and if the Nylons do not fit the lady's leg then the stockings will wrinkle. A slight ribble is an attractive feature of Nylons and must be expected in an inelastic material, but a large difference in size will result in ill-fitting stockings.
The gold dress visible in the frame caused a struggle with the censors, which is why only footage of the dress from the rear was included in the final cut.
Marilyn Monroe openers her wardrobe trunk. Wardrobe trunks open up at the hinge like a book which has been stood upright. Steamer trunks lie flat on the ground and open like a cigar box.
Marilyn Monroe in a brown and black check dress made from wool. She would wear this dress again when entertaining troops on her visit to Korea.
Marilyn Monroe entertaining the troops in Korea , 1954. She said it was the most love she had ever felt in her life. Her appearances were so popular that at one event in Inchon several GIs were injured in the crush.
She is wearing GI M43 boots
Arc D'Triomphe, L'Etoile
Tour d'Eiffel, Champs de Mars, Trocadero
Le Madrigal Restaurant
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Schiaparelli - A movie set
Gurlain - A movie set
Balenciaga - A movie set.
Scene: Marilyn Monroe's big dance number Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend wearing her pink dress by the genius William Travilla . Marilyn was dubbed by leading voice-over singer Marni Nixon for this number.
Design is monumentally important to the Ascent of Man. The Century Series fighters, the Saturn V rocket , the RMS Queen Mary, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, the Supermarine Spitfire, , the Gresley A4 locomotives : All of these mechanisms had to be designed in order to real men to go in to action and undertake Derring Doo. Much as these designers were essential to the Greatest Century, designers like William Travilla, Jean-Louis and Adrian of Hollywood were equally essential.
The supporting dancers were red-white-red sashes under their white tie suits. Colored sashes are sometimes worn by various orders (university fraternities, for example) on formal occasions.
Note how the red and white sashes worn under the White Tie coat of the supporting dancers brings increased color and contrast.
Marilyn Monroe poses for a publicity still in her William Travilla satin dress which she used in the big dance number.
Note the great difference in the color balance between the photograph, which is likely to be Kodachrome, and the movie frame, which is Technicolor. William Travilla told that Marilyn Monroe had the best breasts in Hollywood because they were wide-set which meant that he could plunge the neckline all the way to the waist without having to move the breasts apart to prevent too much cleavage showing. Travilla tells that he first met Marilyn in 1950 at Fox Studio's lot. Marilyn asked if she could use his fitting room. She was wearing a black bathing costume and as she manoeuvred back through the sliding doors of the fitting room, one of the straps fell off, exposing one of her breasts. Travilla noted that this was intentional.
The 'dress' was sold at auction in 2010 but controversy surrounded the issue of whether it was the dress which appeared in the movie. Like any costume in a large production, there are nearly always several identical copies, to ensure that filming can continue in the event of loss or damage. There may be several editions of the costume if the costume has to be altered for specific scenes. In this case, the dress which was made for dancing might have been different to the dress Marilyn just wore. There would have been five dresses or more, including the prototype.
- A man representing the Travilla Estate posted a message on the themarilynmonroecollection.blogspot.co.uk
Great article [referring to the themarilynmonroecollection.blogspot.co.uk article]. Let me help clarify a couple of things. I was asked by the press if this was the original dress. I did a lot of research and found the follwing: it had all the right tags and studio numbers so I have to assume it was a Travilla, however and how many time I have said this is amazing, he allways made a few of the dresses to check shape and wearability especially in this gown as it was so complicated to create. The dress she wore did have felt lining, this one has not - so no it was not worn in the film. I may have been tried on by her. But it stops there. The dress in the Travilla collection is a prototype and has so many corrections and alterations on it, including at least three cut out linings, which I can only assume did not work. Hense the felt. From his notes he stated she wore two identical copies in that scene as it took so long to shoot and of course no retouching then, any dirt on it and on with the next one.
The dress is incredibly heavy and really could not handle to much wearing. So you are right in the fact that the one seen years ago was so tattered and worn.
In any case, it was a crime of omission that each and every dress was not preserved. The Twentieth Century was the high point for civilization as well as design of couture. Those dresses should have been preserved so that in future epochs, extra-terrestrial intelligence can find them, along with the images of Marilyn and, like Ozymandias , witness the triumph and the tragedy of a civilization which achieved so much and almost achieved so much more.
Marilyn Monroe poses with diamond jewelry
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell press their hands into wet cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Cover of Life Magazine May 25 1953
+ SEE ALSO
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- William Travilla's satin pink dress for Marilyn Monroe which she wore during her big dance number
- www.igetakickoutofyou.me blogspot - Marilyn Monroe's dresses and the battle with the censors in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
- https://funkandmode.wordpress.com/ - Marilyn Monroe dress exhibition
- http://www.goldenhollywoodera.com/ - William Travilla at Golden Hollywood Era
- http://travillastyle.blogspot.co.uk/ - Travilla Style Blogspot
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