Most Expensive Marilyn Monroe memorabilia is her ‘Seven Year Itch’ dress for $4.6m
The iconic white halter-neck dress that Marylyn Monroe wore in the movie ‘Seven Year Itch’ has been sold for $4.6 million at the recent auction by Debbie Reynolds. The particular scene, which had Monroe saying “Oh! Do you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn’t it delicious?” when a strong wave of air blew up the dress to above her knees, created one of the most popular and iconic shots in cinematic history. Since then, the dress in question has been on the wish list of many cinema lovers and Monroe fans!
Made in the year 1955, ‘Seven Year Itch’ became an iconic movie for various reasons. At a time when display of skin on the silver screen was highly limited and even the slightest exposure bought people flocking to the cinema halls, this movie showed Marylyn Monroe coyly holding down the dress when a blow of air made it rise well above her knees. The scene was then etched in modern history, and has remained a part of everyone’s memory that may have seen it from time to time. Monroe’s co-star Debbie Reynolds then took this dress as a part of her collection, when Fox Studios emptied its wardrobe and put it up on auction recently, where it fetched a price much above expectations of $4.6 million. Not retaining the original crystal white color over time, this dress carries with it the history and heritage apart from the intricate tailoring and design. Put together by designer William Travilla, the dress was made from rayon-acetate to give it the special pleats. Hence, it needed extra effort at the designer’s end. As per Mr. Travilla, he wanted to create something that would make Monroe look ‘clean, talcum powdered and adorable’, and everyone would know how successful he really was.
The Debbie Reylonds auction had other items on sale, which were a part of cinematic history. For example, Judy Garland’s shoes from Wizard of Oz was sold off for $1.75 million and the racing clothes of Elizabeth Taylor from the 1944 movie National Velvet went for $60,000. These items of personal use were collected by Ms. Reylonds over a period of 40 years, and she had every reason to be emotionally attached to them. When the auction was closed, sources said that she was in tears and one would perfectly believe it too!
Details of this auction can be seen in our previous coverage ‘Iconic hollywood memoirs to go on sale at Debbie Reynolds Auction’. The coverage lists all pieces of cinematic history that went under the hammer.