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Hollywood Legend Marilyn Monroe’s Most Iconic Costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business

Hollywood Legend Marilyn Monroe’s Most Iconic Costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business

Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, announced Property From The Life And Career Of Marilyn Monroe featuring some of the star’s film costumes and clothing worn in her most iconic roles and dazzling, star-making moments will happen on Day One of Julien’s Auctions’Legendary Women Of Hollywood auction extravaganza on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, 2019 at The Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills and live online at

The top highlights of the auction event will be three costumes worn in the Hollywood screen legend’s biggest films – Gentlemen Prefer BlondesThere’s No Business Like Show Business and River of No Return – as well as her signature style black cocktail dress likely worn to the 1958 press conference for her blockbuster film, Some Like It Hot. This glamourous collection of 115 items also includes a wide array of artifacts from her personal life and will all be sold at no reserve.

It was also announced that these four outfits will be on view in London at The May Fair Hotel for a month from September 18 to October 21 before making its way to the U.S. for its exhibition and auction in Beverly Hills.

In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (20th Century Fox) – the 1953 musical comedy movie that would catapult Monroe to super stardom and iconic status as Hollywood sex symbol – Monroe plays Lorelei Lee, a showgirl who travels to Paris while pursued by a hired detective as well as other wishful paramours and admirers. In the spectacular opening of the film where she and co- star Jane Russell (as “Dorothy Shaw” wearing an identical outfit) sing, “Two Little Girls from Little Rock,” Monroe wears this stunning floor length, red silk, long sleeved sequined dress (photo right). The iconic costume together with the matching dramatic red headdress is estimated at $60,000-$80,000.

Another unforgettable costume on offer is this extravagant three-piece ensemble designed by master couturier, William Travilla, from Irving Berlin’s There’s No Business Like Show Business (20th Century Fox, 1954), estimated at $60,000-$80,000. The show stopping piece(photo left) was worn by the star who plays “Vicky Parker” during the saucy “Heat Wave” song and dance number. It consists of a daring black silk bandeau top adorned with sequins and dangly bead-balls and a hot pink and black silk sequined scarf that drapes over the left shoulder; a black floral print, decorated floor-length skirt lined with six layers of hot pink silk ruffles, accompanied by a black silk bikini-style bottom brief; and a classic, over-sized straw hat painted white with added orange silk flowers. The racy costume was met with controversy, including husband Joe DiMaggio, who allegedly refused to be photographed with his wife wearing the costume on the set. A design sketch of the costume in gouache and pencil signed by Travilla is also on offer (estimate $3,000-$5,000).

A bright yellow silk, floor-length period gown worn by Monroe as “Kay Weston” in the final scene of the 1954 drama, River of No Return(20th Century Fox), co-starring Robert Mitchum, (photo right) where she sings the theme song of the film’s same title comes to auction. This beautiful ensemble, estimated at $60,000-$80,000, was originally designed by costumier Helen Rose for Betty Grable in the 1943 Fox film Coney Island. A decade later, red beading and a back bow was added by William Travilla for Monroe’s use, as part of this lineage of Hollywood history. Debbie Reynolds bought this gown directly from Twentieth Century Fox during their “pre-sale” prior to their 1971 auction which came on the heels of the bigger 1970 MGM auction, where Reynolds famously bought a huge amount of Golden Era Hollywood costumes.

Another signature look of Monroe’s includes this black silk crepe, knee-length, short capped sleeved Henri Bendel cocktail dress (photo left)with a plunging V neck and back, appearing to be the same dress she wore at the July 1958 press conference for her film, Some Like It Hot (estimate: $20,000 – $40,000).

Other auction highlights include: a black silk jersey fabric with a gold and black “lace” print bathing suit worn by Monroe in the 1951 film, Let’s Make It Legal (20th Century Fox) (estimate: $10,000 – $20,000); an Italian-style carved wood ornate corner chair used by the star in her final photo shoot in July 1962 with Life magazine (estimate: $8,000 – $10,000); a mint green jersey silk Emilio Pucci top and skirt ensemble (estimate: $6,000 – $8,000); plus, numerous personal artifacts including a handwritten letter circa 1955 to the men of the Thule Air Base in Greenland; a check written out to Mr. M. Chekhov, her acting coach for “$60;” handwritten personal notes and more will be for offer.

“This collection of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic costumes that were worn by the screen legend in some of her most acclaimed and incandescent film performances will excite not only her millions of fans, but curators and collectors who are interested in owning and preserving these museum worthy pieces of the Golden Age of Hollywood history and fashion,” Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions said. “Julien’s Auctions is also pleased to announce that we are offering all of these items to be sold at no reserve.”


Wednesday, September 18 – Monday, October 21, 2019
The May Fair Hotel
Stratton Street


Julien’s Auctions
The Standard Oil Building Beverly Hills
257 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Monday, October 28 – Friday, November 1, 2019
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time Daily
Free to the Public


Friday, November 1, 2019
Session I: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Friday, November 1, 2019
Session II: 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Friday, November 1, 2019
Session III: 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Saturday, November 2, 2019
Session I: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Session II: 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time

For more information please email – 
or call 310-836-1818. 
Registration is required to bid in this online auction and can be done in person at the exhibition, or online before the sale at the JuliensAuctions.comRegistration page to bid by phone, proxy or in person, or online at to bid live online, or by calling (310) 836-1818. For inquiries, please email or call 310-836-1818. 
There are four ways to bid in this sale: Bid through Julien’s Auctions Online Live in Real Time at over the telephone through an auction house representative.Submit a bid in personEnter Absentee bids. Absentee bid forms are included in the back of each catalogue, and are also available by calling Julien’s Auctions or online at
Julien’s Auctions is the world-record breaking auction house. Collaborating with the famous and the exclusive, Julien’s Auctions produces high profile auctions in the film, music, sports and art markets. Julien’s Auctions has received international recognition for its unique and innovative auction events, which attract thousands of collectors, investors, fans and enthusiasts from around the world. Julien’s Auctions specializes in sales of iconic artifacts and notable collections including Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Lady Gaga, Banksy, Cher, Michael Jackson, U2, Barbra Streisand, Les Paul, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Hugh Hefner and many more.

In 2016, Julien’s Auctions received its second placement in the Guinness Book of World Records for the sale of the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction, The Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress which sold for $4.8 million. Julien’s Auctions achieved placement in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 for the sale of Michael Jackson’s white glove, which sold for $480,000 making it the most expensive glove ever sold at auction. Based in Los Angeles, Julien’s Auctions has a global presence bringing their auctions and exhibitions to targeted destinations worldwide including London, New York, Las Vegas, Japan and China. Live auctions are presented for bidders on-site and online via live streaming video and mobile technology. For more information on Julien’s Auctions, go to


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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